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how to break up road trip

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thornhill, ontario
posts: 225
reviews: 31
how to break up road trip

i will be in victoria in may and have 4 days to get to and explore the tofino area. i don't think that i want to drive for 5 hours. is there a good route to break up the trip (maybe stay the night half way). also do you need to take the same route both there and back. any help is appreciated.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,042
reviews: 46
1. Re: how to break up road trip

Yes, you are pretty much restricted to the one road in and out. There are some logging roads, but its not a good idea to drive those unless you are familiar with what to expect from them.

There are several good places to stop enroute, although if you make a day of it, 5 hrs of driving split into a 3 hr drive before lunch and a 2 hr drive after lunch isn't so bad. If you really want to break it up, you might go as far as Port Alberni on your way up, and then stop somewhere like Duncan on the return. If those still feel like long drives, then look at the Nanaimo/Parksville area.

edmonton
posts: 2,348
reviews: 45
2. Re: how to break up road trip

stop at cathedral grove for a walk around. you could bring a pick nic and have a nice break there. or port alberni has restaurants to stop at.

Vancouver BC
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,810
reviews: 113
3. Re: how to break up road trip

Overnight in the beach town of Parksville.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 3,049
reviews: 43
4. Re: how to break up road trip

Ditto on the suggestion to stop at Cathedral Grove. We usually do on our way over or back. Allow about an hour. The trails are well-marked and they recently added boardwalks to the main trails to make it easier for people to find their way around. Have a look at this website -

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/macmillan/

Sechelt, BC
posts: 685
reviews: 33
5. Re: how to break up road trip

Previous posters are correct: one way there and one way back.

Either there or the way back make a point of stopping at Coombs. Its a bit tacky but still a popular stopping point on the way to Tofino. There are a couple points of interest but the most popular is the General Store with the goats on the roof. To visit Coombs you take a slightly different route to Tofino than if not going though Coombs:

http://www.oldcountrymarket.com/map.php

Exit 60 if bypassing Coombs

Exit 51 if going to Coombs

Do you have a total of 4 days for Tofino? If so, I strongly suggest you atleast do one of the trips to or from Tofino in 1 day. As a previous poster suggested break up the day of driving - a couple hours before lunch and a couple after lunch.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,042
reviews: 46
6. Re: how to break up road trip

To support what coastcouple has said, and to further explain my comments, if you push your first day of driving as far as Port Alberni, then you can get going early the next day and at least be in Tofino by mid-morning. Better still, just get it done, save the hassle of packing up and moving on each day. Maximize your time on the fantastic West Coast by doing the long drive and then relaxing to the sound of the ocean.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,270
reviews: 54
7. Re: how to break up road trip

I agree, just get 'er done.

What you might do is get as far as Parksville (2.5 hours driving) then find the

Thrifty's, parksville-bc.cofars.ca/thrifty-foods/112959/

pick up something from their deli section and backtrack 3-5 minutes to Rathtrevor Park. Get out and have a bit of a walk, sit in your car with the seats reclined. Have a break and a picnic.

http://tinyurl.com/4nyjqzy

On your way back, stop in Nanaimo for lunch and a walk round. Here is a 30 minute wander around the Modern Cafe on Commercial St., Balloon B. St. Paul's Anglican Church is a historical building at Balloon A, The Bastion is a historical, well ... bastion, at Balloon D. a center for commerce and protection in the mid-1800s. There is an admission charge and is worth 30 minutes or so.

http://tinyurl.com/5vgqomx

From Nanaimo it's 2 hours drive to Victoria.

You really want to focus on being in the Tofino area rather than overnighting on the way.

Edited: 2:12 pm, March 23, 2011
thornhill, ontario
posts: 225
reviews: 31
8. Re: how to break up road trip

after reading all the posts we have decided to take your advise and do the drive in one day. we will take a whole day to get there and one to get back and we will have 3 full days in tofino. really excited to hike, surf and see some whales.

does the following sound reasonable:

leave victoria. stop in chemainus, coombs and port alberni and then onto tofino.

on the way back to victoria stop in cathedral grove, nanaimo and malahat.

trying to break up the drive into reasonable parts.

thanks for all your help.

Sechelt, BC
posts: 685
reviews: 33
9. Re: how to break up road trip

I think how you have broken up your drive sounds very doable and very enjoyable. Enjoy your time in Tofino.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,270
reviews: 54
10. Re: how to break up road trip

Yes, that will work well and give you a bit of a breather.