Plan Your Sunshine Coast Road Trip
Dozens of enticing communities are lined up along Highway 101, making British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast a bevvy of getaway options.
Day One: Pender Harbour
Follow a treasure trail of purple flags down Garden Bay Road: they mark the workshops of local artists. (You can pick up a map on the ferry). For an abstract ode to B.C.’s forests,  Motoko Baum’s painting studio (4590 Sinclair Bay Rd., Garden Bay, 604-883-9478) is worth a visit. Refuel mid-tour at  Copper Sky Cafe (12904 Madeira Park Rd., Pender Harbour, 604-833-0096). They’ll bag you a hearty honey ham and jack cheese sandwich for the road. Don’t miss: Ken Walters’ murals of seaside living line the walls and fences of Pender Harbour’s public spaces, but prints are also available at Copper Sky’s gallery-shop.
Day Two: Sechelt
Arrive hungry. Sechelt’s main drag looks more suburban strip mall than charming village, but it’s packed with hidden gems. Munch on chocolate hazelnut biscotti at  Wheatberries Bakery (5500 Wharf St., 604-885-9106) or hit the tiny  Galiano Italiano (5531 Wharf Ave., 604-885-9870) to source picnic provisions. Then hit the closest beachfront for a lunch en plein air. Pair fresh bread from the  Old Boot Restaurant (108-5530 Wharf Ave., 604-885-2727) with Galiano’s own handcrafted spicy Italian sausage. It tastes even better with sand between your toes. Don’t miss: Hiding among the gourmet sausages and elaborate antipasti stocked at  Ty’s Fine Food & Bistro (5697 Cowrie St., 604 740-9818), you’ll find savoury Guinness cheddar. Take it home or dig right in on the attached sunny porch.
Day Three: Roberts Creek
First Sit down at the oh-so-boho  Gumboot Cafe (1057 Roberts Creek Rd., 604-885-4218) to eavesdrop on the gossip of locals. Shelve your cynicism and order from their vegan, gluten-free bakery. Then loiter where musicians jam at  Melo-mania, the community music centre (1051 Roberts Creek Rd., 604-885-3607). Or, succumb completely to the hippie vibe at  Yoga by the Sea, which offers drop-in sessions right on the beach during the summer (1055 Roberts Creek Rd., 604-740-2382). Don’t miss: A classic Pink Lady cookie—raspberry cream sandwiched between meringue-like layers of lemon—courtesy Gumboot Café.
Where to Stay
[A] Rockwater Resort’s tent-house suites are hardly roughing it: heated floors warm canvas rooms, and guests soak in hydrotherapy tubs while monitoring a sweeping view of Secret Cove. Their “spa without walls” is right on the water’s edge. (Rockwater Signature Massage from $145, Ole’s Cove Rd., Halfmoon Bay, 1-877-296-4593).