This is the West Coast beyond compare: deep sea inlets and coastal bays to explore by kayak or sailboat; interconnected lakes and rivers ideal for canoeing; rugged cliffs to climb and trails to bike; beaches and swimming holes for family relaxation. Wash all that down with beer from some of British Columbia’s most distinctive craft breweries on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
On BC’s southwest coast lies a hidden paradise of coastal geography awaiting discovery. The Sunshine Coast is less than 30 km (18 miles) from downtown Vancouver, but getting there requires a ferry, making it seem like an island unto itself. Or maybe two islands because another ferry in the middle leads to the Upper Coast. Sure, it’s possible to drive straight through from Gibsons at the bottom to Lund up top in a day, but who would want to when there is so much to discover and experience along the way?
Some of British Columbia’s most distinctive breweries make their homes on the Sunshine Coast. Persephone Brewing, named for Nick’s boat in The Beachcombers, CBC’s long-running TV show set in Gibsons, is based on a farm with four acres of hops that are harvested at the end of summer. Award-winning beers are poured in the tasting room where you can fill a growler to take outside to a picnic table right next to the outdoor pizza oven. Maybe plan to stay a while…
Nearby is Tapworks Brewing Company, founded by three friends who wanted to make their brewery a community hub in the heart of Gibsons. And not too much farther down the Sunshine Coast Highway is The 101 Brewhouse & Distillery, a welcoming spot that offers craft beer, small-batch spirits and locally inspired food. Sechelt is home to the Batch 44 Brewery & Kitchen, a new brewery founded by a family with a long history in the Sunshine Coast restaurant scene. Take your ale-venture to the air with FLIGHTS to FLIGHTS. This combination Ale and Air Tour introduces you to the Coast’s finest tasting rooms and tops it off with a majestic flight of Sechelt Inlet.
Then there is Townsite Brewing in Powell River on the Upper Coast, named for the distinctive Townsite neighbourhood that became a National Historic Site in 1995. With a Belgian brewer at the helm and an eclectic style that embraces PowTown’s folksy urban ex-pat mentality, there really is no brewery quite like it.
Explore the Brewers Coast
Before visiting, we recommend that you check directly with the businesses you are hoping to visit to get the latest on-the-ground information. Some businesses are seasonal, and some may have experienced closures due to COVID-19.
Persephone is a steel logging tugboat used in the filming of the CBC Television series The Beachcombers.
A destination for Sunshine Coast visitors and residents of all ages—everyone is welcome to convene and learn, enjoy local food, fresh produce, art and entertainment. The public market hosts seven local merchants and offers activities, workshops, a marine education centre, a community kitchen, and a bistro.
Get a true taste of southern smoked BBQ. Sourced from local farmers and suppliers for the freshest meats and vegetables.
Located just above Gibsons, “The Knob” can be summited in a short 40 minutes–but don’t forget to leave some time for a water/snack break at the top. Take in stunning views of Gibsons Harbour, the coastal mountain range, Keats, Gambier, Bowen and Vancouver Island.
Explore the Beer Farm. Enjoy a beer in the tasting room or outside at a picnic table, perhaps with some pizza prepared in the outdoor wood-fire oven. It doesn’t get much better than this.
A little cider house on a big, beautiful 20+ acre property. All are welcome, including kiddos and chill dogs on leashes!
In the heart of Roberts Creek. Fresh ingredients, local suppliers and produce from their own backyard.
A community hub where locals and visitors can gather to enjoy beer and a snack in a comfortable, welcoming setting or up on their roof-top patio.
Founded by locals with a passion for the Coast, the 101 epitomizes the Gibsons lifestyle — it is a community hub where people gather together to enjoy well made craft beer, small batch spirits, and locally inspired food.
Welcome to your home away from home. Classic west coast architecture overlooking Howe Sound on the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains, and Bowen and Gambier Islands. Ocean view rooms, full breakfast, home baking, hot tub, spacious decks and transit friendly.
Craving time on the water? Rent a kayak or canoe and explore the waters off Gibsons Harbour, venturing over to local islands like Keats Island and Gambier Island. Alternatively, kayak up Sechelt Inlet, watching out for dolphins and deer.
For your cultural fix, head to Sunshine Coast Museum or one of the numerous art galleries around Gibsons Landing. Better yet, time your trip to attend one of the annual festivals, including the Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival and the annual Sea Cavalcade, or the Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Festival.
Drive or bike to Sechelt (23 km).
We choose to focus our attention on doing only a few things, rather than many, and to take the time necessary to do those things well. We bake naturally leavened breads and pastries, we brew what we think of as the best coffee we can get our hands on, roasted with that same ethos, and we take care of everyone who comes through our door as if they were guests in our home.
