It has been a great ride, and time for something new!
After 17 years of serving the Sunshine Coast BC and our visitors, Bigpacific.com is coming down to make way for something new. I have been welcoming visitors and Sunshine Coast locals online for almost two decades, and during that time have seen so many changes: A Bed & Breakfast association, followed by a bonafide and maturing Tourism Association (http://www.sunshinecoastcanada.com), newspapers moving online, the advent of Facebook and social media, the rise of blogging across new and constantly changing mediums.
I have loved the Sunshine Coast with a passion since the first day I arrived, a young newspaper worker in my twenties, who couldn't believe such a magical place existed only 40 minutes where I grew up. I have met and worked with so many fine people on, in and around Bigpacific.com - all have enriched my life immeasurably. It is very hard to make the decision towards change, when I have been wrapped up in Bigpacific for so long... but I have to trust in the universe to show me a new direction, whether it's online or off.
For now, enjoy the content throughout the main site - articles and images gleaned from almost 30 years of Sunshine Coast living.
If you would like to be the first to hear of any new developments or have questions, please drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.
MEANWHILE, Where are we?
The Sunshine Coast is an 86km coastline stretching from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound, or Langdale to Lund, in the southwest corner of British Columbia. It is accessed by BC Ferries out of Horseshoe Bay for vehicles, cyclists and foot passengers, and by floatplane from Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Horseshoe Bay is 15 minutes northwest of downtown Vancouver on Hwy. 1, and only 4 hours from Seattle. The ferry crossing time to the Langdale Terminal is approximately 40 minutes. There is no charge to return from Gibsons/Langdale, or to board the Earl's Cove - Saltery Bay ferry to Powell River. Reservations are recommended in the summer or peak traffic times on the weekends. In the summer flights by small aircraft are available direct from Sechelt to Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Our rural BC region is not an island, as many people guess, but a part of the British Columbia mainland, separated by the long fjord of Howe Sound. The majority of the settlement - towns, regional districts, and municipalities - are on the shores of Georgia Strait which was recently renamed 'The Salish Sea'. This stretch of BC coastline is the ancestral home to three BC First Nations Bands: the Squamish, Shishalh/Sechelts, and Sliammon in Powell River. Views can encompass Vancouver, White Rock, the Gulf Islands, Mount Baker, the Cascade range, Texada Island and Vancouver Island. The lights of Nanaimo and ferries making that crossing can be easily seen at night. We are also on the Alaskan Cruise Ship routes and the big ships are a common sight June through September.
The Lower Coast is an excellent Vancouver day trip, but is also a wonderful weekend getaway or vacation destination for visitors from the Lower Mainland, southern British Columbia, and Washington State. Accommodations range from family resorts, hotels & motels, affordable Bed & Breakfast or cottage stays, or luxury bed and breakfasts and self-contained private rentals for families and groups. Many offer packaged stays based on romance, adventure or cultural getaways.
The Sunshine Coast includes the main communities of:
- Gibsons - Langdale, Gibsons Landing seaside community and Upper Gibsons
- Gambier Island, Keats Island
- Roberts Creek, home of the Gumboot Nation
- Sechelt, including Wilson Creek, Davis Bay and Sechelt Inlet, and West Porpoise Bay, West Sechelt
- Halfmoon Bay, Redrooffs and Secret Cove, plus Thormanby Island
- Pender Harbour, including Garden Bay, Madeira Park and Ruby Lake
- Egmont & Earl's Cove
- Nelson Island
- Powell River
- Historic Powell River Town Site
- Texada Island
- Savary Island
If you enjoy outdoor recreation, we've got a lot to offer... visitors are always pleasantly surprised to find such a wide range of activities from sea kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, fresh and saltwater fishing, beachcombing, air tours, and boat tours to such renowned destinations as the Powell Forest Canoe Route, Sunshine Coast Trail, Skookumchuck Rapids or Princess Louisa Inlet - all without the crowds found on Vancouver Island or in popular Lower Mainland destinations and the Okanagan.
Lovers of the arts and all things cultural are regular visitors to the Lower Coast; events like the renowned Festival of the Written Arts, Hackett Park Craft Fair, Sleepy Hollow Rod Run, WinterFest at Dakota Ridge, Kayak & Paddleboard Festival and others attract thousands of visitors annually each year. The Coast Cultural Alliance, formed to encourage development of the arts as an economic participant in Sunshine Coast life has now expanded to include the Upper Sunshine Coast, and you can find out about hundreds of artists, events and gallery exhibits through the CCA. Our Calendar of Events includes events from the arts, music, classes & workshops, sports and recreation, kids events and more, for all the communities in our region.
You can also shop in one of our retail centres, or visit galleries, art studios, collectibles and antique stores, and all of the small retail businesses in the main areas of Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt and Pender Harbour. Dine in waterfront restaurants, bistro-style cafes or downtown locations for a variety of flavors and budgets.
Gibsons is a 40 minute ferry ride out of Horseshoe Bay, Vancouver BC, and is approximately 4 hours from Seattle Washington. For more details about how to get to the Sunshine Coast, visit the maps section of Bigpacific.com.