A couple of weekends ago I decided to drive over to Horseshoe Bay on West Vancouver to check it out. I have heard others speak of it and say how beautiful it is so I wanted to see for myself. It’s only about 30 – 40 minutes drive from downtown Vancouver, depending on the traffic. It sits on the western-most point of North Vancouver, so depending what part of Horseshoe Bay you are in, you can still see the headland where UBC sits. It was early autumn, and the weather had obliged by firstly giving an icing sugar coating of snow to the surrounding mountains, but also by turning on a bright, clear sunny day (something which is becoming more rare as we move towards winter).
The township/village itself comprises about 1000 residents (according to this website) and also listed things to do. Which, no matter how pretty the place was, were rather slow-paced things to do… (e.g. get fish and chips and eat it in the park). It is also home to one of the ferry terminals that runs ferries out to Bowen Island, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, all of which are on my list of places to visit, especially Vancouver Island (but after seeing the websites for the other 2, I think they need to be bumped up the list!).
I strolled along the (short) main street, and poked my head into a couple of shops. One of these was a gallery with some amazing paintings and carvings by local artists, unfortunately bulked out by the usual tourist bits and bobs. I then decided, seeing as this took me all of about 20 minutes, and that was pushing it, to drive a bit further to Whytecliff Park, which is a marine sanctuary and popular scuba diving area (there were some brave souls doing some dives on this fine but chilly autumn day).
There is a little playground for kids to run around and play, a picnic area to sit and take lunch, some tennis courts, and a cute little beach that apparently in summer is great swimming for kids, and was where I saw divers entering the water.
There were also a number of sailing boats out on the water – it almost looked like a bit of a race. The views up towards the mountains, as you head further north were quite stunning, and the water seemed to go on forever.
There were a number of people at this park. One mum, dad and son somehow bugged me a bit. The boy kept asking the same question over and over in a high pitched extremely loud kids voice, and the parents just kept ignoring him until he had asked literally about 10 times… it was a bit much for me (just answer the boy dammit!).
An extremely pretty place to visit, very close to the city at only 30 – 40 minutes drives, but feels very much out in the country. For me it was lacking a bit in things to do, as beyond walking the tiny main street, looking at shops and going to Whytecliff Park there was not a lot else (I was hoping for some nice little bush walks or something but if they are there I missed them). But it would be a super cute place to go for a dinner out with a significant other or friends, as long as you had a sober driver for the ride home (or didn’t mind facing the much longer bus ride/ferry ride back to downtown).