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With some of the best hikes in Vancouver, kayaking adventures, and (perhaps most importantly) amazing doughnuts, it’s no wonder that the area of Deep Cove in Vancouver is so popular.
Known by locals simply as “The Cove”, this town is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, it’s only 13 kilometers (8 miles) from downtown, so it’s easily accessible for a day trip from Vancouver.
Although it’s close to the vibrant city of Vancouver, Deep Cove is situated right on the waterfront of a beautiful bay surrounded by forests, mountains, and stunning beaches, so it feels far removed from urban life.
Deep Cove may be small, but its natural beauty means it’s a popular place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a more relaxed, rural vibe. It’s definitely worth checking out which is why we’ve put together this guide to Deep Cove and all the best things to do and places to eat here.
About Deep Cove, Vancouver
Deep Cove is located on the waterfront in North Vancouver, within Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park (formerly called Indian Arm Park). It’s on the southern end of the Indian Arm, a glacial fiord over 20 kilometers (12 miles) long. And if you head just a few kilometers (1.8 miles) further south, you’ll hit the Burrard Inlet which separates the city of Vancouver from North Vancouver.
Formerly known as Deepwater, Deep Cove has been inhabited by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation for as long as anyone can remember. For this group of Coast Salish people, the bay was a traditional fishing and clamming area. However, in the late 18th century, British and Spanish naval explorers arrived and began catching whales – a practice which, fortunately, is no longer legal.
In the 1910s, Deep Cove began to attract vacationers from Vancouver, and it’s no wonder seeing how it’s such an amazing place to visit in British Columbia. Although it’s been popular for over a century, it still maintains its laid back, rural feel. So if you want to get out of the city and explore nature without going somewhere super remote, look no further than the wholesome, friendly town of Deep Cove.
Deep Cove FAQs
How to Get to Deep Cove from Vancouver
The easiest way to get to Deep Cove from Vancouver is to take the #211 bus from Burrard Station in central downtown, which costs $3.15 CAD and the trip takes about 50 minutes in total.
On weekdays, the earliest bus leaves at 8:06 am, and then regular services continue every 15-30 minutes between 10:09 am – 6:21 pm. On Saturdays, buses leave Burrard station every 30 minutes from 10:09 am – 5:54 pm, and on Sundays it runs every 30 minutes from 10:11 am – 5:37 pm. Since the timetables vary, your best bet is to check the full schedule online before planning your trip.
The #211 bus returning to Burrard Station runs more frequently. It leaves every 15 minutes or less on weekdays between 6:22 am- 10:08 am and then every 10-30 minutes until 5:07 pm. On weekends, it runs roughly every 30 minutes between 9:07 am – 5:14 pm.
Alternatively, you can take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay, and then catch bus #239 from there to Phibbs Exchange in Deep Cove. The SeaBus departs every 15 minutes and the crossing takes around 12 minutes, and then the bus takes 40 minutes. A one-way journey costs $5.10 CAD in total for passengers over 12 years old.
Catching the normal bus from downtown Vancouver straight to Deep Cove is definitely the easiest way to get there, but the SeaBus can be useful if you also want to check out some other nearby areas. If you do chose to take the SeaBus, you can stop to enjoy the many things to do in Lonsdale Quay before heading to Deep Cove.
It’s an easy 20-minute drive to Deep Cove from Vancouver, but the journey itself isn’t the problem. Parking in Deep Cove is super limited with barely any street parking and only a few public parking lots to choose from, so if you do want to drive there, get an early start to secure your spot.
Related Read: If you’re spending the day in Deep Cove, but returning to the city by night, make a full day of it! Check out the Richmond Night Market in Vancouver where you can taste delicious food and browse the local street vendors.
Best Things to do in Deep Cove, Vancouver
1. Go kayaking
Deep Cove is an amazing place to kayak, with calm waters and beautiful views all around. You can rent a kayak for an hour or two and explore the waterfront, or you can make it a longer trip into Indian Arm and even camp overnight!
