Bowen Island vacation rentals
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Your guide to Bowen Island
All About Bowen Island
Douglas fir-blanketed mountains, pristine beaches, and cozy wood-cladded cafes make Bowen Island feel far removed from the nearby metropolis of Vancouver, British Columbia, just a short ferry ride away. The 19-square-mile island lures travelers with its hiking trails and historic bungalows and cottages, a popular place for Vancouverites to unplug and relax for a weekend. Hop on one of the pedestrian paths, like the Pebble Beach Shore Walk, where you can get a few steps in while spotting eagles and deer. After a long day outdoors, head to Snug Cove, where you’ll find a fiercely local art scene, farm-to-table restaurants, and a handful of mom-and-pop shops selling everything from clothes to candy. For a dose of self-care, hook up with the island’s growing group of wellness practitioners, offering yoga classes and spa experiences.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Bowen Island
Due to its location in the Howe Sound, weather in the area is often overcast and rainy, so come prepared with warm layers and rain gear. Hikes through the forest can feel even more romantic with a gentle rain falling through the treeline. The mild and breezy summers are an ideal time to book rentals on Bowen Island. In August, you’ll have the chance to attend Bowfest, the island’s quirky festival, with food and drink stalls, live music, and dance performances. The weekly farmers’ market is held each Saturday from May through October. Autumn brings vibrant colors to the trees and the annual Applefest at the island orchard. The winter season is marked by holiday lights and a polar bear swim on New Year’s Day.
Top things to do in Bowen Island
Crippen Regional Park
This densely forested park is home to Mount Gardner, the highest peak on the island at more than 2,300 feet. The trails leading to the summit are best suited for experienced hikers, but a handful of easier routes, including the Mount Gardner Loop Trail, that show off some of the park’s marquee features, such as Dorman Point and Killarney Lake, a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing.
Just north of the ferry terminal, you’ll find this slightly rocky public beach that’s known for its relatively shallow, calm waters that are great for swimming. There’s wheelchair and stroller access, public toilets, picnic tables, and dogs are also allowed. The best time to come here are the months of July and August.
Close to where the ferries dock, Snug Cove is where you go when you’re not out exploring the island’s hiking trails and rugged beaches. The restaurants tend to be family owned and run the gamut from French bistros to elevated pub food. Local ingredients dominate the menus — mussels are big here — and most spots are equipped with large outdoor seating areas overlooking the water. Snug Cove is also home to outdoor adventure shops, where you can rent hiking gear and kayaks.