White Rock is a small community in Vancouver's southern suburbs surrounded on three sides by Surrey and Boundary Bay on the fourth. The city is named for the 400 ton white rock that sits on the beach in the town center. Its beach has long made it a weekend getaway for Vancouverites.
White Rock is part of the Translink regional transit system. A couple of buses provide links to other municipalities in the region and the Skytrain.
- Bus #321 provides service from the Surrey Central Expo Line Skytrain station in Surrey.
- Bus #351 provides express service from the Bridgeport Canada Line station in Richmond.
Transit fares to White Rock from Vancouver are $5.50 on weekdays and $2.75 on weekends and evenings after 6:30PM. Fares from elsewhere in the Vancouver region will vary between $2.75-$5.50.
White Rock town center (Marine Drive along the beach) is at sea level, while the rest of the town is perched on a bench several hundred feet above. The town center is walkable but it is steep if you want to see other parts of the city.
The broader area — usually referred to as South Surrey but often referred to as White Rock — is quite large and will require a car to get to some areas. Translink operates bus service for all of Greater Vancouver. In White Rock and South Surrey most local buses are community shuttles. Most tourist areas of South Surrey are accessible by Translink.
Most of White Rock is pay parking. The cost fluctuates but it is most expensive off Marine Drive by the beach (currently $3 per hour in high season). The new pay-by-space system makes buying or adding time simple. Just enter your space number on any nearby dispenser, pay, take your receipt and walk away. There's no need to return to your vehicle or place your ticket on your vehicle's dash. If you want to add time later, just enter your stall number (printed on your receipt) at any one of 36 dispensers along the beach and choose your payment method. You can even pay by cell phone. (Requires registration with Verrus Mobile Technologies Inc. You'll need to use a credit card the first time you call. Nominal user fees apply.) Learn more at www.city.whiterock.bc.ca.
- The White Rock that gives the town its name is located on the beach near the White Rock Pier. The rock was named for the large quantity of bird guano that covered it, but today is kept white by regular coats of white paint.
- White Rock Museum and Archives, 14970 Marine Dr, ☎ . Tu-Su 11AM-4PM. A small museum in the old train station. It has displays on the city's history and a re-creation of the station's office. $$3/$5 (students & seniors/adult). Children under 12 are free.
White Rock has the largest and one of the most popular beaches in the Lower Mainland, located on the southern edge of the city alongside Marine Drive. The long sandy beach is perfect for everything from picnics to a game of frisbee. When the tide goes out there are many tidal pools that are left exposed and is a great place to see marine life up close. British Columbia's south coast is sheltered by Vancouver Island, because of this the water temperatures are relatively warm.
White Rock is famous for its large White Rock and its pier that juts out over 500 meters from the shore. Its a popular place for a walk. During the summer some locals jump off the end of the pier, although this practice is discouraged and diving can be dangerous.
White Rock's "alternate beach" area on the north-west of the White Rock in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Surrey is much cozier and quieter, with a handful of nearby establishments specializing in organic, ice cream, fish and chips, coffee houses, and of course fabulous sit down dining experiences. Crescent Beach radiates a small-town sea side feeling. In the winter, Crescent Beach is a bird watching paradise, and known for Bald Eagle nesting and hunting grounds. Paddling and windsurfing activities are common in the summer. Follow Crescent Road off the King George Highway. Alternatively if starting from White Rock head east on North Bluff Road/16 ave right to the end.
Restaurants in White Rock are split between those on the beach, usually offering patios and ocean views, typically on Marine Drive; and restaurants in the main commercial area away from the water.
On the beach
Marine Drive is packed with restaurants, from standards like fish and chips to ethnic restaurants to pubs.
- Deluxe Restaurant, 15475 Marine Dr (At Balsam St.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. noon-late. Menu includes interesting spins on classic dishes, e.g. yam gnocchi. A strong strain of seafood throughout, but also vegetarian options. dinner $30-50.
- Tracycakes, 15015 Marine Dr, ☎ . 10AM-5PM. Bakery and cafe that does a nice lunch and afternoon tea. The menu includes a mix of salads and sandwiches; the cupcakes and butter tart are excellent. Lunch items $8-12, desserts $3-5, afternoon tea $19.
- Washington Avenue Grill, #5 - 15782 Marine Dr, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11:30AM-4PM, 5PM-close. The upstairs dining room overlooks the bay. The seafood and gastropub fare is skillfully done and well served. Plentiful vegetarian options. Live music, Weds-Sat, is invigorating or a din, depending on your taste. lunch set menu $16-26, dinner set menu $30-40.
Off the beach
- Leela Thai, 1310 Johnston Rd, ☎ . Lunch: M-F noon-2:30PM, Dinner: daily 5PM-10PM. A variety of chicken, pork, seafood and vegetarian Thai dishes. $10-15 per dish.
- Hoy Tao Kok Szechuan, 15246 Russell Ave, ☎ .
- Shin Ji Ru, 15171 Russell Ave, ☎ . Japanese restaurant with the usual sushi, sashimi, tempura, udon, etc. dishes. Reviewers indicate the meals are good value.
- Joey's Only Seafood Restaurant, 1724 152nd St, ☎ .
Due to White Rock's location just minutes from the Canada/USA border, it is a common place for Americans (especially those under 21) to drink.
- Ocean Beach Club and Grill, 14995 Marine Drive.
- Ocean Beach Hotel, 14995 Marine Dr. There is a night club and restaurant below.
- Pacfic Inn (Pink Palace), 1160 King George Highway, ☎ , toll-free: . The largest hotel in White Rock with a mix of standard guestrooms and suites. The hotel has a tropical theme and includes a health club, indoor pool and whirlpool spa. Guestroom: $120-160, Suite: $250-260.
Richmond, with its historic fishing village and Buddhist temple, is 20-30 minutes north on Highway 99. Going south on Hwy 99 will bring you to the U.S. border, with Seattle being a couple of hours south.
The Fraser Valley, with gardens, outdoor recreation and wineries is to the east.
|Routes through White Rock|
|Vancouver ← Surrey ←||N S||→ → becomes → Blaine → Seattle|