With longer days and warmer weather just around the corner we’re dreaming of spring and summer adventures to beautiful BC destinations. We can almost smell the sunscreen and feel the sand in our toes already! As BC locals, we’re lucky to call this glorious 25-thousand-kilometer pacific coastline home. So why not get out and explore some of its vast sandy shorelines, quiet inlets and secret coves on floats!
A relaxing getaway without the pesky jetlag, luggage carousels and crowded airports? Yes please! Your family vay-cay to Hawaii may be postponed but you don’t have to travel far to soak up the warm summer sun . We’ve narrowed down a list of must-visit beaches right here in our own BC backyard.
How to get there? The easiest way to access these coastal gems is on a private flight! You’ll feel a world away from home in just a few minutes, plus you can tailor your flight to work around your schedule. Block off your vacation days, book your flights with your closest crew and we’ll take care of the rest.
Long Beach – Tofino
Appropriately named, Long beach is perfectly situated within the stunning Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in Tofino. Combined with Florencia Bay, Wickaninnish, Combers and Schooner Cove beaches it creates a vast 16+ kilometer bliss! Awarding this slice of paradise with the title of longest beach on Vancouver Island! The legendary and renowned surf history, impressive amount of driftwood lining the surrounding old growth forest and morning fog along the shore truly creates a magical (and misty) vibe.
No trip to Tofino is complete without a visit to this iconic spot. Beach walk anyone? Walk until your heart desires! Walk and feel the soft and comforting sand beneath your toes (shoes optional). As you stroll, keep your eyes peeled for Gray and Humpback whales that can sometimes be spotted in the distance (if you’re lucky)! On sunny beach days bring a beach blanket, your favorite local snacks and a good book and set up for the day! Long Beach is a great spot even on a gray, misty day, just pack your rainboots and and jacket instead.
Goose Spit – Comox
Nestled on the southern side of the Comox Valley lies a flexible and sandy curved landform fed by Willemar Bluffs and Gartley Point. The tranquil sandy peninsula in between is Goose Spit Park. It boasts stunning panoramic views of the Comox Valley and beyond! The paved road lines the center of the spit for convenient vehicle access and creates a natural divide between the sheltered sandy lagoon on west and the soft pebble beach to the east. Travelling on two feet? Enjoy the ease of a wooden staircase and boardwalk that carefully guides you to the shore. Come here to relax and enjoy the refreshing Pacific Ocean air along the shore or at an oceanfront picnic table. Tap into your west coast adventurous side and try kayaking, paddle boarding or swimming!
Travel Tip: Thinking about bringing your furry four-legged friend? Between March to May of every year, Brant geese use the park as a migratory stopover. During those times, leashing of pets is mandatory in the park. Fun Fact: The park lies within the provincially rare coastal sand ecosystem and is home to a number of provincially blue and red listed plants and animals! So please, tread lightly and respect your surroundings.
The Sunshine Coast
Gillies Bay – Texada Island
Home to the annual Texada Island Sandcastle Weekend – Gillies Bay on Texada Island is one of the Sunshine Coast’s amazing sandy gems. Gillies Bay is one of two quaint, vibrant communities on Texada Island and is the northernmost and largest of BC’s Gulf Islands! At low tide you can experience the seemingly endless soft sand and, as the tide meets the shore, feel the warm bath-like water on your bare toes. Pack a lunch, your favourite beach toys and grab your crew and spend your summer day building sandcastles, skimboarding, and soaking up the sunshine ! With views of Vancouver Island and beyond, Gillies Bay delivers a true feeling of a tropical escape.
South Beach – Savary Island
Savary Island is a spectacular and unique island of the Sunshine Coast and is one of Powell River’s pre-eminent tourist destinations! Home to funky family cabins and oceanfront rentals, it’s a sandy oasis that’s awaiting your arrival. These soft white-sand beaches are famous amongst vacation seekers, locals and visitors alike! South Beach is one of the most popular destinations on Savary Island with its welcoming soft sand, tropical blue water, and south facing sunshine. It’s truly is a little slice of paradise! Since the island is located at the meeting point of two tidal streams it creates higher ocean temperatures ideal for relaxing west coast swimming experiences! The subtle ebbs and flows of calm tides offer perfect ocean conditions for skimboarding, kayaking and standup paddle-boarding! Mark your spot with your beach umbrella (you’re going to need it) and settle into the perfect beach day with your crew.
Tribune Bay – Hornby Island
This little crescent beach has been affectionately dubbed with the nickname “Little Hawaii” – and with a simple Google Image search you can tell it lives up to its name! Tribune Bay on Hornby Island showcases a near one-kilometer of white sand beach paired with crystal clear blue-hued warm soft ocean swell. Visitors in the spring can experience a stunning display of wildflowers that blanket the surrounding hills along the shoreline. During summer months the welcoming white sand and eye-catching rock formations along the shoreline are perfect for exploring foliage and ocean critters.
Travel Tip: Staying the night on Hornby Island? Visit Tribune Bay at night and experience natures magical phenomena that is bioluminescence. Caused by a suspension of algae in the water that emits a sparkle whenever they are jostled. So, try going for a swim and you will be able to see the glitter-filled ocean whenever you splash the water. It is truly fascinating and a true West Coast experience.
Spilsberry Point – Hernando Island
Hernando Island is a spectacular 2200-acre piece of paradise located 80 miles northwest of Vancouver. It’s one of the Discovery Islands near Powell River with friendly island neighbours such as Cortes and Savary Island! Located on the southern tip is a soft white-sand paradise called Spilsberry Point. A true hidden west coast gem! Tropical blue waters, white sandy beach and the warm summer sunshine gives you the feeling of a true escape! Unplug from the world and spend the day soaking up the rays.
The Gulf Islands
Buccaneer Bay Marine Park – Thormanby Island
Carefully nestled between North and South Thormanby Islands is a one-hectare crescent-shaped paradise. Buccaneer Bay is the perfect combo of white sandy beach and turquoise blue water! The large sheltered bay provides protection from the natural elements and leaves you with a quiet and tranquil beach day. When the tide is out you can explore the shallow tidal pools home to little ocean critters with the kiddos or set up on one of the sandy spits with a good book. Don’t forget your sunhat!
Montague Marine Provincial Park – Galiano Island
Galiano Island is known as the “Gem of the Salish Sea” and with its white shell beaches, open meadows, tidal lagoons, towering forests, craggy headlands and abundant bird life it’s safe to say this island has it all! And, those are just a few reasons to fall in love with this charming southern Gulf Island. And, the well-worn soft-shell beach of Montague Harbour is a must visit! It’s the perfect place to stop for a picnic along the shore or enjoy an afternoon of nature exploration with the kiddos. With convenient neighboring campsites it’s easy to spend a weekend in this provincial park and experience its west coast beauty from sunrise to sunset!
Photos provided by: Destination British Columbia, Chase Teron, Harbour Air Seaplanes and Elena Routledge