After all that hiking and exploring, there’s no better way to end the day than with a hot meal. Not all restaurants are open outside of the busy summer months, but there are still several excellent options. If you’re looking for a romantic meal for two, stick close to home and enjoy a glass of wine with an ocean view at Rockwater Restaurant. With sweeping views of the Malaspina Strait the dining room feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. The menu is ever-changing, but if it’s available try the steak with mushroom risotto for a sampling of decedent comfort food.
Surrounded by a dense temperate rainforest, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect place for hikers of all types—and with the coast’s mild winters, an outdoor sojourn is a year-round possibility. First-time visitors should make the 45-minute drive to the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park.
A leisurely 60-minute walk leads to a narrow opening where water flows between Sechelt and Jervis Inlet. Be sure to check the tide charts so as to catch the raging whitewater and whirlpools on display twice daily. Often overrun by visitors during the summer months, the trail is quiet and exceedingly private during the winter.
Those looking for a more adrenaline-pumping trail can head to Mount Daniel Lookout. This unrelentingly steep climb isn’t for the faint of heart, but persevere and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Pender Harbour.
The resort offers 10 stand-alone tenthouses accessible only after a short walk on a custom-built wooden walkway which loops through the trees. Once inside your glamping oasis, warm up by the fireplace or opt for a luxurious bath while enjoying an unobstructed view of the water.
For a truly relaxing getaway, book a couples massage in the private massage tent just moments down the wooden boardwalk. Afterwards, return to your room to enjoy a drink while taking in a stunning sunset over the Malaspina Strait and nearby Texada Island.
After a quick ferry ride, you’ll be in need of refreshment. Lucky for you Persephone Brewing is just minutes outside of Gibsons. Look for a red barn and signs for farm-fresh beer and you’ll find an 11-acre farm-based brewery covered in organic hop vines. Stop in to fill up a growler, or stay for a pint.
Along with your beer, try something from the onsite food truck which offers everything from pizza to tacos. Despite the smaller crowds that winter brings to Gibsons, Persephone remains busy due to its popularity with locals and travellers alike, and on weekends the tasting room plays host to local musicians, ensuring that a table (or even a bar stool) is a hot commodity.
Just a 40-minute ferry ride provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city
Late winter and early spring is the perfect time for a West Coast getaway. If you don’t mind some rain, which you’re almost sure to encounter, you’ll be treated to a private escape free from the droves of tourists that summers bring. Separated from the Lower Mainland by a 40-minute ferry ride, the Sunshine Coast provides the perfect accessible weekend escape. It’s remote enough to feel like a true getaway, but doesn’t require dipping into any precious holiday time to visit.
The shoreline is peppered with small, charming communities, any one of which is worth visiting. Located about halfway between Gibsons and Powell River, Halfmoon Bay is the perfect home base for a coastal excursion.
Click through to find out where to eat, drink, stay and play on the Sunshine Coast.