Pender Island


Have you had the opportunity to indulge in local ingredients and produce? The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is a must add to your list when looking for local, fresh ingredients. Hosted year round every Saturday from 8:30am-noon.

A few common asked questions from the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market website attached below:

  • Are Dogs Allowed? No – The friends of  Qualicum Beach Farmers Market love the fur babies but ask for them to stay at home for the market trips!
  • What is in season? Check out the in season diagram here!
  • Is there food at the market? Yes
  • Are there washrooms? Yes – located outside the Community Hall
  • Where do I park? – In the church behind the market there is parking offered during the market.
  • Where is the Market? 644 Veterans Way, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1L8

There are so many vendors who frequently are at the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market from produce, eggs, baked goods, and crafts just to name a few. To view the entire vendor list check out the website here.

Happy Shopping and don’t forget your reusable bag!


Surfing Tips!

Have you ever gone surfing and caught the biggest wave? Whether or not you are a seasoned surfer or first time catching a wave we have a few tips for you as you set out on your way.

Here are some hot tips provided by Surfer Today!

1. Learn to Pick the Right Wave

2. Fine-Tune the Position on the Peak

3. Eye Your Target

4. Keep a Low Center of Gravity

5. Paddle With Nearly-Closed Fingers

6. Check the Time Period Between Waves

7. Adjust Your Feet While Riding the Wave

8. Set One Goal and Improve It

9. Manage the Wave Face Timing

10. Watch Wave Videos in Slow Motion

11. Analyze Your Mistakes

12. Broaden the Working Area on the Wave Face

13. Pick the Right Surfboard for the Right Wave

14. Focus on Rail-to-Rail Surfing

15. Learn How Waves Are Formed

Most importantly Breakaway Vacation reminds you, and your family to have fun!

Hiking Trails

5 Great Hiking Trails on Pender Island

Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands. The island is approximately 34 km2, has a sub-Mediterranean climate, and is covered in farmland, forested hills, lakes, small mountains, coves, and beaches. Hiking the various trails of the Island will show off this wondrous variety of scenery.

Here are a few of the hiking trails you can check out while on the Island:

  1. Grover Sargent Memorial Cairn Trail

Clam Bay Road, North Pender Island

This hike is approximately 90 meters and is rated an easy trek. The trail is a memorial for Pilot Officer Grover Stewart Sargent of the Canadian Air Force, who died at age 21 when his Hawker Hurricane MK XII crashed during a test flight. The walk is mostly boardwalks over different shapes of wetland.

  1. Magic Lake Swimming Hole Park

Pirates Road, North Pender

This is an easy area to walk and explore and it contains amenities like an outhouse and a dock and swimming float in the nearby lake. There’s plenty of space to take a brisk walk or hike but there is also much space for lounging in the sun or swimming. You can also see the dam that retains the water in Magic Lake.

  1. Mount Menzies Park

Hooson Road, North Pender Island

This hike is a more challenging one with a 2 KM distance and an 80-metre climb. It has a looping trail with a bench that marks the end of the Pender Islands Parks and Recreation Commission land – moving onto unmarked trails here means trespassing on private property to you will want to stick to the path. The path is, at times, steep and slippers but you’ll be able to see dense forest canopy and expansive wetlands.

  1. George Hill

Ogden Road or Upper Terrace Road, North Pender Island

Another challenging hike, George Hills is about 2 KM each way with a 130-metre climb. The trail is long and quite steep in places but at the top, you’ll get an absolutely unbeatable 180-degree view where you can look out across Galiano, Mayne, and Salt Spring Islands, and on a clear day, the Olympic Range is also visible.

  1. Mount Elizabeth Park

Clam Bay Road, North Pender Island

This is a moderate-level hike that is a total 0.64 KM start to finish if you use the trail loop. You can borrow a nature guide at the beginning of the trail, which will help you identify the local flora and fauna you’re seeing in this forest of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. (Please return the guide on your way out.)


We hope you enjoy this list of some of the best hiking trails on Pender Island. Check out our Pender Island rentals and let us know what trail you want to try first!

Date Night

Date Night on Pender Island & Area!

Date night on Pender Island? This is the ultimate romantic getaway spot thanks in part to its isolated nature and serene landscape views. Pender Island has a few amenities but you can also take a ferry, water taxi, or private boat to the neighbouring islands for a quick day trip.

