TRAVEL: Southern Gulf Islands - NYT Best Places to Go 2016

I was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia. Born in Vancouver and raised on Bowen Island and then Salt Spring Island. I would not trade that upbringing for anything in the world, it has helped shape who I am deep down. There is something about being immersed in an environment that surrounds you with the ocean, wilderness, wildlife and a warm community of people that will always be a part of who I am. 

The west coast is wild, unpredictable and breathtakingly beautiful. The unpredictability lends to the mystic of this rugged coastal region where you can find yourself enjoying a summer-like October day on a tiny beach basking in the sun to misty morning runs that lead you past dew laden farm fields, unique homes and eventually you will end up at the ocean again. You can take a boat out and drop a line, hopefully catch a lingcod or pull a friends’ crab trap and plan a fresh seafood hot pot paired with a local bottle of wine. Nothing beats this! It all comes back to the ocean. Being raised with it as a constant in my life makes me realize I can’t live without it. It’s like a soul mate in a way, if that even makes any sense.

What prompted all this west coast love is the recent article by the New York Times – 52 Places to Go in 2016 – which the Southern Gulf Islands was listed! I have to give them props on their description of my beloved home:

“Always blessed with natural beauty, Vancouver has successfully recast itself in recent years as a luxury destination. But as the Canadian city goes upscale, travelers and locals seeking simpler Pacific Northwest charms are increasingly venturing just offshore, to the Southern Gulf Islands. A short ferry ride (as little as an hour) leads to a maze of Pacific islands dotted with small seaside villages, where summers can feel almost Mediterranean. Rocky coast and pebble beaches give way to rolling pastures and forested peaks. Winding roads lead from farms and wineries to cheeseries, breweries and artists’ studios. Each of the nearly dozen major islands has its own character and contrarian island culture, but all offer secluded coves and trails to explore, and abundant wildlife, from eagles to orcas. Restaurants — including tiny Pilgrimme, cited as one of Canada’s best — punch well above their weight, while one-off accommodations range from renovated airstreams to Airbnb finds and small, family-run lodges.” - Remy Scalza


The more I miss it the more I realize that I need it and that I will once again live there, mark my words.


Xo, Phaedra