Just off the coast of West Vancouver, Bowen Island has long attracted Vancouver visitors with its rural charm, forest and shoreline trails. Take the 20-minute journey over on BC Ferries (the vessel also takes vehicles), and you’ll arrive into charming Snug Cove.
Wrapping around Snug Cove is the 323-hectare (800-acre) Crippen Regional Park, a great place for picnickers, and hikers will love the 11 kilometre (6.8 miles) of trails. Along the top of the cove you’ll find some restored summer cottages, one of which is a museum, nestled in a heritage apple orchard. The island’s heritage buildings also include the Union Steamship Company’s former general store which now serves as a community meeting place.
Across the island there are numerous parks with exceptional hiking trails, of varying degrees of difficulty, winding you through lush forest with great views of Howe Sound. To get a closer look at the sea, arrange a sea kayaking trip around the island. The island is also home to a thriving artist community—take a stroll around Artisan Square for a unique island shopping experience. There are also plenty of places to grab a bite, from casual pubs to charming community cafes. If you’d like to stay a while longer, there are lots of accommodation options including bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and guest suites.