Where is the Sunshine Coast?

We're not an island! 😜

When I tell people where I live, one of the first questions they ask is, "Where is the Sunshine Coast?" The short answer is that the Sunshine Coast is located on the southern mainland coast of British Columbia in western Canada.

But maybe when you ask "Where is the Sunshine Coast?" you want more details. Maybe you want a lesson on local geography and the region's infrastructure and the kinds of communities that make up the Coast.

(You probably don't mean this at all and you were just making conversation but I took you at face value and now this is part of a larger conversation that's already become awkward.)

Overlooking the creek near Roberts Creek Falls.

If that's the case, you should know that its southernmost tip is only 30 kilometers away from downtown Vancouver but is separated by Howe Sound, a fjord that runs from the Georgia Strait to its head in Squamish.

As there’s no permanent road that ties the region to the rest of the province, visitors arrive on the Sunshine Coast either via ferry or seaplane. This lack of a road or bridge means despite its proximity to a major city, the Sunshine Coast is somewhat isolated from the rest of the province.

Bowen and Keats Islands and seen from Winegarden Park in Gibsons, BC.

When asking, "Where is the Sunshine Coast?" it’s not uncommon for people to imagine the Sunshine Coast as being part of Vancouver Island. While the two regions do share some similarities, they’re separated by the Georgia Strait and are two totally different areas. Vancouver Island is an island and the Sunshine Coast is on the Canadian mainland.