AK Sturgeon Laboratory


Located on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver, Sechelt (population: 8,454) is as laidback as it is scenic, full of artists and surrounded by  mountains.

Getting to Sechelt, is just a 40-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver, followed by a 27km/17mi drive up Highway 101. Nestled on a strip of land between Howe Sound and the Strait of Georgia, this largest municipality on the Sunshine Coast attracts visitors with its blissful mix of water and land activities, suitable for all ages and ability levels.

Go kayaking, fishing, or diving. Enjoy hiking in the Sunshine Coast's regional and provincial parks, or play a round or two of golf. Relax while visiting farmers markets, dining at diverse restaurants, browsing through museums, or checking out local festivals and events.

Accommodations range from chic to cozy: B&B's, luxury resorts, cottages, and camping are popular. Other lower Sunshine Coast communities like Gibsons and Pender Harbour are a short drive away.

Water Activities

Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around nearby Smuggler's Cove, with its rich lore of bootlegging during the Prohibition years. Alternatively, kayak up Sechelt Inlet, watching out for dolphins and deer. Or explore the waters off Gibsons Harbour, venturing over to local islands like Keats Island and Gambier Island. Sunshine Coast beaches also offer great summer swimming.

Throughout the year, the ocean around Sechelt offers prime salmon fishing: coho, chinook, chum, pink, and sockeye. Anglers love the trout fishing at Trout Lake, Sakinaw Lake, and Ruby Lake. Fishing charters and equipment rentals are available in Sechelt.

Sechelt is home to a National Geographic-lauded dive centre with lessons, equipment, and rentals. Divers enjoy some of the world's best cold-water diving on the Sunshine Coast. Explore the wreck of the HMCS Chaudière in Sechelt Inlet, or dive into the foaming rapids of the Skookumchuk Narrows up Highway 101 near Egmont.

Land Activities

Golfers can tee off at the public 18-hole courses at the Sechelt Golf and Country Club and the Sunshine Golf and Country Club in nearby Roberts Creek. Another pleasant option is the par-72, nine-hole championship course at the Pender Harbour Golf Club.

Hiking trails are everywhere, many offering good bird-watching opportunities. Check out the Suncoaster Trail Route to the north, with 33km/20mi of trails to explore between Homesite Creek and Klein Lake, or stroll around Cliff Gilker Park. From a morning stroll on the Davis Bay waterfront to a full day of hardcore outdoor adventure, Sechelt has no end of ways to pursue bliss. It's no wonder that over the years, famous area residents have included the likes of Joni Mitchell, Terry Jacks, and Bruno Gerussi.

While summer is the most popular time of year to visit the Sunshine Coast, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on groomed trails bring winter sports enthusiasts to the Dakota Ridge Winter Recreation Area.

Museums and Festivals

Notable local museums include the House of Héwhíwus (House of Chiefs) museum in Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast Museum in Gibsons. Don't miss local art galleries either. Sechelt hosts a ton of festivals throughout the year, including the world-class Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, the Hackett Park Crafts Fair, and the Sechelt Arts Festival. Nearby Pender Harbour has music festivals dedicated to jazz, blues, and chamber music.

Sechelt History

Sechelt was originally occupied by aboriginal peoples of the Sechelt Nation, who hunted, fished and traded here for centuries. European settlers began to arrive in the 19th century. By the early 1900's, Sechelt had a hotel, general store, wharf, and other amenities. Its economy was based on logging, fishing, and tourism from the guests that arrived via the Union Steamship Company's regular runs along the Sunshine Coast.

In the 1950's, Sechelt's world opened up again due to two new transportation developments: regular ferry service between Vancouver and the nearby ferry terminal at Langdale, and the paving of Highway 101 along the 180km/110mi length of the Sunshine Coast. Sechelt was incorporated as a district municipality in 1986.

For more information about activities, restaurants, and accommodations in Sechelt drop by the Sechelt Visitor Centre (5790 Teredo St).