Follow the Trail For An Artistic and Inspirational Day Out
Tucked along the rural roads of South Nanaimo are several studios and farms of artisans that welcome visitors throughout the summer and by appointment year-round. Spend a day or two enjoying the countryside as you hop between stops, pick up souvenirs and meet these creative, hardworking locals living their dream.
But First … Coffee
Start your tour with a coffee and house-made cinnamon bun at Coco Cafe. Then head to the south end of the route to make your first stop at the JoVic Pottery studio for a delightful browse of decorative and functional stoneware.
Local Farms and Local Treats
A short drive to Yellow Point Road brings you to two neighbouring farms. At Yellow Point Farms you can meet the adorable dwarf goats, babydoll sheep and other animals before popping into the farm store for fresh eggs, meat, goat milk soap and more. Just down the road at Yellow Point Cranberries, a supplier for Ocean Spray cranberry juice, tour the beautiful cranberry fields in summer or take home cranberry-infused treats.
Next stop: Fredrich’s Honey on Cedar Road. You’ll hear the hum of the bees in their hive towers before you even reach Fredrich’s farm store filled with fresh honey, beeswax candles, salves and soaps. Nearby at Champagne Hill Botanicals learn about the local herbs that are wildcrafted and infused in the natural skin care products and medicines here.
A Relaxing Lunch
For lunch, refuel with a meat pie or beef dip at the Crow & Gate English pub. Tudor-style architecture and English gardens create an ambiance that feels authentic even for expats.
Begin the second half of your tour by following Yellow Point Road south to two galleries on Decourcy Drive. In a cottage set in a beautiful country garden, the Ted Jolda Gallery is a visual treat featuring the work of one of Canada’s best-known glass artists. Across the road bright splashes of colour mark the Claudia Lohmann Studio Gallery and its imaginative geometric abstract vibe.
Meet The Alpacas
Farther along Yellow Point Road you’ll reach the Yellow Point Alpaca Farm where you can feed the alpacas and shop for soft, cozy socks and other items made of the hypoallergenic alpaca fibre. Nearby at Yonder Wood Country Store meet the woodworker who makes the beautiful furniture, home decor and gift items on display.
Finish your day at Mahle House with a decadent fine dining experience incorporating farm-to-table ingredients. The restaurant’s ‘Chef’s Adventurous Wednesdays’ is an unforgettable five-course meal.
For more information and maps, visit www.cyartisans.com.