If you travel to the Sunshine Coast in fall, winter, or spring, you’re almost guaranteed to encounter some unpredictable weather—rain included. If you let this deter you, then you’ll be missing out on the joy of a lush rainforest walk or a cozy café warm-up. Instead, pack a raincoat and tackle stormy days with these 10 ways to spend a rainy day on the Sunshine Coast.
1. Walk Under a Rainforest Canopy
There are enough walks and hikes on the Sunshine Coast to keep you exploring for weeks. Many of these trails are deep in the rainforest, below a canopy of green, keeping you relatively dry in rainy weather. Walk the trails in Cliff Gilker Park and Hidden Grove or head to the provincial parks of Skookumchuck Narrows or Inland Lake. Read on here for more trails and hikes to explore.
2. Get Coffee & Creative at The Gumboot Café
The Gumboot Café is a local favourite on the Sunshine Coast. The cozy atmosphere here is amped up with local art adoring every piece of wall space, homemade pastries, and local beer on tap. Sit back and relax, watch the world go by, read a book, or dive into some creative work in this inspiring space.
3. Grab a Flight and Play Games at a Local Brewery
Explore the Brewers Coast and taste the local beer at the five breweries and three cideries located between Gibsons and Powell River. Brewery hop or post up with a flight of beer and challenge your friends to a game of Scrabble. Please drink responsibly and have a designated driver.
4. Warm Up in The Spa Garden at Painted Boat Resort & Marina
Nothing beats warming up in a hot tub, sauna, and steam room on a cool, rainy day. The Spa Garden at Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina offers access to their scenic spa garden with a treatment. Choose from a facial or massage and spend the day in a blissed-out state of zen cozying up to outdoor fire, soaking in the hot pool, relaxing under the steaming waterfall, and warming up in the sauna.
5. Tour Art Galleries
It’s no secret that the Sunshine Coast is home to more artists per capita than almost anywhere else in Canada. A great way to spend a drizzly day is to tour the galleries open to the public. Read on here for a list of galleries and museums to visit for an art-fueled day.
6. Watch a Film at The Patricia Theatre
This architectural wonder in Powell River is the oldest continuously running cinema in Canada. First opened in 1915, The Patricia Theatre feels as if you’ve stepped back in time with a stained-glass canopy, French velvet curtains, and murals of misty landscapes. Catch a show—open nightly and for weekend matinees—for a little reprieve from the rain.
7. Discover a Public Market
Both Gibsons Public Market and Townsite Public Market in Powell River features a wide variety of local vendors selling chocolate delights, local produce, bouquets of flowers, and more. Sit down for a bite to eat at Emelle’s Market Bistro at the Gibsons Public Market or tour the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre to discover the wonders of Howe Sound. At Townsite, the Powell River Climbing Co-Op features an indoor wall (accessible to members) where you can scale a boulder-studded wall indoors.
8. Curl Up With a Good Book at a Cozy Cabin
We get it. Sometimes there’s nowhere better to be on a rainy day than inside a cozy cabin (there are dozens that dot the Sunshine Coast), curled up with a good book by the window or a warm fire. Sheltered from the elements outside, you can relax into a meditative state listening to the rain patter on the window above you or the crackle of the fire beside you. Many cabins also come outfitted with a hot tub or a sauna, which means you can alternate between soaking in just-right steaming water or warming your bones in a humid sauna then popping back inside to rest, read, relax or nap. Your options are endless. Find a cozy cabin to stay on the Sunshine Coast.
9. Challenge Yourself at an Indoor Climbing Gym
Test your strength and agility on a boulder problem or by reaching new heights on belay. In Powell River, you’ll find the Powell River Climbing Co-Op inside the aforementioned Townsite Market, with both bouldering and top-roping options. Sechelt is home to The Hanger Climbing Lounge—a bouldering gym offering drop-in rates and shoe rentals—and Straight Up Climbing with TruBlu Autobelay systems, family drop-in rates, and rental equipment. Both facilities welcome beginners to advanced climbers and are a great way to spend an afternoon.
10. Hunt for Thrift Store Treasures
The Sunshine Coast is a thrift shoppers paradise with more than a dozen second hand and consignment stories spread between Gibsons, Sechelt, and Powell River. Spend rainy days hunting for your next favourite coat, antique, or funky accessory. Find that next great treasure ready to be loved again.
Rain or shine, there is an abundance of experiences to be had on the Sunshine Coast. Pack a raincoast and rain boots and you’ll be ready for them all. Find more things to do while exploring the Sunshine Coast.