Sunshine Coast Air in partnership with Sunshine Coast Art Tours, proudly present ‘FLIGHTS to FLIGHTS’. This combination Ale and Air Tour introduces you to the Coast’s finest tasting rooms and tops it off with a majestic flight of Sechelt Inlet. This exclusive 5-hour beverage tour includes visits to 3 tasting rooms, a 25 minute flight over Sechelt Inlet, historical commentary, a delicious one-hour lunch and snacks throughout. Let Sunshine Coast Art Tours show you and your crew all the stops while enjoying the incredible beauty of the Sunshine Coast.
Sechelt's new brewery is a welcoming spot with a long connection to the local restaurant scene.
The Sunshine Coast original working cidery located in West Sechelt. Enjoy their 3-acre apple orchard, tasting room and lounge and a food truck on-site. We serve tastings and glasses of our delicious dry apple ciders, as well as a rotating guest beer tap.
With 600 feet of remote shoreline on the beautiful Sechelt Inlet, the Backeddy Resort and Marina is a water-front playground. The area is only minutes from the lush rain forest of the Skookumchuk Narrows Provincial Park and it is home to abundant marine life, hiking trails, ocean kayaking, and loads of relaxation.
Enjoy a self-guided walking tour through Sechelt’s historic sites, public art, mural, and shishálh totem poles.
Sechelt is full of opportunities to explore the outdoors. Enjoy a swim in Trail Bay, Davis Bay or at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. Fish in Davis Bay, or one of the many lakes north of Sechelt. Or experience world-class scuba diving sites, renowned mountain bike trails, and multiple golf courses.
Drive to Earl’s Cove (about 1 hour) and then take the ferry from to the Upper Coast (Earls Cove-Saltery Bay).
Drive to Powell River (about 30 minutes).
Top-notch coffee with great local and seasonal food. A warm and welcome place to meet before going out on your journey.
Explore Sunshine Coast’s awe-inspiring natural environment with a sea kayaking adventure tour.
This beautiful new space in Townsite boasts 15+ businesses (and still growing) including artisanal Basecamp coffee, fine art, reimagined furniture and decor, a fresh fruit and vegetable market, a vegan cafe, a bakery, clothing boutiques and more! You'll find BC's largest climbing co-op housed in the building as well with a 35-foot climbing wall and a large bouldering gym. Individual store days and hours vary.
Along the Duck Lake gravel logging road are many trails and other adventures for both the hiker and mountain biker like the Blackwater Trail and Holly Branch Trail. All within a close driving distance. Look for big cement block monument trailhead markers.
An iconic brewery in a historic neighbourhood in a unique and interesting BC community.
Enjoy a unique dining experience at their Redwood Cedar bar while taking in a remarkable view of the Strait of Malaspina. Delicious West Coast inspired food and a variety of rotating craft beer taps plus of course, Townsite Brewing.
A seven-room boutique heritage hotel in the historic Townsite also houses a full day spa and a furniture store. The inn is half a block from Townsite Brewing and The Patricia Theatre (Canada's oldest continuously running theatre). Antiquities decorate the halls and each of the different rooms. Full complimentary hot breakfast of each guest's choice is offered in Edie Rae's Cafe on the ground floor.
The North Coast is dotted with lakes, rivers and hiking trails. Intrepid canoers take note — the Powell Forest Canoe Route (57 km, roughly 5 days) includes 8 lakes and 5 portages.
For culture junkies, Powell River loves a good festival so there always seems to be something fun happening. Powell River is also home to Canada’s longest-running movie theatre: The Patricia Theatre (built in 1913!).
Tasting Notes: Sunshine Coast
Follow Chantal Ireland on a four-day journey along the brewer’s coast on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Self-guided explorations offer the greatest opportunities for unexpected discoveries – and this journey is no exception. Join Chantel in taking in the sights and tastes of the gorgeous coastline from Powell River, north to Lund.
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Paddle to an offshore islet, browse for locally made treasures or relax on a white sand beach: BC’s Sunshine Coast, with its sheltered coves and artsy seaside villages, has all the scenic charm and laidback vibe of an island getaway. The difference is that this sunny shoreline is actually part of the mainland and just 40 minutes by ferry from West Vancouver, or 1.5 hours from Comox on Vancouver Island.
Plan Your Trip:
Explore British Columbia's best kept secret, stretching along 180km of land from Langdale to Lund.sunshinecoastcanada.com
Find a wide range of options – from the budget traveler to luxury accommodations.tripadvisor.ca
How To Get Here:
Although it is part of BC's mainland, access to the region is by air or by water due to the mountainous terrain.sunshinecoastcanada.com