Exploring the BC Coast by Car. Rev. ed.


400 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Index
ISBN 978-1-55017-415-1
DDC 917.11'1045





Reviewed by Joan A. Lovisek

Joan A. Lovisek, Ph.D., is a consulting anthropologist and
ethnohistorian in British Columbia.


This guidebook is a welcome update for any resident or tourist traveller to British Columbia’s spectacular coast. Although it is impossible to drive the coast without ferries, this guidebook provides 400 pages of well-organized information to assist in any car trip along the coastline. It covers a multitude of locations including islands, cities, villages, and natural features starting from Vancouver and ending at the Queen Charlotte Islands. It provides just enough information to get visitors to their destination while highlighting the key historical and sightseeing features. It is written in an easy-to-read style which will be appreciated by car passenger and driver alike.


The geographical areas of the coast are easily identified in the table of contents, as each chapter covers a specific region. A map not only shows the area but is linked to maps showing the routes of the B.C. ferries. There are numerous black and white photographs, maps, and inserts, which inform travellers of distances and sightseeing opportunities and provide important telephone numbers. The guidebook includes brief sections which provide anecdotal information about various local subjects including food plants of the Native peoples, the potlatch, flora (especially vegetation of the west coast rainforest), and fauna (such as Pacific gray whales). One such section, which appears longer than the others, is devoted to island pub-hopping in the Gulf Islands!


Rather than becoming a competitor, or worse, a victim of the Internet, the authors have judiciously omitted constantly changing information such as information about accommodation or restaurants, which can be better found on the Internet. The guidebook directs the reader to websites or telephone numbers for information about accommodation, traffic conditions, ferry schedules, camping, and road condition information. Recreational activities, especially organized ones like golf, are mentioned only briefly. Hiking and trails (long and short) are included, and are occasionally (e.g., West Coast Trail) described in more detail. The guidebook provides valuable information for travellers planning to visit or drive through one of the most diverse and spectacular coasts of North America.


Eaton, Diane, and Allison Eaton., “Exploring the BC Coast by Car. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/28087.