Posted by: cherylyoung | June 14, 2012

Howe Sound the Gateway to The Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. If you have ever taken a ferry, you will want to take the one that comes into Horseshoe Bay



The gateway to Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast

and central Vancouver Island, Horseshoe Bay is

a quaint and picturesque seaside village on the

North Shore of Vancouver.

Located to the northwest of Vancouver, Horseshoe

Bay is best known for its BC Ferry terminal,

serving Snug Cove on Bowen Island, Langdale on

the Sunshine Coast, and Departure Bay in

Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.


Ferries glide in and out of Horseshoe Bay, and the

wake from the larger boats creates surf as they

hit the shoreline.

Modest though these waves are, it’s an unusual

sight in these sheltered waters.


The bedroom community of Horseshoe Bay is also

the starting point of the intensely scenic Sea to Sky

Highway (Highway 99), which winds through

the Coast Mountains, from coastal rain forest at

Horseshoe Bay, through Squamish, alongside

Garibaldi Provincial Park, through the Resort

town of Whistler and on to Pemberton and Lillooet.

Journeys began and ended in Horseshoe Bay long

before the arrival of the first Europeans.


For Native people, Horseshoe Bay was a traditional

meeting place, used both as a seasonal fishing

encampment and a place to spend a night when

travelling between villages on the Squamish River

and Burrard Inlet.


The sheltered bay was called ch’xay or Chai-hai,

after the swishing sound made by schools of little

fish stirring up the waters of Horseshoe Bay.

In 1991, it was discovered that Horseshoe Bay

Park stands atop an ancient shell midden.


The pleasant waterfront of Horseshoe Bay offers

quaint cafés, a wide variety of restaurants, shops

and boutiques, with great views of the surrounding

mountains, islands and scenic Howe Sound.


Recreation in and around secluded Horseshoe Bay

includes sea kayaking, scuba diving, boating, hiking,

skiing and cross-country skiing.

Location: The Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal is

located on Highway 99, on Howe Sound,

12.5 miles (20 km) northwest of  Vancouver.


North of Horseshoe Bay is the community of

Lions Bay.

Information on the BC Ferries’  

Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal and other

ferry routes is available in our Transportation


The magnificent front doors of the Boathouse

Restaurant, a large wooden-sided building on the

far side of Sewell’s Marina, are well worth a look.

Carved by Nisga’a artist Norman Tait in traditional

West Coast style, the two large panels rival those

at the entrance of the University of BC’s Museum

of Anthropology.

Journey from the bustling urban centre of

Vancouver, north along the serene magical

coastline of British Columbia, across the majestic

waters of the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island.


Then travel south along its east coast of coves and

bays, tasting the unique island lifestyle before

returning to BC’s south coast.


For more information on our Coastal Circle Tour.

Boaters can launch from the federal dock next to

the park – beside the BC Ferries Terminal.


Fishing is excellent off Horseshoe Bay, and the

waters around the mouth of Howe Sound are

usually dotted with salmon fishermen and

their boats.


Paddlers can take guided kayak tours around a nest

of islands at the mouth of Howe Sound, which is

Flat-calm and an inviting place to paddle, or

explore Bowen Island’s extensive shoreline and

the nearby Gambier and Keats islands.

Boat Rentals, guided fishing charters, sea

safaris and marine dockage facilities are available at

Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay.

If you want to join the throng, you can rent a boat

from Sewell’s Marina for fishing, sightseeing or

wildlife viewing.


Bring a few friends and explore the islands and

inlets of Howe Sound.


Cheryl Young, Realtor,




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