Taking our time on the Sunshine Coast

The first thing we noticed when we reached the Sunshine Coast was the calm, serene atmosphere.
Life feels different here — unhurried and relaxed. This is a place to unwind and take a break in a quiet, peaceful setting.

The Sunshine Coast is on British Columbia’s mainland, northwest of Vancouver. Bumper stickers and regional promotional brochures use the slogan, Not An Island. At the same time, the area is distinct and separate, as the only accesses are by ferry, boat or airplane.

The ferry ride from the Horseshoe Bay terminal in West Vancouver takes 40 minutes. Passengers pay on the journey from Horseshoe Bay, but the return trip from the Langdale terminal is free of charge.

While there are plenty of ferries throughout the day, they sometimes fill up early, especially before or after long weekends. As a result, it is best to make a reservation through the BC Ferries website.

“We were lucky to get on a ferry that was piloting a new pet-friendly area. We were able to sit on the deck with mom and dad and enjoy the awesome views as the wind gently fluffed up our fur.”

Mikki and Merlot

From the Langdale terminal, the Sunshine Coast Highway connects the communities in the region. In many areas, the highway runs parallel to the coast, offering some stunning views along the way.

We stopped for the night at the Oceanside, a dog-friendly hotel in Davis Bay with a great view of the ocean. The hotel has been recently renovated and although it is off the highway, the rooms are quiet.
Davis Bay, between Gibsons and Sechelt, is along the water and there is a long beachfront walkway, with plenty of benches and picnic tables to stop, take a break and enjoy the spectacular views.

The hotel where we stayed is across the highway from the Davis Bay Park Public Dock. Because we arrived in the early evening, we were able to enjoy some great views of the sunset over the ocean.

The next morning, we enjoyed a light breakfast and another walk along the boardwalk.

From Davis Bay, we travelled north to spend a few days in and around Powell River, which you can read about here.

On the return, we stayed in Gibsons, just a few blocks from the beach. We found an amazing pet-friendly guest suite with a stunning view, high above the water. On our first evening in Gibsons, we ventured down the steep hill to the beach, traversed along the waterfront as the tide rolled in, and then back up through a park and residential area back to our suite.

“We sat out on the patio of our ground floor room with our dogs, reading, until the most stunning sunset captured our attention.”


It was quite a hike. It was longer than we had planned for, and it was very steep walking back up to our guest suite. That day (and in fact every day in Gibsons), we far exceeded our daily step goals on our pedometers. We were all so tired that we collapsed on the very comfy bed when we got back to our suite. The bed was so comfy that even the dogs wanted to sleep in each day.

We enjoyed exploring Gibsons by foot. For many, Gibsons is best known as the location where the CBC television series The Beachcombers was filmed from 1972 to 1990. The comedy-drama, about a log salvager, his business partner and others in the community, was a staple of Canadian television in the 1970s and 1980s.

Gibsons has embraced this television connection. Molly’s Reach, a restaurant featured prominently in the show, is in the downtown and has the same iconic look as in the television series. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations while we were in Gibsons, so we didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy a meal here.

Beachcomber Coffee Co., a block away from Molly’s Reach, reflects the show in its name. The owner of our guest suite had provided Beachcomber Coffee for us, and we really enjoyed it, so we were eager to check out their shop. The artisan coffee roaster has excellent blends of coffee and also offers snacks and desserts from its downtown location. We enjoyed delicious donuts and coffee on the dog-friendly patio. The coffee was so delicious that we ended up taking two bags home with us.

There’s a lot more to Gibsons than its television connection. The town of around 4,800 also has plenty of waterfront parks and walkways, a vibrant downtown area and more. We spent a day just walking around and exploring the area. We spent time walking up and down the boardwalk, out onto the pier, and at the Winegarden Waterfront Park.

“The beautiful Sunshine Coast was the perfect place for us to celebrate our fifth anniversary. It provided everything we love – outdoor adventures, nature, stunning views and the opportunity to discover many new hidden gems.”


We enjoyed a supper break at Tapworks Brewing Company, just blocks away from the core of the downtown. This craft brewery has an indoor dining area and a dog-friendly outdoor eating and drinking area. Mikki and Merlot loved this space as much as we did.

Gibsons is a short drive from plenty of nearby parks and attractions.

Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park, just north of Sechelt, has great views of bogs and beavers. The park has a series of boardwalks on the pathway. Smuggler Cove was used to transport Chinese workers into the United States during the late 1800s, and also to transport alcohol into the United States during that country’s prohibition.

We ventured back into Sechelt, as Kim had booked a spa service at Sol Spa. It was an amazing and wonderful way to relax, in a stunning location overlooking the ocean.

Cliff Gilker Park, just outside of Roberts Creek was one of the highlights of the trip for us. It has some amazing walking trails, offering views of creeks and waterfalls. The trails in this park are well-maintained, and the park is well-used by individuals, couples and families. The trail system is very well marked, and we found stunning views along every path. Mikki and Merlot enjoyed our time adventuring along the trails here too.

After our time in Cliff Gilker Park, we stopped at The Gumboot Cafe in Roberts Creek for lunch. The cafe has light lunches as well as a nice selection of baked goods. We enjoyed a delicious pizza, fresh coffee, and gluten-free and vegan cupcakes.

While we saw a lot of the Sunshine Coast during our time away, there is a lot more to explore in the future. This area is definitely on our list for some future getaways.

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