Relax like a local on one of British Columbia’s top beaches

Relax like a local on one of British Columbia’s top beaches

 

When people think of British Columbia, they think of rainforests but with the Pacific Ocean lapping the length of the province, there are miles of coastal beaches to explore—not to mention islands. The locals have their favourites including Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, which pulses with people swimming and spiking beach volleyballs but there are others which offer a more low-key scene.

Here are five top beaches that will leave you smiling as you shake the sand out of your bag. Each offers something different, from quiet reflection to invigorating surf, from family fun to long sunset walks.

Rathtrevor Beach

Where: Parksville, East Coast of Vancouver Island

Best For: Beachcombing and Family Fun

This two-kilometre sandy beach offers plenty of room for fun from building sandcastles with the kids by day to long sunset walks at night. At low tide, the ocean recedes for almost a kilometre, inviting exploration of its sandy pools. Hiking and biking trails and nature programs keep the clan entertained, and in the evening, you can make s’mores at the campgrounds. This beach is popular year-round and from February to April, it’s one of the best bird-watching spots on Vancouver Island to view migrating Brant geese.

North Beach

Where: Haida Gwaii, Northern British Columbia

Best For: Surfing and Splendid Isolation

North Beach is a stunner. Stretching for miles on the northern tip of Graham Island, it’s where the rainforest of Naikoon Provincial Park meets the ocean. Hike up to Tow Hill and you’ll be rewarded with windswept views of the beach’s wide expanse. Down on the sand, you can catch dungeness crab with just a fishing net in early summer. From October to May, it’s the perfect place to wade in with a surfboard, and because of its remote location, you’re likely to have the waves to yourself.

Wreck Beach

Where: Vancouver

Best For: Shedding Inhibitions

While most people in Vancouver know about Wreck Beach, relatively few have actually seen it. North America’s largest naturist beach is hidden away at the city’s western tip by the University of British Columbia, and you need to descend nearly 500 steps to get there. On a summer weekend it might see thousands of visitors on the mostly sandy seven-kilometre stretch.

South Beach and Sutherland Beach

Where: Savary Island, Northern Sunshine Coast

Best For: Beachcombing and Family Fun

With clear water lapping white sand, the beaches surrounding tiny Savary Island have been called the “Hawaii of the North.” This is no Waikiki however: the island is off-grid, and its remote location means it retains its laid back feel. Located at the entrance to Desolation Sound, Savary is accessible only by floatplane, boat, barge, or water taxi from Lund, which itself is the “end of the road” as it’s the furthest point north on Highway 101. You can visit in a day trip from Lund; bring a bike to cycle from beach to beach.

Gyro Beach

Where: Osoyoos, South Okanagan

Best For: Warm-Water Wading

Beaches don’t have to be next to the ocean: you’ll find this one in Canada’s only desert. Osoyoos Lake is an oasis in the town of Osoyoos, and it’s the perfect place for a dip in the summer when the mercury rises past 35°C (95°F). Gyro Beach is conveniently located in the city’s downtown core, backed by grassy parkland and shady trees. There are swimming areas for the kids, and watersports on the lake available for adventure seekers.

 

For more information on Destination British Columbia visit: www.hellobc.com


Hayley Musson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *