If you live in Vancouver and you haven’t been to Bowen Island yet you’re missing out on some seriously delicious pasta and fun. Only a 20 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove, the island is a great place to play on a sunny day with something for everyone: hiking trails, art galleries, artisan shops, restaurants and cafes. As someone who appreciates a good meal to replenish lost calories after a hike, Bowen provides that delicious opportunity.
To get to Bowen Island catch the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove; if you’re planning on going again in the future along with discovering other BC Ferry destinations you can get a BC Ferries Experience Card which gives you a discount on fares to Bowen and other participating routes. Another nice thing about a trip to Bowen is that you don’t need a car to get there, and everything is walkable once you’re there. You can take the #257 express bus from Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay, then hop on the ferry.
Once you arrive at Snug Cove you’ll notice everything fun in Bowen is within a walkable distance. Walk up the road and you’ll pass by Tuscany that serves up amazing gourmet pizza and pasta dishes. Reservations are recommended if you want to sit in their beautiful outdoor seating area. Across the road from Tuscany is the Killarney lake trail, a nice flat lovely trail that you can do in two hours at a leisurely pace.
Or if you’re up for something more heart pumping then a hike up Mt. Gardner will give you some amazing views of Bowen’s surroundings. Unfortunately the top is occupied by radio towers so the views you get at the 3/4 point in my opinion is the best place to rest and have a snack instead. The signage leading up is poor but you’ll eventually find your way, I did get lost along the trail several times but it’s a small island so there’s not much room to really get lost. Also with the radio towers right there you’ll always have cellphone reception. It took me about 5 hours for a return trip.
Another gem on Bowen is Cocoa West Chocolatier – if you’re a chocolate fan then this place doesn’t disappoint. I tried their spicy mexican hot chocolate and I sat outside savoring every sip which had a delicious kick in the end from the chili spice. It’s the real deal.
Like I said, Bowen has lots happening for a little island. A favourite summer day trip destination – I’ve never been there in the winter but I’d love to see what it’s like there in the wintertime. For another blog post!