Totems in Stanley Park, Vancouver

White Rock

White Rock is a seaside community clustered around a sandy beach and the warm shallow waters of Semiahmoo Bay. It is well-known for its 457 m (1,500 ft) long pier, its 2.2km (1.4 mi) long beach promenade, and the large white rock that sits on the beach which is a glacial deposit from thousands of years ago.  A laid-back community it is especially popular in the summer when visitors and locals come to relax, take a swim, go kayaking, explore the tidal pools and do a little fishing from the pier, as well as enjoy some delectable food in one of the many eateries and cafes along the roadside promenade.

Location

White Rock is located in the southwest corner of British Columbia, 45 km (30 mi) south of Vancouver, and is flanked on the south by the Canada/US border and Blaine, Washington. The City of Surrey lies on the other three sides. Getting to White Rock use Hwy 15 south from the main east-west Hwy 1. Hwy 99 south takes you from Vancouver and the North Shore.

A Step Back in Time

Before the first settlers arrived, the Straits Salish people dominated the region from Boundary Bay in the north to Birch Bay in the south (in the US). The 1850s saw the beginnings of white settlement on lands that are the present site of the City of White Rock.

The modern history of White Rock is directly tied to the railway linking British Columbia to Washington state, which runs along the shore of Semiahmoo Bay to the border. This was originally the Great Northern line, and it opened up both White Rock and Crescent Beach to tourists coming from Vancouver and New Westminster in the early 1900s. The White Rock border crossing (at Douglas, BC and Blaine, Washington) was officially opened in 1908, and the Peace Arch at the Douglas/Blaine border crossing was constructed in the 1920s.

In the 1950s, White Rock began to feel isolated from the rest of the (then) District of Surrey, where development was being concentrated elsewhere (North Surrey, Cloverdale). On April 15, 1957, a special warrant from the Government of British Columbia created the City of White Rock within its present boundary.

Development continued to be concentrated by the waterfront until the 1960s and 1970s. Many small cliffside dwellings became affordable housing to those who could not pay the cost of living closer to Vancouver. The 1970s were the beginning of the White Rock-South Surrey area as a suburban, bedroom community within the Lower Mainland. The real estate market heated up and many younger families moved into the area, attracted to homes aimed at the young professional market. By the middle 1990s, the race for real estate and upscale housing was on. Now many of the cliff-side cottages have given way to large homes, and million-dollar real estate has become a reality for the formerly small seaside community.

Contact Information

Explore White Rock

White Rock & Nearby Accommodations

12 Listings

Cassandra Hotel
Capilano River RV Park
Peace Arch RV Park

Peace Arch RV Park

Surrey

Peace Arch RV Park accommodates 250 sites. Surrounded by trees and shrubs with captivating flowers. Pool and playground for guests use. We are located near amenities and minutes from the beaches. Hwy 99 will take you to downtown Vancouver in 45 minutes. RV Rentals are 20 minutes away from us. ... Read more
Hazelmere  RV Park & Campground

Hazelmere RV Park & Campground

Surrey

Experience the country in the city at Hazelmere RV Park & Campground! Nestled far from the country road, relax and unwind in the peaceful countryside. Situated on 32 landscaped acres with the Little Campbell River running through the property. We have over 150 RV sites with a choice of full or parti ... Read more
Plaza RV Park

Plaza RV Park

Surrey

Centrally located on Hwy 99A between ferries, airport and US border. Public transit at our door. Quick access to Skytrain. Clean and peaceful setting, close to Vancouver. ... Read more
Tynehead RV Campground

Tynehead RV Campground

Surrey

Off Hwy 1, Take Exit #50, 160 St. South. Full hookups, washrooms, showers, laundry, sani-stations, tenting, 30 camps, heated outdoor pool, whirl-pool, convenience store, propane, cable-TV. Near a large shopping mall. ... Read more
Dogwood Campgrounds of BC

Dogwood Campgrounds of BC

Surrey

From the East on Hwy 1 take exit 50, stay right follow signs. From the West on Hwy 1 take exit 48 follow 108 E Ave signs, turn off 108 E off of 152nd St. Pool, laundry, bus tours, pull- thrus. Arcade, playground. Free showers. Very accessible to Vancouver and it's attractions. ... Read more
Tsawwassen RV Resort

Tsawwassen RV Resort

Tsawwassen

One of the things Tsawwassenites adore is how sunny it is here, and yet so many still aren't in on this best kept secret in the Lower Mainland. Tsawwassen literally means “facing the ocean” and yet it is most defined by the spectacular sunshine. Home to spectacular natural scenery and a bustling ... Read more
Burnaby Cariboo RV Park

Burnaby Cariboo RV Park

Burnaby

Deluxe RV Park for sightseeing the Vancouver, Canada area. This campground has full hook-ups for any size motorhome, trailer or 5th wheel. Separate tent camping area, indoor pool, jacuzzi (hot tub), fitness room, store. On transit route (bus, skytrain, sea bus). Guided tours of Vancouver & Victoria. ... Read more
Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport Hotel

Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport Hotel

Richmond

The Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport features 109 guestrooms and is located in the heart of Richmond, British Columbia. It is conveniently situated close to local restaurants, 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, 20 minutes from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and just 35 minutes from our beautiful native ski ... Read more
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The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989