Summer Getaway to Galiano Island

The Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia sit like jewels in the Salish Sea. Five reasons why Galiano Island is a perfect summer getaway for families. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

The Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia sit like jewels in the Salish Sea, also known as Georgia Straight, between Vancouver’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Galiano Island, one of these unique islands, has been our most-visited gulf island destination during our time in the province. A recent visit confirmed our love for Galiano, and here are five reasons why.

The Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia sit like jewels in the Salish Sea. Five reasons why Galiano Island is a perfect summer getaway for families. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

A stunning view from Bluffs Park, Galiano Island

1. Short ferry ride

From the BC Ferries terminal in Tsawwassen, it takes just one hour to reach Sturdies Bay terminal on Galiano Island. It’s a short trip to paradise.

2. Montague Harbour Campground

This is the only provincial campground on the Island, and the beautiful forest setting, generous campsites and rustic charm (i.e. no flush toilets), appeal to those who don’t mind simple accommodations. The campground is also just steps to the beach and boat/kayak launch, which is perfect for quick beach access for the kids. For those who wish grander accommodations, check out the lovely Galiano Inn. There are also many B&Bs to choose from on the Island.

3. Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park

This Marine Park is home to famous white-shell beaches (and Midden) which are the result of 3,000 years of Aboriginal shellfish consumption. The large piles of shells have been broken down by the ocean tide and redeposited on the shore, making for a striking white beach that you can walk along and have fun searching for sea glass.

The Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia sit like jewels in the Salish Sea. Five reasons why Galiano Island is a perfect summer getaway for families. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

It’s a narrow channel for BC Ferries in Active Pass

4. The Bluffs

Bluffs Park offers a hiking trail complete with stunning views of Mayne Island and Active Pass, where east and west-bound ferries cross in a narrow channel against fierce and competing currents. It’s a great spot for a picnic, and to see eagles gliding upwards on the warm winds.

5. Nature & Wildlife

Galiano is an ecologically rich place. Forests, beaches, and intertidal areas abound and can keep kids busy and interested for a surprisingly long time. As we enjoyed our view from Bluffs Park, a total of six bald eagles rode the air currents above our heads. Nature doesn’t get more impressive than that.

[travellingmom tip: Bring the bikes along, but note that Galiano is a hilly island that will be a challenging ride, particularly for younger children.]

Have you visited Galiano or any of the Southern Gulf Islands? What did you enjoy the most?

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2 Comments

  • Erica says:

    Hi Claudia,
    I would like to visit Galiano Island with my husband and 2year old son. We are planning to stay there for the long weekend this Sept 1st.
    How many days and nights you recommend to stay there? We are unsure if 2 nights is good enough or might be that 1 night is enough. It’s our first time at any of the Islands and we don’t really know what to expect. We just want to be in the nature and have our son to enjoy his first time on the beaches. Also, what place do you recommend for staying?
    Thanks,
    Erica

    • Claudia says:

      Hi Erica, Thanks for your comment. Galiano is a great choice for your family. It’s a beautiful spot and one of the warmest and driest of the Southern Gulf Islands. I think a 2 night stay with your 2 year old son is great. There are lots of beaches, walks and hikes to do that would of interest to your toddler. Bellhouse Park is a great spot to watch ferries and other boats pass by. We’ve camped at Montague (great spot to visit with kids even if you’re not camping) and also stayed at the Galiano Inn & Spa before. It’s child-friendly. Or one of the bed & breakfasts would be good too, that way your brekkie is included. 🙂 Be sure to reserve on the Gulf Islands ferry on both routes – it’s not that frequent and sells out on summer weekends. Have a fabulous time!

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