With travel restrictions limiting our movements, we are so grateful to be living in beautiful British Columbia. Only a short 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay off the coast of West Vancouver is Bowen Island, a getaway destination perfect to unwind and recharge. We recently headed to Bowen for a mid-week getaway to take it all in. —Vicki Duong
splash. With rentals starting at $30, guests can explore the Howe Sound and nearby islands by renting a kayak or paddleboard from Bowen Island Sea Kayaking. Staying for a few days? Fret not, they offer overnight rentals as well as offer lessons for anyone new to paddling or looking to brush up on their stroke skills.
savour. Located in Snug Cove, Barcelona Tapas & Wine Bar is a must-visit for anyone looking to unwind with a glass of wine and light bites. The menu is made up of primarily locally sourced and specialty imported products, plus sustainable seafood and hormone- and antibiotic-free meats; half the wines offered are from B.C., the other half imported from Spain and France. Be sure to make a reservation, though, this spot tends to book up quick!
see. Take in nature, just like the locals do, by exploring one of the many trails available on the island. We recommend Cape Roger Curtis for its scenic views along four klicks of coastline. You’ll be able to see the lighthouse, Roger Curtis and Bowen Island Whale Trail all within 15 minutes of one another. Be sure to pack a beach blanket—you’ll definitely want to stop and soak up the sun at one of the many beaches along the trail.
sip. Relatively new to the island, Copper Spirit Distillery is a family-owned boutique craft distillery specializing in organic ingredients. Copper Spirit handcrafts vodka, gin and whiskey (all available for purchase) as well as offering a full tasting menu for those looking to sit back and relax. Our favourite concoction was the Fresh Pressed: a blend of apple and beet juice mixed with the company’s own Verity Rye and finished with lavender sugar on the rim!
stay. An Instagram aficionado’s dream come true, Nectar Yoga is a stunning resort perfect for anyone looking to embrace a slower pace while surrounded by luscious forest and big open skies. This bed-and-breakfast spot has practice offered twice daily in the yoga dome, and guests enjoy a vegetarian breakfast together every morning. Sleeping lodges include a cute A-frame or larger cabins with full bathrooms—equipped with both indoor and outdoor showers! All of the cabins feature multiple large windows with spectacular views (you may even see a deer or two).
snack. Along where the ferries dock, Branch on Bowen is a seasonal taco shack perfect for on the go noshing. Served on fresh-made corn tortillas, the tacos come loaded with toppings, making the perfect handheld snack while waiting for the boat. Our personal fave: the Tai Tai, with ground beef chuck, Thai basil and spicy toasted rice. Need another reason to visit? The shop also serves up scoops and pints of local Vancouver favourite Earnest Ice Cream.
shop. Right next to the Branch on Bowen, Tell Your Friends café and grocer boasts some of B.C.’s best food products, including Mumgry and Blume. Feeling peckish? The menu keeps it simple with fresh sandwiches, salads and baked goods, plus the occasional limited-ed feature, such as a pulled-pork sando with coleslaw, rhubarb BBQ sauce and lime spiced mayo. They also offer easy vegetarian substitutes like a TLT: smoked tofu instead of a classic BLT.