Summer nights are upon us, and the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re into star gazing, night paddling, reading under a blanket, or meeting new people, the Sunshine Coast has something to offer you. As we enjoy the days around the summer solstice, there is ample opportunity to extend your bedtime a few extra hours and take advantage of the prolonged days.
If you are already a night owl, then you may find yourself with plenty of energy when those final few hours roll around. If that is the case then there are many unique experiences awaiting you. As the summer sun warms the ocean temperature, there is a chance you may spot the natural phenomenon we call phosphorescence. I like to refer to them as the Northern Lights of the ocean. It is the closest thing to magic I have ever come across. There are many nights I have gone out paddling only to find the wake coming from my kayak or paddleboard is glowing. Just goes to show that the night-life here is a bit more alive than some may think…literally. Sunset and moonlight paddles are pretty fine too.
If you are feeling ambitious and feel confident in your sense of direction, you can always try hiking up to one of the many viewpoints the Coast has to offer. I often hear loud exclamations from visitors when they look up at night and realize how many stars you can see – or that you can simply see the stars at all. We are far enough removed from the bright lights of Vancouver that light pollution leaves the sky mostly untouched. Soames Hill, Mount Daniel, and Valentine Mountain are just a few places you can hike to and have the sky to yourself. Make sure to bring proper gear and be aware of wildlife whenever you go hiking on the Coast. While the payoff is well worth it, night hiking must be approached responsibly.
If you are more of an indoor cat I’ve got a few suggestions to fill your nighttime hours that do not require getting your feet wet or muddy. Admittedly the “night life” on the Coast is not akin to that a big city. We do not have clubs or giant cineplexes that show more than one movie more than once a night. But chances are attractions like that are not why you came to the Coast. Chances are you came to the Coast to be on true “Coast time”, and that means slowing down, breathing the fresh air, and spending quality time doing quality things.
It is rare to find overly crowded restaurants or bars where you have to fight for a seat. One of the greatest things about the Coast is that no matter where you go there is almost always room for everyone comfortably. Even the beaches never feel crowded. Some of our favourite late(r) night spots are Tapworks in Gibsons (they do trivia nights every Monday), the Patricia Theatre in Powell River, and often there is a band playing at one of the local Legion chapters.
As previously mentioned, Sunshine Coast beaches are pretty much never crowded. Particularly when the evening rolls around you are essentially guaranteed a private spot. Whether you are travelling alone or with companions, grab some blankets and locally made goodies (vegan cupcakes from the Gumboot Café in Roberts Creek or blackberry cinnamon buns from Nancy’s Bakery in Lund are some of my personal favourites. You can also find locally made loose-leaf teas at Fresh on the Coast in downtown Sechelt, as well as plenty of pottery mugs if you’re like me and have a slight mug-hoarding issue) and head down to the beach. You will often encounter musicians playing by the seaside. Or perhaps you will be the seaside musician. The waves lapping against the shore add a nice rhythmic touch. Beach fires are quintessential summer, just be sure to check local fire regulations and signage at beaches to ensure you enjoy the ambiance responsibly.
There are also many festivals and events to choose from, so if you feel ambitious and want to plan ahead, check out our events calendar.
Summer nights are a Sunshine Coast favourite, and the multitude of night activities on the Coast during the summer are beckoning you to stay out a few hours longer.