Whytecliff Park is one of the parks used by many filming crews in the greater Vancouver area. We spotted it in Arrow and Once Upon A Time, which was reason enough to drive down for a film-curious visit. We weren’t quite expecting such a magnificent nature park with all sorts of activities and fabulous beaches, but that is what we discovered.
We did a roadtrip one day, while staying in Vancouver, to the Horseshoe Bay area where Whytecliff Park is located and loved the scenery along the way. The highway snakes its way through the coastal line North West from the city and it’s quite an easy drive. There’s plenty of parking spots in the park too when you arrive.
The view from the high rocks is incredible pretty much to every direction.
The hobby of visiting filming locations is quite risky, as sometimes we end up in places that aren’t that impressive. Even though we’re excited to be there to sceneframe the film or the TV show, it’s just that much better when the location turns out to be something we’d love to visit even without any movie related action.
Oliver Queen AKA Arrow on an island. Except it’s not an island – it’s Whytecliff Park, North West from Vancouver, BC.
If you’re a fan of Arrow, you’ll instantly recognize the rugged beach with driftwood and coarse sand. We wandered around for a good while, just admiring the incredible views and photographing driftwood and birds, and of course, imagined we were on a mission to save poor Oliver Queen.
Once Upon A Time’s Giuseppe and Pinocchio in Whytecliff Park.
It was a beautiful spring day, and we spotted lots of families, couples and even climbers enjoying the surrounding nature. And wished we’d brought barbeque stuff! The park offers free picnic tables and shelters, as well as washrooms for the visitors.
Children playing on the beach with the magnificent Whyte Islet as their backdrop.
The intricate pieces of driftwood inspired a film-tourist / photographer, oh, so much.
Whytecliff Park is also known for the diverse marine wildlife. We spotted mostly birds, like this friendly goose below, but Wikipedia tells us about something pretty impressive:
The park is currently home to more than 200 marine animal species and is the first Marine Protected Area in Canada. Sea lions can be seen sunbathing on the beach during summer.
Well, we missed the sealions, but that just gives us more reasons to go back some day and spend a little more time admiring it all!
After visiting the beach as film tourists and not knowing much about it – well, aside from the film stuff – we did a little reading up on it and found out that it’s in fact a great place for diving. Apparently, the surrounding waters are quite good for it. And what’s really great, they also offer a ramp for divers with disabilities!
Apart from the incredible nature and scenery, the park has a playground, tennis courts, good spots for picnics and of course, lovely beaches for swimming.
We also spied on a rock climbing group. They seemed to have a fantastic time. We sort of wanted to try it too, but then looked at each other and went “nah, too clumsy.”
Rock climbing at Whytecliff Park.
When it comes to photography, I could’ve spend a day or two just photographing the driftwood. The pale spring light and the dry, intricate wood just made the photos look really other-worldly. Sort of reminds me of one of those IKEA prints you can buy on your wall… but in a good way! I wouldn’t mind having this one framed over my bed on the wall.
In case you want to visit a filming location of Arrow or Once Upon A Time (or both!) that’s also an amazing place to visit in general – say, if you have your family with you and they just aren’t that into Mr. Queen – we can warmly recommend Whytecliff Park.
Let us know if you ever end up there or if you’re already been in the comments below!
Clicking the map image will take you to Google maps!