Breweries, restaurants, coffeeshops, clothing stores, family owned resorts, and outdoor adventures are awaiting our arrival with open arms (at a distance)! We’re incredibly proud to be part of some amazing coastal communities. And, just like any good neighbour, we’re committed to supporting each other, eh! With the pause on international travel there’s no better time to travel and support locally. And maybe, you’ll discover a new hidden gem along the way! We have complied a list with recommendations on where to eat, shop, play, sip and stay along the Sunshine Coast that make for an unforgettable West Coast trip! Did we miss something?! Tag us in your local reccos and we’ll spread the neighbourly love!
Located on the southern coast of British Columbia lies a string of quaint coastal towns extending 177-kms between Desolation and Howe Sound. Its bordering rugged mountains and quiet inlets provide the true feeling of a West Coast escape. With an easy 20-minute flight between Sechelt and the mainland, you can travel safely with ease.
A big day of small-town adventures always begins with coffee. A local go-to and must visit spot is Beachcomber Coffee – just two blocks away from the water’s edge in Gibsons it’s appropriately named! From a triple-shot no foam latte to a classic cup of joe, these guys know a thing or two about coffee. Their motto? “It’s not just coffee, it’s a lifestyle“. The freshly roasted espresso aroma, friendly staff, and locally sourced baked goods (yes, they carry Cheeky Monkey Cakes – if you know, you know) is the reason why it’s a local gem! Swing by their shop for a java to go or stay on their lovely patio equipped with sunshine coloured chairs – how fitting! Don’t forget to leave a bit of room in your carry-on for a bag of specialty in-house roasted beans! Looking for a spot in Sechelt instead? Check out the Basted Baker for a colourful breakfast and brunch menu with perfect coffee pairings!
A day of exploration can sure build up an appetite! Thankfully, the Sunshine Coast has many great local spots to enjoy. From all day eggs bennies and breakfast bowls to mouthwatering burgers, look no further than Shift Kitchen & Bar. Their most popular menu item – The PB&J. (peanut butter, bacon, and fig jam) is all you really need to know.
A true waterfront patio can be found at the Inlet Restaurant at West Coast Wilderness Lodge. Overlook the beautiful vistas of Egmont while enjoying delicious locally sourced cuisine on their cliff side deck! Their menu is just as spectacular as the views itself – a must see! Looking for a vibrant and “good vibe dining” experience? Check out El Segundo! With bold splashes of colour, giant tropical prints and plants, and carefully curated retro kitsch touches, El Segundo delivers a fun, vibrant and totally unique space that is comfortable for all ages to enjoy a drink or a meal! A trip to the Sunshine Coast isn’t complete without a visit to e.b’s Ice Cream Shop – serving heaping waffle cones of gelato and soft serve!
There’s no better place to Social Distance than in the beautiful outdoors! For avid hikers, The Sunshine Coast Trail boasts Canada’s longest hut-to-hut hiking route with 180-kms of pure wilderness bliss. For young families and little adventurers try taking an alternate path and explore the wonder of Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park. It’s the perfect balance of easy walking trails with the same natural West Coast beauty. Twice daily, Mother Nature puts on a show as the change in tidal flows switch direction and power magical rapids. The water levels can sometimes exceed 9ft in height with 200 billion gallons of water flowing through the Inlet providing you with one of the greatest natural spectacles in British Columbia affectionately named “Skook”. Remember, you’re on the “Wet Coast” so dress the part and bring a rain jacket and your best hiking shoes.
Another hidden gem recommended by one of our employees and Sechelt local is a visit and forest stroll through beautiful Narrows Inlet – “So Serene.” Want to try a two-wheeled adventure? Check out Coast Gravity Park for some mountain biking fun!
With Charming boutique clothing stores like Blue Magnolia Clothing and Shoes – you’re sure to find your new favourite local spot in Sechelt! The quaint downtown core is a convenient ten-minute walk from our Harbour Air terminal where you can stroll your way through Cowrie Street’s family owned shops, boutiques, and galleries – the perfect place to shop for local art & handcrafted goods. Finish your downtown adventure with a peek inside one of the vintage shops to find that one-of-a-kind item to take home with you. We recommend East 4th Vintage, Starlet Creators, and Redecor + Design!
Buy local, eat local, and now, cook local! Stop by Butcher Dave’s Meat Market for a vast selection of fresh, locally sourced meats. Specializing in custom cuts, homemade sausages, and deli meats. A local recommendation from our Sechelt terminal manager!
A full day of adventures deserves a proper send off! Cheers to the end of a wonderful day at The Lighthouse Pub in Sechelt. Boasting the largest outdoor patio with stunning panoramic views and a great beverage menu with local brews and handcrafted cocktails! Or, test out a new flavour palette at Brickers Cider Company – aiming to create delicious, dry, clean, and crisp ciders using locally sourced products – we like the sound of that! Give them a follow on social media to stay up to date on seasonal and small batch series with flavours like Cranberry & Hops and Apricot & Ginger! Searching to the perfect lager, ale or sour? We highly recommend a visit to Batch 44 Brewery or Persephone Brewing…you’re on holiday, try both!
The Sunshine Coast is home to a number of charming local resorts and bnb’s with stunning oceanfront views and tranquil West Coast experiences; you’ll want to make these stays your secret slice of paradise. The Back Eddy Resort and Marina offers a uniquely extraordinary experience in the heart of nature. Try staying in their simple yet luxurious geodesic domes where you’ll sleep at the water’s edge while staying warm and cozy in a queen size bed. You know what they say, “there’s no place like dome!” The Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina in Madeira Park boasts amazing waterfront villas and a fantastic restaurant on the shore. Or, walk along the boardwalk to your private tree house that overlooks the Pacific Ocean at Rockwater Secret Cove and Resort – the perfect romantic getaway.
As more businesses begin to open their doors safely, the opportunities to explore your own backyard on the Sunshine Coast will expand, too. We can’t wait to continue to support our communities. Stay in touch and reach out to your favourite local spot to see what they’re up to. Check in and give them a follow, like, or share on Social Media! Plus, stay up to date on how they’re keeping guests and employees safe during this time. It’s time to return the favor – support, buy, and travel local this year!
Words from Sunshine Coast Tourism:
We’re all visitors on the traditional territories of the Tla’amin, Klahoose, shíshálh, and Skwxwú7mesh nations. While exploring the Sunshine Coast, please remember to be safe, responsible, and respectful.
Photo credit: Destination British Columbia
By: Alannah Kennedy