The name "Gulf Islands" comes from "Gulf of Georgia," the original term used by George Vancouver in his mapping of the southern part of the archipelago and which before the San Juan Island dispute also was taken to include what have since been called the San Juan Islands.
The entire Gulf, which includes waters such as Trincomali Channel (between Galiano and Saltspring Islands), Sansum Narrows (between Saltspring Island and Vancouver Island), and Malaspina Strait (between Texada Island and the mainland around Powell River. The term Salish Sea was adopted in 2010 to refer to the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and all connecting and adjoining waters.
The Southern Gulf Islands include hundreds of islands and islets, and form part of a larger archipelago that also includes the nearby San Juan Islands of the state of Washington, in the United States.
The Southern Gulf Islands are perhaps best known for their artists, wineries, from art galleries, and farms, as well as for their natural beauty. Boating, kayaking, hiking, camping and exceptional marine life, especially orcas, are all possible in the Southern Gulf Islands.