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Introducing Mayne Island

Once a stopover for gold rush miners, who nicknamed it 'Little Hell,' Mayne is the region's most historic island. Long past its importance as a commercial hub, it now houses a colorful clutch of resident artists.

The heritage Agricultural Hall in Miners Bay hosts the lively farmers market of local crafts and produce. Among the most visit-worthy galleries and artisan studios on the island is Mayne Island Glass Foundry, where recycled glass is used to fashion new jewelry and ornaments – pick up a cool green-glass slug for the road.

The south shore's Dinner Bay Park has a lovely sandy beach, as well as an immaculate Japanese Garden, built by locals to commemorate early-20th-century Japanese residents.

For kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders, Bennett Bay Kayaking can get you out on the water via rentals and tours.

If you're just too tired to head back to the mainland, Mayne Island Beach Resort combines ocean-view rooms in a century-old inn with swanky luxe beach cottages. There's a spa and large restaurant-bar.

If it's time to eat, head for a patio seat at the ever-friendly Green House Bar & Grill and dive into fresh-made fries and heaping burgers.

For further visitor information, see www.mayneislandchamber.ca.

If you didn't bring your own car via the ferry, just stick out your thumb: most locals are always ready to pick up a passenger or two.