Two Perfect Day Trips from Vancouver – Experience Transat | Bowen Island

Two Perfect Day Trips from Vancouver – Experience Transat

Experience Transat - August 19, 2016

By Dian Emery
For the original article with additional trips, photos and links, visit

Slow down and smell the sea on two perfect day trips from Vancouver. We think an island day trip is a must on any Vancouver vacation, after all how can you resist? The west coast is dotted with rugged islands, each more beautiful than the next. Hop on the ferry and head over to Bowen Island or perhaps take a cute little seaplane to Victoria on Vancouver Island. These two top island picks make for a fun day adventure from Vancouver and are a great way to truly experience the beauty of British Columbia’s West Coast.

A Bowen Island Day Trip from Vancouver

Bowen Island is a fast and fabulous day trip from Vancouver. This is the place to get away from it all, relax, and get a bit physical. You can kayak, hike, and climb a mountain, all in one day. Getting to the island is easy, head to Horse Shoe Bay for a short but pretty twenty minute ferry ride from western end of Vancouver’s North Shore. You can take your car, bike, or walk on the tiny island; but we recommend biking for a fun and fit day out. The ferry lands in Snug Cove and you can be on a kayak, paddling in the ocean within minutes of getting to the island. Bowen Island Sea Kayaking offers both hourly rentals and tours ranging from three hours to full days.

Our favourite hike on Bowen Island is short and sweet, a mere 15-minute walk up the hill to Artisan Square, which is located about a kilometre west of Snug Cove. You can explore the many art galleries and shops on the square as the island is famous for having has the fourth highest number of artists per capita in all of Canada. A must visit is the Artigiana Milanesi Cashmere Tailor, the shop makes handcrafted cashmere items with wool from Milan, Italy. So beautiful! We also loved the Arts Pacific Gallery, an artist co-operative selling work done by many of the island’s best artists.

For a much more challenging hike, head up to Mount Gardner for spectacular views and a perfect photo op of Vancouver and the Sunshine coast, this will be your favourite Facebook or Instagram post. The hike takes about four to five hours round trip, and it gets steep in spots so don’t forget to bring water! We recommend taking the Skid Trail Handloggers route up to the North Summit, and then follow the North Summit Trail to the mountain summit. There is a helicopter pad at the top, a perfect resting or picnic spot. For more hiking options check out the hiking section on the Bowen Island website.

End your day on Bowen Island with a visit to the Lime and Moon Pie Company in Snug Cove, you deserve a slice of yummy pie after your active day out! Our favourite is the Apple Raspberry Pie with Chocolate Crust. The combination of tart Granny Smith apples, sweet raspberries, and chocolate makes for a beautiful looking and tasting pie. It is oh so good!