Salt Spring Main

When an island is best known for being Canada's favorite stomping ground for both artists and organic farmers... well, that should give you a clue about the local lifestyle-and the pace of life.

The largest of British Columbia's Gulf Islands (and just 20 or so miles north of the alike-in-many-ways San Juan Islands of Washington State), Salt Spring is mostly a summer getaway for those looking for quieter holidays. Hiking and kayaking are favorite activities (and there is even a pair of nice 9-hole golf courses), but favorite inactivities include lounging around a comfortable B&B or a day spa before dinner in the main town of Ganges.

The island's artisan Studio Tour trail is actually the best way to sightsee around the 18-mile-long island. Maps of the tour are widely available, and then just keep your eye open for the road signs with a black sheep logo and the studio's number. Nearly 40 studios are on the trail, including quiltmakers and photographers. And along the way, you'll discover the island's real attractions - lush forests of firs and cedars, eagles overhead, orchards and pastures, and driftwood-strewn beaches.