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Staycation on the Sunshine Coast
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BC’s Sunshine Coast offers travellers plenty of options to embrace laid-back winter vibes in a spectacular setting.
If you’re looking for the ultimate staycation in Canada this winter, BC’s Sunshine Coast offers travellers plenty of options to embrace laid-back winter vibes in a spectacular setting. Whether you want to trek into snow-filled alpine vistas or would rather escape the snow with hikes through lush, green rainforests, the Sunshine Coast offers stunning landscapes for everyone.
If you have a passion for playing in the snow, Dakota Ridge is a winter paradise waiting to be explored. A 1,532-acre plateau above ts’uk̲w’um (Wilson Creek), Dakota Ridge features 20 km of world-class groomed and track-set cross-country ski trails and 7 kilometres of snowshoe trails — plus a sledding area. Trails meander through old-growth forests and snow-covered fields in a breathtaking subalpine setting. Topping out at 1,200 metres, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent vistas at the summit of the Coast Mountains, Vancouver Island, and the Strait of Georgia.
Besides snowy adventures, the Coast has plenty of other outdoor activities to offer. Enjoy the serenity of winter beaches, where beachcombing can become a meditative activity. Discover unique shells, colourful stones, and some intriguing driftwood sculptures crafted by nature. The breeze coming off the ocean, combined with the rhythmic lull of waves, creates an atmosphere of peace — and in winter, you’ll likely have large stretches of coastline all to yourself as you ponder the vast beauty.
For many locals, winter is a favourite time to hike, and after you’ve experienced it, you’ll understand why. Take, for example, Cliff Gilker Park. Pathways here weave through lush rainforests, frequently intersecting both Clack and Roberts Creek, and feature a number of vantage points of the cascading falls. The main waterfall features a gentle pool at its base, offering the perfect spot to take a breather after an invigorating hike. The hike also features an observation deck and a bridge that arches over the main waterfall for a truly remarkable view.
In qathet, take a trek on the Blackwater Creek Trail — part of the Duck Lake trail network. Walk the winding trail through a rugged rainforest trail dotted with waterfalls, gorges, and bridges. Around the 25-minute mark, you’ll reach the breathtaking 20-foot Kelly Falls. Kelly Falls offers a picnic table, making it the perfect location to enjoy a packed lunch.
If you’re more about shopping bags than hiking packs, visit a local holiday market where you’ll find unique, handcrafted delights you won’t find anywhere else. The Sunshine Coast has a vibrant arts scene, and you’ll find some great pieces available for purchase.
There’s no better way to warm up on a chilly West Coast day than indulging in a hot tub, sauna, or steam. At Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina’s Spa Garden, a treatment session is your ticket into a picturesque oasis of relaxation. Opt for a facial or massage, and then immerse yourself in a day of tranquil serenity. Enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire, take a dip in the hot pool, feel the soothing embrace of the steamy waterfall, and feel rejuvenated in the sauna. If you’re vacationing around Powell River, Beyond Bliss Spa & Suites will help relax your mind, restore your body and let your inner beauty shine through.
After your fill of activities, it’s time to indulge in cozy comfort. Whether it’s sipping hot cocoa in front of a fire, treating yourself to a hearty meal made with locally sourced ingredients at one of the local eateries, or simply cuddling up with a good book in a waterfront cabin, it’s time to relax in your perfect setting.
Winter on the Sunshine Coast offers an intimate charm and unique sights and experiences unmatched anywhere else. This winter, be just as awed by its natural beauty as having the place all to yourself.
Discover the Sunshine Coast this winter at sunshinecoastcanada.com
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