While on Pender, you will find no shortage of things to fill your day. Whether it is visiting an artist’s studio, enjoying the great outdoors, stepping back in time with a visit to our museum or rejuvenating your body with a spa treatment, your needs can be fulfilled.
Pender Island is home to many artists and craftspeople who operate art galleries, craft shops, and studios. Painting, photography, jewellery, glassware, pottery, wearable art and antiques are just some of the many and varied art forms. Many artists have studio hours where you can make personal visits. Some artists also attend the Saturday Farmers Market and there is also an artisan cooperative – the Red Tree Gallery.
You may want to time your visit to take in one of the annual art shows. The Pender Island Arts Council, Art Off The Fence, Le Petit Salon Art Show and the South Pender Easter Art Walk are some of the events you may want to take in. See the Events Calendar for dates.
The outdoor recreation opportunities on Pender Island are endless. Pender offers many beach accesses as well as dozens of trails ranging from easy walks to vigorous hikes. Forest and intertidal ecosystems provide visitors with much to explore. Bald eagles, herons, orca whales, deer, arbutus trees and, fawn lilies are among the many wonders to enjoy. Tidal pools on local beaches provide endless hours of family entertainment where you will see hermit crabs, tubeworms, starfish and anemones. For further information on the Gulf Islands National Parks Reserve see Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Pender also has community parks, trails and ocean accesses managed by the Pender Islands Parks Commission. Most of these parks and trails are marked by wooden posts at or near the entrance. A community Parks Guide indicating the location and features of these community parks and trails is available at local retail outlets.
Kayaking, canoeing, cruising, sailing, fishing, whale watching … the boating opportunities on Pender are one of the island’s most exciting attractions. If you would you like to experience our spectacular scenery and wildlife from the water why not take a tour by sail or power boat. There are opportunities for sightseeing adventures, eco-tours, harbour tours, scuba diving and more. Click on recreation for a list of providers. Several marinas accommodate the many boaters who take advantage of the spectacular cruising and sailing opportunities. Boaters entering from the U.S. can clear customs at the Canada Customs facilities located at Bedwell Harbour. See www.cbsa.gc.ca for more information.
Although Pender has winding and steep roads, cyclists can find many areas with scenic, moderate routes to explore the island. Our roads tend to be narrow so take care when cycling.
It’s no wonder that Jacques Cousteau said the waters around the west coast are one of the richest marine environments and top dive destinations in the world for animal life diversity and clarity of water. Pender is no exception! Scuba diving services are available.
Pender Island Golf and Country Club : Pender offers a traditional 9-hole public golf course. The course is deceptively challenging, with 6 separate tees for the back nine, yet it is a great recreation destination course for all handicappers.
Pender Island Disc Golf: Pender also boasts a 27-hole championship and internationally famous disc golf course, commonly known as Frisbee golf and it is free to the public.
Pender Island offers hundreds of bays and beaches to explore along the 38 miles (61 km) of coastline. Kayakers can paddle to Beaumont Marine Park in Bedwell Harbour from Medicine Beach on North Pender or from Port Browning. There are places to rent kayaks and canoes as well as licensed guides who offer kayak tours and lessons.
Magic Lake is a popular swimming spot. There is a swimming platform and picnic site located at the south end of the lake. There are also swimming pools located at the resorts and marinas that are open to the public.
When Parks Canada acquired Roesland, the original homestead had sadly deteriorated and was close to collapse as many of the foundation posts had rotted away. Parks Canada offered the use of the building to the Pender Island Museum Society and so began a two year restoration process. The museum was officially opened in 2005 and showcases Pender Island’s history.
Pender Island’s own Lantern Festival is produced by Three on the Tree Productions Society, a volunteer group dedicated to the performing arts on Pender Island. Each New Year’s Eve, an expectant crowd gathers in front of Magic Lake, to behold the stilt walkers, the array of beautiful paper lanterns and the lighted ballet on the lake.
Enjoy a visit to Pender Island’s only Winery – Sea Star Vineyards and partake in a wine tasting, or buy a bottle as a souvenir. It is a beautiful vineyard that has hosted many weddings and special events, and it’s a great place to enjoy a picnic. 80% of the grapes used to craft their wines are made from grapes grown on Pender Island so it’s a local endeavour through and through.
The moment you set foot on Pender Island, you can feel the stresses and pressures of the city slide right off your shoulders. The incredible natural beauty, the ocean, the friendly folks, all add to that warm, welcoming and relaxing feeling. However, to further help your body and spirit unwind, Pender offers a full range of spa and therapeutic services including aromatherapy, reflexology, reiki, hot stone massages, body scrubs and more.