Five Facts About Gabriola Island – and Why Locals Love It!

As one of our nine community-centric Island Pharmacy locations, Gabriola Island is by far one of the most scenic– and we love being able to serve the artists and nature-lovers that frequent the Folklife area.

Today, we explore 5 facts about Gabriola Island to shed some light on exactly why locals love it so much (ourselves included!)

#1: It Has One of British Columbia’s Best Art Scenes

Nicknamed the “Isle of the Arts”, Gabriola Island is a hot spot for both renowned and emerging artists.

Thanks to its plentiful theaters, music stages, studios, and art galleries, creatives of all professions flock to Gabriola Island– and specifically Folklife Village, where we’re located– to contribute to its blossoming arts scene.

And if you’re more of an observer? Know that you can take home memories of some of the most unique art, music, and more due to its blend of Indigenous influence and artists coming in from abroad to add their own spice to our local flavour.

#2: Gabriola Island is Chock-Full of Natural Beauty

Like most of British Columbia, Gabriola Island is chock-full of natural beauty– but the vast array of sightseeing options despite its small size (only 14.5 kilometers in length and 4.5 kilometers wide!) makes it idyllic for tourists and locals alike.

Share this post with your friends and visitors to Gabriola so they know where to go to enjoy the best of Island Living.

Island Pharmacy staff favourite spots:

  • The Drumbeg Provincial Park, which touts sandstone beaches, tidal pools, and snorkeling opportunities
  • The Malaspina Galleries, which have formed a beautiful cave-like sandstone gallery after thousands of years of natural erosion
  • The Sandwell Provincial Park, which features views straight out to the Strait of Georgia

Be sure to print out or pick up a trail map so that you’re not missing any potential adventures!

#3: Its Accessibility

Gabriola Island is one of the most accessible Gulf Islands, being only a 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo’s ferry hub. It sits in the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia.

Its accessibility perseveres through time: the south end was first inhabited by the Coast Salish to hunt and fish during the summer season, and the remnants of their former village can still be seen on the shoreline!

#4: Gabriola Island’s Folklife Village

We’d be remiss to talk about Gabriola Island without talking about our Gabriola Island Pharmacy location in Folklife Village!

Home to Mad Rona’s Coffee Bar, the Gabriola Arts Council, FOLKLIFE Magazine, and so much more, Folklife Village is the quintessential tight-knit community. Here at Island Pharmacy, each and every one of our staff live in the communities we serve, meaning that the bonds with our customers go past just business– we’re your friends and neighbors, too!

#5: It is a Camper’s Paradise

It’s no secret that Gabriola Island is a camper’s paradise… and Descano Bay Regional Park is one of the best spots available.

Only a short drive from the ferry terminal (and an even shorter drive to our Folklife Village pharmacy location), Descano Pay is family-friendly and is perfect for campers who also want to enjoy kayaking, picnicking, hiking, and/or swimming.

Come Visit Us in Folklife Village Today

As they say, seeing is believing– and the abundance of beauty, community, and heart Gabriola Island absolutely needs to be seen to be believed.

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