You can rent a kayak from Deep Cove Kayak, which is right on the waterfront next to Panorama Park. They’re open all summer, from April until October. They open between 8 am -10 am until dusk, but exact hours change from month to month.
If you’re just looking for a quick paddle, a 2-hour rental costs $49 CAD for a single kayak or $76 CAD for a double. Meanwhile, a full day costs $115 CAD for a one-person kayak and $145 CAD for a double.
While Deep Cove Kayak does accept walk-ins, they often sell out (especially on weekends) so you should make a reservation online ahead of time.
As a quick side note, if you do want to kayak solo, you’ll need to have a Paddle Canada level 1 certification, but this isn’t necessary if 2 or more adults will be on the water together. Kids under 16 must be in a double kayak with an adult, and kids under 4 require 2 adults to be with them.
There are also overnight rentals available, so you can rent for multiple days at a time and go on an overnight trip to Twin Islands like we did! They have lots of room for camping equipment, so it’s easy to transport all of your gear. If you want to do multiple-day trip, make sure to call the rental company to reserve at (604)-929-2268 ext.1.
It’s a relatively easy 1.5-2 hour paddle to Twin Islands, so it’s suitable for all ability levels. Once you get to the island, there are tidal pools and a lighthouse to explore, plus great views of the fiord to enjoy! On the north island, there’s a trail loop to walk and you can even go cliff jumping along the way!
You can only visit the south island during the daytime but there are 20 free campsites on the north island, so you can stay overnight. There are pit toilets available but otherwise facilities are pretty limited – this is more of a wild experience!
However, if you don’t want to camp, the Twin Islands are a close enough distance that you can kayak there and back from Deep Cove in a single day.
Or, if you’re an experienced kayaker and want to take things one step further, you can also head further along the Indian Arm to other campsites, such as Granite Falls Campsite.
Granite Falls Campsite is 18 kilometers (11.1 miles) from Deep Cove, and it takes between 4-6 hours to paddle there depending on your pace and the weather conditions. You can camp south of the falls, close to a scenic beach, and you can also kayak right up to the falls themselves, or hike the Upper Granite Falls Trail if you’ve got any energy left.
If you’re keen for a kayaking adventure but don’t want to camp overnight, this full-day tour is a great option. Plus, it combines kayaking and hiking so you can enjoy the beauty of both the water and trails in this area.
You’ll paddle past Panorama Park before stopping to complete a 90-minute portion of the Baden Powell Trail by hiking to Quarry Rock clifftop, which offers beautiful views of the fiord in all its glory. Then, you’ll continue onto Lynn Canyon National Park to see the scenic suspension bridge and have the rest of the day to explore its waterfalls and walking trails before you head back to Deep Cove.
The tour costs $430 CAD per adult, $323 CAD for those under 22, and $269 CAD for children aged 5-14. The price includes your kayak rental, your admission to the Lynn Canyon National Park, your guide, transportation, and snacks along the way. You’ll stop at a bistro for lunch (which isn’t included) so bring some extra cash.
2. Hike to Quarry Rock
This is one of the most popular hikes in the Vancouver area and has a fabulous of Deep Cove Bay.
This out-and-back hike will take about 1.5 hours to complete. It starts off with a bit of an incline and then levels out to a few moderate ups and downs throughout.
This hike is mostly through the forest and has stairs, boardwalks, and bridges to help you navigate over the streams and rocky sections. It is quiet and beautiful along the trail, with lots of forest views along the way. You’ll end up at the lookout point – Quarry Rock – which overlooks the Indian Arm inlet. The views are stunning so get your camera ready!
When you’re ready to head back, turn around and retrace your steps back into town. The best part of this hike? The post-hike treats at Honey Doughnuts, who are famous in this area – you won’t be disappointed!
3. Visit Panorama Park
Panorama Park is a popular park with great views of the mountains and the water, hence the name.
