Sunshine Coast tourism overlooking lake road trip

The Sunshine Coast lies northwest of Vancouver and is accessible only by boat, ferry or plane. The area includes Gibsons, Sechelt, Powell River, Roberts Creek, Pender Harbour and Desolation Sound, among others. The area is not part of Metro Vancouver. Like other places within a couple of hours drive, the Sunshine Coast is a popular destination for day trips and overnight stays.

How to get to the sunshine coast

bC Ferries

  • Take the Ferry at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Gibsons’ Langdale terminal. (40 minutes)

  • Ferries run about a dozen times a day, from early morning until late at night.

  • Return fares* are around $14 for adults, half price for ages 5-11 and free for under 4.

    Day & Weekend Trips in and around Vancouver
  • Free for seniors Monday to Thursday and non-statutory holiday. Full fare at other times.

  • Vehicles around $50 return.

  • For more info, check out *prices are of this writing. Check BC Ferries for updates.

By seaplane or your own boat

  • Harbour Air offers seaplane service to Sechelt which is about a half-hour drive northwest of Gibsons. From Vancouver it's $89 one way (check website for up-to-date pricing), and can take as short as 20 minutes.

  • If you have your own boat, you can come anytime! There are plenty of Marinas and docks in the Sunshine Coast. If you are coming from outside of Canada, read this.

What's the sunshine coast like?

sunshine coast view of water and trees

Expect a classic, laid back west coast experience! The sunshine coast is rural, full of mountains, totally gorgeous and scattered with charming communities. People come here for outdoor recreation such as camping, mountain biking, kayaking, cycling, hiking, fishing and climbing. Starting from the ferry terminal on you way to Garden Bay, you will find:

Gibsons, BC

Gibsons, a town of about 4,400 residents was once voted the "Most Liveable Community in the World" (under 20,000 population) at the international Livcom Awards. Gibsons is also the most famous community on the Sunshine Coast, as it was the setting for The Beachcombers, a popular CBC television series that ran from 1972 until 1990.

Gibson’s scenic working harbour, with plenty of quaint shops, restaurants and a marina, is the heart of the town. At the famous Gibsons Public Market, you’ll find delicious food and artisan shops selling fresh produce, flowers and the best ice cream sandwiches in town. A larger outdoor market is open Fridays between 1:00 and 6:00 pm from mid-May until early October.

Gibsons is also home to three different craft beer breweries – Gibsons Tapworks, Persephone Brewing Company and The 101 Brewhouse + Distillery.

Sechelt, BC

With a population of over 11,000, Sechelt is home to a number of retirees and young families who are drawn here to the outdoorsy, casual lifestyle and an economy that is business friendly.

Sechelt sits on a sandbar; the narrow Sechelt isthmus which separates Sechelt Inlet from the Salish Sea. It is famous for its relaxed seaside vibe, and it is also a bustling hub for outdoor recreation and exploring the southern Sunshine Coast. From here, you can go sightseeing and take day trips to neighboring Halfmoon Bay, Roberts Creek, Pender Harbour, or Egmont. You can start your boating & paddling excursions here and head to the surrounding fjords, including Narrows, Salmon, and Sechelt Inlet. You can check the community calendar for the latest events.

Regular seaplane connection takes you to downtown Vancouver in just 20 minutes, and it is a short 30 minute drive to the ferry terminal in Gibsons.

Pender harbour, BC

Pender Harbour is the resort centre of the Sunshine coast. It’s a water-centric community of under 3,000 residents. But despite its small size, the offerings are plenty: a golf course, cafes, pubs, shops, art galleries and accommodations galore.

The magnificent harbour is the heart of everything here and boaters come here regularly to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Pender Harbour is also famous for its salmon fishing. You can also catch cod, flounder, and snapper, as well as surface‐feeding trout in many of the freshwater lakes nearby.

In June, you can attend the  Pender Harbour Blues Festival and in August, the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival. Concerts are held in all of the three local communities – Garden Bay, Madeira Park and Irvines Landing.

Of course, there’s Garden Bay RV Resort, the area’s new RV Park and Campground. It’s unique property rests on semi-rocky terrain, and is hilly enough for picture perfect views. Check out the amenities and resort pictures here. And our self proclaimed awesomeness here. Also Read- MIND BLOWING BC ROAD TRIPS
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