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Car-Free Bliss: Exploring Bowen Island’s Hidden Gems

Are you looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? If you’re in Vancouver, Bowen Island is the perfect getaway. This island is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The best part? You can explore the island without a car! In this article, we will share with you some of Bowen Island’s hidden gems that you can discover on foot or by bike.

Getting to Bowen Island

To get to Bowen Island, you can take a ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. The ferry ride takes about 20 minutes, and the view of the Howe Sound is breathtaking. Once you arrive at Snug Cove, the island’s main village, you will feel like you have stepped back in time. The quaint village has restaurants, cafes, and shops worth exploring. From there, you can start your car-free adventure.

Hiking Trails

Bowen Island has over 50 kilometers of hiking trails that are accessible to everyone. Some trails are easy, while others are more challenging. If you’re up for a challenge, we recommend hiking up to Mount Gardner. The trail is steep, but the panoramic view of the island and the city skyline is worth it. If you’re looking for a more relaxed hike, you can explore the trails in Crippen Regional Park. The park has six kilometers of hiking trails that wind through the forest and along the shore.


Bowen Island has several beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or having a picnic. The most popular beach is Sandy Beach, which is located near Snug Cove. The beach has a playground and a picnic area, making it ideal for families. If you’re looking for a more secluded beach, visit Tunstall Bay. The beach is a bit of a walk from the ferry terminal, but it’s worth it. The beach has crystal clear water and a stunning view of the mountains.

Artisan Studios

Bowen Island is home to many talented artists and artisans. You can visit their studios and see their work up close. One of the most popular studios is the Rustique Bistro, which features handmade ceramics and pottery. The studio also has a cafe where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious meal. Another studio worth visiting is the Bowen Island Glassworks. The studio showcases beautiful glass art that you can purchase as a souvenir.

Snug Cove

Snug Cove is the heart of Bowen Island. The village has everything you need, from restaurants to grocery stores. However, there are a few places that you shouldn’t miss. The Bowen Island Pub is the perfect place to grab a pint of beer and enjoy live music. The pub has a cozy atmosphere and a beautiful patio that overlooks the marina. If you’re looking for a quick snack, visit Tuscany Pizza. The pizza is delicious, and the prices are reasonable. Finally, don’t forget to visit the Bowen Island Marina. The marina has a boardwalk that is perfect for a stroll, and you can see boats of all sizes.


If you’re not up for a hike, you can explore Bowen Island by bike. The island has several bike rental shops, and the terrain is perfect for biking. You can bike along the shore, visit the beaches, and explore the forests. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can bike up to Mount Gardner. However, be prepared for a challenging ride.


Bowen Island is a hidden gem that is worth exploring. The island has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a relaxing day at the beach. The best part is that you can explore the island without a car. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Bowen Island for a car-free adventure.


  • Can I bring my car to Bowen Island?

    No, there are no cars allowed on Bowen Island. You can explore the island on foot, by bike, or by using the island’s public transportation.

  • How long does it take to hike up to Mount Gardner?

    It takes about 4-5 hours to hike up to Mount Gardner and back down. The trail is steep, so be prepared for a challenging hike.

  • Are there any restaurants on Bowen Island?

    Yes, Bowen Island has several restaurants and cafes that serve a variety of cuisines. You can also find grocery stores and a liquor store on the island.

  • Can I swim in the ocean on Bowen Island?

    Yes, there are several beaches on Bowen Island that are perfect for swimming. However, the water can be cold, so be prepared.

  • Is Bowen Island suitable for families with young children?

    Yes, Bowen Island is suitable for families with young children. The island has several beaches, playgrounds, and hiking trails that are perfect for children.

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