Day Trip Along The Sunshine Coast In BC

Sunshine Coast In BC.jpg

A Great Day On The Sunshine Coast In BC

There were so many great day trips to take when we visited the Vancouver area on a road trip around BC. It was an easy ferry ride to cross over from Horseshoe Bay and drive up along the Sunshine Coast in BC. There were small towns to stop in as we travelled north. And great water views along the route. It was definitely a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Take The Ferry From Horseshoe Bay

We headed north along the Sunshine Coast in BC with our son Nick and his great dog Gypsy. We were not sure how far north we would head so we left early. This meant fighting a bit of Vancouver traffic. But it was worth it to be on the morning ferry.

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With the car parked in its lane at the Horseshoe Bay ferry, we headed into the town for a coffee. There was just enough time for us to move at a slow pace before we needed to be back in the car.

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It was a short ferry ride (about 50 minutes). The weather was perfect as we stood on the deck and enjoyed the great BC coast. On the ride back, we caught the sun as it set. It was the perfect end to the day.

Horsehoe Bay BC Ferries Map.jpg
BC Ferries Map On The Sunshine Coast

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Horsehoe Bay Ferry Queen of Surrey.jpg

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Sunset Horsehoe Bay Ferry To Langdale Gibsons Landing.jpg

The ferry from Horseshoe Bay was the only way to head up the Sunshine Coast in BC. There was no bridge that took us to that part of the province.

Explore Gibsons Landing

The ferry landed in Langdale. Right beside Langdale is the small town of Gibsons Landing. We visited Gibsons Landing on another visit to Vancouver. If you are old enough and Canadian, you may remember the Beachcombers tv show that was set in Gibsons Landing.

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On the way north we bypassed Gibsons Landing. But on our trip back, we stopped there for a seafood dinner. And a walk around the dock before we loaded on the ferry back to Horseshoe Bay.

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A visit to Gibsons Landing is the perfect way to start a trip up the Sunshine Coast in BC.

The Beauty Along The Sunshine Coast

We expected to find nothing but wilderness when we headed north of Gibsons Landing. So we were a bit surprised when we came to the larger town of Sechelt. This looked like a charming town with lots of small shops and restaurants. We stopped for coffee before we continued north.

All along the drive, we looked for places to stop with a view out over the waters of the Strait of Georgia. It was a bright blue sky day and we enjoyed our stops.  We found long piers that reminded us of our visit to Pismo Beach in California.  The low tide views seemed to follow us wherever we travelled in BC on this trip.  When we stayed on Vancouver Island, we got a view back to the Sunshine Coast from the water when we went whale watching from Campbell River.

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Gypsy loves to swim. So we looked for a beach where we could let her run around. Nick watched his map and directed us to a great spot outside of Half Moon Bay. The tide was out. It was a perfect sand beach for walking. And for Gypsy to swim.

Half Moon Bay Beaches - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

Half Moon Bay Beaches - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

Gypsy Swims.jpg

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When you day trip along the Sunshine Coast in BC, make sure to stop along the route.

We Headed To Egmont For The Skookumchuck Rapids

We decided we would not continue up the Sunshine Coast as far as Powell River. But we did want to check out the Skookumchuck Rapids. When the water flow is at peak levels, whitecaps and whirlpools formed at the rapids. We heard you could even surf on the waters.

Just outside of Egmont, we found the entrance to Skookumchuck Narrows National Park. We thought it was an easy walk in, so we headed off as Gypsy bounced along.

When we finally looked at the site map, we realized that the hike into the park to the rapids was much further than we were prepared for at the end of the day. Especially since the water flows had now receded. If you want to hike in to see Skookumchuck Rapids, plan it for earlier in the day. And check the tide tables!

Skookumchuck Narrows Park - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

Skookumchuck Narrows Park - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

We continued down the road to the small town of Egmont. The dock looked out over the water. We found that there were boats that could take us from here to the Skookumchuck Rapids. An option if you don’t to hike the 4 km (2.5 miles) through the park.

Egmont Harbour Skookumchuck Narrows Park - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

Egmont Harbour Skookumchuck Narrows Park - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

Egmont Harbour Skookumchuck Narrows Park - On The Sunshine Coast in BC.jpg

Egmont and Skookumchuck Rapids are a great stop on the Sunshine Coast in BC.

Enjoy The Sunshine Coast In BC

It was a great day trip to along the Sunshine Coast in BC. We loved the chance to see the small towns along the way. And enjoy the beauty that is BC outdoors.

We went as far as Earls Cove. But did not take the small ferry that went further north to Powell River. When we visited Vancouver Island, we considered taking the ferry from Comox to Powell River to finish off our travels south along the Sunshine Coast in BC. But we ultimately left the island from Nanaimo. We figured it is always good to leave something for a return visit to BC.

Have you headed up the Sunshine Coast in BC? How far up did you travel?

