Summer is right around the corner, which means it is time to get out and explore, and I might be a bit biased, but I think British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places to explore. One of the places I love exploring is the Sunshine Coast. I make a trip out there every single summer. Recently I had a chance to explore with Destination BC and wanted to share some of the top things to see and do.
Traveling to the Sunshine Coast
One of the reasons I love the Sunshine Coast as a vacation spot is the fact that it is easy to get to. The ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale is just 40 minutes and you only have to pay for one way (some of the other BC islands I want to travel to require multiple ferries and hours of travel).
Where to stay
I have had the chance to stay in 3 different areas on the Sunshine Coast, Gibsons, Sechelt, and Egmont. Each area offered a unique and different experience. I loved the cute shops and restaurants of Gibsons, the outdoor adventure in Sechelt, and the tranquility and relaxation in Egmont – the best thing is you can explore all 3 in one trip.
There are many different options for lodging on the Sunshine Coast and I have been lucky enough to stay in different areas and places. There is a wide variety of Airbnb options, including ones right on the water. There are also adorable B&B and Cottages. One of my favourite stays was at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge. The lodge was gorgeous with rooms offering ocean views. The restaurant on site was fantastic and there was a beautiful patio where you could watch the sunset and search for whales. They also offer a ton of packages that include meals and tours.
What to do
There is so much to see and do across the Sunshine Coast. Like I mentioned there truly is something for everyone – for the foodies, and the outdoor enthusiasts, and the ones that want to just relax. Here are my top must do activities to do on the Sunshine Coast.
- Hike to Skookumchuck Narrows: I have seen some incredible natural wonders in B.C. but this might top them all. Twice a day nature dances as the tides at the narrows change and the water actually reverses direction. The difference in water levels between on side of the rapids and the other is sometimes 9 feet high. Come at the right time and you can catch kayakers daring the waves the tide creates. Another highlight is the gorgeous forest you walk through to get to the narrows – make sure to grab a coffee at the Skookumchuck Bakery and Cafe before your walk, it is the cutest cafe I have ever seen and you can pack a picnic to eat while watching the show.
- Princess Louisa Inlet: The float plane ride to the inlet was enough to make this trip a must do. You soar over the beautiful fjord beside snow capped mountains landing at what has been dubbed the ‘most beautiful anchorage in the world’ and for good reason. The granite walls of the inlet are powerful, but what will truly take your breathe away is the beautiful Chatterbox Falls – a stunning 120 foot waterfall. Because of the risks the tides cause in the area it is recommended you travel here with an experienced guide. I loved the plane tour with Sunshine Coast Air.
- Take a canoe or kayak on the water: When I stayed in Egmont we teamed up with the Egmont Adventure Centre for a day of kayaking. We went on the Sechelt Inlet Kayaking Tour. It was so peaceful to be out on the water and a big highlight was stopping by a rock that was famous for its seal population. There were more than a dozen of them, including some new pups.
- Take a hike: The Skookumchuck Narrows is just one of the beautiful hikes on the Sunshine Coast. There are so many beautiful trails to explore. A must see is Smuggler Cove. The hike takes you through a lush forest that then opens up into a beautiful cove. Pack some snacks because the rocks overlooking the cove offer the perfect spot for a picnic.
- Mountain Biking: While I am definitely not a mountain biker my husband and his friends absolutely love a day at Coast Gravity Bike Park. Known for it’s trails built by riders for riders.
- Take a sip on a brewery tour: Our first trip to the Sunshine Coast we stayed in Gibson and decided to do a little bike brewery tour. There are some great spots that are part of the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail. We started at the 101 Brewhouse for lunch and a drink before enjoying the sunshine and even some whale watching on the patio of Tapworks Brewery and then we finished off the tour at the ever popular and beautiful Persephone. Sometimes during the summer there is even a market at Persephone.
- Shop until you drop: Both Sechelt and Gibson had some adorable local shops. I loved supporting some local businesses, and every time I visit the Sunshine Coast I make sure to come home with some delicious olive oil. Both towns have their own olive oil shop!
Where to eat
The different towns might be small but mighty when it comes to restaurant and food options. Here are some of my favourite spots to dine on the Sunshine Coast.
- Buono Osteria (Gibsons): We went for dinner here for my husband’s birthday who loves pizza, and he said this is potentially the best pizza he has ever had. The owner is first generation from Italy and they make their pizzas in a wood burning oven.
- Lunitas Mexican Eater (Gibsons): You cannot beat this location – right on the water the patio is beautiful and the tacos are delicious
- Smitty’s Oyster House (Gibsons): Another oceanfront location with delicious food and drinks and just a really fun vibe.
- Beachcomber Coffee (Gibsons): Locally roasted coffee, this is a quaint little cafe and a must stop to start the day
- El Sugundo (Sechelt): This place is a must visit. They are famous for their delicious tropical cocktails and their delicious pan pacific fusion food
- The Bakery (Sechelt): The name says it all. A delicious bakery that serves up simple yet savoury breakfast treats