Summer on the Sunshine Coast

Summer's long, sun-drenched days are perfect for exploring the Sunshine Coast's stunning landscapes and charming communities. This coastal paradise is nothing short of magical—from kayaking along isolated shorelines and camping in provincial parks to simply lounging on the beach. Join in on local festivals and events or simply unwind on a sunny patio over a good meal and a glass of something refreshing.

Embrace the Sunshine

Summer's warm, dry weather makes it easy to bask in the laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast. Temperatures can climb into the early 30s, while cool breezes off the ocean provide a welcome break from the heat. Sunsets are frequent and stunning, painting the fading sky in dreamy hues of orange, red, and pink. Tree-lined trails offer shady respite when hiking or biking, while shimmering lakes and sheltered ocean bays beckon for a refreshing swim. Longer days mean more time for exploring and settling into the tranquil pace of coastal life. 

Summer Travel Tips

Summer is a busy time of year on the Sunshine Coast. Keep these travel tips in mind for a smoother, more enjoyable visit. 

  • Plan ahead: Be prepared for potential ferry waits. To reduce your chances of waiting, book well in advance and arrive on-time for your reservation. Making a ferry reservation is recommended, but if you’re unable to make one, keep in mind that space is also available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Pack accordingly: Bring the right gear for heading outdoors, like a refillable water bottle, plenty of sunscreen, a beach towel, a hat, proper footwear, and light layers (evenings can be cool). 

  • Practice patience: The Sunshine Coast sees an influx of both visitors and locals who take to the Coast's streets, trails, and shorelines in the summer. A little patience goes a long way—embrace the relaxed pace and remember that everyone is here to enjoy the beauty of the area. 

  • Conserve water: Summer brings increased demand on our shared resources—especially drinking water. Be mindful of local water use restrictions and do your part to conserve water

  • Be fire smart: Help prevent wildfires. Abide by local and provincial fire bans and restrictions, especially in backcountry areas and campgrounds. 

  • Be AdventureSmart: Remember the 3 Ts before you set out: trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. Wear appropriate safety gear for your activity of choice (such as a lifejacket or a helmet), follow the camper’s code, and leave a trip plan with a trusted friend or family member.

Coast Blog

Beaches & Swimming

Summers on the Sunshine Coast are synonymous with idyllic beach days and refreshing swims. Here, beaches aren't just blissful retreats but hubs of activity offering everything from paddleboarding and kayaking to beach volleyball and playgrounds. 

There are hundreds of public beach access points scattered from Langdale to Lund that are perfect for sunbathing, exploring marine life, beach games, or taking in a vibrant sunset. Some beaches are rocky while others unfold before you with soft stretches of sand. Popular spots like Davis Bay, Willingdon Beach, and Gillies Bay offer sandy spots to while away an afternoon, while places like Sargeant Bay Provincial Park and Saltery Bay Provincial Park offer rocky outcrops to explore.

Go Camping

Camping is the quintessential way to soak in summer's extended daylight and mild evenings. Tucked along the coast are dozens of campsites, from spacious family-friendly provincial parks and secluded backcountry spots to marine-access recreation sites. Many campgrounds back onto beaches or hiking and biking trails, offering easy (and fun) ways to connect with nature. Roberts Creek Provincial Park, Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, Shelter Point Regional Park, and Willingdon Beach Campsite are all located a short drive from coastal communities where you can restock supplies, grab a bite to eat, and check out local markets, attractions, and events.

Campsites tend to book up quickly in summer—reservations are recommended. Be prepared for campfire bans, and keep in mind that bans often exclude CSA-approved or ULC-approved portable campfire apparatus (perfect for preparing meals). Many campgrounds offer food caches, fresh water, and bathroom facilities, but be sure to check ahead of time and come prepared. Find more tips for camping on the Sunshine Coast.

Tours & Activities

Guided tours help you make good use of your vacation time, with day trips and packages that cater to all interests and ages. For water enthusiasts, kayaking trips are widely available and range from relaxing day paddles and sunset tours to immersive multi-day expeditions exploring the waters of Desolation Sound, the Strait of Malaspina, and Sechelt Inlet. Glide through crystal-clear waters and discover secluded beaches and marine wildlife. Boat tours are also available. Hop on a SloCat Harbour Tour to leisurely explore Pender Harbour's coastal scenery and maze of waterways in comfort, or book a trip to explore the waters of stunning Princess Louisa Inlet. Discover marine operators who can help you explore local waters here.

On land, you can experience the area's beauty and diverse ecosystems through guided nature walks with Nature with Haida, and learn about local Indigenous culture and history with Talaysay Tours. Take a walking tour with the Townsite Heritage Society, where you can explore a National Historic District of Canada. Outdoor activities abound—hike a wide array of trails ranging from coastline-hugging paths to sunlight-filtered forest strolls. Hone your bike skills at Coast Gravity Park with the help of a coach, or take to the local mountain bike trails on your own. If a truly unique mountain biking adventure is what you’re after, book a trip with Flow State Guiding to be whisked by helicopter to Powell River’s backcountry to do some epic rock slab riding. 

You can also explore the Sunshine Coast via some fun transportation options. Rent scooters or e-bikes in Gibsons at Scotty’s Rentals and then spend time exploring local points of interest. For those looking to take to the skies, flightseeing tours can give you a bird’s eye view of the Sunshine Coast’s mountains, lakes, inlets, and communities below.

Festivals & Events

From big festivals to weekly events, summer is a time of celebration on the Sunshine Coast. Farmers' markets are in full swing and bursting with fresh produce and handcrafted items. The bounty of the season is also celebrated at events like the Lund Seafood Festival, the Sunshine Coast Slow Food Cycle, and the Blackberry Festival. 

Popular annual events are highlights of the season, including Pender Harbour's May Day event, Texada Island's Sandcastle Weekend, the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt, and the Sunshine Music Festival in Powell River. You’ll also find regular events like trivia nights, gallery exhibits, and studio tours. Live music is a constant at local breweries, cideries, restaurants, and community spaces, plus you’ll find outdoor performances in Gibsons, Sechelt, and Powell River throughout the summer. 

Whether you're into food, music, cars, or outdoor recreation, you're bound to find a festival or event to take in. Visit our calendar of events to find out what's happening during your visit.

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