You know those days when you’re about to reach your limit and the smallest thing could set you off? You’ve gone through the day focusing on the tiny glimmer of hope that this day WILL, in fact, END – you just have to freaking get there?

stress

We all have them and we all have our own way of coping with those days. Sometimes all I need is that first blissful sip of beer. Other times I need a hug and a sympathetic ear. Most times, I find that all I need is to go outside: preferably somewhere quiet with trees or ocean.

Whytecliff Park has all three! A short 5-minute drive past the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, it’s about 38 acres of pure west coast. Trees clinging to rugged rock, seagulls and crows fighting over seafood, and the occasional seal, sea lion or dolphin pod making an appearance.

There are loads of benches tucked away in all sorts of nooks and crannies among the rocks that are perfect for watching sunsets or chilling any time of day. If you’re feeling adventurous, clamber among the cliffs or head to the small, gravelly beach. It’s also a popular spot for scuba diving schools and the occasional film crew.

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If you time it right, at low tide you can walk onto Whyte Islet. For me, it’s more of a bonus. I’m usually there because I’m in need of stress relief, so I don’t tend to check the tide tables.

**Don’t forget: the tide also inevitably rises and covers those exposed rocks! Make sure you keep an eye on water levels if you decide to head onto the islet, unless you’re willing and able to swim.

To say goodbye to a rough day of work, the road to get there can be stress relief in and of itself. If I’m short on time, I’ll take Highway 99 all the way to Horseshoe Bay before heading to the park. The days where I have time or am in greater need of unwind, I’ll take Marine Drive from Dundarave Village. It’s a narrow winding road that follows the coastline right behind the single row of houses on the water.

The best part is that on a clear day you can only just see the tip of Point Grey in the distance. This means that aside from the ferries, some houses on nearby Bowen Island, and whoever happens to be there with you, you’re pretty much isolated from civilization. It’s the perfect getaway without having to go very far.

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Weekends of course get busy with families, and the warmer and nicer the weather, the more people you will find there. I usually go on weekdays regardless of weather because it’s always beautiful.

Where do you go to forget about your work day? Let me know in the comments!


IF YOU GO:

  • Difficulty: Easy.
  • Public Transit: Sort of. The #250 bus will take you to within a half hour walk of the park.
  • Parking: Yes
  • Dog friendly: Yes, on leash.
  • Distance from Park Royal Mall: 16.2km

3 thoughts on “Free, effective stress relief.

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