Where is the Salish Sea?
The Salish Sea is the waters, islands and surrounding ecosystems of south-western British Columbia and north-western Washington. This includes Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait.
In 2009 the above collection of islands and waters was named “Salish Sea” and recognized as one ecosystem. The name originates from the indigenous peoples of the region, the Coast Salish. The Coast Salish inhabited this ecosystem, living in cedar long houses along the sea. Their art, primarily carving, is extensively appreciated world-wide. Ceremonial masks, totem poles, and weavings can be found in regional museums or by visiting modern day Salish artists.
For many of us, this region is simply our ‘backyard’ where we hike, bike, kayak and boat a remarkably diverse and beautiful part of the world. The stories shared by long time locals, Coast Salish guides and artisans bring to life the rich history of the area. The region with its villages and settlements has changed over time, but the forests and sea remain continue to tell a similar story.
I have traveled to many parts of the world to enjoy hiking, biking and other outdoor activities. However, there is nothing quite like breathing in the air of the Salish Sea! It is one of the reasons I have developed the ‘Secrets of the Salish Sea’ tour, a sampler of what the region has to offer. Here you can watch whales frolic in the island waters, see eagles soar through the air, and laugh as otters scurry along the shore.
You can stop by road side markets, visit wineries and local artist studios to find local creations. Exploration of the trails can be done on foot or by bike. Waterways can be explored by kayak or boat. These soft adventure experiences allow you to slow down and take in the journey. Residents and visitors alike have much to savour in this region for a day, a week or longer.
The summer days are long and dry in the rain-shadow of the Olympic Mountains. A piece of paradise is uncovered with a sip of cider, fresh cheese and wild blackberries at the end of a picnic in the warm sun gazing across glistening waters at the islands that dot the horizon. As a resident, step outside your door; as a visitor come step onto Vancouver Island, it’s a journey well worth it to find your ‘Secrets of the Salish Sea’. A variety of beverage options await: wineries, cider farms, coffee roasters and spirit distillers. You can easily assemble your own picnic by passing the many roadside market stands of fresh grown produce. By attaching a basket to your bike, create your own picnic and travel along the Salish Sea to find your own paradise.
The Salish Sea is full of nooks and crannys to explore. The few I have mentioned above are some of the reasons I have put ‘Secrets of the Salish Sea‘ tour together. It’s yours to explore! Let me know what you think … and share a few of your ‘secrets’.
All Photos Are Courtesy Of Steve Duck
Guest Author Bio
Steve has been traveling the world since he was a child. The vacations to special places around the globe finally drew his itchy feet into the travel industry. For over a decade, Steve guided hiking, biking and gourmet tours across Vancouver Island and British Columbia, throughout Italy, New Zealand and Central America. While at home, he applied his adventurous creative style to events in the Greater Victoria area. Suds, a dog wash at a beer tasting, healthy cooking show at a half marathon and a wine tasting at a glass blowing studio entertained event participants. Since then, Steve has launched TIDES – The Island’s Destination & Event Service – serving the Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.
Steve is a traveler at heart continuing to explore the Salish Sea and other local jewels. He is especially passionate for Italy where he regularly travels to. In his mid 40’s, he ended up in il bel paese for six months a year, learning Italian. He loves cycling and being close to the water!
Blog / Website: TIDES – The Island’s Destination & Event Service