My wife and I have been living in the city of Vancouver for just about a year now. We love every bit of what the city offers, but the pace at which we live occasionally requires a weekend escape. In this regard, we are so fortunate, as our city is surrounded by great places to get away and find peace and quiet. One of those spots is Bowen Island (located in the Howe Sound area). It’s a short drive followed by an even shorter ferry ride away. It is the closest island to the city, and yet I am surprised by how many people I know that have not visited it. You will find a similar charm and quaintness to many of B.C’s famous Gulf Islands, but you will not have to travel so far, or spend as much money to get there. We have spent some lazy afternoons at Artisan Square enjoying lunch at Artisan Eats, followed by chocolate and an affogato at Cocoa West. After taking in all the delicious eats the restaurants and cafes have to offer, it’s worth your time to explore the hidden pebble and driftwood covered beaches. You can do all this in a day too, but there’s plenty of bed & breakfasts to stay at as well. On our last trip, we discovered Ardtara Luxury Cottages on the south side of the island. The food was amazing, the cottage was beautiful, and the owners made us feel welcome instantly. A stay here comes highly recommended. So if you’ve never been to Bowen, go and explore for a day or a weekend, and make sure to meet the friendly folks who call the island home.