Kevan Bodkin snapped a long exposure sunset over San Josef Bay on March 9 during a brief sunny break in the weather. (Bodkin’s Best Photography)

Kevan Bodkin snapped a long exposure sunset over San Josef Bay on March 9 during a brief sunny break in the weather. (Bodkin’s Best Photography)

Vancouver Island home to two of Canada’s best beaches

Lonely Planet puts San Josef Bay and Chesterman Beach on its list of our country’s best wave catchers

Two of the best beaches in all of Canada are right here in your Vancouver Island backyard.

The acclaimed international travel guide Lonely Planet has named the North Island’s San Josef Bay as the “best wilderness beach” in Canada and Tofino’s Chesterman Beach as “best for surfing.

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The titles were awarded yesterday in an article titled “Top 10 Beaches in Canada” by Brendan Sainsbury on lonelyplanet.com.

San Jo has a “reputation for tempestuous weather and tricky access” and the 1.6-mile (2.5km) trail that leads to the ocean “starts at the end of a 43-mile (70km) unpaved logging road from Port Hardy.”

The article goes into more detail on the area, noting that 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,” adding, “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.”

Chesterman earned its award due to being “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 article states choosing your favourite surf beach near Tofino is “like choosing your favourite delixe sports car. They’re all ridiculously good.” But the author leaned on the input of locals who called it the region’s “most complete scimitar of sand.”

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Kitsilano earned the title of “best urban beach,” a “freewheeling nugget of Southern California, chopped off and transported 1,000 miles north.”

Kits has “a sporty, laid-back vibe, especially in summer” and beach volleyball is “the game of choice although there are also enough grassy expanses to spread out and toss a frisbee or football.”

To see the full list of beaches named the best in Canada, check out Lonely Planet’s website.

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@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

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