Right from historic tours and serene beaches to refreshing hikes and excellent climate, Powell River will charm you with its beauty.
British Columbia is just the best place to live in – there is plenty of indoor and outdoor adventure in beautiful BC. If a coastal vacation is on your mind this summer, look no further than Powell River on BC’s Sunshine Coast. Just two ferries away from Vancouver, this quiet, untouched region is perfect for a mini-vacation or a relaxed, long holiday. Right from historic tours and serene beaches to refreshing hikes and excellent climate, Powell River will charm you with its beauty – so much so that it will be hard for you to believe that you are still in BC.
WHAT TO DO
Townsite Walking Tour
A must-do at Powell River is a quick tour of the Historic Townsite. The Townsite is a unique coastal community of BC that was designated as a National Historic District of Canada in 1995. The Townsite Heritage Society (THS) of Powell River offers walking tours of the region, giving you a glimpse of how the paper mill town came into being in the 1900s. Start the tour at Dr. Andrew Henderson’s house, the first practicing physician in Powell River, who implemented the first medical plan in BC in 1910; the house still holds most of its original structure and some of the family’s belongings. Right next to Dr. Henderson’s house was the town’s first hospital, St. Luke’s, built in 1913. Other prominent spots of the tour include the Oceanview Apartments, built as accommodation for married employees with no children; Townsite churches St. Joseph's Catholic Church and St. John’s United Church; Patricia Theatre, one of the old theatres in BC; Rodmay Hotel; and the Dwight community hall. Walking tours are held on select days; you could also pick up a map at the THS’s office and explore the town on your own.
Powell River Seawalk
This Sunshine Coast city is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches. If walking along the beach excites you, then the Powell River Seawalk is just the tourist spot for you. This 20 minute walk along the sea gives you a scenic view of the Strait of Georgia and a glimpse of some of Powell River’s closest islands. Willingdon Beach is another spot to enjoy the sunsets. There is a nice little wharf at the end of the breakwater to watch the sunset or just admire the marine life.
Scout Mountain Hike
There are many hiking opportunities in Powell River. The Scout Mountain hike, part of the Sunshine Coast Trail, is a lovely climb up with a few steep ascends in between. The hike takes you through a lush green forest, filled with tall trees and chirping bird sounds all along. There are signs and orange markers that help you stay on the path. The panoramic view, of Powell River and the ocean, at the top is worth all the effort and ache. If you looking for something easy and family-friendly, then do the Valentine Mountain hike. This popular and short hike includes around 100 wooden and rocky steps. There are benches at the top where you can enjoy a picnic while enjoying the picturesque view of the ocean, Townsite and surrounding islands.
Blackwater Creek Trail
The Duck Lake trail comprises of numerous trails that are great for walking or mountain biking. A favourite one among these trails is the Blackwater Creek trail that leads to two spectacular waterfalls. As you go exploring the trail, you come across Kelly Falls, a gorgeous waterfall you can admire up close. Continue along the path and you see the viewing platform for David Lam Falls, an approximately 60 feet tall waterfall. If you enjoy trails, then the Inland Lake Trail is a must during your visit to Powell River. Situated in the Inland Lake Provincial Park, the trail is about two to three hours long and includes a boardwalk. You are bound to find wildlife and marine animals along the way. The lake is ideal for swimming, fishing or canoeing, and you’ll also find many campers around in the park.
Situated in the Sunshine Coast, Powell River has tons of water activities one can partake in throughout the year. Some of them include boating, kayaking and canoeing and paddleboarding. Lately, stand up paddling or SUP has caught the attention of locals and visitors. There are many places in Powell River where you can rent a paddleboard and also get a lesson if you new to it.
WHAT TO EAT
Edie Rae’s Café: Located at The Old Courthouse Inn in the Historic Townsite, Edie Rae’s Café is one of the best breakfast places in Powell River. Another attractive feature is the history and retro-style décor of the Café. The setting takes you back to the 90s and while you wait your order, you can even read a bit about Edie Rae and the admire her classy photographs adorning the walls. Do make sure to try the omelettes, pancakes and their home-made jam.
The Seasider Bistro: The Seasider Bistro, Wine Bar and Patio has some of the best patio and dining room views of the Malaspina Strait and Texada Island in all of Powell River. This is a great place to enjoy a delectabl dinner while sipping on wine and admiring the sunset. The menu features local ingredients including steak, fresh seafood, vegetarian and vegan and appetizer and share options. The wine and craft beer list is exclusively Canadian, and represents the best in local breweries and wineries. Their Baked Potato Waffle Fries, Lobster Ravioli and Hawker Style Chicken Wings are some great options to try.
River City Coffee Roasters, Bakery and Urban Eatery: For quick yet healthy and delicious options, try the River City Coffee Roasters, Bakery and Urban Eatery. Good location, good vibe and the best coffee in town. Catering to all kinds of diets, the eatery serves breakfast all day, soups, sandwiches, paninis, salads and more.
The Beach Hut: A small little place on Willingdon Beach, The Beach Hut offers fish and chips, burgers, corn dogs, ice cream and other tasty options. They have a small patio right in the front but you could also sit by the ocean and enjoy the meal.
Townsite Brewing: An award-winning microbrewery helmed by a Belgian brewmaster, Townsite Brewing Inc. specialises in Belgian, sour and barrel-aged beers. You can sample a diverse range of year-round and seasonal beers at their tasting room and enjoy the fun, relaxed vibe the place generates.
WHERE TO STAY
The locals in Powell River are really welcoming and always ready to help with directions or suggestions. Airbnb has many nice rental options if you are planning at visit to the Sunshine Coast. The best part of living in Powell River is that most of the Airbnb houses are situated quite close to a river, lake, trail or ocean – perfect if you wish to enjoy nature walks, sunrises or sunsets.
A really nice place to stay in is The Old Courthouse Inn located in the Townsite of Powell River. Built in 1939 in the Tudor Style architecture, hotel guests can enjoy the unique charm and character of each of the seven rooms. The halls and rooms are adorned with delightful antiques and special mementos; you feel like you are gone back in time and living in the 1900s.
Another great option is the Beach Gardens Resort and Marina. Each room at the Resort offers a panoramic ocean view with tasteful furnishings and a private balcony. Check out their special stay packages for exclusive rates and services.
Photos: Tourism Powell River, Seasider Bistro, Beach Gardens Resort & Marina, Townsite Brewery