The Sunshine Coast is British Columbia's best kept secret, stretching along 180km/112mi of land from Gibsons to Lund with many quaint, tiny coastal communities in between.
It's a pacific paradise of quirky waterfront shops, friendly people and an easygoing lifestyle. From strolling the endless kilometers of windswept seashore to sailing up Princess Louisa Inlet, visitors find it hard to shake the inescapable feeling that they're in on a secret the rest of the travelling world has yet to discover.
This popular area within the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region is accessible by a scenic 40-minute BC Ferries ride from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons.
Sunshine Coast Communities
The region's dozen or so oceanside villages exude a charming atmosphere, with their artisan shops, inviting restaurants, farmers markets and everywhere – breathtaking views.
Explore the harbourside landing in Gibsons with its eclectic mix of local wares, then drive 15 minutes north to laid-back Roberts Creek. Here you can revisit the 60s in funky shops and galleries. Hop in the car for another 15 minutes to reach Sechelt, the region's largest community and a central gateway to all things outdoorsy and artsy. Revel in a glowing sunset from the flowing beach at nearby Davis Bay.
Further up the coast, retreat to the small but delightful Halfmoon Bay, or discover the secrets of Secret Cove, a popular summer spot. Continue to the community of Egmont to view the awesome Skookumchuck Rapids.
Another quick ferry ride from Egmont to Saltery Bay leads to the historic townsite of Powell River. Here you can enjoy great diving spots, the Powell Forest Canoe Route and the Sunshine Coast Trail. At the end of the road is Lund, a small, peaceful coastal village that is a haven for boaters. From here, water taxi to the white sand beaches of Savary Island.
In an area dedicated to the pursuit of sports, two stand out: kayaking and mountain biking.
Welcome to paddling nirvana. Natural wonders abound here in Howe Sound. There are miles of protected waterways – bordered by mountains rising dramatically from the ocean, as well as clusters of small islands, which provide ideal picnicking areas.
The coast also offers many channels, inlets and sounds teeming with wildlife and nooks to explore. Highlight trips include kayaking around Keats Island and the Pasley Group.
The Sunshine Coast also offers hundreds of kilometres of mouantain bike trails for riders of all abilities. Experience everything from cross-country and intense downhills, to freeride routes with ladder bridges and skinnies.
Be astonished by the swell of creativity on the Sunshine Coast. The region boasts more artists, crafters and artisans per capita than almost any other area in Canada.
Take guided tours of galleries and studios: watch painters, potters, sculptors, woodworkers, fibre artists and Aboriginal artists at work.