Last Updated on May 18, 2021
Deep Cove is one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver to spend the day, especially when the sun is shining. Formerly a fishing and clamming village, Deep Cove is a charming place — it is in a big city, but it really does not seem like it. Deep Cove is a small neighborhood that features an even smaller “village” along Gallant Street. It feels like you are miles away from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver.
In Deep Cove, you really are surrounded by it all: rainforests, mountains, the ocean, wildlife, a laid-back vibe, and plenty to explore. Rent a paddleboard or kayak, hike the trails, search for sea stars at low tide, enjoy some of the tastiest donuts you’ll ever have from Honey’s, or just have a picnic and enjoy time in the sunshine. It is all too easy to fill up an entire day in Deep Cove.
Take A Walk Along The Water
When we first arrived at Deep Cove, we took a walk to admire the stunning water views. It was so peaceful early in the morning with only a few people in sight; those wandering to the starting point of the Quarry Rock hike.
Important to note: Parking is limited in Deep Cove, so arrive early!
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Visit Honey Doughnuts
No visit to Deep Cove would be complete without stopping by Honey Doughnuts & Goodies. Their doughnuts are seriously so delicious; they are to die for. The maple is my favourite, but the chocolate and honey doughnuts are beyond delicious as well.
The cafe, known mostly for its high-quality doughnuts, really hit fame back in 2017 when Kate Winslet gushed about them during an interview at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
The cafe does get super busy, so expect a line. Also, you can expect to possibly have to wait for a new batch of doughnuts — they go fast!
Get Out On The Water
Rent or bring a kayak or paddleboard, or go for a swim. Deep Cove is a great location with stunning scenery and sheltered water.
You really cannot miss the location of Deep Cove Kayak Center, located right off of the beach. You are able to rent kayaks, paddleboards, and surf skis. During our last visit, there were also plenty of people waiting for tours and lessons. During the pandemic, they are running at limited capacity, so ensure you make your reservations ahead of time so you are not disappointed.
There is no better way to experience Deep Cove than by getting out on the water to explore the area.
Explore The Beach
The beach at Deep Cove is a typical rugged, Pacific Northwest paradise. There are a few spots where you can put out a towel for some sunbathing. However, this beach is best made for exploring at low tide. There’s always a Heron or two around, as well as plenty of starfish to be found.
Search For Starfish
Deep Cove is one of the best places to search for Ochre starfish near Vancouver. At low tide, walk to the main pier and use that area as your starting point. You’ll see starfish hanging from the legs of the pier, then you will start noticing them sandwiched between rocks along the shore. The tide really has to be at its lowest point to be able to find the starfish along the shore. If the tide is not quite low enough, you are still able to view the starfish from looking over the railing on the pier.
Hike Quarry Rock
The main reason for our venture out to explore Deep Cove was to do one of the most scenic hikes in the Vancouver area. Quarry Rock is an easy 3.8 km hike, that with kids (freshly 2,4, and 6 years old), takes a couple of hours round trip. The views at the top are absolutely breathtaking. You will want to bring a picnic to enjoy the views once you reach the top. There are some massive drop-offs, so always make sure your kids are safe. We helped the girls wander out a bit to see the view with us, but Jacob (2 years old) we knew would be too much, so we kept him seated back safely with his lunch at all times we were on the rock. It is wonderful to sit there and take in the breathtaking views of the Indian Arm and the mountains around Belcarra.
Bring a lot of water, even on a cloudy day. In the summer the trail gets crazy busy. Make sure you wear athletic clothes — this is not a hike to do comfortably in jeans and flip-flops!
If you are looking for a harder hike, you can also do the Baden Powell Trail that will take you from the head of Burrard Inlet in Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. It is more of a rugged, wilderness hike that covers 41 km.
Have A Picnic
There are so many great grass areas to escape the sun with a picnic in the shade under a tree at Panorama Park. The views are incredible and there is plenty of space for the kids to run out some of their energy. Bring a picnic from home or order from one of the restaurants on the main strip and take it to go. Arms Reach Bistro is a tasty and award-winning restaurant.
Also nearby any picnic spot you choose is a great kids playground. The kids and Comet were nice and tired out after the Quarry Rock hike. Comet just wanted to roll around in the grass like a crazy puppy and the kids, of course, found extra energy to take in the great playground with spectacular views of the water. It was a perfect spot to find some shade to sit and relax and let the kids run wild while we took in the pretty sights as we watched them play.
How To Get To Deep Cove
Driving to Deep Cove from Vancouver takes around 40 minutes. You will take Highway 1 and then Dollarton Highway to Deep Cove. Parking is a challenge, so arriving early is always your best bet. It is super easy to get to Deep Cove using Google Maps. When you get close, there is also plenty of signage.
A more environmentally friendly way to reach Deep Cove is by transit. At around an hour to an hour and a half travel time (dependant on the route chosen), it does take longer than driving. However, you will not have to fight for parking.
From Downtown, take bus #211 from the Burrard Station. This bus will take you to Deep Cove without having to worry about transfers.
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