Bowen Island is just a quick ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay but it’s a great way to escape the city and enjoy the coastal scenes of Howe Sound. If you needed more of an excuse to visit, the Bowen Island Steamship Days festival is on now.
For over 100 years, Bowen Island has been known as “Vancouver’s Playground”. In 1902 Captain Cates sailed here in the luxurious S.S. Britannia and dubbed her, “The Happy Isle”. Thousands of passengers arrived daily in Steamships from Vancouver to frolic on Bowen’s beaches, picnic grounds and dance halls.
In 1924 The Lady Alexandra, the flagship of the Union Steamship Fleet, brought up to 1,400 passengers a day eager to kick up their heels to some of the best dance bands of the era. Over 200 summer cottages and a lavish hotel were built to accommodate the throngs of summer seekers.
Revisiting the steamship getaways of the past, you can enjoy an outing to Bowen this weekend in particular and check out events, music, games, exhibits, and more. Tomorrow, the legendary Dal Richards Orchestra will be performing on the wharf in Snug Cove (along with the lovely and talented Dawn Chubai) and tickets are just $20.
There’s also a wooden boat show, Casino Night, and a Golf Tournament. Stop by Doc Morgan’s Pub, learn more at the Bowen Island Museum & Archives, visit the USSC Marina, and spend a day on this charming island.
You can even take transit! Hop a Horseshoe Bay bus from downtown Vancouver, walk onto the ferry (it’s just over $10 per adult, return trip), and you’ll be right in Snug Cove in 20 minutes. If you’d like to stay overnight, no problem. There are Bed & Breakfasts and cottages all around. Bowen Island Steamship Days run until Sunday, July 15, 2012.