Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island — a perfect day trip!
The Village of Horseshoe Bay is the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon. It is a quick 20-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver. Getting there is easy; leaving is difficult. You will not want to leave this coastal paradise. The natural beauty of this charming seaside village is impressive. This unique thriving community at the entrance to Howe Sound has cafés, ice cream parlors, a marina, a pub, restaurants, and shops filled with Canadiana gifts and crafts made by local artisans. Wander from shop to shop and then park yourself on a bench and rest a while with an iced coffee or ice cream. The view is stunning.
The Boathouse Restaurant
The marina-side patio at the Boathouse Restaurant is the perfect spot to relax and soak in the majestic views of the harbour and Coast Mountains. Try the Seafood Chop Chop Salad with grilled wild salmon, shrimp and scallops. It is delicious. The superb Saturday/Sunday Brunch is available from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The Boathouse is only a five-minute walk from the BC Ferries terminal.
The village has something for everyone. If you are interested in sea kayaking, boating, scuba diving, or fishing, you can do that too. Rent a speedboat at Sewell’s Marina to explore Howe Sound while marveling at the ocean-side homes, scenery and wildlife. Take an exciting Sea Safari wildlife eco-tour, and you will find yourself racing beside steep cliffs, watching seals at play, exploring sea caves and viewing bald eagles and other marine birds.
The Sea Quest Scavenger Hunt is a safe, unique adventure that everyone can participate in. Rain or shine teams of three or four people are equipped with a fully fueled speedboat, game map and question sheets. Teams travel throughout Howe Sound in two and a half hours to complete their quest. The objective is to organize your route on the game map and decide which questions to tackle first, and then search for answers that are found by combing the coves and inlets of spectacular Howe Sound.
After your morning at Horseshoe Bay, catch the 20-minute ferry ride to Bowen Island to spend an hour or two exploring local art galleries and shops. Bowen Island has its share of artists and art galleries, live theatre and concerts. Local landmarks like the Bowen Island Museum, Davies Orchard, and Alderwood Farm bring the island’s rustic spirit to life. The 20-minute walk from Snug Cove to Artisan Square is worth the effort. The Square is a picturesque village filled with artist studios, a chocolatier, clothing boutique, a florist, and galleries.
Cocoa West Chocolatier
Cocoa West is my favourite chocolatier on the West Coast. Their delicious hand-made chocolates are made with the freshest natural organic ingredients. You can buy chocolates online or at their shop in Artisan Square on Bowen Island.
After you have finished browsing the shops and galleries, and have made your purchase at Cocoa West, head back down to Snug Cove for a late lunch at one of the many cafés and restaurants around the cove.