While there are plenty of things to do in the city, taking advantage of everything the lower mainland has to offer is a must during the summer months. Lucky for us, this gem of B.C.'s West Coast is incredibly easy to get to for day trips and longer vacations alike.
If you're bringing your vehicle the best way to get across is by a 20-minute BC Ferries ride from Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island's Snug Cove. Cormorant Water Taxi also offers service from Horseshoe Bay to destinations around Howe Sound. If you're travelling from Vancouver's downtown core, the Bowen Water Taxi operates multiple services a day to Snug Cove from both Coal Harbour and Granville Island, which is great for both walk-ons and cyclists.
All ferry services to Bowen Island make it easy to bring your bicycle, and this is an efficient way to get around. Translink also offers a shuttle bus service around a small part of the island. If you're up for a quick walk, 10 minutes from Snug Cove lies Zoom Zoom Bowen (1011 Miller Rd.), a scooter rental company that allows you to zip around the island at hourly and daily rates. Otherwise, take your exploration to the water with Bowen Island Sea Kayaking (400 Bowen Island Trunk Rd.) with a kayak rental or guided tour.
A quick 10-minute walk from Snug Cove lies the beautiful seaside Bowen Island Lodge (380 Cardena St). The Lodge offers a seaside cottage rental, garden, ocean, and forest facing rooms, and even a fully equipped glam-camping tent.
Founded by Joanne Mogridge and Carlos Vela-Martinez in 2002, Cocoa West Chocolatier Inc. (581 Artisan Ln.) has been a sweet staple in the Bowen Island community, offering locally sourced and certified organic chocolate in the Artisan Square. Can't stay away? No fear: spend the night in the Chocolatier's aptly named Chocolate Suite, complete with a sitting and dining area, and complimentary organic truffles, hot chocolate, or espresso.
On the east side of the Island lies the cozy Lazy Bowen Hideaway (1475 Cleator Rd.), a family-owned home with multiple stay options that can accommodate up to eight people. With a stunning view of the water and minutes away from the beach, its ideal for a family getaway.
Bowen Island is a destination for hikers and bikers alike. Whether you take in the 4 km Killarney Lake Loop at Crippen Park or the challenging Mt. Gardner 10 km loop there are trails for all ages and fitness levels. For more information on routes check out Tourism Bowen Island's guide and this interactive map.
Just a 15 minute walk uphill from Snug Cove lies Bowen's Artisan Square, a thriving community of galleries, wellness venues and eateries.
Visit Artigiani Milanesi (103-555 Prometheus Pl.), a family owned maker of bespoke cashmere knitwear hailing from Milano, Italy where it was established in 1959.
Get eco-friendly at Bowen Island Soap Box (301-566 Artisan Ln.), a locally sourced repository for bulk cleaning, bath, personal and household products. Bring your own container (or buy one there) and stock up with a beautiful view on the hill.
After you've wandered around Artisan Square, stop off at Artisan Eats Cafe and Bakery (539 Artisan Ln.) for a fan-club worthy baked quiche, Artisan granola, viennoiserie or pastry by Chef Michael Lecourt. Partner fresh pain au chocolat with a coffee from Galileo Coffee Co. of Britannia Beach.
Barcelona Tapas & Wine Bar (449 Bowen Trunk Rd.) in Snug Cove offers Mediterranean and Spanish fare with a local and sustainable twist. Enjoy a selection of local BC wines on tap, with staff favorite patatas bravas, a fried potato with spiced tomato aioli, followed by a delicate tart shelled crème fraîche.
A stones throw away from the ferry lies the French inspired Rustique Bistro (433 Bowen Island Trunk Rd.), owned and operated by Céline Boyer and Thierry Mohrbach. Try the Cobb salad, a local favorite, or the tuna tataki (Mohrbach's secret recipe) with a beautiful view of the cove.