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Queen Charlotte Islands
The Gulf Islands are actually two
unique groupings of islands off of the coast of
British Columbia. The Southern
Gulf Islands, clustered near the base of
Vancouver Island, are
the most frequently visited of the two and are best known for seven
unique islands: Gabriola,
Salt Spring, Saturna
and the two Pender Islands. Each is
imbued with its own distinct flavor and many are home to flourishing
artist communities. With less than 30 inches of rain a year, the
southern islands are known for their warm, mild climates and serene
The Northern Gulf Islands, which dot
the Strait of Georgia between the Sunshine Coast of the mainland and the
eastern shoreline of Vancouver Island, include the islands of Cortes,
Denman, Lasqueti, Quadra, and
Hornby islands that up until about 10 or 20 years ago, because of
their distance from the city of
Vancouver, were less known to the curious traveler.
Both groups of islands are popular
haunts for activities such as kayaking, bike riding, beachcombing and
shopping. The southern islands have gained increasing notoriety in the
last few years for their comfortable bed and breakfast retreats. Several
Gulf Islands support small cottage vineyards that specialize in organic
and regional wines.
The Gulf Islands are part of a larger
contingent of approximately 6,000 islands and islets that populate the
waters between Washington
and Alaska. British Columbia ferries frequent all of the major Southern
Gulf Islands and provide limited service to many of the northern
communities. Private water taxi service and in some cases, float planes,
may also be available from the mainland and Vancouver Island.
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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