Sunrise at White Rock Beach looking towards Mount Baker, WA
The famous White Rock at the beach
Marine Drive in White Rock Beach
The famous Moby Dick's restaurant on Marine Drive in White Rock Beach
Sunset overlooking the pier at White Rock Beach
The White Rock Beach promenade
Train along the promenade at White Rock Beach
The famous White Rock Beach pier
Riviera lifestyle at White Rock Beach
A picture-perfect sunset at White Rock Beach overlooking Semiahmoo Bay
The White Rock Museum & Archives in White Rock Beach
White Rock Beach
White Rock, BC
White Rock Beach is the waterfront area of the City of White Rock in the southwest corner of the lower mainland of British Columbia, bordering Washington State. The White Rock Beach district runs along Marine Drive and overlooks the warm, shallow waters of Semiahmoo Bay. The borders of this area are defined somewhat informally by approximately 8 km of sandy beach, with a 2.5 km waterfront promenade. The actual city of White Rock is 45 minutes from Vancouver, BC and minutes from the Canada/USA border. The city dates back to the turn of the 20th century (1900) and has a population of 18,250.
The moderate climate makes it an ideal vacation and retirement spot, with average summer temperatures of 23ºC and average winter temperatures of 6ºC. First-time visitors to White Rock Beach are often shocked to see palm trees growing in front of businesses and private residences. The people in White Rock Beach live in an alternate world that defies the reality of living in a northern climate.
The area is shared by walkers and joggers of all ages, as well as various wildlife creatures, from gulls and other water birds to rabbits, marmots, seals, and bald eagles. The alternating tides, sunrises, and sunsets provide photographers and artists with fresh daily imagery.
White Rock Beach enjoys far more days of sunshine than the rest of the lower BC mainland. White Rock Beach is also known as “the hole in the sky” by pilots flying overhead who’ve remarked that while often the rest of the lower mainland is under cloud cover, the sky over White Rock is clear, sunny, and cloud free.
With the businesses and houses in the area built into the hillside overlooking the water, the White Rock Beach area is often referred to as the Riviera of the west coast (of Canada).
The beautiful sunrises overlooking Mount Baker in Washington State and sunsets overlooking the White Rock pier add to the diversity in imagery. As one long-time permanent resident remarked, “Each sunrise and sunset is different, and I never get tired of looking at them.”
The large single white rock on the beach near the pier that gives the community its name is a unique attraction on its own, and comes with its own interesting folklore. Nineteenth-century sailors used this rock as a beacon. The sight of a single large white rock on a beach is a rare find, and when something is rare, it is often associated with luck. Some people even claim to have had luck on the lottery by rubbing their tickets on the 486-tonne boulder resting on the beach.
The famous White Rock pier is 1,500 feet long and a favourite tourist spot that often forms the backdrop for wedding photos. Local residents love to stroll along the promenade and out to the end of the pier. Walkers and joggers love to walk right to the end and slap the top railing before heading back to shore — all part of their daily exercise program. The trains that pass through the White Rock Beach area on the railroad tracks running along the promenade by the beach add a distinctive charm to the district. The annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim helps add to the year-round excitement of being in White Rock Beach.
The White Rock Museum & Archives, located on Marine Drive just west of the pier, was once the old train station. It is a source of history for the White Rock Beach area. The museum’s mandate is the preservation of local history based on the following four themes: Settlement History, Railway History, First Nations History, and Natural History.
The White Rock Business Improvement Association does great work promoting businesses along Marine Drive in the White Rock Beach area.
The website WhiteRockBeach.ca was created specifically to feature this unique area. The site showcases the amazing sunrises and sunsets and other features that make this community unique. The local hospital lotteries usually feature White Rock Beach dream homes, which this site also highlights. The two WhiteRockBeach.ca mascots — two squirrels holding an umbrella — draw attention and put smiles on people's faces.
The planners, architects, and engineers have made White Rock Beach a great place to live and visit with the gradated housing that layers the hillside. Almost everyone living or staying in White Rock Beach is given a great view as a result. The controlled speed limit of 30 km/h along Marine Drive in White Rock Beach slows down the traffic, making the area both safer and more inviting for sightseeing. White Rock Beach, as a result, is very pedestrian-friendly.
Parking, which runs along the south side of Marine Drive, is just seconds away from the beach and promenade. Shops and restaurants are located along the north side of Marine Drive as well as some side streets. Whatever cuisine tempts you can be found in White Rock Beach — from fish & chips, Indian, Japanese, Italian, Irish, and Greek to specialty coffee, tea, and ice cream.
The beachfront is constantly maintained to keep White Rock Beach a desirable tourist destination, as well as a beautiful and relaxing place to live and work. Early morning crews are often seen ensuring the promenade and Marine Drive are both in pristine condition.
With its moderate temperatures and additional sunshine, White Rock Beach is a great year-round tourist location, boosting the local economy of White Rock, BC. It's also a great place to live for the same reasons. The friendly people you meet on the promenade and the pier will usually give you a smile or strike up a conversation. Don't be surprised if someone asks you to take a picture of them on White Rock Beach's pier.
With the sunrises, sunsets, tides, temperate weather, wildlife, people, restaurants, shopping, and promenade strolls, you will not get bored, as White Rock Beach is a fun place to live or visit.