Here are a few romantic restaurants and eateries in the Pender Island area:

Slow Coast Coffee (Pender Island)

Slightly peckish? We recommend Slow Coast Coffee, where you’ll be treated to all sorts of handmade goods from Thai carrot coconut soup to pasture-raised ham quiche as well as cookies, loaves, and other sweet desserts. Try the patio if the weather is warm enough and it’s open; you’ll be gifted with a fabulous view!

Jo’s Place for Breakfast or Brunch (Pender Island)

Open until 2:00 PM, Jo’s Place is a perfect spot for a hip, romantic brunch or early lunch. They have drink specials daily, though our favourite is their Double Baileys and Coffee. They have a great mix of pub food, delicious sweet breakfast items, vegetarian options, and a gluten-free selection.

Penderosa Pizza (Pender Island)

You’ll find more than just pizza at this cozy diner; they also have pasta, salads, and more. Penderosa Pizza serves handmade dough and house-made sauces. You can dine in or order for pick-up or delivery. The food is delicious, there’s tons of variety (particularly with the pizza toppings), and the prices are more than fair.

Rocks Salt Restaurant and Cafe (Salt Spring Island)

Rocks Salt Restaurant and Cafe is located right by the ferry, meaning you get a stunning ocean view and can watch the ships coming and going. They have a healthy list of red and white wines, cocktails, cider, scotch and rye, and domestic and imported beers. We recommend the Rock Salt Kung Pao.

Bennett Bay Bistro (Mayne Island)

Open daily at 11:30 AM, the Bennett Bay Bistro features Ocean Wise seafood, made-to-order international dishes created with fresh ingredients, and a wide selection of wines and local beers. They have plenty of starter dishes for couples to share, like the Baked Brie & Honey Figs or the Crab & Cod Cakes.

Babes in the Woods Eatery (Galiano Island)

Galiano’s Chef Lisa started her Babes in the Woods Eatery in 2014 and the rest is history. The menu has a little bit of everything: homemade soup, tacos, salmon, burgers, BBQ chicken, pizza, and a host of wines, beers, and cocktails. Share a romantic dessert, like their delicious Maple Walnut Cheesecake.


Need some help getting between Islands? Try: Boat travel, boat rental, and water taxis or check out the Ferry Terminals and Routes. And don’t forget that our Pender Island vacation rentals each include a full kitchen so you can always cook a romantic meal together without leaving the house.

Rainy Day Activities

7 Creative Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day on Pender Island

We certainly hope your stay at Breakaway Vacations’ Pender Island rental properties is nothing but sunny the entire time you visit. But that’s not always the case, and a rainy day can be inevitable. Never fear! There is still plenty to do when the clouds cover the sky and the sunlight winks away.

Here are 7 creative ideas for indoor activities:

  1. Play a Card Game – with a Twist

Cards are easy to find in stores and fit in a suitcase, pocket, or purse without taking up too much extra room. You should always pack a deck of cards as an emergency to-do item for any vacation. There are plenty of easy card games for kids if you are traveling as a family. For a fun twist, let the winner choose what they want for dinner as their “prize.”

  1. Pack a Paint-by-Numbers

This is the perfect arts-and-crafts item to bring on vacation because they come with all supplies included (you might have to pack a few extra paint brushes) and are relatively easy to pack thanks to their flat, rectangular design. Choose a painting subject relevant to your trip to make it more fun: ocean scenery or a common wild bird.

  1. Easy Baking Recipes

Look up some easy 3- or 4-ingredient sweets that you can buy for and prepare with relatively little cost and effort. Bonus points if you pick something that can be decorated with icing, sprinkles, and candy afterward—this will give everyone more to occupy themselves with if the weather stays bleak.

  1. Movie Marathon Night

Pack a few DVDs or BluRays just in case. Or, throw a handful of favorite films on a flash drive (even better if you are looking to save space while packing). Bring a few movies that fit a theme, like an animated trilogy or “movies about dogs” and make the night a themed event. If possible, buy snacks that fit your theme!

  1. Read a Book Aloud (or Listen to an Audiobook Together)

Pack something fun and easy to read, like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, depending on the age and preferences of everyone there. You can take turns reading chapters aloud or have different family members read the dialogue for the different characters to make a “mock play” together.

