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 breweries.
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 Gibsons Tapworks, founded by three friends who wanted to make their brewery a community hub in the heart of Gibsons — and they succeeded.
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 Beer Farm.
Get a true taste of southern smoked BBQ. Sourced from local farmers and suppliers for the freshest meats and vegetables.
Persephone is a steel logging tugboat used in the filming of the CBC Television series The Beachcombers.
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.
In the heart of Roberts Creek. Fresh ingredients, local suppliers and produce from their own backyard.
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.
The South Coast has many different communities including Sechelt, Roberts Creek, Pender Harbour and Egmont. There are dozens of regional and provincial parks, hiking/biking trails, local artisans, farm markets and cultural events to attend.
Ferry from Sechelt to Powell River (Earls Cove-Saltery Bay)
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.
Explore Sunshine Coast’s awe-inspiring natural environment with a sea kayaking adventure tour.
Top-notch coffee with great local and seasonal food. A warm and welcome place to meet before going out on your journey.
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.
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.
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