By Claire Sear – July 10, 2016
For photos and links, visit http://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2016/07/10/escape-to-bowen-island/
Just a twenty minute ferry ride from Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay or approximately thirty minutes by water taxi from Granville Island or Coal Harbour, the magic of Bowen Island awaits. For day-trippers no need to bring the car. The beach, hiking trails, shopping and restaurants are within steps of the ferry which docks at the beautiful Snug Cove. With no overnight campgrounds or brand-name hotels, Bowen Island’s rental cottages and B&B’s provide the perfect get-away from the big city.
What to do:
Crippen Regional Park offers 600 acres of hiking for all ages and skills levels. The entrance to the park is a short walk from the ferry. Enjoy the trail to Killarney Lake or for serious hikers, Mount Gardner offers the highest point on Bowen Island with sweeping views of Howe Sound.
Bowen Island Sea Kayaking rents both kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Perfect for exploring the shoreline of Bowen Island.
Zoom Zoom Bowen rents scooters with hourly, daily and weekend rates available. A fabulous and fun way to explore the Island.
What’s a vacation without time on the beach? Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, reading and picnicking on one of Bowen’s many beaches. For breath-taking sunsets head to the sheltered Tunstall Bay Beach located on the west side of the Island or the popular Sandy Beach, is just steps from the ferry.
Open to the public, play the 9 hole course with breath-taking views of Howe Sound at Bowen Island Golf Club. Tee times may be booked 7 days in advance. Note: the course is a twenty minute drive from the ferry and with no public transportation is best accessed by car.
Shopping and Dining
A fifteen minute walk up the hill from the ferry or take the local bus, the charming Artisan Square is home to boutique stores, art galleries, a chocolatier and the fabulous Artisan Eats Cafe and Bakery.
Bowen Island’s famed Cocoa West makes hand-crafted chocolates using the best of local ingredients. Enjoy a Eureopean style tray of espresso or sinful hot chocolate served with a side of truffles on the tiny outdoor patio. Cocoa West is known for their beautiful hand-cast certified organic chocolate bars, edible works of art celebrating Canada’s west coast.
Artisan Eats Cafe and Bakery is the locals best kept secret. This casual cafe/restaurant with beautiful mountain, ocean and forest views serves up gourmet breakfasts and lunches as well as a special brunch menu on the weekend. Also a bakery, find artisan baguettes, croissants, cookies and other delicious treats.
Steps from the ferry, the Bowen Island Marina Pier is home to both Shika Provisions, a tiny hip Japanese fusion restaurant complete with an ice-cream bar and the heavenly Lime and Moon Pie Company.
Shika Provisions serves up hearty rice bowls as well as their signature grilled rice balls with your choice of pulled pork, salmon, aged cheddar or sesame seaweed. Picnic boxes are available for take-out. Lick up the view with Shika’s hand-scooped ice-cream cones.
Lime & Moon Pie Company’s heavenly hand-made organic sweet and savoury pies come in an array of flavours. Find classic tourtière, pot pies and vegetarian quiche with gluten-free options. Traditional pies include blackberry patch, cherry orchard, sinfully sweet peach, and strawberry rubarb fields forever. The Chocolate Banana Cream Pie is simply a must eat. What’s better than a slice of pie and a Bowen Island sunset?
Snug Cafe, the hub of local activity serves up killer all day breakfasts including eggs benedict until 4pm. There are also baked treats, gourmet sandwiches and the must eat vegetarian Beet Burger. A time-honoured destination for many of the sailors that stop-over on the Island, the Snug Cafe is also conveniently located steps from the ferry line-up.
Kick-back and relax on Bowen Island’s best patio at Doc Morgan’s Pub & Restaurant. A Bowen institution for over 30 years, Doc Morgan’s is famed for their fish and chips and buckets of ice-cold peel n eat shrimp. Drink up the beautiful sailboat marina and ocean views.
Rustique Bistro serves up traditional french fare and is a must destination for their authentic Galettes, buckwheat pancakes filled with sweet or savoury fillings. Try the heavenly “Cocotte” roasted chicken, spinach, bechamel and brie or the “LumberJack” with carmelized onions, mushrooms,sausage and cheddar. The “Yummy” carmelized apple with salted caramel is a local favourite.
Open only for dinner, the tiny Tuscany Restaurant with a tranquil garden patio serves up artisan wood-fired pizzas, salads and Mediterranean inspired pasta dishes.
The charming organic grocery store, The Ruddy Potato offers the best of local BC and is your one stop shop for everything you need to eat and cook while vacationing on the Island. Bowen Island Beer and Wine Cellar with an excellent selection of local BC wines, ciders and craft beers is conveniently located downstairs.
Love to eat? Take a guided food tour with Jody Lorenz, owner of Bowen Island Tours. A delicious way to spend an afternoon sampling the best of Bowen’s culinary delights along with a visit to the Davies Heritage Orchard and cottage museum.
Stay: From world-class B&B’s on the ocean, to rustic cottages, working farms and house rentals there is something for every budget. Find a full listing of Bowen Island vacation rentals at Bowen OnLine.
For many Vancouverites, Bowen Island is a well-kept secret. Perhaps, Tourism Bowen’s new eye-catching and tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign says it all.