Lifestyle & Parenting

Pender Island Hop

November 23, 2018

Board a BC Ferry from Vancouver and, in less than two hours, find yourself in one of the province’s most laid-back and ruggedly beautiful islands. In fact, Pender is two islands, joined together in 1955 by a picturesque one-lane bridge. So pack your bags, grab your bestie or significant other and head to Pender Island for a weekend getaway that will surely delight you. —Michelle Hopkins

pender island

stay. A trailer you say? No, an Airstream. At WOODS on Pender, you never have to leave your forested haven. This isn’t just camping, this is glamping. Besides your Airstream, there is a hot tub, glamping tent, hammock, propane fire pit and air conditioning. All you are required to do after a day of exploration is pour yourself a nice glass of wine, kick back by the firepit and enjoy star gazing in the woodlands. P.S. WOODS also features a small hotel, cabins and a restaurant.

hike. With kilometre upon kilometre of rocky rainforest beauty all around, lace up the old boots and head to Brooks Point Regional Park and Mount Norman trails, both featuring shore-to-sky pathways leading to panoramic bird’s eye views of the Gulf Islands and surrounding ocean channels. A favourite of locals, a meandering stroll along Roe Islet Trail delivers yet more jaw-dropping vistas, with a driftwood strewn sandy beach included.

pender island

kayak. With nothing but blue skies and perfect fall weather, our two-hour guided morning kayak along Poets Cove with Pender Island Kayak Adventures seduced us. Leaving from Port Browning Marina Resort, we paddled the waters along the cove. It offered plenty of natural beauty and opportunities to catch frolicking seals and eagles soaring high above. Pender Island is home to three pods of orcas and if you are lucky enough you might just catch a glimpse of one of these amazing mammals.

savour. The WOODS’ founder/chef Curtis Redel is part of a movement on the island—a vanguard who is passionate about farm-to-table cuisine and B.C. wines—and he wants to share that love with everyone at Coffee + Kitchen. We toasted his perfectly delicious dishes, including an organic burger and perfect vegan dahl, with some wonderful local wines. Next, head to El Faro Taqueria. Gluten free and bursting with flavour, try a Greek chicken, veggie or the bliss steak taco. Penderosa Pizza is another Pender Island hit, featuring fresh-baked thin-style crusts, sweet and tangy tomatoes, gooey cheese, perfectly seasoned toppings and other fresh ingredients. Finally, go for picture-perfect ocean and mountain views and organic, sustainable pub fare at Port Browning Marina Pub, were chef Gord Stewart’s tuna poke pairs beautifully with a cold local micro brew.

shop. Meander through the quaint, historic seaside village of Hope Bay where "local and sustainable" is a movement. Indulge in mouthwatering hand-crafted chocolates at Pender Chocolates or poke your head in the funky, eclectic Gather, where you will find gently used vintage goods and local artisans’ wares. For one-of-a-kind jewelry and clothing, Island Girls Boutique is worth a visit. The multi-talented Charlene Hall is the owner as well as the clothing and jewelry designer. Also nestled in Driftwood Centre, you’ll find Talisman Books and Gallery, offering a selection of great children’s books by local authors, as well as Pender Petals and Paws, where flowers and gifts share space with pet food and toys.


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