Considered a ‘paired’ Gulf Island, Thetis and Penelakut islands are now believed to comprise 1,000 year-round residents, between 450+ people that consider Thetis their full-time (post-COVID) home, and the 500+ First Nation residents of Penelakut Island.
Beyond the common characteristics of rural BC island life and ferry service, Thetis and Penelakut residents share an appreciation for artisan carvers and knitters, who frequent Thetis to participate in Saturday farmers markets (May-Oct), and craft markets at the Marina Pubs. While visiting Thetis or Penelakut, enjoy fresh seasonal eats available at local restaurants and shops, like Cedar Beach Pizza (from-scratch pizza dough), Howling Wolf Farm Market (artisan pies and jams), and Thetis Island Marina & Restaurant (sit-down dining). Be sure not to miss appearances by Penelakut fishers who often arrive with smoked salmon in-season, or a visit to Jollity Farm (open year-round, with limited access from Nov – Mar and weekend markets from late Mar to Oct). Penelakut’s Salish Market is often stocked with artisan ware and basic grocery needs at the ferry terminal on the west side of the island. On summer Saturdays, explore the Thetis Island Market for local artwork, gifts, and food products.
Water recreation is a favourite pastime on the islands, such as swimming at the islands’ many shallow-water beaches, fishing for cod and prawns, kayaking, and scuba diving among reefs and wrecks in Porlier Pass. There are no public parks or campsites on Thetis or Penelakut, so the only access to the beach is at the boat ramp and community wharf, unless you’re visiting a B&B or someone who lives on Thetis. Accommodation options include rustic-chic bed and breakfasts and guest houses.