There is a fairly uncharted piece of paradise nestled between Gibsons and Bowen Island in Howe Sound that our family is fortunate enough to frequent year-round.
Dotted with summer cottages and some permanent homes, Keats Island is a heavenly break from the Vancouver city beat. The island’s community is filled with generations of friendly faces and plenty of activities for all ages, making it the ultimate outdoor family adventure.
Just a 30-minute water taxi ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, Keats Island is the perfect destination for a camping trip with the kids, or even for just a day trip. There are several beaches along the island’s shoreline for swimming and beachcombing, and two government wharves (Keats Landing on the west coast, and Eastbourne on the southeast shore), where kids can reel in small fish. My daughter loves collecting seaglass and hunting for crabs along these shores.
If you have a few explorers on your hands, the island has plenty of dirt roads and trails to hike along. For the more experienced tots, there’s also a few bluffs and lookout points. Keats is bike and stroller friendly with a ton of terrain to cover, and plenty of blackberries to pick along the way too.
There are no stores on Keats, and very little vehicle traffic (mostly a few golf carts buzzing around). So bring the dog, some beach gear and a cooler, but whatever you bring in, remember to bring out. This is how this little piece of paradise stays a paradise.
Fun fact: Legendary rock group Led Zeppelin once visited Keats Island while recording in Vancouver. Some residents of the island believe they landed on one of the island’s most popular beaches – Pebble, but it’s yet to be nailed down. My husband believes they landed on Wreck Beach.
Camping in Plumper Cove (Marine Provincial Park) on Keats Island is open year-round and there’s no need to make a reservation.
To book the water taxi to Keats Island, visit the Mercury Transport.
For more about the community, check out the official Keats Island site.