Written for The Daily Hive by Nicole Barratt, a journalist from New Zealand currently exploring Canada’s West Coast. For the original article with additional photographs and content, visit The Daily Hive.
Mountainous vistas, sandy coves and good eats await on Bowen Island’s shores. Just an hour outside of Vancouver, deer roam where they please and wild blackberries grow in tangles on roadsides.
Whether you’re after brunch and a gentle stroll, a glass of wine at sunset or a sweat-inducing hike, Bowen has it all. Beaches at every corner are accessible by car, bus and foot, or hitchhike your way around in true local fashion.
Hop on a quick ferry from Horseshoe Bay and enjoy the ride – you’re on island time now.
Eat at Branch and Butter
Bowen’s beloved Branch & Butter has reopened this season with some fresh new eats. Four tacos have hit the menu: Korean bulgogi (beef) braise; Haida Gwaii smoked salmon; sweet potato; and chipotle chicken. Finish off with a scoop of Earnest Ice Cream – try the toasted coconut or salted caramel.
Try yoga or barre on the pier
Unwind in a downward dog while soaking up the sun on Bowen Island’s pier. With towering West Vancouver mountains and the sea as your backdrop, yoga doesn’t get much more idyllic than this. The Well’s classes run every Sunday from 9-10am on the big dock in Snug Cove near where the ferry comes in. Alternatively for some ballet conditioning, try Barre on the Pier on select Saturdays 11am – 12pm (July 13, August 10 and 17).
Take to the sea in a kayak and explore the island’s forested coves. Bald eagles and seals are frequent visitors to the Sound – and if you’re lucky, pods of orca whales. Bowen Island Sea Kayaking sits next to the ferry landing in Snug Cove and offers a variety of rentals and tours throughout the summer. Pro tip: Kayak on a Tuesday for the 2 for 1 deal.
Hike Mt Gardner
Bowen’s 719-metre peak has previously been infamous for its vague trail markers, leading to plenty of lost hikers. Thankfully the hike up Mt Gardner has recently been re-trail blazed by a team of volunteers. Breathtaking 360 degree views of surrounding Howe Sound islands are your reward at the top.
Visit the Farmers’ Market
Visit the Bowen Island Farmers’ Market for a taste of fresh produce, baked goods and artisans’ crafts. Stroll the market with a coffee in hand and chat with local gardeners and farmers at their stalls. The market runs from 10am-12:30pm every Saturday at Bowen Island Community School until October.
Walk the Cape
Bowen’s Cape Roger Curtis is a lesser known gem on the island. A coastal walking track curves through arbutus trees and leads to a lighthouse perched on rugged rocks. The little beach makes for a perfect and private picnic spot. Park on Lighthouse Lane and enjoy stunning views of Keats and the Pasley Islands as you start your stroll.