A nice day-trip from Vancouver is over to Bowen Island, there is a nice bed and breakfast there and a few shops. It's very relaxing to just wander around and do a little beach combing.
Plus it's cheap, cheap, cheap to get over there from Horseshoe Bay.
Just click on the link for times and amounts.
If you get tired of seeing the city you can hop over to this small island located a bridge and a ferry ride away from Downtown Vancouver. You can enjoy a nice ferry ride and a fine lunch or dinner on Bowen Island.
Bowen Island is a cute little island located north-west of Vancouver in the middle of Howe Sound. To get here you have to go to Horseshoe Bay (a 15 minute drive from downtown Vancouver), and then you have to take a little ferry across to get to the island.
Bowen Island has several parks and the tiny town of Snug Cove, however, many of its residents live their year round and commute into Vancouver on a daily basis for work. Bowen Island offers amazing views of the Strait of Georgia and the local Coast Mountains (ie: Whistler). If you're looking for a quiet island retreat within an hour's drive from Vancouver, or if you don't have enough time to get out to the Gulf Islands or Vancouver Island, Bowen Island might give you a taste of relaxed west-coast BC life.
The photo was taken in September of 2000 when I went there for a wedding. Snug Cove (the area in the picture) was unbelievably cute! Check out my Bowen Island, British Columbia page for more pictures!
If you fancy getting out of VanC for the day and want to do a bit of exercise then consider a trip to nearby Bowen Island where you can hike up Mount Gardner.
Did the trail at the end of February. We caught the 8.05 ferry from horsehoe bay which got us to Snug Cove at 8.30. Use start off by taking a short walk through Crippen Park. We didn't have a map but were able to pick one up outside the info centre which is at the entrance to the park and it shows you how to get to the trailhead. The wolk to the trail heap of Mount Gardner takes 45min. When you get to the gate of the trail look out for a trail leading out to the left. We took what turned out to be "skid trail" all the way up through the southern peak and finishing off at the nothern peak. We arrived at the Northern Peak at 11.30am and after taking pics and eating luch we left at 12pm. We opted to take the loggers trail down which is basically a dirt track so you can virtually run down. We made it to the ferry terminal at Snug Cove at 2pm which left us an hour to wait for the next ferry. Therefore time this trek right by catching the 9.05 ferry out and the 3.05pm ferry back to Vancouver.
From Horseshoe Bay, a short ferry ride takes you to Bowen Island. Great for a short day trip, for picnic, hiking, etc. Very quiet, neat little west-coast Canada village.