Cortes Island Off-Season

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Cortes Island is a nice place to be during the off-season.  Yes, it is raining, and raining, and raining…

But – there is no snow in winter. Well… almost no snow. The temperatures are usually above 0 degrees Celsius.  There are no crowds, and there is still something to do…

And… it is quiet.

Most summer vacation homes are also open in winter. Check our accommodation page, Cortes Island Vacation Rentals and Gorge Marina Resort.  Hollyhock is closed for winter.

The Museum is “downtown” Mansons.  Open Fridays and Saturdays, 12 – 4 pm, it offers permanent exhibits – Kitchen Corner, First Nations Artifacts, Curiosity Cabinet, and more.  There is a corner with binders about local history. The store features books with local content, gifts by local artists, and tourist information booth with many brochures, some always available on the covered front porch. In winter there is an annual Christmas Bird Count – everyone is welcome to join.  See Tideline or the Museum website for dates.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1 – 5 pm, at the Linnaea Farm building, 1255 Seaford Road.

Cortes Natural Food Co-op Cafe is opened Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  There, you can find hot soups, sandwiches, a nice selection of pastries and more.  It is located in the same building as the Cortes Natural Food Co-op store.

Cortes Natural Food Co-op Store, opened 7 days a week, Friday to Saturday,  9 am to 8 pm, Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm, in downtown Mansons. It offers hot coffee, fresh pastries, organic food, local veggies, local meat, local crafts, and more.

Cortes Market General Store in Mansons, open 7 days a week, Friday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 8 pm, Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm. Besides usual groceries, it offers sandwiches, calzones, beef and chicken sausage rolls, hot coffee, espresso and more.

Marnie’s Books  an interesting bookstore, at Sutil Point Road, next to the Cortes Natural Food Store and Cafe, is a place to spend hours browsing through a variety of interesting books.  It is open Friday to Saturday,  noon to 5 pm. Call ‪250-935-0212 for more information.

Gorge Harbour Marina and Resort on Hunt Rd – with the general store opened Monday to Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm.

The Floathouse restaurant at the Gorge Harbour is open Friday and Saturday, 5 pm – 9 pm (reservations recommended, call 250-935-6433).  You can also buy gas there when the store is open.

Squirrel Cove General Store opened daily, 9 am – 6 am. It offers deli items, hot coffee, gas and propane. It is located next to the Squirrel Cove Klahoose First Nation village, with an old church (hm… now gone) and beautiful community building – a nice place for a walk.

There is Farmers Market on Fridays in Mansons Hall, with deli items and with some local crafts.

All local trails are accessible for hiking in winter.  The favourites – Kw’as Park trails, Green Mountain or Easter Bluff – more challenging – for hiking enthusiasts, Siskin Lane trails – for easier hikes.  You can also join the locals – the Walking Group who meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 9 am, at Mansons Community parking lot. Everybody is welcome. We do one to two-hour hike or walk, depending on your desire and ability. The walks end with a coffee (and pastries) in the Natural Food Co-op Cafe. There are beautiful walks along the beach – in Sutil Point Provincial Park, Mansons Landing Provincial Park, between Hanks Beach and Hollyhock – just choose low tide periods – tide charts are available in the Museum’s information booth.  Biking is also an option, as there is little car traffic.  But beware of hills – Cortes roads are classified as difficult on biking sites.  See our Hiking Trails page for more information.

Check Tideline for last minutes news on things happening on Cortes.


Quick links:


Cortes Island Museum

Cortes Natural Food Store Co-op

Cortes Market

Gorge Harbour Marina and Resort

Gorge Hall


Mansons Hall