So much of our time in Canada has been go, go, go. When the opportunity arose for us to take a more chilled, exploratory holiday (so more like go, relax, go) I was all for it. We would still be seeing a new part of the country and because it involved just the two of us camping within BC, there was very little chance Covid would interfere (which we all know is a valid consideration these days). While Andy took the reins on planning our week in Assiniboine, I was busy planning our week camping on the Sunshine Coast.
We had six nights booked at three different campgrounds. Homesite Creek Campground ($14/night) is very near Halfmoon Bay and provided us with a good base for exploring Smugglers Cove, Egmont and everywhere in between. From there we took a ferry to Saltery Bay, where we stayed at the Provincial Park for two nights ($26/night) and used it a base for exploring Powell River, Lund and Savary Island. We then took a boat back and camped at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park ($35/night) near Sechelt for our last two nights. Everything was so close that no drive felt very far. It was always possible to pop back somewhere another day if we decided we wanted to see it.
Our seven days were mostly filled beaching, hiking, exploring, eating, visiting breweries and cideries and relaxing – pretty dreamy if I do say so myself. Each place and some of its highlights are listed below:
Gibsons Landing. Such a cute little town and one of my favourite weekend getaways from Vancouver. The Soames Hill hike makes for some short, sharp exercise and then there is an abundance of yummy cafes, restaurants and spots for drinks in and around the landing. We can never go past Beachcombers for coffee and donuts (she writes, fondly sipping from a mug of the very same) and our favourite brunch spot is the Drift Café, not just for the glorious views. Persephone Brewery and Sunday Cidery are two of the funkiest spots in town, honestly I could go on forever about how much I adore this place.
Roberts Creek. This hipster little town comprises of not much more than a pier, a mandala and the locally famous Gumboot Café, but with enough natural health shops and services to raise an eyebrow. The pier is actually a piece of land that juts out into the ocean; there were a few people with binoculars and it wasn’t hard to see why. We were entertained by a seal for the duration of our visit. Just by the pier’s carpark, there is a mandala, which is basically community art. A new design is put forward each July and then everyone in the community is welcome to fill in a section of it across the season.
Davis Bay. Probably my favourite little town, mostly due to the excellent food we had there. We ate at the Wobbly Canoe, which is just everything you want in a beachfront pub. The quality of the food was excellent and everything tasted scrumptious and fresh. Nearby is Gourmet Girl, which is a cute little café also selling knickknacks, we actually visited twice –once for food and once to buy ourselves some funky bowls. There is also a wharf that people fish and jump off, as well as stalls selling Okanagan produce and fresh seafood.
Sechelt. The Sunshine Coast’s biggest township, but I did notice that it calls itself a village. It has a great farmer’s markets on Saturday mornings, two waterfront areas and numerous different food options, so it was a great place to find ourselves on the one day of (pouring) rain we had. We enjoyed coffee and treats from The Bakery, a rock’n’roll Bingo night at Batch 44 Brewery, beers and appies from Twenty Two and some yummy cider at the Bricker Cider Company. There is also a movie theatre (called the Raven’s Cry) however we didn’t make it here. The campground is located on the west side of the Sechelt Inlet, near Sandy Hook beach. It’s also a great area for kayaking.
Halfmoon Bay and Secret Cove. Grouped together because there really wasn’t much to do here, except for admire the oceanfront views, walk out onto the pier and browse around the historic general store. There are some good hiking areas near hear, including Smugglers Cove and Sergeant Bay Provincial Park.
Pender Harbour and Egmont. We went for multiple hikes in this area, including to the Francis Point Lighthouse, up Pender Hill and out to Skookumchuck Narrows. There is also an abundance of lakes in the area, however in my opinion the best is Ruby Lake. Park at Dan Bosch Park off the highway and enjoy the sand and warm water that this semi-tropical spot has to offer!
A ferry ride away lies Powell River. A little bit underwhelming, and a little less charming than I expected. It’s broken into two parts, the historic section and the newer part. The historic district had some impressive buildings, including the Patricia Theatre and Townsite Brewing (located in the old post office). Although we had some food recommendations for here (such as Costa del Sol and Coastal Cookery) we only had time for some beer.
Further up the coast lies Lund, which is even smaller than I could have imagined. We had to park on the highway and walk into town, because ‘town’ is merely a marina. There was a busy little bakery called Nancy’s (which of course specialises in cinnamon buns) and a supermarket. Other than that, it was basically nothing more than our launchpad to get to Savary Island – a rugged, remote-feeling, sandy island which transported us straight to Bali or Mexico, with its dusty roads, lack of infrastructure and beach bum feel. A fantastic getaway if you’re in the area.
Reading back over everything we did in the space of six nights, I’m starting to question my go, relax, go intentions and realising that other people still might regard our holiday as go, go, go! We did have plenty of time to laze about however, and despite sleeping in a tent for six nights we both come back feeling refreshed and content!