Two Vancouver Island locations have managed to crack the Top 10 Beaches in Canada, according to Lonely Planet.
The well-established travel guide company released the 2021 list at the end of March, revealing that both San Josef Bay on the northern tip of Vancouver Island and Chesterman Beach in Tofino had made the list.
Lonely Planet curated the list from beaches not exclusive to the ocean, looking at Canada’s multiple freshwater lakes in order to comprise the top 10. Each beach selected on the travel guide’s list has also been labelled the best in a certain category.
San Josef Bay is considered by Lonely Planet to be the best ‘wilderness beach’ in the country.
“When the forest finally parts, you’ll be delivered onto a windswept expanse of crashing surf and forested sea stacks where bushes and trees have been contorted by fierce Pacific storms,” reads an excerpt from Lonely Planet. “Bring a tent and binoculars. You can camp right on the smooth sandy beach and the “bins” will enhance your appreciation of the resident wildlife including eagles and ospreys.”
In order to access San Josef Bay, beach-goers need to travel 70 km on an unpaved logging road from Port Hardy before trekking an additional 2.5 km down a trail by foot. The beach, located on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, is in Cape Scott Provincial Park.
The more well-known beach to Vancouver Islanders that cracked the list is Chesterman Beach in Tofino — labelled the best ‘surfing beach’ in Canada by Lonely Planet.
The travel guide suggests that any one of Tofino’s beaches could be considered the nation’s best surfing beach, however, it opted to chose Chesterman due to its proximity to town.
“Most surveys list Long Beach at No. 1 because it’s, well, long; but many Tofitians (locals) rank the surfer’s hub of Chesterman as the most complete scimitar of sand,” reports Lonely Planet.
“Unlike Long Beach, Chesterman is close enough to town to reach by bike (with your surfboard clipped to a special bike-rack) and firm enough to cycle on if you need some leg exercise before cresting the Pacific waves.”
The company also acknowledges the sheer beauty of the surrounding area in Tofino as well.
“Ringed by rock-pools, islets and a narrow sand spit, [Chesterman] is beautiful in both early morning mist and fiery orange-ripple sunset,” reads an excerpt.
Of course, in addition to its location, the surfing at Chesterman is considered “sublime” as well.
British Columbia saw a third entrant make the list as well with Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver being dubbed the best ‘urban’ beach in the country.