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Sunshine Coast: arts, adventure, and relaxation




    • Aboriginal Arts and Culture
    • Festivals and Events
    • Purple Banner Art Studio Tour
    • Boating and Kayaking
    • Seaside Spas
    • Explore Powell River

      Secluded beaches, unspoiled forests, pretty villages, art galleries, luxurious resorts, and sublime spas all await on the scenic Sunshine Coast, just north of Vancouver and east of Vancouver Island.

      From Vancouver, travellers can get to the Sunshine Coast by driving to Horseshoe Bay and taking a 40-minute ferry ride to Langdale, a 10-minute drive from the seaside community of Gibsons. You can also take a seaplane to the Sunshine Coast from Vancouver or Victoria. West Coast Air and Tofino Air each offer a range of flight times, plus scenic tours.

      The town of Gibsons is full of activity, especially during the summer months. There are shops and art galleries to explore and events to enjoy, such as the annual Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival. People gather at Molly’s Reach restaurant for seafood in a casual atmosphere. This landmark became famous in a Canadian TV series called “The Beachcombers,” which was filmed here. In Sechelt, explore Aboriginal culture at Tems Swiya Museum, or charter a boat to go fishing in Porpoise Bay or Trail Bay.

      The coast gets quieter the farther north you drive, but there’s still plenty to discover. In Halfmoon Bay, visitors retreat to Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, where they can sleep in luxurious safari-like tents in the forest overlooking the water, and indulge in a massage in the outdoor spa. The community of Pender Harbour has been christened “Venice of the North.” Here, a cluster of villages — Madeira Park, Garden Bay, Kleindale and Irvine’s Landing — marine parks, lakes and islets offer plenty of opportunity to be active or relax. At Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina, you can start your day with an invigorating paddle, spend the afternoon relaxing at the outdoor pool, and then feast on local seafood for dinner.

      Drive north to the end of Highway 101 and Egmont awaits. The village is home to the West Coast Wilderness Lodge (a 30-minute seaplane flight from Vancouver, Victoria or Nanaimo), an ideal spot to venture farther afield to discover the spectacular scenery at Skookumchuck Rapids, Princess Louisa Inlet and 40-meter-high Chatterbox Falls.

      Travellers who want to explore the Upper Sunshine Coast — home to Powell River, Lund, Savary Island, and the marine parks in Desolation Sound — can take a 50-minute ferry ride north from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay. Visitors can also take a ferry or plane from Powell River to Vancouver Island.


      Top places to go and things to do

      1. Visit Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls
      Go boating up the fjord to see mile-high cliffs and cascading waterfalls.


      2. Get pampered at a luxury spa
      Get a massage outdoors, relax in a sauna cave or indulge in a sea salt scrub at one of the region’s spas.


      3. Explore Gibson’s arts community
      Take in the jazz festival in summer, browse local galleries and visit artists at their studios.