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Where to stay and
what to do on
Bed and Breakfast
The eastern point of the Island was named Punta de Gaviola, meaning "seagull
point" by Spanish explorer Jose Maria Narvaez. It was later known as Punta
de Gaviola, and eventually the whole Island became Gabriola.
The Gulf Islands
Salt Spring Island
Vancouver & Coast
Gabriola Island (pop. 4,500) is
located off the southwest coast of
Vancouver Island, an easy
ferry ride from Nanaimo. A member of the Southern Gulf Islands, it is a
popular stopover for many vacationers who want to experience the distinctive
cultures and attractions of B.C.'s south coast islands. Like many other
Gulf Islands, Gabriola is
home to a diverse selection of artists, musicians and writers, some of whom
are internationally renowned.
Originally named by Spanish explorers in
1791 as "Punto de Gaviota" or "Cape Seagull," the island became eventually
known as Gabriola, a possible distortion of its original Spanish name. Early
Spanish influence can be found as well in several other locations around the
island, such as Descanso Bay and Malaspina Galleries. Numerous First Nations
petroglyphs, some of which are believed may have been carved by members of
the Cowichan Nation hundreds of years ago, are spread across the island and
can be viewed in situ and at the Gabriola Museum.
Famous both for its laid-back atmosphere
and for its stunning marine vistas, Gabriola is a favourite haunt for sea
kayakers and divers. The Gulf Islands temperate weather seems tailored to
outdoor recreation, offering plenty of opportunities for boating,
beachcombing and fishing. There are also plenty of recreational
possibilities on land, with two provincial parks and several attractive
beaches to walk, hike or cycle.
Late spring, summer and fall are the best
times to experience Gabriola, which hosts a variety of art, music and
literary events throughout the year. Advance reservations are advised when
planning to stay during the popular summer and fall months.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
British Columbia by Andrew Hempstead. Every Moon guidebook includes
recommendations for must-see sights and many regional, area, and
city-centered maps. Complete with guidance on whale-watching near
Telegraph Cove, hiking the Stanley Glacier Trail, and camping near Mount
Robson, Moon British Columbia gives travelers the tools they need to
create a more personal and memorable experience.
British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies by Bill Rae, Author and
Donald Olson, Contributor. This brand-new edition to the Frommer series
takes travelers through all the highlights, including all the best
eco-adventures: whale watching by kayak, sailing a ketch into the worlds
only grizzly bear reserve, and hiking in misty, primordial old-growth
forests and along wilderness beaches.
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