Experience the slower pace of island life at this pastoral getaway in the southern Gulf Islands, where pretty farmsteads and forests define the serene landscape.
Historic Mayne Island is an outlying haven in the Gulf Islands chain. Situated in the middle of Active Pass, a busy maritime route between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the island is admired by thousands of ferry passengers every day, but visited by few. Explore the 8.1-square-mile (21-square-kilometer) island to make the most of its secluded landscapes, beautiful forests and scenic waterfronts.
Miners Bay is the island’s largest settlement. Its quiet streets and cozy atmosphere present the perfect introduction to the island. Visit the island’s former jail, which now contains an informative museum. Learn about the island’s First Nations people, who fished from seasonal villages along the coast for over 3,000 years. In the mid-19th century, gold prospectors populated the island, using it as a stopover on the journey to the West Coast goldfields.
Stop by the heritage Agricultural Hall to join the bustle of the summer market, held on Saturdays. Go kayaking or boating along the island’s stunning coastline, or pick a spot to spend the day on the sands of Campbell Bay and Bennett Bay. Take the family to Dinner Bay Park to find out about Mayne Island’s Japanese heritage at the serene Japanese Garden and enjoy a picnic beside the playground. For extensive views across the island and Active Pass, take the hiking trail up Mount Parke in the heart of the island.
There are plenty of places to unwind on Mayne Island, including farmstead getaways and forest retreats. Explore the island by car or with a bike to go on a culinary adventure via farmgate stands and restaurants serving fresh regional produce. Visit the island’s artisan workshops, galleries and shops selling locally made organic goods.
Arrive to Mayne Island’s ferry dock in Village Bay. Boaters can moor in Miners Bay and Horton Bay. Floatplanes also arrive to Mayne Island from Vancouver. Book your accommodation at the island’s resorts, vacation rentals and campsites in advance for the high season in July and August, as lodging can book out across the entire island. Find out what passing ferry commuters are missing when you relax with the pastoral charm, pristine greenery and pretty shorelines of Mayne Island.