Photo credit: By Orlandkurtenbach (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Sunshine Coast, just north of Vancouver, feels like an island getaway although it's actually a part of the mainland. Accessible only by ferry or air, this strip of quiet beaches, cedar forests, hiking trails, summer cottages, and artist colonies is just a 45-minute ferry from West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay, making it less than two hours from downtown Vancouver in total.
Stop at Gibsons, once home to the classic Canadian TV show The Beachcombers and refuel with breakfast at Molly's Reach, the café in the show. Continue on and explore the artists' and writers' community of Sechelt, or venture further up the coast to the isolated hamlets of Half Moon Bay, Earl's Cove, or Lund.
Enjoy fresh seafood, arts and crafts shows, beachcombing, hiking, camping, and some of the province's best water sports, including canoeing, kayaking, fishing and scuba-diving.
Driving: Take Highway 99 to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal (45 minutes north of Vancouver). Take a 40-minute BC Ferries trip to Langdale. From Langdale, take a 180 kilometre (112 mile) scenic coastal drive through the towns of Gibsons and Sechelt to Earl's Cove, where another ferry makes the 50 minute crossing to Saltery Bay (the City of Powell River). From Powell River, at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, retrace your steps to Vancouver, or take a ferry to Comox on Vancouver Island.
Flying: West Coast Air provides scheduled floatplane service and charters to Sechelt from Vancouver Regional Airport, Victoria and Nanaimo.
> Check out Sunshine Coast Tourism for additional information on events and activities.
> See BC Ferries for details on sailing or call 250.386.3431 or 1.888.223.3779 within BC.
> For a scenic west coast experience, see West Coast Air for floatplane service to the Sunshine Coast.
> View our Maps section for additional information about traveling outside Vancouver.