Come To Ganges
Cruising The Canadian Gulf Islands Day 3.
In my opinion, Ganges, BC should top everyone's summer destination list. The ideal daytime highs, 70-75 degrees, sparkling blue water, and incredible air quality provide the perfect respite from hot and/or humid weather. You can trust me on this. I lived almost two decades in St. Louis, Missouri, where 90 degrees and matching humidity were the summer norm.
Ganges on Salt Spring Island, population 10,200, is small enough to offer laid back island charm yet large enough to offer goods and services to the vast surrounding area. Salt Spring is located between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC, and is the most highly visited of the Gulf Islands.
There are a variety of ways to get here without owning, borrowing, or chartering a boat. Most travelers begin their Pacific Northwest Journey in Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver, BC. Any of these major cities is an awesome jumping off point, and if you have a car the journey is probably the most expeditious. With a combination of car travel and ferriy crossings, the trip is easy. Without a car the journey involves ferries and buses and maybe even rail. However, the BC Transit System is first rate and easy to navigate, so don't let the absence of a car deter you. And once you arrive in Ganges you can tour most of what there is to see and do on foot or by taxi.
We always drop anchor about 900 feet away from the public dock. We pick the same general area each time we come because it is quiet and calm and provides us with beautiful shoreline views.
One of my favorite things to do is to take the dinghy into town for morning coffee. This morning I took my camera along and with cup in hand, did a walk-about capturing images of my favorite shops (and my favorite traveling companion).
My Favorite Places To Spend Money In Ganges~ A list of five places I always visit while here.
1. Thrifty Foods. Thrifty is a well designed grocery chain in British Coulumbia. The displays are appealing, quality is great, the staff friendly, and the prices are reasonable. Larry and I do a lot of cooking so Thrifty is always a first stop for us.
2. The Tree House Cafe. This is a great breakfast spot as well as our favorite place for carry out coffee. Here they feature Salt Spring Coffee, a local roasting legend. You can see why the cafe is aptly named "Tree House", because it is actually built around a huge oak. The restaurant interior is
3. Salt Spring Nature Works. Local foods, natural foods, bulk foods, and homeopathic remedies are available here. Aren't the displays gorgeous?
4. Elderberry Yarns. I'm not a great knitter and rarely spend a lot of money when visiting this great shop. But the owner indulges me with lots of time and attention, and always helps me choose a simple project to work on while underway. Her inventory as well as her expertise is marvelous.
5. Cafe Talia. This is a favorite Euro cafe for coffee and pastries, as well as light breakfast and lunch fare. There is seating both inside and out as well as takeaway. I absolutely love it here and encourage you to stop in.
Many of the little shops and cafes are in early 1900 cottages.
There is also an abundance of colorful blooms at almost every turn.
One final note. The most famous of the many Ganges attractions is the Salt Spring Saturday Market. Last year we planned our trip around it and it was an incredibly fun experience. It's probably the finest Saturday market I've ever shopped.
Have I encouraged or enticed you to come to Ganges? I hope so. If you would like any more information or links to cool stuff, please leave a comment or email me. I love talking travel.
Off to our next port!