The Sunshine Coast is one of those places in Canada I’d never really heard about prior to visiting.
To be fair, you never really think of Canada and think of sunshine – their winters are so epic that it seems to overshadow summer.
^ Case in point!
You’d be wrong for dismissing summers in Canada though – they get proper weather, not the indecisive stuff we seem to get here in good old Blighty (in London, some Summer days might as well be Autumn and some Winter days could very well pass as Summer). In Canada, summers tend to be warm, winters cold…etc, just the way it should be I guess… but I digress.
The Sunshine Coast is not too far from Vancouver and totally worth the day trip. We got ourselves a car from this day till the end of our stay in Vancouver as we wanted to make the most of not just Vancouver but the wider British Columbia (BC) province!
To get to the Sunshine Coast from Vancouver, you drive to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, where you catch a ferry over to the Sunshine Coast (but not before you breakfast like a King or Queen at the Shangri La downtown; which is where we were staying for the week).
The ferry crossing is pretty scenic so take your camera with you (preferably one with a good zoom lens, it’s not impossible to see Orcas here on the right day).
So here’s the thing about the Sunshine Coast, it’s a pretty and somewhat sleepy part of BC so you don’t need to do too much planning before you visit. Just arrive here and make those plans as you go along.
We started off somewhere in the centre, by parking the car and exploring on foot. Lloyd got very quickly distracted by the thrift store here almost immediately (to be fair though, there were some amazing items in here…)
Before long, our thoughts turned to food where we headed to Gibsons Public Market for a bite to eat (Canadian portions are kinda like American portions, huge and satisfying) – chicken burger for Lloyd and steak sandwich for me.
We were also recommended the cauliflower fries which to my surprise were actually very delicious. I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower so this says quite a lot! Like, I don’t mind cauliflower in roast dinners but as anything else, I tend to avoid – a fact which frustrates Lloyd when he tried to get me to try his cauliflower pizzas (*bleurgh* ….cauliflowers do not make good pizzas! 😄 😆 )
We then headed downstairs to the ‘fresher’ part of the market where you can get your meats, fish, flowers and general groceries.
You can also get a little taster session here which, despite having just had lunch led to us trying some chocolates, sausages and a mini platter of seafood!
Very much fed and watered, we headed back on the road in search of more of the Sunshine Coast…
Again, stop over where you feel necessary (though I wouldn’t recommend going into the woods on your own, BC is Bear Country so only do this if you know how to handle yourself around wild bears). This part we ventured into was a part that people camped in so it was fine to have a little nosey around this area.
We swung by a couple of pebbly beaches, stopping to soak up the sunshine (the Sunshine Coast was certainly delivering on that promise of sunshine) before heading over to a couple of local micro-breweries for an afternoon bevvy! (Again, Lloyd was driving so all the drinking was left to me… and you’ll get no complaints from me in this department).
We started off with Gibsons Tapworks (it’s relatively new) for a quick taster session…
…before heading over to the older Persephone Brewing Company to try “something special”. I say that but I had no idea what that something special was at the time, just that I’d know what it was when I found it.
Well, this “special thing” I ended up finding was their passion fruit beer. It as zingy as raw passion fruit is and goes down well with a lazy amble around their gardens, where they grow a fair few of the ingredients for brewing…
…before finding a couple of seats in the sunshine to relax and soak up even more sunshine and passion fruit beer (lemonade for Lloyd).
Before long, it was time to hop aboard our ferry and head back to Vancouver (all the while looking out for whales as sailed back to Van city).
By the time we arrived back in the Vancouver, the jet lag (probably fuelled by the sunshine, beers and that cosy cosy bed at the Shangri La) hit again and I kid you not, I had one of those early evening naps that turned into a full-on 12-hour nap session!
For what it’s worth, this was only the second time this has ever happened to me – the first of which was in this same bed in this same hotel room which, to me, means I can totally blame the creature comforts at the Shangri La for putting me straight to sleep… right? 🤔 😆