Sunshine Coast



Those looking for a fairly convenient excursion from Vancouver should consider the Sunshine Coast, which begins 20 mi/35 km northwest of Vancouver and stretches along Howe Sound and the Malaspina Strait from Langdale to Lund. The name comes from the 2,400 hours of sunshine the region receives every year, which makes for relatively warmer temperatures (mid-70s F/mid-20s C in summer) than other places along the coast. It has small towns, fabulous cottage homes, good pubs and restaurants, and great scenery.

Starting from the southern end, take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, to Langdale. Head northwest on Highway 101. The next town you come to is Gibsons. This was home to The Beachcombers, a syndicated TV series that ran for 20 seasons in the 1970s and still makes appearances on the rerun circuit. Sechelt, 12 mi/20 km farther on, is the home of the Sechelt Indian Band: Be sure to see the totem poles on display outside the tribal community hall. The town is an arts center—and not just for Native American artisans. You will find a wide range of goods for sale in Sechelt's shops and galleries.

Continuing northwest, the road passes through several other small towns before reaching Earls Cove. An hour-long ferry ride delivers you to Saltery Bay, where the road continues. Saltery Bay and Powell River, the more sizable town to the northwest, are centers for scuba diving. Several sites, including shipwrecks, lie in the waters off the coast. The 60-mi/95-km Powell River Canoe Route begins in the town of Powell River, and ferries to Comox, on Vancouver Island, also call there.

The last stop on Highway 101 is Lund, 15 mi/25 km beyond Powell River. The Lund Hotel is a two-story structure built in the 1890s that continues to serve as the town's focal point. Though you've run out of road at this point (literally), we strongly suggest you rent a boat to see the two spectacular attractions nearby. Savary Island, to the south of Lund, has white-sand beaches and forest trails. Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park, to the north, is a stunning area of undeveloped inlets backed by 5,000-ft/1,500-m mountains—great waters for boating and scuba diving.

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