Sunday Drive to Horseshoe Bay for Fish and Chips - West Vancouver
Activity:Dad says it's the simple activities that give us the most joy...one of his favourite activities on a nice spring day is to pull his 1975 Buick LeSabre convertible (he calls the car "The Red Sled", but we call it a Tank) out of storage, pile everyone in, and take one of the most beautiful drives in Canada (according to Mom and Dad) to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. Before we start our drive, Dad always has to put on this shiny shirt from the '70s, take this thing out called an 8-track tape, and play a tune called Green Onions (by Booker T and the MGs).
The best route to take is Marine Drive (west direction) from Lions Gate Bridge, past Ambleside Beach, Dundarave Village, Sandy Cove, Stearman Beach, Caulfeild Park, Lighthouse Park, Fisherman's Cove, past Gleneagles, and on to Horseshoe Bay. No need to rush, take your time to explore the parks, forests, trails, secret beaches, and the fabulous waterfront homes.
There are a number of places you can eat at Horseshoe Bay, but we always seem to end up at the same one--Troll's Restaurant (604-921-7755). It's what Mom and Dad call a "Family Restaurant." What I like is the scoop of ice cream they serve you after you finish eating your dinner. Troll's is right across the street from the water, so sometimes you can see a ferry boat coming in if you're sitting close enough to a window. After dinner we usually cross the street to the kids' playground. Coleman and I like going on the swings. We have races to see who can get the highest. Of course, I'm always the winner. (Maybe because I'm six years older). Anyway, Nathan is too big for swings and teeter-totters. He usually walks down to Sewell's Marina with Dad to see if anyone caught a fish. I suppose if you had an afternoon of time and you we're looking for an adventure, you could even take the ferry to Bowen Island. It only takes 20 minutes to get there by ferry.
Age group:All ages
Expense rating:About $8 - $10 for an order of fish and chips.
:I'm not much for car rides. It must've been the time I threw up in our rental car in Hawaii. Nathan refused to sit beside me for the rest of the trip. Anyway, the scenery along Marine Drive really is pretty. Once I even saw a seal swimming in the water. The drive is only about 10 km long--no long enough to feel car sick. Once you get to Horseshoe Bay, there's plenty to keep everybody busy. Mom even finds the occasional shop to browse in. Don't ask me what she's looking for, because most of the shops sell souvenirs. Of course, there's the fish and chips which none of us end up ordering except for Dad. Nathe, Coleman, and I don't eat fish. Don't ask me why, we just Don't.
:The only bad thing that ever happened to us at Horseshoe Bay was that one time Nathan fell off the swing at the kids' park. Dad was giving him an "underduck" and Nathe didn't hold on tight enough. Nobody felt like playing anymore after that. Plus, one time we must've driven around the town six times looking for the "right" parking spot. Dad's Buick LeSabre is so big you need an entire block to park it.
Details:Horseshoe Bay is a quaint little seaside community located in the western end of West Vancouver. Horseshoe Bay is the terminus for BC Ferries heading for Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and Bowen Island. You can get to Horseshoe Bay by taking the Upper Levels Highway (Highway 1), or Marine Drive (a beautiful drive - the preferred route) which runs along the ocean's edge.
Season:Horseshoe Bay is one of those places you can visit any time of year. The bay and mountains are a beautiful picture rain or shine. Now, driving in Dad's convertible LeSabre in the rain is another matter.
Educational highlights:Did you know that people living in West Vancouver are the richest in Canada (the highest per capita income)?
Fun for the adult?:What parent would pass up an opportunity to eat out, look at beautiful scenery, and spend time with their adoring children? (OK, maybe the last part is stretching things a bit).