Family-owned and operated Salt Spring Soapworks approaches the art of soap making with integrity, joy, and more than thirty years of experience. Artisans craft handmade soaps ($5.95+) that contain natural moisturizers to soften skin, while citrus-scented Loofah Soaps ($7.95 for 130g), drawn from pure vegetable glycerin and 100% essential oils, ensure that feelings of cleanliness persist even after exiting the shower. Savoury suds come in a variety of funky flavours, such as wild rhubarb and a mai tai concoction that's crafted from pure coconut extract and accented with essential oils of lemongrass and lime. With a long line of natural products, including organic baby care and natural pet-cleaning options, Salt Spring Soapworks has suitable soaps for any sudser.
Situated amid the vineyards of Cowichan Valley, Merridale Ciderworks Corp. breaks from grapey mores and concocts apple-based ciders, brandies, and spirits, following cider-making techniques practiced in England and France. Staff lasso trees and pick apples across the orchard, which mirrors the soil, climate, and alveolar trills of European cider regions. Visitors sip creations ranging from Calvados-style brandy to carbonated vodka made from fruit. The 20-acre apple farm incorporates a brick oven with baked goods, a deli that serves picnic lunches, a spa that performs body treatments, and a store that offers art and gourmet ingredients. Merridale Ciderworks Corp. also invites customers on self-guided tours to discover their cider-making process and favourite stunt cars. They host events such as weddings and complement drinks with hearty bistro fare crafted from local ingredients.
Richard Fraser spent more than 20 years hoarding every variety of bulb, plant, shrub, and tree he could find until his obsession finally came to a head. His wife, Nancy, delivered this ultimatum: he had to either bid farewell to her or the plants. Thankfully, the couple found a perfect compromise. Now, Richard sells and trades his plants and trees as part of a business that keeps him collecting and keeps Nancy from packing her bags.
The Frasers publish a list of Fraser's Thimble Farm's current collection online every April and November, as well as a main collectors’ list each July. Richard's love of both common and rare plants has inspired him to expand the farm's stock to more than 400 bulb varieties, including orchids, lilies, and compact fluorescents. Additionally, he assembles a selection of local, Asian, and European perennials, ferns, and evergreen and deciduous trees.
Each summer, houseboats and sailboats crisscross wakes produced by enthusiastic boaters on the otherwise placid waters of Lake Cowichan. The Marina boasts 115 moorage slips and rental boats that allow boaters and outdoor-recreation enthusiasts the chance to explore the lake's 150 kilometres of forested coastline, with its fuscia sunsets and mountainous horizons. From atop a rental, guests can lounge in the midday sun or challenge one another in waterskiing, tubing, or wakeboarding. The Marina's 20-foot pontoon boat holds up to 13 revellers, or 6 revellers and one cutthroat trout; the Sea-Doo zips across the water at up to 100 kilmetres per hour. Following nautical jaunts, passengers can tie up and hit the marina's ice-cream shop, or swim along the shore until dusk.
Mouat’s is nestled on Vancouver’s Salt Spring Island, a popular tourist spot accessible by ferry, private vessel, and oversized rubber ducky. A lot has changed for the store since the early 1900s when it was a go-to spot for overalls and long johns. In fact, the 20th century has transformed Mouat’s into a 4,800-square-foot style hub housing everything from animal-print kids clothes and wiener dog handbags, to elegant Italian men’s and women’s cocktail wear.