The park has a rocky beach, paved pathways, and a pier that you can stroll along and take some beautiful photos. There are also picnic tables and a sheltered barbeque area, as well as full bathrooms and a playground for kids. Dogs are also welcome, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
During the summer, local artists also sometimes play live in Panorama Park, which is always fun to check out. We spent a lovely day here watching the musicians while enjoying a picnic on the grass – the perfect way to pass a sunny day here!
Related Read: If you’re a fan of exploring parks, check out these fun things to do in Stanley Park, Vancouver as well.
4. Wander downtown
Deep Cove’s downtown area is really charming – in fact, it looks just like those little towns you see in Hallmark movies! Its streets are lined with cute cafes and nice Vancouver restaurants where you can relax and watch the world go by.
The calm waters surrounding Deep Cove are perfect for SUPping. It’s so much fun and a great way to explore the bay.
You can rent paddle boards from Deep Cove Kayak for a few hours or even multiple days, and they also offer lessons.
It’s $45 CAD for a 2-hour rental, $65 CAD for 3 hours, $105 CAD for 24 hours, and $150 for 48 hours. If you’re really into SUPping, it’s an additional $50 CAD every day after that. However, you should expect to pay a bit more after tax.
You can even paddle out to the Twin Islands and camp there instead of kayaking, if you prefer.
If you’ve never SUPped before and want to take lessons, it costs $70 CAD plus taxes for an introductory session. Most people get the hang of it pretty easily, but if you’re a first time SUPper and want to go on an overnight adventure, a lesson might be a good idea.
Since we’ve been before, we rented SUPs for two hours. During our experience, the waters were perfectly calm and we were easily able to paddle out into the bay and take it all in peacefully.
6. Visit Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers
We can never resist a good brewery, and Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers is most definitely worth a visit. They make amazing craft beer using only sustainable, local ingredients – be sure to try my favorite, the Tyrannosaurus Sour IPA, which packs a particular punch!
Or if cocktails are more your thing, they’ve got some excellent options on offer using their range of gins, vodkas, and whiskeys, including Caesars, which is a classic Canadian cocktail that’s kind of like a Bloody Mary, with the addition of clam juice. It sounds a little crazy, but don’t knock it until you try it!
They also have an excellent food menu with lots of tasty appetizers and sandwiches. We shared a Bavarian board which was hearty but went with our beers well.
This brewery is a great stop on a sunny day, or even as a rainy day activity. Depending on the night, you can also catch a fun event such as paint nights, live music, or trivia. Check out their website for special events and to book a spot.
The brewery is open Monday through Thursday 12 pm – 10 pm, Friday/Saturday 12 pm – 10 pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9 pm. However, the kitchen closes an hour or so earlier, so make sure you leave plenty of time to eat!
Related Read: If you can’t get enough of the craft beer scene, check out the best brewery tours in Vancouver!
7. Hike all or part of the Baden Powell Trail
The Baden Powell Trail is one of the best-known hiking routes in British Columbia. It was named after Lord Robert Baden Powell, a British Army officer who was the founder of the scouts.
The trail is 48 kilometers (29 miles) long in total, stretching from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Deep Cove, but you don’t have to tackle the entire thing. In fact, lots of visitors to Vancouver choose to trek just a portion of the trail. There are no campsites along the way, so if you want to do the entire thing you have to do it all in one day, which is pretty demanding!
From Deep Cove, you can complete the eastern section of the trail which takes you past Quarry Hill Rock to the suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon National Park.
The trail is rugged and most hikers find it to be challenging, so make sure you’re prepared and wearing comfortable, sturdy hiking boots when you set out.
The Baden Powell trailhead in Deep Cove is located along Panorama Road, and there’s a sign so you’ll know when you’ve found the right place. It starts with a fairly short hike to Quarry Rock, where you’ll enjoy amazing views before you follow the trail through the forest to Indian River Drive. You’ll follow this road for a short way until you reach a water tower, where you’ll need to cross the road to get to the next section of the trail.
After that, it’s back through more forest until you reach the Mount Seymour parkway, where you can stop for a bathroom break. Then, you’ll continue on across the Seymour River and through more forest before heading down to Lynn Creek for scenic views.
