For many envious people, the dream west coast lifestyle is led by residents of postcard-perfect Salt Spring Island.
The best-known of British Columbia's Gulf Islands is inhabited by easygoing, green-oriented freespirits and everyday folk of all ages who share one thing in common: they've opted out of the fast lane for life in a largely unspoilt paradise rich in community spirit and brimming with forested trails, lovely beaches and see-forever vistas.
Salt Spring's natural beauty and mild climate encourages outdoor pursuits like hiking, kayaking, golf, cycling, swimming, birding and beachcombing.
A high per-capita assortment of dining options, specialty food producers, bakeries, coffeeshops and farmers selling fresh-picked organic produce reflect the island's passion for creature comforts. Factor in plentiful accommodations, spas, world-class arts, and a lively music and performing arts scene, and it's no wonder the island is a mecca for visitors.