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This sunny city by the sea epitomizes the best of West Coast living.
The seaside town of White Rock is either your first stop coming north or your last stop before the Peace Arch border crossing. Its name comes from the nearly 500-ton boulder sitting on the shore south of the town’s famed pier. The stone was thrown across the Strait of Georgia by a young Indian chief who then chose the spot where it landed as the location for a home with his new wife. Either that or it is a very early urban myth.
A visitor’s first stop is often the famous 1,500-foot-long pier that stretches across the tide flats. There are acres of broad sandy beaches for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking or windsurfing. You’ll find families fishing for crab and couples taking romantic sunset walks with ice cream cones from one of the kiosks on Marine Drive. Marine Drive is jammed with shops, nightspots and great restaurants. If fish and chips aren’t your thing, try some fresh Dungeness crab with melted butter. Sidewalk dining and people watching is serious sport here.
There is an interesting little museum in the old railway terminal at the foot of the hill next to some convenient parking. The summer is also a busy time for special events and festivals. Tour de White Rock is an exciting bicycle race that runs July 13 to 15 and includes hill climbs and traditional road races. Not just for pros and spectators, there are also amateur events for those who want to try the real thing.
If you want to see some world-class softball players, check out Softball City, a huge complex that hosts world championship tournaments throughout the summer. Visit softballcity.bc.ca.
Spirit of the Sea takes place the first weekend in August along two waterfront kilometers of Semiahmoo Nation territory.
The uptown area is where you’ll find shopping centers, more restaurants and services of all kinds. If you like golf, you’ll love White Rock. There are 15 golf courses and five golf ranges within 20 minutes of downtown. Just to the north of town is the pleasant seaside community of Crescent Beach.
If you’re coming by boat, Canada Border Services can clear your entry from the U.S. at the pier. Call 24 hours, 604/531-7581 or 888/226-7277.
For more info, visit whiterockchamber.com and inwhiterock.com.
Things to do in White Rock:
Pack a Picnic: Get some takeout fish and chips for a picnic on the beach.
Get Stoked: Grab a good vantage spot to watch the Tour de White Rock July 13–15.
Get Sweaty: Go for a run on the boardwalk from the Semiahmoo Nation to the totem poles.
Feel Romantic: Share an ice cream cone and watch the sunset from the White Rock pier.