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Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please

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Windsor, Ontario
posts: 12
Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please

Hi, new to forum. In June travelling with my 70 year old aunt. We will be flying into Victoria staying at the Laurel Point Inn(good or bad?) for 2 full days. Thinking of renting a car for those days in Victoria, any suggestions on where to go any little towns, good restaurants ideas anything would be appreciated. Any ideas on transportation for airport to hotel and ferry service? As we will have to take the ferry on a Saturday, over to Vancouver as we are booked in a hotel there (Pacific Palisaides) and will have 2 full days there any suggestions on transportation as not renting a car there. What do we want to see in Vancouver and how do we want to do it, not sure if hotel is near downtown sights or not. Walking will be okay but just not too far. Any restaurant suggestions near hotel ? Any tours worth taking? Any information of any kind would be greatly appreciated as want to make this a wonderful experience for my aunt, without alot of mess and fuss!!

Vancouver BC
posts: 2
reviews: 7
1. Re: Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please

I grew up in Victoria and have lived in Vancouver for the past 10 years so hope I have some good advice for you. Victoria - Laurel Point Inn has traditionally been one of the better hotels in Victoria. Right on the harbour, the only downside is that it is a bit of a hike to downtown. There is an airport shuttle which services the main hotels (check with your hotel for times etc). I highly recommend renting a car; you can read the things to do in Victoria in the tour guide (do not miss the Royal Victoria Museum - it is truly world-class), but I would suggest the following for "day-trips": (1) drive north on Highway 1 about one hour and visit Chemainus - a little coastal forestry town that almost went bust in the early 80s and reinvented itself by painting interesting murals on the sides of many of its buildings - since then, it has become a centre for antiques, shopping and tourism and is a nice place to spend a few hours (2) visit the Gulf Islands (ferry terminal is 30-40 minute drive from Victoria) - the most populated and thus probably interesting is Saltspring Island (also the closest, perhaps a 20 minute ferry trip) with many artisan shops (Robert Bateman lives there), great views, a nice little town (Ganges) and, if you time it right, likely farmer's markets etc. Too many people focus on Vancouver and Victoria and completely miss the beautiful Gulf Islands (which are our Muskokas), except for the ferry trip between the two cities which passes through these islands, (3) drive to Sooke and visit the rugged beaches of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island (60-90 minute drive from Victoria) - really beautiful. In Vancouver, your hotel is downtown so is relatively close to Stanley Park, shopping, art gallery etc. I just visited Storyeum, which is a relatively new concept in museums and opened in Vancouver (Gastown) last year, and found it to be worth the $20. As for local sights, I would suggest that you should definitely visit the peak of Grouse Mountain (via the gondola) if you have a clear day here as the views from the top are really amazing - your hotel can advise you what tour bus operator can take you there as it is a very popular tourist destination. If you are into history at all, I also recommend the Vancouver Maritime Museum, which houses the St Roch (the first vessel to navigate the northwest passage) - not downtown but easily accessible on public transit and about a $15 cab ride from your hotel. I hope this gives you a few ideas and that you have a great time here!

posts: 41
2. Re: Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please

Being a saltspring local, i can tell you our farmers market is on Saturdays. You can catch a ferry from Victoria to Saltspring(it takes 35 min) and follow the main road into town to check out the market. There are some wonderful restaurants on saltspring if you get hungry. From there continue on the main road for another 15 min to get to our other fery terminal (NOT LONG HARBOUR, that goes to vancouver) to go to crofton (a 20 min sailing), which is only 15 min from Chemainus. Whats really cool about the ferries is you only pay to get on the island, it doesn't cost to get off. And if your aunt has a seniors card I believe that the ferry is free for her, so it would just be you and your car!

Have fun!!

posts: 31
3. Re: Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please


I have lived in vancouver almosy my whole life. first off victoria, down town theres tons to do in 2 days. depending on how mobile your 70 year old aunt is there is always the museum its worth a visit pretty incredable really. The butchart gardens are beautiful, the wax museum interesting, whale watching is alot of fun. crystal gardens is a bird/ butterfly/mini zoo garden type place. if you can go for a drive port renfrew is almost too beautiful for words but to really enjoy it there is a bit of walking/hiking depending on where you go. also just walking around down town, its a nice city with lots of shopping and interesting sights. Vancouver: down town again, whistler is deffinitly worth the trip but a little pricey, harrison hot springs is lovley. attractions down town: the harbour tower glass elevator and observation deck, capilano suspension bridge, the aquarium and stanley park you can take a horse drawn tour and see the aquarium in the same vacinity. depending on when you come the PNE might be running, also for beaches try belcara, hicks lake, white rock or cresent beach. hope this helps

posts: 11
4. Re: Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please

Butchart's Garden is an absolute must see! Our Museum is located right at the beautiful Inner Harbour and is world class... unlike most other museums. Almost too much for one visit.... could go twice and divide floors. Wandering around Harbour area and looking through shops on Government Street is fun. Look through our old CPR Hotel, The Empress. Blackfish Cafe on floats at Harbour is a fabulous place for lunch or dinner. John's Place (on Pandora) good for a breakfast out. Drive along our coastline drive (stop on outside deck at Oak Bay Beach Hotel for lunch) or out to Adrienne's for lunch (Mattick's 'Farm' Cordova Bay). Check out beautiful homes in Uplands area; drive circle road through one of our universities (UVic); wander around Sidney (30 minute drive); eat Fish & Chips on outside dock at Fisherman's Wharf (Harbour area). Our weather is best in Canada so .... enjoy being outside and away from the hotels. You will never tire of this beautiful city.... grab some free maps available everywhere.

Windsor, Ontario
posts: 12
5. Re: Vancouver and Victoria Day trip ideas please

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful advice just printed out all the suggestions and can't wait only 7 more days!!

Thank you again