BC’s West Coast is known the world over for its colourful patchwork of land- and seascapes, but how often do we experience this wild beauty for ourselves? This summer, rediscover the seaside communities you love and the reasons you love them — places like Gibsons and Telegraph Cove, with their laid-back culture, raw nature, ocean adventures, and wildlife sightings. You may just rediscover yourself along the way.
Whether you travel by floatplane or a ferry, a stunning journey is the icing on a decadent (coastal) cake.
Rugged Coastal Landscapes
No matter how many times you experience it, the dramatic coastal scenery stirs the soul. Capture a collage of moments: misty mornings overlooking rocky shores, dewy strolls through ancient rainforest, and sunset beach strolls, to name a few.
Depending on where you choose to explore, find the tranquility of protected waters or the energy of untamed surf beaches. The remote inlets and plunging fjords of the Sunshine Coast beckon to be explored by kayak, boat, or paddleboard. Tip: take a guided ocean tour to access little-known areas. Or, hop on the ferry to Campbell River on Vancouver Island, where you can head out with an experienced fishing charter and find out why it’s known as “the salmon capital of the world.”
On the mainland, enjoy peek-a-boo views of the ocean as you hike along the Sunshine Coast Trail among towering giants shrouded in lichen. On Vancouver Island, explore the coast along the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park in the south or stroll the eastern shores of Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park near Parksville.
Laid-back West Coast Culture
Celebrate a world of contrast, from sleepy seaside towns to buzzing cities. With every visit to the coast, you’ll discover a new gem — a funky coffee shop, a new brewery, a colourful art gallery, or a beachy boutique selling locally-made artisan goods.
The burgeoning coastal culinary scene isn’t just reserved for cities like Victoria and Nanaimo. Head on a foodie adventure to the Cowichan Valley or Salt Spring Island to sample farm-fresh ingredients and craft provisions. Or, try Indigenous-inspired cuisine in Port Hardy.
Lively Resident Wildlife
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the wilder side of BC’s coast, there’s still time. Take a whale-watching tour to see orcas surge through calm waters and listen to the cacophony of sea lions shouting from their rocky perches. On shore, you might glimpse grizzlies, black bears, wolves, and deer as they slink across the land.
Venture on a cultural wildlife tour with an Indigenous guide to gain a deeper connection to the coast and the First Nations people who have been stewards of this land for thousands of years.
Start planning your summer travel today at ExploreBC.com
British ColumbiaDBC West Coast CultureHikingIndigenous tourismPaddlingtravelWildlife