You’ll also pass the popular Twin Falls waterfall and climb uphill for a while until you reach the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, which is where the eastern portion of the Baden Powell trail ends.
This section of the trail is 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) long and should take you around 5 hours in total. It’s a one-way hike, so you can return to Deep Cove afterwards by bus or just walk back the same way you came.
We suggest taking the #227 bus from the Lynn Valley Centre to Phibbs Exchange, and then the #211 or #212 bus back to Deep Cove. The return journey should take you 45-60 minutes and cost around $5 CAD in total. Use the online trip planner to find the best route and time.
Related Read: If you want to explore more hiking trails north of Vancouver, read about this beautiful Grouse Mountain hike. At the peak, you’ll have stunning views of the city and sorrouding areas.
8. Take a chartered boat tour
If you love being on the water and want to explore the Indian Arm fiord, you can charter a boat in Deep Cove!
This 2-hour chartered boat tour is one of the best Vancouver tours! It starts in Deep Cove and heads up the glacial fiord of the Indian Arm. You’ll pass islands, stunning waterfalls, and picturesque scenery while your guide shares the history of the area.
We loved sightseeing from the boat and even spotted some local wildlife, including harbor seals and unique birds. Keep your eye out for a pod of killer whales too! It’s rare to spot them, but it does occasionally happen on this tour.
The tour picks up and ends at the Deep Cove Government Dock. Since it’s a private excursion, you can arrange the time directly with the company. We chose to do it just after our Quarry Rock hike so it would feel like a relaxing reward after some physical exercise. Plus, we got to see two key sights back to back in one day.
The tour costs $390 CAD for up to 6 people so you can enjoy it with friends, family, or as a couple. It also makes a great addition to a romantic honeymoon in Vancouver.
Related Read: For more options, read all about what we think are the best boat tours and cruises available in Vancouver and why we think so!
Where to Eat in Deep Cove
Honey Doughnuts & Goodies
Honey Doughnuts & Goodies is famous for their incredible, freshly made doughnuts! Crispy, soft, and fried to perfection, these sweet treats are the very definition of mouth-watering – especially the maple bacon doughnut. I get hungry just thinking about this place!
You’ll feel welcome as soon as you walk through the door here, and if you’re looking for a full meal, there are some great breakfasts and lunch menu options available – but whatever you do, you simply have to try one of the doughnuts.
Honey’s is located right in the middle of downtown. It’s open daily from 6 am – 5 pm. You can grab a doughnut anytime, but their lunch and breakfast menu is served till 4 pm. I recommend coming here for a morning coffee and doughnut before heading out for a day of hiking or local activities.
Arms Reach Bistro
Arms Reach Bistro is an upscale bistro offering a Mediterranean take on classic British Columbian dishes. The food is delicious and it’s very reasonably priced too, plus you can sit out on the patio and take in beautiful views of the water while you enjoy your meal.
And if you just fancy a drink on the waterfront, they’ve also got apéro hour from 3-4:30 pm Monday through Thursday.
The restaurant is located next to the Panorama Park and is open Sunday – Thursday from 12 pm – 8 pm, and Friday/Saturday from 12 pm – 9 pm.
If you’re looking for a big breakfast to fuel a day of kayaking and hiking, the stylish, European-style Cafe Orso is the best place in town to go! From waffles drenched in Baileys-infused cream to artfully made open Tuscan sandwiches, you’ll definitely find something yummy to tickle your fancy here.
The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch menu items from 8 am – 5 pm daily. Like most of the cafes in Deep Cove, it’s located in downtown. Grab a big meal and stroll through town before starting your day!
Deep Cove Osaka Sushi
Deep Cove Osaka Sushi is a cozy spot serving up fresh, tasty sushi alongside tempura, noodle dishes, and even fish and chips. We thought their rainbow rolls were delicious and the owners are super friendly. And if you fancy a drink, you can try beer with frozen foam!
