6 amazing spots on the Sunshine Coast for the ultimate getaway

by Emma Caplan
BC's Sunshine Coast

Looking for a getaway? We all need a break from the daily grind every once in a while. Whether you have two days or two weeks, BC’s Sunshine Coast is a quick 40-minute scenic ferry sailing from Vancouver, making it an easy, accessible spot for a day trip, weekend getaway, or longer vacation from the hustle bustle.

Check out some top places in the area and activities to help you make the most of them.

Biking on Mt. Elphinstone

Mt. Elphinstone is in true wilderness – surrounded by various mushrooms, flowering plants, wildlife, rivers, and forests. The mountain features a 42-km bike loop with fantastic views of the Tetrahedron mountain range and west coast islands. It’s not for beginners, though, and takes about 3-4 hours.

Location: Starts at the Langdale ferry terminal. Check out this post for more details.

Beachcombing in Davis Bay

Davis Bay - Photo by Steve Fisher

Quaint Davis Bay is a small community located just south of the town of Sechelt. Its long pebbled coastline features a wide beach and paved walking path with benches, so you can take a breather and take in the amazing, open ocean views. Don’t miss some great people-watching on the long wooden fishing pier, often busy with fisherman and swimmers on warmer days.

The best part? When the tide is out, you’ll find sand bars to wander and tidal pools to gaze at plenty of small marine life. And, when the clouds part ways, you’ll enjoy amazing, detailed views of Vancouver Island and the Georgia Strait.

Location: Highway 101, about 22 km west of Langdale ferry terminal.

Camping in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park - Photo by Steve Fisher

Tucked away in a beautiful, lush forest is Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. Pitch a tent or pull up in your campervan for a night or three and enjoy the beautiful beach access, 2-km creekside hiking trail, where you might be lucky enough to spot seals and bald eagles, and picnic area.

What makes this park unique is its physical separation from the Georgia Strait by something called an isthmus, which is a narrow piece of land bridging two bigger land masses together.

Location: 6451 Sechelt Inlet Road, about 4 km north of downtown Sechelt.

Paddling on Sechelt Inlet

Sechelt Inlet - Photo by Steve Fisher

Just two hours from downtown Vancouver is a paddler’s dream: Sechelt Inlet on Porpoise Bay. What makes this locale ideal for kayaking or rowing is the fact it’s sheltered from the waves and wind you often find on the open ocean.

With no roads past Tuwanek village, this area is fabulous for wildlife viewing and nature. Head out in the early morning or evening for the most tranquil, calm water and beautiful mountain reflections bouncing off of it.

Location: About 26 km north of downtown Sechelt.

Hiking in Powell River

Powell River - Photo by Steve Fisher

Surrounded by stunning mountain and ocean views, Powell River is home to some of the best hiking on the coast. There’s a trail for every skill level, trail preference, and time frame.

For instance, the short (less than 1 km) uphill hike on Valentine Mountain offers great reward for little effort – you’ll enjoy one of the area’s best views, including the old Townsite and surrounding mountains, lakes and ocean. Want something a bit longer? Nearby Mowat Bay trail is 2.5-km and delivers the same stunning views.

Location: Northern Sunshine Coast, about 31 km northwest of Saltery Bay ferry terminal.

Chillaxing on Savary Island

Beautiful Savary Island is a subtropical gem located on the coast’s northern tip, and is often a surprise to newcomers. Though you’ll need at least a full day to get there and enjoy its white sand beaches and warm swimming waters (apparently, the warmest north of Mexico), it’s well worth the trip. Don’t miss Duck Bay, South Beach, the Malaspina Promenade or Sutherland Beach.

At less than 8 km long and 1 km wide, this very bikeable, quaint island is relaxed and charming, offering you the ultimate getaway spot to put your feet up and recharge. Just be sure to plan ahead, as there are very few services on the island and you can’t bring your vehicle across from Lund.

Location: From Lund (about 28 km northwest of Powell River), Savary Island is accessible by water taxi, float plane, boat, or barge. Get more info here.

All photos by Steve Fisher.

Looking for more travel stories? Visit our Canadian Travel Guide for ideas across the country.

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