Savouring Lemonade at Horseshoe Bay

BC Ferries Terminal – Horseshoe Bay Photo: Rob Weiss

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.  That proverbial phrase rang true for me during my recent excursion to the Village of Horseshoe Bay.  Running late, despite my best attempts to adhere to the BC Ferries schedule, I literally missed the boat!  From the comfort of my car, I witnessed her slip out of the terminal and begin her journey across the Salish Sea. Disappointed and frustrated, I pondered what to do with my time.  Glancing up from the dashboard of my vehicle, I noticed a sign directing ferry customers to the Village of Horseshoe Bay.  Voila – lemonade!

As I explored the quaint, seaside village, it occurred to me that this small community is well worth exploring on its own merits.  Known as the gateway to Howe Sound, Horseshoe Bay boasts spectacular views of the Coast Mountains, a picturesque marina, numerous ice cream shops, coffee stores, restaurants and fantastic galleries.

Seaside Playground Photo: Rob Weiss

Strolling through Horseshoe Bay Park, past the cute children’s playground, and 5,000 pound cast iron propeller, I found myself drawn toward the docks at Sewell’s Marina.  Operating since 1931, from moorage to Eco-Tours, Fishing Derbies and boat rentals, Sewell’s is famous for connecting folk to the waters and rich and diverse marine life of Howe Sound.  From sponges and rockfish to salmon and Pacific White Sided Dolphin, our local waters have much to offer.

Search and Rescue Zodiac Photo: Rob Weiss

Noticing a brightly coloured Search and Rescue Zodiac moored at the dock I decided to venture down to inspect the vessel. British Columbia is known to be one of the most challenging Search and Rescue regions in the world.  Our waters can be mean, and it is comforting to know that Horseshoe Bay is home to the Royal Canadian Marine SAR Station 1.

The Lookout Coffee House Photo: Rob Weiss

Feeling the chill in the air, I decided to stop by The Lookout Coffee House for a quick cup of Java.  From the warmth of my ocean view perch, I had front row seats to the action in the bay.  Ferries and small pleasure craft effortlessly navigated the waters, and to my great delight a harbour seal popped up as though to say hello.  Mesmerized by the antics of the seal and the beauty of Howe Sound I found myself daydreaming of summer kayak trips and nautical adventures. Glancing at my watch, I realized it was almost time to load the ferry. I will be back Horseshoe Bay.  Thank you for the lemonade, it was delicious.

Horseshoe Bay Photo: Rob Weiss

Getting There:

Located on the western tip of West Vancouver, visit Horseshoe Bay by following Highway 1 from Vancouver, across the Lions Gate Bridge to the Upper Levels Highway. Watch for signs to the Village of Horseshoe Bay.


Easily accessible by Public Transit, with express buses running from Vancouver.  Translink’s Trip Planner will assist you with planning your route.


Cyclists often set their sights on Horseshoe Bay, as the route from Vancouver along Marine Drive to the village is a terrific training ride.  Exercise caution as the road is narrow, windy and hilly. Naturally, after a gruelling ride, a pit stop at one of the many coffee or ice cream stores is a must!

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