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You can take a detour and visit one of the southern Gulf Islands where many artists commonly sell their work.Galiano, Mayne, Saturna and Pender islands each have a community of artists, but the biggest concentration of galleries and studios is on Salt Spring Island in the village of Ganges.
Its permanent collection totals 17,000 and features artists from Asia, Europe and North America, including works by Emily Carr.Other galleries include the Winchester Gallery, the Fran Willis Gallery and Starfish Glassworks.Peruse BC’s natural history dating back 10,000 years at the Royal BC Museum. As you head over the summit of Malahat Drive, pull into the viewpoint for panoramic ocean views over Saanich Inlet and the Saanich Peninsula to distant Mount Baker along this scenic stretch of Highway 1.Stop to catch a flick at the Patricia Theatre – Canada’s oldest, continuously operating movie theatre.Drive north to explore the eclectic community of Lund, located at the end of Highway 101, and visit the Historic Lund Hotel, complete with art gallery and general store.Drop by Sidney and find Canada’s only “Book Town” where, within a four-block radius, book lovers have nine stores to shop for modern, used, collector’s and antiquarian books.
Plan to visit the world famous Butchart Gardens, located in Brentwood Bay.Or take a 15-minute water taxi ride from Lund to Savary Island; the island’s white sand beaches and warm swimming waters are reminiscent of more tropical destinations.South of Powell River at Saltery Bay, board another BC Ferries vessel to Earls Cove to see Harmony Falls in Hotham Sound – it drops 420m/1,400ft into the sound.Continue north to Chemainus, originally a logging town, to see the world’s largest outdoor gallery of murals and sculptures.Through the hands of artists, this town transformed its economy and now offers visitors an array of boutiques filled with west-coast-inspired art from local artists and artisans.Cast a line in Pender Harbour to fish for salmon and rent a kayak to paddle the peaceful curve of Halfmoon Bay’s coastline. The Sunshine Coast is home to one of the highest per capita ratios of artists, crafters and talented artisans anywhere in Canada, and these banners signal that an artist’s studio is open to the public to browse or purchase.