This restaurant is located in the heart of Deep Cove, and serves lunch and dinner. They’re closed Mondays, but you can enjoy a meal here any other day of the week. They’re open Tuesday – Thursday from 11:30 am – 9:15 pm, Friday/Saturday 11:30 am – 9:30 pm, and Sunday from 11:30 am – 9 pm.
Where to Stay in Deep Cove
Although Deep Cove is a small town, there are several wonderful places to stay. Here are my favorite options in Deep Cove including a choice for budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodations.
$ – Private suite in beautiful Deep Cove
This private basement suite is perfect for a couple or families traveling together. With a separate entrance, 2 bedrooms, a kitchenette, a backyard, and a lounge, it really does feel like a home away from home.
It costs $109 CAD per night and it’s just steps away from Mount Seymour with excellent hiking, and only a 5-minute drive from downtown Deep Cove so you’ll have easy access to local shops and restaurants.
$$ – Deep Cove creekside ocean view retreat
Nestled in the forest, this lovely cottage has 2 double loft bedrooms, a kitchen, a patio, and an upstairs deck. It’s super light and airy, and close to town even though it feels very secluded. The bathroom has a rain shower and heated floors, and the place comes with a TV, WiFi, and board games. Better yet, it also includes use of 2 kayaks for the duration of your stay so you don’t have to rent them!
This property costs $190 CAD per night, but it could work out to be very affordable for two couples sharing.
$$$ – Stunning designer home
This gorgeous designer home is perfectly located by the water with both ocean and forest views and access. There’s also a super stylish concept kitchen, the bathrooms are beautiful and one comes with a designer Soaker tub and floating vanity. If you want some R&R, curl up in the cozy den on the large TV sofa or read on the bench window with a view.
At $750 CAD per night, it’s definitely one of the most luxurious options in Deep Cove! It has 3 bedrooms and sleeps up to 8 guests, so it’s perfect for a big group of friends or a family getaway.
Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver
Vancouver is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So while you’re here, be sure not to miss some of the top attractions and activities:
- Whale Watching – Without a doubt, the most popular tour in Vancouver is whale watching. Set off from the city on a half-day on the ocean looking for whales. If you’re lucky, you might even see Orcas (also known as Killer Whales.) This whale-watching tour is a ton of fun, and at only about $200 CAD it is good value too!
- Hiking – There are a ton of amazing hikes in and around Vancouver. Challenge yourself with the famous Grouse Grind, wander the trails near the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, or even drive towards Squamish and do The Chief.
- Ride in a Seaplane – One of our favorite memories in Vancouver was riding in a seaplane. Taking off and landing on the ocean is super exciting, and then the views from the air are breathtaking. This seaplane ride lasts for 20 minutes and costs $160 CAD. It departs and returns to Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver. The best part is that seaplane tours in Vancouver operate all year round, so even if you’re visiting Vancouver in the winter you can take to the sky!
- Eat ALL the food! – Vancouver is a foodie destination. Showcasing cuisine from all around the world in top-rated restaurants, you really need to make an effort to eat out a few times while in Vancouver. For breakfast, Jam Cafe or Medina are our go-to’s. For Asian cuisine, you can’t pass up Minami for sushi or Danbo for Ramen. You can also join this highly-rated food tour that takes you to some of the city’s best restaurants in the area of Gastown.
- Explore Kitsilano – One of our favorite areas in all of Vancouver is Kitsilano. This suburb is super trendy and has many cute stores, cafes, and restaurants that are well worth checking out. On top of that, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches in Vancouver and the perfect place to relax. It’s also our favorite place to watch the sunset.
Thanks for reading!
Deep Cove is charming place to visit just 20-minutes from Vancouver. I loved how easy it is to escape the city and find refuge and enjoy nature here. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in Deep Cove, I hope my blog has helped you plan your trip and find fun things to do here!
If you’re traveling around the country, check out my other blogs about Canada! And if you’re sticking to the British Columbia region, I’ve selected a few useful blogs below. Happy travels and thanks for reading!