A 1-Day Trip to Bowen Island in British Columbia!
Bowen Island is a small island (about 6km wide by 12km long) west of Vancouver. It is a great day trip from Vancouver, BC. The ferry from Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Bowen Island (Snug Cove) is only 20 minutes. You can definitely visit Bowen Island without a car and there are buses that go to the popular spots. A car definitely makes things easier, however, especially if you are only going for one day. Note: Our cellphone data was very spotty on Bowen Island, so be prepared.
We caught the 11:15am ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove (Bowen Island). We arrived about 30 minutes before the sailing and I was concerned we were going to miss the ferry as the car line seemed long. Turns out that the line was just slow and we made the ferry without issue. The 20 minute ride was quick. First stop at Bowen Island – breakfast pastries at the Village Baker. Afterwards, we headed to the Dormon Point Trail. The hike is easy and it is a 30 minute hike to the Dormon Point Lookout from Snug Cove.
Next, we wandered Snug Cove and stopped for coffee and lemonade at the Tell Your Friends Cafe (located beside Branch at Bowen). This is a great spot to people watch. Another good lunch spot is the Snug Cafe, which is a sit down restaurant.
Bowen Island has two cideries – Riley’s Cidery and Bowen Cider House. We stopped at both. Tastings at both locations are free and each have their own picnic area. Riley’s Cidery has only been open for a few years, but their orchard is over 30 years old and has thousands of apple varieties. Bowen Cider House recently opened in 2022.
We continued to the Cape Roger Curtis Lighthouse. In addition to the lighthouse, there are a few trails in this area.
After the lighthouse, we headed back to Snug Cove. On the way, we stopped at Cocoa West Chocolatier at Artisan Square. Artisan Square is a cute spot with boutique shops and art galleries. Most of the stores close around 5pm.
Back at Snug Cove, we visited the Copper Spirit Distillery. The distillery makes amazing mini cocktails, but you are limited to 3 per person. Their menu changes seasonally, but if the option for the “Fir Tip Spearmint Sparkle” is available, it is a must! It is a delicious blend of spearmint, lime and their Presence Vodka. I also enjoyed the “Not Your Grandma’s Soap” (vodka, lavender, botanicals, and topped with aquafaba).
For a pre-dinner snack, we headed to Rustique Bistro for happy hour as I was craving truffle fries. Yum!
We decided to take the 6:15pm ferry, so we got into the car line. While in line, we ordered takeout pizza (half smoked salmon and half carne misto) from Tuscany Restaurant. The smoked salmon pizza was so good – highly recommended! Tuscany Restaurant’s pizza is tasty and also has lovely outdoor seating for dine-in. A perfect way to end our one day trip on Bowen Island!
Note: Bowen Island is also home to many beaches, in case a swim is on the to-do list! Turnstall Bay, nearby the Cape Roger Curtis Lighthouse, is one option.
Complete Day 1 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
10:00am: Take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove (20 minute ferry).
11:00am: Hike to the Dormon Point Lookout (1-hour round trip from Snug Cove).
12:00pm: Have lunch at the Snug Cafe (2 minute walk from Snug Cove).
1:00pm: Wander Snug Cove and people watch at Tell Your Friends Cafe (2 minute walk from Snug Cafe).
2:00pm: Visit Bowen Cider House (7 minute drive from Tell Your Friends Cafe) and Riley’s Cidery (4 minute drive from Bowen Cider House).
3:00pm: Visit the Cape Rogers Curtis Lighthouse (8 minute drive from Riley’s Cidery).
4:00pm: Visit Artisan Square (15 minute drive from Cape Rogers Curtis Lighthouse). Stop by Cocoa West Chocolatier.
5:00pm: Have a cocktail (or three) at Copper Spirit Distillery (5 minute drive from Artisan Square).
6:00pm: Have dinner at Tuscany Restaurant (1 minute walk from Copper Spirit Distillery).
7:00pm: Catch the ferry from Snug Cove back to Horseshoe Bay (20 minute ferry).
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