Bowen Island  is a small island at the entrance to Howe Sound, connected to Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland by a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and a regularly scheduled water taxi from Granville Island, in downtown. The island has become a favourite tourist destination although amenities and activities are limited. Most activities involve wandering the shops or exploring the parks and natural areas.
Most people will arrive at Bowen Island by boat. BC Ferries  runs a ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Snug Cove on the island. The ferry takes 20 minutes and generally runs hourly (except early afternoon). There are 15-16 trips a day with the first ferry leaving Horseshoe Bay at 6:05AM. Fare is $9.75 in the summer (adult foot passenger) and $7.75 at other times, bicycles are $2 and a car is $27.90.
A passenger-only water-taxi, the English Bay Launch , offers service to Bowen Island from Granville Island, on False Creek in downtown Vancouver. The 12-passenger vessel makes 11 runs a day in each direction. The trip takes about 30 minutes, and fare is $20 plus tax in each direction, or $35 return. Bicycles are free, and children under 12 are half-price. Reservations strongly recommended.
You can drive your car onto the Queen of Capilano in Horseshoe Bay. Be warned the during peak travel hours and during the summer there are often overloads and the ferry is often late due to high tourist traffic. Mechanical problems can cause the ferry to be cancelled and all vehicles will be stranded on Bowen Island until the ferry becomes operational again. Check the Service Notice section below the current schedule for Bowen Island on the BC Ferries webpage 
There is a bus service that will take you around to most parts of the island, however it runs infrequently. Information on the schedules are available through the Translink webpage; the C10 and C11 service the island.
An information centre is located a minute's walk up the main street from the ferry dock (turn right just before the library). The centre is run by Bowen Island Chamber of Commerce, and provides lots of information on Bowen Island accommodation and activities. 
There is also a strong culture of hitchhiking on the island.
The primary attraction of Bowen Island to Vancouverites has been to get away from everything and relax. If you want to "do" something however, there are a few options.
One is to rent a kayak and paddle around Snug Cove or venture around the island. Bowen Island Sea Kayaking, on the ferry dock at Snug Cove, 604-947-9266 ([email protected]), , rents standup paddleboards ($20 for the first hour) or single or double kayaks ($45/$65 for 3 hours). Rentals are also offered for longer periods, including multiday rentals for trips around Howe Sound. They also provide lessons and guided tours. Lessons and tours must be booked in advance. Popular options include the 3 hour tour, the 6 hour Half Island tour and the 7 hour Pasley Island tour. Prior experience is not necessary and all equipment is provided.
There are also a number of hikes on the island. Crippen Regional Park offers a number of shorter hikes that can be done in a couple of hours. Dorman Point (trail begins at the end of Snug Cove beach) provides views of the harbour and the entrance to Howe Sound. The hike to Killarney Lake (about 45 minutes each way) passes through forest and the fish ladder to the lake. There is also a 4 km hike around Killarney Lake.
Tougher, but with more rewarding views, is the hike to the top of Mount Gardner. The trail begins 3 km from Snug Cove on Mount Gardner Road and is mostly through forest. It rises to an elevation of 719 m and on sunny days provides a very nice view. The trail is 11 km in length, so be sure to leave yourself enough time if you have to walk from Snug Cove to the trailhead.
There are a number of small craft and souvenir shops in Snug Cove, as well as many artist studios and galleries located at Artisan Square , a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk from the Ferry.
There are no hotels or campgrounds on Bowen Island so the accommodation consists mostly of bed and breakfasts scattered across the island.
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Bowen Island is typically a day trip from Vancouver. Bus connections at the B.C. Ferries terminal in Horseshoe Bay will return you to West Vancouver, and Downtown Vancouver beyond. Last ferry leaves Snug Cove at 10:05PM. Granville Island Water Taxi also runs passenger-only trips back to Granville Island in Downtown Vancouver.