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How to get here?

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posts: 3
How to get here?

Hi all,

We are planning to drive up from Northern California, US toward Vancouver area and love to see Victoria as well.

I have tried to find out how to get there but it's not clearly stated how to get there.

Is it Island? Or Can we drive there (on the bridge)?

How long will it take to get Victoria either from Seattle or Vancouver?

Anybody know any bit of info about how to get there or good driving direction,

Please let me know.



Vancouver, Canada
posts: 11
1. Re: How to get here?

Hi Kelly: I live in Vancouver and know my way around this area. You're going to need a map! That's my first suggestion - go to AAA and they'll give you a free map of British Columbia if you're a member, or charge you $3 if you're not. Or check Mapquest on the net.

Victoria is on Vancouver Island. No where near the City of Vancouver which is on the Mainland. You get to Victoria by ferry (No bridge - it's over 20 miles by water). Before you get to Seattle you have the choice of going first to Victoria and then to Vancouver or the other way around. Either way it's a circle route with two ferries. Take the I-5 all the way to Olympia WA then turn left and go up the Olympic Peninsula one hour to Port Angeles WA to catch the ferry to Victoria BC - it's about an hour ferry ride. You'll love the city, very British - stay at least a couple of days. My suggestion - stay at Abigails Hotel in Victoria. When you leave Victoria you drive north on the Island about half an hour to catch the ferry to Vancouver, it's about an hour and a half ride. Check the ferry schedules at www.bcferries.ca (they're every couple of hours usually). The ferries go between the Gulf Islands and the scenery is great. Stay several days in Vancouver. Go up to Whistler for a couple of days if you get a chance. (two hours north of Vancouver).

Seattle is two hours due south of Vancouver. You can find your way home from there!

Enjoy your visit and don't be afraid to ask anyone for directions or advise. Canadians tend to be friendly and helpful!

- shipjohnny.

posts: 3
2. Re: How to get here?

Hi shipjohnny,Great! Thank you for youranswer and info. Kelly

Victoria, BC
posts: 3
3. Re: How to get here?

No bridge. Take BC Ferries.


Take Vancouver (Twassen) to Victoria (Swartz Bay). Choose an odd-hour siling, best ship, awesome views, about 1:30 minute trip. Ship on odd hours takes 470 cars.

Victoria, BC
posts: 3
4. Re: How to get here?

Don't take the Port Angeles to Victoria ferry if you can help it. Its real bare-bones, and not much to see on the open-water trip.

Plus 150 cars all at once through customs, since 9/11 is a mess. Beter to drive across border both ways.

BC, Canada
posts: 3
reviews: 5
5. Re: How to get here?

Definately look into taking the BC Ferry. The ferry runs every couple of hours at this time of the year and is an 1 and a half hour trip. It is an amazing tour in itself...especially through the passage where there are many smaller islands. It really gives you a feel for our part of the world. Make sure you go in daylight!!


posts: 181
reviews: 7
6. Re: How to get here?

Hi Kelly, If you want the best scenery while you are getting to and from Victoria, do NOT drive across the border both ways as someone suggested earlier. Do drive across the border going North---You will have the beautiful Mt. Hood area to see (if it is a sunny day), and the beautiful Mt. Baker area to see. Be sure to get off I-5 at Burlington and take Hwy 11 on up to Bellingham where you will get back on I-5. Hwy 11 is one of the prettiest (and old historic) highways anywhere. You will recognize it as the highway some car manufacturers use in their commercials. Take the B.C. ferry from Tsawwassen to Victoria (through the islands, during the day as someone suggested). Victoria is great and you'll love it!! When returning to the U.S. take the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, Washington and watch the absolutely beautiful snow-capped mountains of the Olympic National Park as you get closer and closer. It is a beautiful ride. Then(depending on the time you have, you can see some of Olympic NP or just take Hwy 101 on down to Olympia where you join up with the Interstate Hwy. A fun and interesting side trip off Hwy.101 is Port Townsend.

posts: 3
7. Re: How to get here?

Do NOT take the PA ferry as someone recommended. Drive across the border both ways! BC Ferries (bcferries.com) run every 2 (in summer every 1 hr) hours, takes 300 vehicles with nice amenities. PA ferry only runs 2, 3 times a day. You cannot make a reservation, you have to be in line 3 sometimes 4 hours prior to sailing, it only takes 150 vehicles and it's a old flat bottom rust bucket. You will spend more time in line than if you took the BC ferry and drove across the border. The passage through the Gulf Island (BC ferry route) is very beautiful. The PA ferry only has the Olympic mountains - not as beautiful by any means!

Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 14,889
reviews: 83
8. Re: How to get here?

Hi maybe I can add some input. I'm a tour guide and do this all summer long from Seattle. I agree that that the BC Ferry is by far the nicest way to get there. The downside is the border which at times can take 1 hr each direction in the summer. The PA ferry avoids that hassle. You can also go to Anacortes and take a Washington State Ferry thru the San Juan Islands to Vancouver Island. Take the BC ferry to Vancouver is a great option so you sort of get a different view on each crossing. Hope this helps.

Palo Alto, CA
posts: 3
9. Re: How to get here?

What about taking the boat (hovercraft?) from Seattle to Victoria? We have two families of 4 that are traveling together. This of course would leave us without a car on Vancouver Island. Is it possible to get around Victoria and Vancouver Island without a car (how is the public transportation?)?

Thanks, Lynn

Calgary, Alberta...
posts: 3,861
reviews: 3
10. Re: How to get here?

Hello Kellythesong,

You didn't say when you would be visiting the area. I don't know about the winter months, but in the busier tourist months you need to make a reservation for a ferry from the British Columbia mainland to Vancouver Island if you want to take your car. If you don't make a reservation, you can end up waiting at the ferry terminal for HOURS. You can reserve through