  1. Answer Questions from a Conversation Card Pack

You can find a list of conversation-starting questions online and download it so that you don’t have to pack anything, though having a deck of cards can be more fun for kids. Conversation starter cards are just a way to sit down and learn about one another. Most people like talking about themselves but this is a good exercise in listening, too!

  1. Meditate to the Sound of Fresh Rain

Granted, this one probably only works if you aren’t traveling with children or they have already gone to bed for the night. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to sit still and breathe. Meditation tracks are nice and all but it’s a whole new experience when listening to the fresh rain of Pender Island.


A rainy day doesn’t have to be the only reason to go for a night in. Vacationing is about relaxation and sometimes you just need to stay in, kick back, and relax. We hope this list of ideas helps you do just that.


5 Winter Activities to Try on Pender Island

North and South Pender Island are rich with activities, even when covered in snow. Pender Island is a small town community (think: only one gas station and nothing is open 24/7) so you might not be able to count on the usual city amenities to keep you entertained. That makes the island a great place to disconnect and experience nature. Here are just a few ways travelers can do that:

  1. Hike Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Weather conditions permitting, there is plenty to see and do in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The Reserve hosts the only Mediterranean-type climate in Canada, meaning that winters tend to be mild and wet. Gulf Island National Park is made up of 15 islands and over 30 islets and the area is home to Garry oaks, wild lilies, kelp beds, and Orca whales. You can access the different islands by BC Ferry, private boat, water taxi, or kayak.

  1. Birdwatch Near Your Cabin or at a Park

You might fall asleep to the occasional hoot of an owl during your stay on Pender Island. Many feathered friends roam about in the daytime, too. You may see grebes, murrelets, auklets, loons, hooded mergansers, thrushes, red-breasted nuthatches, and rufous-sided towhees. Be sure to pack a pair of binoculars and a camera with a zoom lens to make the most out of the experience.

  1. Share a Treat at Vanilla Bakery Cafe

Driftwood Shopping Centre is the Island’s quaint answer to a “mall.” The boutiques are small, family-run, and filled with souvenirs bursting with character. Within the shopping centre, you’ll find Vanilla Bakery Cafe, which is the perfect rest stop on a chilly, wet winter day. You’ll be treated to a variety of baked goods for sale, as well as both warm and cold drink options. On the Island for an event? They cater too!

  1. Tour Vern Simpson Fine Art Studio

Have you heard of the famous Gassy Jack statue located in Vancouver’s hip Gastown area? Vern Simpson is the artist who designed and built it for the city. His studio is located on the Island and is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also call to make an appointment if those times don’t work for you. Stop by and you’ll be treated to a galley of his work.

  1. Pender Island Lantern Festival

Visiting Pender Island over New Years? Prepare to be awe-struck if you can catch the annual Pender Island Lantern Festival during your stay. First hosted in 1999, the festival takes place by Magic Lake and tends to start around 4:30 PM on New Year’s Eve. The Three on the Tree Production Society puts on a multimedia event with paper lanterns, stilt walkers, shadow play, giant puppetry, fire spinning, and a kayak ballet.

Wondering What To Do On Pender Island in the Winter?

Now you know! Just because it’s chilly and damp, doesn’t mean the islands aren’t still full of life and activity. Let Breakaway Vacations help you plan your winter wonderland trip today.


Visit the local art galleries on Pender Island…


Looking for more activities on Pender Island?  These art galleries can be visited no matter what the weather is doing, so be sure to check them out! 

  • Talisman Books & Gallery, 4605 Bedwell Harbour Rd

    Your 2-in-1 shop – who doesn’t love a bookstore turned gallery? Here you’ll be able to search for the latest fiction, new and used, as well as view local artists’ paintings, sculptures, glasswork!  If you’re a literary lover or an artist yourself, there’s everything to love about Talisman Books & Gallery and absolutely nothing to hate.

  • Dorset Norwich-Young Studio & Gallery, 8986 Gowlland Point Rd

    For something really local, take a trip to the Dorset Norwich-Young Studio & Gallery. Here you can see Dorset’s studio and see examples of her vibrant, colourful art work! Summer visiting hours are 11-5 (Tues – Sat) or by appointment.  Winter visiting hours are by appointment only.

