This article is inspired by my trip yesterday to the little island community of Bowen Island in British Columbia. I thought I'd get this article out because the memory is still fresh in my mind and I was whisked away into a wonderful community with great food and people. It was sort of a random idea to take a day trip out to Bowen Island, and I hope I can inspire some other local Vancouverites to perhaps think about it. Bowen Island is easily accessible from downtown Vancouver, and you could be there within and hour if you timed it right.
For those locals and people abroad reading this who don't know much about Bowen Island, let me drop a little knowledge on the table. Bowen Island is apart of Howe Sound and is still part of Metro Vancouver, so there are no long distance phone charges. The island itself is approximately 6 kilometres wide by 12 km long and sits about 6 km west of the mainland. A good chunk of the island is paved so you can bring your car over to explore the furter regions, or at least your bikes!
So how does one get to Bowen Island? Well there are a few options which make it rather easy to get there for a very low cost. The route I took was I drove to Horshoe Bay and parked my car for $12 all day and took the ferry over. The ferry cost about $10 roundtrip per person and the ride is only 15 minutes long, and it's a nice short scenic trip across Howe Sound. There are two 12 person water taxi's that leave from downtown, one is in Coal Harbour, and the other is located just off of Granville Island. If you're in need of a late night taxi ferry, you can get in touch with Cormorant Marina Water Taxi to take you from Horshoe Bay to Bowen Island.
Once you're on the island the fun is just beginning. My day trip included a day of drinking lager and eating food from the local restaurants. I didn't get a chance to explore much of the parks and forests sadly, but if you're coming for a hike you'll find no shortage of places to go. Bowen Island has many public and hidden beaches you could go to and easily spend the day relaxing in the sun. Bowen is also home to kayaking, boating and diving experiences. Since there are a lot of paved roads you can bring a car with some gear and go camping in one of the many camp sites.
Since Bowen Island is such a quick trip I think it's Vancouver's best kept secret in regards to getting out of the city. You instantly get whisked away to a more quiet, small town setting that quickly lets you forget the noisy city lifestyle. It makes for a great date night with all the lovely restaurants, or hit up and bed and breakfast and make it a weekend getaway.
Bowen Island Resources:
Bowen Island Tourism
Bowen Island Accomodations