Home » Make the journey magical (five things to do on the Lower Sunshine Coast)

Make the journey magical (five things to do on the Lower Sunshine Coast)

Travelling the 84 kilometres from Langdale to Earl’s Cove can be a blast - a micro road-trip with plenty of unique experiences along the way. Put the pedal to the metal and the trip is just over an hour. Or, plan to take all day.

 See sea life in the aquarium and beyond

At the Gibsons Public Market, go to the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre – also the home of plenty of events. Stop at the pier in Sechelt. And at Pender Harbour, visit the Ruby Lake Lagoon Society’s Earthfair Store – the start of what will eventually be a large research and education aquarium, here.

Take a skookum hike

The four-kilometre round-trip hike to Skookumchuk Narrows starts at a wonderful museum, wanders past an excellent little cafe in the woods, and ends at one of the great wonders of the West Coast: the whirlpools and rushing tidal changes at the narrows. It’s close to the Earl’s Cove ferry. So is the Iris Griffith Nature Centre at Ruby Lake, which features an indoor interpretive centre and many short trails.

Taste the coast

We recommend Persephone Brewing in Langdale, the made-famous-by-the-Beachcomber’s Molly’s Reach in Gibsons, and the Gumboot Cafe in Robert’s Creek, which has a fine dining spouse beside it. Seasonally, make sure you stop at the farmers markets and farm stands along the way

Take a dip

If you’re traveling with kids (or dogs), breaking up the trip with a dip can make all the difference. For kids, we recommend the Sechelt Aquatic Centre, which features an indoor waterslide, lazy river, and diving boards, plus a lovely hot tub. For everyone, pull over at one of the many lakes along the way for a quick refresh (just North of Sechelt, the one right on the highway is an easy stop, and you might see beavers).

Shop for treasures

For a pleasant, walkable seaside stroll, don’t miss Gibsons Landing, a five-minute drive from the Langdale ferry. You’ll find cafes and restaurants, boutique clothing shops, home decor, and much more, all packed on to just a few blocks. Find anything you’ve forgotten in downtown Sechelt, which offers an Independent grocery store with loads of pre-cut road-trip fruit and veggies. Plus, you’ll find “purple banner” art studios dotted all the way up the highway.

Where is this magical place?

The Powell Lake Outdoor Learning Centre is located overseas on the Upper Sunshine Coast, a 15-minute drive from downtown Powell River. From Vancouver, it’s a pleasurable (we promise) two-ferry, five-hour commute by vehicle, or a 20-minute flight from YVR. From Vancouver Island, it’s across the Salish Sea from Comox.

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