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  1. Smashing read and I really love the photography here, such a great way of drawing people in. Makes me feel like I am there. There is nothing like a good day trip! BC has such a huge amount to offer people. I got to love in Vancouver for a few months while traveling in Canada and was lucky enough to take a ferry all the way up the coast to Prince Rupert. It was magic.

    • Neil, I am glad this blog post made you feel like you were there. That is always my intention. I am sure the trip to Prince Rupert was great. A spot we still have not visited. Some day! Linda

    • I am glad this is a timely blog post for helping to plan your Vancouver visit. There is so much to see and do in Vancouver (much more on the blog), it is also great to get outside of the city. Linda

  2. What a scenic road trip you had! I’ve not made it to this part of Canada, but the scenery is mindblowing! It’s so great that Gypsy managed to have some fun in the water too. A really beautiful part to see of the country.

    • Lisa, We were so glad we added a trip up the Sunshine Coast to this visit to BC. The scenery at every stop took our breaths away. One day we might even move there. And yes, Gypsy loved every minute of this trip. Linda

    • Andrew, I believe this would be a great trip for kids too. There are lots of outdoor spaces along the Sunshine Coast for kids to play in the water or the woods. Linda

  3. We are right now in Vancouver and going to Victoria tomorrow but just to see the Buthschart Gardens and have afternoon tea at the Empress. Wish we had the time to do this BC Sunshine Coast!

    • Carolina, I am sure you will love Vancouver and Victoria. They will make you want to come back. And then you can enjoy day trips like the Sunshine Coast. Linda

  4. I still remember BC and the sunshine coast fondly from our first trip to Alaska. If the weather would be warmer it could be a perfect holiday destination. Although, many people like the mild climate of Canada.
    I was surprised that you took your dog for a walk into the Skookumchuck Narrows National Park. Most National Parks I know of don’t allow any pets. Is this different in Canada?

    • Juergen, We had perfect weather in BC when we visited in May – not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for walking. We had our dog on a leash in the park. Most areas require the leash. Until you find a dog park or dog beach where they can roam wild. Linda

  5. The Sunshine Coast looks gorgeous! Gibsons Landing is so photogenic and I love that little houseboat. Bummer the rapids were such a far walk, there never seems to be enough time to do and see everything

    • Sherianne, We loved all our stops along the Sunshine Coast. It was such a pleasant surprise for us. A great tease. So we know we will be back. And do the rapids hike when we have planned better. Linda

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience, it looks and sounds like you had a great time (and so did gypsy, she looks so cute!) Gibsons landing looks so picturesque.

  7. British Columbia is beautiful! And your photos and story-telling just confirms it. The town of Sechelt sounds very interesting and it’s great that it’s developed – not that I was expecting a frontier town or anything.

    • Adonis, I am glad my blog post gave you another view of how beautiful British Columbia is. We were glad to make it to the Sunshine Coast on this trip. Linda

  8. I love the combination of mountains and water – they make the most scenic views, and your pictures are proof of it. I haven’t been to Canada yet, but this would definitely be a place worth visiting.

  9. This is one part of Canada I’d love to visit and explore. You pictures of the Sunshine coast are stunning. I love the colors and it sounds like everyone had a great time including Gypsy. Wonderful article and I look forward to visiting the smaller towns in British Columbia sometime soon.

  10. This brought back so many wonderful memories! I grew up in Seattle and our family often went exploring in British Columbia. My favorite was using the car ferries to ply the waters between Vancouver and the island. It is so incredibly beautiful. I never got as far north as you did, though. I’d love to return!

  11. This looks like a perfect trip with your dog and he really seem to be enjoying a lot. Your pictures of Sunshine Coast are so beautiful- the perfect blend of mountains and beaches. I am sure gypsy had a great time there. The ride by ferry will be so much fun.

  12. I love how Gypsy is enjoying this whole trip. I’d probably be the same! I really love these coastal towns. There’s a different kind of peace in it with a little adventure of course. Will bring my doggo here next time too.

  13. All this brought back SO many memories of this spot. I did it from a sailboat in 1987 but I fell in love at the time and it looks like the area is as charming as ever! Funnily enough I have never tried Nanaimo bars even though I’ve been there!

    • Andi, It would be amazing to travel up the BC coast by sailboat. On the travel wish list! It was great to visit the Sunshine Coast for the first time. Linda

  14. I done some of this coastline and totally love it. This is one of my favourite parts of the world and cant wait to get back to BC soon. If I could live and work in Vancouver, I be there in a flash! The summer months I just be hiking all over the place. Never really done the beaches in BC as I am more into water and mountains and this coastline has it all.

  15. We only did the ferry to Victoria. We should have spent more time doing the others. That Sunshine Coast exploration would be a great reason to return to Vancouver for a 4th time!!!

    • We probably were on the ferry before 10am and took the return ferry at sunset. So we were probably on the island for about 8 hours. We stopped several times but did not have enough time to hike everywhere we wanted. We are going back in the fall and plan to stay for 7 days. We will have much more to share after that visit.

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