Taking Your Time (3-7 Days)

Immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Sunshine Coast & Vancouver Island

Take your time and visit charming seaside towns & quirky Gulf Islands as part of a longer vacation to Desolation Sound

Explore Powell River

We always recommend taking a couple of days at least to explore Powell River and the Upper Sunshine Coast. Our beaches, trails, lakes, restaurants and festivals are a hidden gem on the BC coast. Visit our Local Attractions to see for yourself what this area has to offer.

However, we believe that the journey is sometimes as important as the destination! Below we illustrate some must visit destinations on the road to our beautiful part of coastal British Columbia.

Explore the Sunshine Coast

Gibsons & Sechelt

Gibsons Landing has boutique shopping, restaurants and art galleries, all framed by incredible mountain and ocean views.

You can grab a bite to eat at one of the charming restaurants and then continue north to the village of Sechelt. This beautiful town is between the Salish Sea to the west and Sechelt Inlet in the east. There are more shopping and restaurant options here to discover before continuing up the road.

Hidden Coves, Bays and Villages

The coast north to Earls Cove is sprinkled with small towns and secret beaches. Grab a coffee at Madeira Park, and be sure to browse the art galleries and bookstore while you’re there.

Tetrahedron Provincial Park

For those looking for a more adventurous immersion into the Sunshine Coast scene, Tetrahedron Provincial Park is tucked into the mountains east of Sechelt and is a famous spot for hiking. There are four backcountry huts in the park, making it popular both in the summer and also for winter recreation opportunities.

Skookumchuck Rapids

Just south of Earls Cove at the northern tip of the peninsula, Egmont is known as gateway to the dramatic display of the raw power of the ocean. Skookumchuck Narrows is a narrow tidal passage towards the entrance to Sechelt Inlet. Twice a day the incoming or outgoing tide rushes through this small gap, and the water can flow at speeds up to 16 knots, creating standing waves sometimes over 9 feet high!

A kayaker surfing the tidal rapids at Skookumchuck on the lower Sunshine Coast
Boats anchored off Saltspring Island in the BC Gulf Islands

Explore Vancouver Island

The Southern Gulf Islands

When you board a ferry from Vancouver Island to to one of the Gulf Islands in the Salish Sea, you are about to experience a taste of small town island life just minutes from the hustle of the larger towns and cities of Vancouver Island.

From Victoria you can catch a ferry to historic Mayne Island, visit the wild and rural Pender and Saturna Islands, or discover quirky Salt Spring, the largest Southern Gulf Island, and experience its plethora of restaurants and art galleries.

To the north options include Galiano Island, the community-minded feel of Gabriola, and the, wineries, markets and beaches of Denman and Hornby Islands located just south of the town of Courtney.

Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park

Remote and wild, Pacific Rim National Park lies between Tofino and Ucluelet, open to the full force of the Pacific Ocean. Kilometres of sandy beaches are divided by jagged, rocky headlands. The surf pounds the sand incessantly even on relatively calm days. To get here, turn off at Highway 4 just north of Nanaimo and follow it to the end of the road.

While the beaches are famous for surfing and long pensive walks Clayoquot Sound and the Broken Islands are kayaking hotspots.Meanwhile whales and dolphins, sea otters, and colourful intertidal critters thrive off-shore.

The great restaurants and accommodations in Tofino and Ucluelet are a great detour for a couple of days of further exploration.

A surfer in a wetsuit in Tofino on Vancouver Island