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Be a tourist in your own region

Most of the year we have our leisure routines set up to fit in with our work schedules, our time constraints, and where we happen to live.

But the summer months are perfect for breaking out and exploring, and there are so many choices on the Sunshine Coast, that uncovering a new and amazing place, trying out a longed-for activity or meeting new people is as easy as falling off a log – a moss-covered or beach log perhaps.

Being a tourist in your own region has huge benefits, including saving on travel time and waits at airports and borders. Our region’s many charms make exploring pay off in dividends.

If you like to picnic and play, then get some local info, pack your bag and head out. There is a car share on the coast and numerous taxis, or bike shops waiting to hear you want to get going to that special place. Our buses stop near a number of fantastic beach areas including Armours swim dock in Gibsons Landing, Hopkins Landing in Langdale, Trail Bay by the Sechelt pier and Coopers Green in Halfmoon Bay. Buses also go to the Botanical gardens near Roberts Creek in the summer.

If you want the sky view, look up local heli and airplane tours. One can even celebrity watch and see the latest yachts or working boats docked in Gibsons Landing, Pender Harbour and Egmont. And there are plenty of opportunities to meet international and off Coast travellers.

Think global, buy local is wise advice from modern sages. You’ll find garden markets with crisp, tasty produce, breads, preserves, and even chocolate, wine and beer at venues such as Gibsons Landing Public Market on Friday, the Sechelt Saturday Market, or Roberts Creek Farm Market on Wednesdays. The merchants put a lot of effort to be there with their best offerings every summer week, and we Coasters get to share their bounty. Visit a farm, an artist’s studio, a sorbet factory or winery, or treat yourself to a new or old favourite local food and drink establishment.

Shopping the Coast can be a refreshing tour of unexpected treasures. Cool shops and boutiques here have everything from couture clothing to sports equipment and world-class art. Shopping here means not having to traverse mega-stores, when choosing home accents or getting your gift chest filled for upcoming special occasions. The offerings are unique, diverse and creative.

And do not forget to check the events listings for music festivals, village green concerts and other family events, along with local marine races and parades, the annual car show and drag races and pet events.

We have some great restaurants, B&Bs, and resorts that are world class and situated in spectacular locations.

There are even some resorts that you can skip the drive and fly into, such as West Coast Wilderness Lodge in Egmont. Visitors privy to this best kept secret will come home thrilled they could enjoy local-sourced fine dining alongside unforgettable adventures.

Whether you like to take in the arts, indulge in paddling, golf or scuba, or just stroll beneath giant trees and absorb the view, you are living in a rich playground that lends itself in spades to your heart’s desire.

By Apryl Veld

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