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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, [1] Motoko Baum’s painting studio (4590 Sinclair Bay Rd., Garden Bay, 604-883-9478) is worth a visit. Refuel mid-tour at [2] 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.

Mokoto Gallery

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 [3] Wheatberries Bakery (5500 Wharf St., 604-885-9106) or hit the tiny [4] 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 [5] 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 [6] 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 [7] 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 [8] Melo-mania, the community music centre (1051 Roberts Creek Rd., 604-885-3607). Or, succumb completely to the hippie vibe at [9] 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.

Gumbo Cafe
Gumbo Cafe

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).

Rockwater Resort
Rockwater Resort



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