by David Webb, Ocean Rose Bed and Breakfast
The City of White Rock and the surrounding area of South Surrey, located on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, have all the amenities of a large city with a quaint ambiance unequaled anywhere. White Rock is bounded on the south by the protected, shallow waters of Semiahmoo Bay, reputed to be the warmest beach in the greater Vancouver area. Locals come here to swim and windsurf during the summer, attracted by the warm, dry climate and the many hours of sunlight White Rock enjoys. For though it may be raining in Vancouver, the sun is usually out in White Rock. The average summer temperature is 23 degrees Celsius. Others come to fish for crab from the pier or to stroll the promenade or visit the many unique shops and restaurants along Marine Drive.
The area offers miles of sandy beaches, swimming, sailing, kayaking, championship golf courses, some of the finest restaurants on the West Coast, as well as art galleries, shopping and incredible views.
White Rock is located minutes from the Canada/U.S. border, just off the highway to Vancouver from Seattle, and is within easy reach of the ferries to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. It is a 45-minute drive to downtown Vancouver as well as to both the Vancouver Airport and the Abbotsford Airport. From Vancouver, the Vancouver Airport or the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal take Highway 99 south to Exit 3 then 8th Ave. West. Proceed west on 8th Ave (which becomes Marine Drive). From I-5 and the U.S. border take Exit 2, then 8th Ave. and proceed west on 8th Ave to Marine Drive.
Take in one of our many local events such as the Spirit of the Sea Festival, Tour de White Rock international cycle race, or White Rock Sailing Regatta. The peninsula is well known as an artistic community with many important artists, writers and musicians in residence.
Known to bird watchers everywhere, the area is the natural habitat of bald eagles, herons, migratory ducks, and geese as well as many other unique waterfowl. Starfish abound in the shallow waters near the historic White Rock Pier. For nature walking there are ravine trails, such as Centennial Park, the magnificent Urban Forest and Serpentine Fen Wildlife Sanctuary.
Most visitors to White Rock stay close to the popular Marine Drive Promenade where one can sit, walk, talk with friends, enjoy a picnic or just spend time people watching. The historic White Rock Pier, built in 1915, stretching a length of 1559 feet, is a must-see landmark in the city and a popular place to stroll. A trip to the beach wouldn't be complete without a visit to the White Rock Museum & Archives located in the historic White Rock Station - next to the Pier. The Station was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1912. The "white rock", found on the beach not far from the pier, weighs 486 tons and in addition to being the city's namesake has also been used as a navigation marker by early mariners. Towards the east end of the beach is Lions Lookout Park where one finds "The Gift" consisting of two majestic totem poles that were erected to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They represent the alliance of our local Semiahmoo First Nations and the RCMP.
Where to stay:
CBBH recommends Ocean Rose Bed and Breakfast, which offers a sea view. Within a short walk guests are able to enjoy all activities along Marine Drive including the many shops and restaurants. The Ocean Rose is Tourism B.C. approved and a member of the White Rock / South Surrey Chamber of Commerce. They will happily suggest other Bed and Breakfasts in the area if they are unable to accommodate you.
There's nothing finer than a good meal with a view of the ocean or relaxing on a restaurant patio, enjoying a cool drink in the hot sun. In White Rock you can choose to enjoy a long, formal meal, fast food takeout or most everything in between. There are more than 100 eating establishments in the area, with approximately 50 along Marine Drive.
back to CanadaBBHosts:BC page