(view of Lasqueti Island from Sandpiper Bay)
We recently went up to Hornby Island for the weekend. I've been going to Hornby since I was about four years old, and have so many fond memories from our summers there.
We used to stay right in Tribune Bay, which some might say is the ideal waterfront location on Hornby. It is the expansive, beautiful white sand beach that they call "Little Hawaii".
Just up the road from Tribune Bay is The Co-op, the main grocery store, and a small outdoor market of shops, restaurants and and an ice cream store. The restaurants are Jan's Fresh Food Cafe and Vorizo (the postal code for Hornby is V0R 1Z0).
Jan makes excellent hand-made food and everything there is so delicious. I especially love the scones!
Vorizo makes some decent Mexican fare and is a fun people watching spot, especially later on when Jan's has closed for the evening.
Both Vorizo and Jan's are closed for the winter, but Jan's re-opens in the early Spring.
At the Co-op, there is also a Bike Shop where you can rent bikes. Hornby is known for it's excellent mountain biking trails on Mount Geoffrey. If you pop into the shop, they will most likely have a map of all the trails, and they are well marked as well.
Mt. Geoffrey trails also make for an excellent hike up to the top. If you reach the "Cliff Trail" and follow it up (roughly South) you will reach a clearing with a beautiful view of Denman Island, Vancouver Island, and Lambert Channel. It makes a nice little picnic spot.
Hornby Island has a unique ecosystem in BC, supporting more than 90 at-risk species. Part of the island's beauty is due to the picturesque Garry Oak Groves that exist there. To read more about Hornby's unique eco-system, visit Hornby Island Geography.
You will, no doubt, hear about Helliwell Park if you visit Hornby Island. This is one of the places where you will find the Garry Oak trees, as well as magnificent bluffs plunging into the ocean.
From the most South Eastern point of Helliwell, you will look out and see an island called Flora Island where sea lions often rest. You'll hear them barking before you see them!
Hornby also had amazing and unique sandstone beaches that almost look like their from another planet (see the photo at the top of this post for an example). If you are at Ford's Cove Marina, go down to the sandstone beach behind the store and walk South to get a sample of the sandstone landscape. They have inspired many local Hornby artists and painters.
If you are in the mood for a gourmet meal, you can reserve for just a dinner at the Seabreeze Lodge. It is of course also a fantastic place to stay, but with a lot of return visitors, be prepared to reserve well in advance for one of their all inclusive cabin accommodations.
The Seabreeze has a rotating weekly menu and my favourite nights include Curry Buffet and Greek night. And of course, their scrumptious homemade soda bread is available on a few nights. You can find a link to the Seabreeze menu from this page.