Car-Free Weekend Trips

As non car owners, Emily and I are always trying to find weekend trips we can take that can be done car-free. We don’t mind renting vehicles, or using Modo vehicles, but it’s cheaper and greener to travel car-free.

There are two main options for travelling car-free from Vancouver. Taking a ferry to one of the Gulf Islands or a train south to the United States. Both BC Ferries and Amtrak allow you to bring bikes on board for small fees ($2-$5).

Here are some of the car-free trips we’ve taken in the past.


  1. So glad to have found your blog! I am planning a bike trip to one of the islands next month, from here in Victoria. You don’t mention food too much in your summaries, did you find any of the islands specifically MORE or LESS vegan friendly in terms of dining options? We did a saltspring trip last summer so we’ll likely try another island, and just for a night or two, but any tips you could share would be appreciated!


    • I’ve found dining options on the Gulf Islands to be a bit lacking (although I haven’t been to Salt Spring). There just isn’t the population to support good restaurants. There are a few exceptions, and a lot of restaurant owners are willing to make you something vegan if you ask.

      The farmer’s markets are great spots to get ingredients and buy some prepared food. The market on Mayne Island was particularly good (and had several vegan options, including home-made Indian food).

      Wild Fennel on Mayne Island (I mentioned them in my review) have a few vegan mains. The food was really good, but the portion sizes were huge.

      Go Nuts Burgers are made on Saturna Island, and the local pub serves them, but they were sold out when we were there.

      All of the bed and breakfasts we’ve stayed at were happy to cater to our dietary restrictions (which have ranged have included vegetarian, vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free over the past-few years).


      • Thank you for the quick reply! It looks from their facebook page like Wild Fennel just closed its doors 😦 Also, Urban Spoon has merged “vegetarian friendly” and “vegan friendly” under the single category of vegan friendly, so it’s not always what it seems. I’ve contacted them about it but not seen a change yet.
        We’re still thinking on where to go (staying on Vancouver Island is a possibility as well) so I’m just seeking more info for options.


      • What!? Wow. Wild Fennel closed six days ago. That sucks.

        As for Urbanspoon, “Vegetarian” is a cuisine type. “Vegan Friendly” is a feature of the restaurant. I’ve edited a lot of Urbanspoon entries, and the way I see it, Vegetarian means at least 50% of the menu is Vegetarian. “Vegan Friendly” means you have at least one major vegan menu option. Same for “gluten-free friendly”. It’s pretty rare that a restaurant doesn’t have a single vegetarian option, so there isn’t much need for a “Vegetarian Friendly” distinction – even McDonald’s has a veggie burger.


  2. Great to know about Urban Spoon, I emailed them with concerns over the labels quite some time ago, and their reply indicated they’d merged the two. Your explanation makes sense, though, and is helpful in deciphering the listings πŸ™‚


  3. Did you happen to grow up in Saskatoon and attend St. Thomas? I was friends with a Chris Porter from that school before I moved after Grade 4. Peace.


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