  • Blood Star Gallery, 9909 Jennens Rd

    Blood Star Gallery is located right near the ocean and offers beautiful views, so is worth a visit just for that!  The Gallery features the work of two artists – Susan Taylor and Frank Ducote – and is open most days 11-4 (April to November).

There are many artists on Pender Island, so you might just stumble upon other quaint shops or galleries – these are just a few to start you off!

Looking for a vacation rental on Pender Island?  Check ours out here!


Written by Hannah Poaros


Check out Pender Island’s Farmers’ Market!


On Saturdays from 9.30 am to 1.00pm.  Generally from Easter to Thanksgiving, though a smaller market with less vendors does continue throughout the fall and winter.  The Farmer’s Market takes place at the Pender Islands Recreation and Agricultural Hall.  Taste the flavours of the island when you attend.  Expect to see local craftsmen and farmers, vying for your attention with offering of fresh vegetables, flowers, cheese, eggs, baked goods, condiments, arts and everything else!


Buy fresh produce and support the local businesses!


Find the market at:

Pender Islands Recreation and Agricultural Hall,

4418 Bedwell Harbour Rd.


Written by Hannah Poaros


The Beaches of Pender Island

 Getting ready for your Pender Island getaway?  Well, here’s a list of beaches – rocky and sandy – to dip your toes into! There’s nothing like a warm summer’s day spent by the water.


  • Mortimer Spit:

    Accessible sandy beach, north of the bridge that connects North & South Island. This is the best location for swimming and sunbathing.  Most of Pender Island shoreline is rocky, so make the most of this sandy bay.

  • Medicine Beach:

    On North Pender Island, at the far end of Bedwell Harbour, you will find Medicine Beach & Nature Sanctuary.  As well as the beach which is perfect for taking walks, there is also a salt water marsh behind (one of the few left in the area) which is a nature sanctuary.

  • Stanley Point:

    Small but sweet, the beach at Stanley Point has great rock formations and brilliant views of the Swanson Channel.

  • Gowlland Point:

    For an exceptionally good viewpoint, head over to Gowlland Point on South Pender Island. There is a pebble beach here as well as lovely walks around the grassy headlands.  Expect to see beautiful views of Mt. Baker and the San Juan Islands!

  • Beaumont Marine Park:

    Beaumont Marine Park is fantastic for hiking and boating. There are many trails to choose from, and you will be rewarded with a sandy beach at the end.  Since this is a marine park, it is the ideal place to sit a while and watch for seals, otters and other animals.


Do you have a favourite Pender Island beach that’s not on this list?  Let us know, and we’ll be sure to check it out!

Haven’t booked your accommodation yet?  Take a look at our magical Pender Island vacation homes and reserve your dates today!


Written by Hannah Poaros


Where to get your Coffee on Pender Island


There’s nothing more rewarding than waking up to a bright, sunny morning and taking a sip of a freshly brewed coffee.  Whether you are caffeine-addicted, or just love a hot drink in the morning, we know that finding a good coffee shop can make all the difference.  Here are a couple of Pender Island favourites that will have you feeling like a local in no time.

  • Slow Coast Coffee

    There is nothing but rave reviews for this little coffee shop. With a perfect location over-looking Medicine Beach, this quaint café could easily become your regular haunt.  Featuring hand-plastered walls, homemade cookies (we hear they are to die for!) and chai tea, light lunches and an array of goodies that cater to all dietary requirements, this is hands-down a must-visit on Pender Island.

  • Vanilla Leaf Bakery Café

    Enjoy freshly baked goods included bagels, savoury pies, cinnamon buns and a range of sweet treats, when you visit the Vanilla Leaf Bakery Café. Get your coffee here, sit outside on the patio and deliberate over who chose the best dessert.

  • Coffee + Kitchen

    This farm-to-table restaurant has a marvelous brunch menu that serves up everything from freshly baked croissants to vegan smoothies as well as grilled cheese sandwiches.  There’s a full coffee bar here too that features Fernwood Coffee, Silk Road teas as well as fresh lemonade.

What do you reckon? 

Tell us your favourite place on Pender Island – we love to hear our guest’s reviews.  

If you are interested in renting one of our Pender Island properties, please check out our rentals page.  We have a great selection of oceanfront cottages with beautiful views!


Written by Hannah Poaros