White Rock is a pretty seaside resort town located less than an hour from downtown Vancouver and close to the Peace Arch border crossing to the US.
White Rock, BC
White Rock is a popular destination in the summer with its beautiful coastline, beaches, pier and array of trendy restaurants and cafes. If visiting White Rock, be sure to go for a walk along the waterfront and along the pier.
In White Rock there is a small museum, and lots of places to stop for lunch, including Moby Dick, which is White Rock’s most famous restaurant for fish and chips. Moby Dick serves great fried food, and the atmosphere and decor of the place make it so popular.
Places to Stay
If staying overnight and you have kids, an interesting hotel is the Pacific Inn. Yes, it’s showing its age, but it’s still a fun place – it’ll kind of make you feel like you’re at a 2 or 3 star resort hotel in Mexico or somewhere tropical, although you’ll have to drive to the beach.
If you stay at the Pacific Inn, be sure to request one of their inner courtyard-facing rooms with a balcony (as the courtyard below is what makes the place kind of special).
At the Pacific Inn, in the courtyard, which has a giant glass ceiling, there is a nice indoor pool, hot tub, and the restaurant.
Important Note: The Pacific Inn is going through significant renovations beginning in March 2018. Expect ongoing construction every day until after the summer. Consequently, it won’t be the best place the stay during this time, but it’ll be new and improved after it’s all finished.
Best Times to Visit White Rock
White Rock can be a nice place to visit any time of the year, but it’s a seaside resort so obviously the prime time is in the summer and on sunny days.
Walks along the water are wonderful any day that it’s not raining, but especially when the sun is out. During July and August especially, the place can get packed.
Absolute best times to visit White Rock if you don’t mind the crowds are on sunny days in the summer (to enjoy the beautiful beach) or during a special event day, including the following:
- White Rock Polar Bear Plunge – an annual polar bear swim on New Year’s Day each year.
- Canada Day by the Bay – Canada Day celebrations at the waterfront on July 1st.
- Tour de White Rock – a cycling race around the area in mid-July.
- White Rock Sea Festival – a popular multi-day festival that can attract up to about 100,000 people over the BC Day Long Weekend at the beginning of August.
- Concerts at the Pier – a series of free outdoor concerts in July and August.
- Picnic on the Pier – a fundraising event for the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation where participants dine alfresco out on the White Rock Pier in August.
Another good time to visit White Rock is on Sundays when you can also check out the White Rock Farmers Market – a small weekly farmers market every Sunday (10 am to 2 pm) at Miramar Plaza at 15154 Russell Avenue between early May and late October.
ACCESSIBILITY NOTE: The seawall and pier at White Rock are both wheelchair accessible and on flat terrain (although not all the shops and restaurants are along the main waterfront commercial road).
Other Interesting Places to Visit
White Rock is one of several little villages we recommend as some of Vancouver’s Best Places.
If you like White Rock, other similar places you might enjoy include Horseshoe Bay (terminal for BC Ferries), Fort Langley (a historic site), Steveston Village (a historic fishing village in Richmond) and Deep Cove (a picturesque village on the North Shore).