We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Interesting & unique trip

Which Victoria hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Oakland, California
3 posts
Interesting & unique trip

My husband and I will be leaving Seattle for Vancouver Island on July 1, 2013 and are considering taking the ferry and renting a car in VI. We will take the ferry to Vancouver City on 7/3 and then the Amtrak back to Seattle on 7/10. We will joining friends for the Vancouver City portion of the trip. Questions: Other than Victoria, what are other must see/do attractions on VI? We are into hiking, driving, good food and prefer sites that are less crowded. What area in VC would you recommend for a group of 8 friends (no children) to stay? Interested in restaurants, walking and exploring the city. Should we rent a car to visit the surrounding areas of VC?

I look forward to your feedback!

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
9,207 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: Interesting & unique trip

This is a terrific drive you can take on Vancouver Island. Very scenic....

http://www.pacificmarinecircleroute.com/

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
Level Contributor
6,477 posts
2. Re: Interesting & unique trip

The Saanich penisula has all kinds of options-stay in/near Sidney rent some bicycles and do a round of the wineries-ditto the nearby Cowichan Valley.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
41,195 posts
54 reviews
3. Re: Interesting & unique trip

Welcome to the forum Patricia ~

+1 for the route that d has linked. Here's a couple of places you could visit on that route:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQB9Um2KEfc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xX8DCqBxpo

Just a heads up that July 1st is Canada Day and will make a very busy long weekend here on the roads and ferries. You might make a reservation for the Victoria Clipper in advance. The journey takes the better part of a day, so you will have July 1st afternoon and evening and then 1 full day and the better part of July 3rd. It takes 4 hours to journey by car or coach from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver. Therefore, it would be a bit difficult for you to see both Victoria and a lot of VI in such a short visit. The PMCR takes about 5 hours, stops extra, so you might fit that in the middle day. Ii think you could even stretch your time in Vic to July 4th and come over to Van on the afternoon/evening of the 4th. That leaves plenty of time for Vancouver.

You could look at taking Pacific Coach Lines to Vancouver, with an en route stop at Butchart Gardens. This coach departs at 1 pm, stops at Butchart for 2 hours, which is plenty, catches the 5 ferry to Vancouver and arrives downtown Van at about 7h30 pm. It is a very convenient, comfortable service, takes you right on the ferry. Here are the details:

pacificcoach.com/Sightseeing-Tours/Victoria/…

Or if you plan to keep your car over to Vancovuer, just follow the general timing of the coach departure to incorporate Butchart into your travels to Vancouver. Be prepared for a one way drop fee on the rental.

In Victoria, you might be interested in the very good Royal BC Museum for 2-3 hours, shop browsing up Government St., perhaps a harbour ferry narrated cruise to the Upper Gorge and don't miss the Inner Harbour causeway for entertainment. In the evening the lights light up the buildings so an evening walk is always nice. The Bengal Room might interest you for a drink. I'd look into doing the Dallas Road Scenic Drive and/or walking Dallas Road as the pathway is right on the edge of Juan de Fuca Strait. It's generally breezy or windy in Victoria, be prepared to be blown around a bit on the headlands there.

Stay in downtown Vancouver. Have a look at the Blue Horizon, Times Square Suites, Sunset Inn and Suites. Vancouver is an easy city to walk around or take public transit. With 8 though, you may find a vehicle more convenient. Parking is expensive in Vancouver, hotel parking as well. Although Sunset is included and TSS is about $16 a night (maybe?) You may want to rent a car if you want to go to Whistler for the day. It's a 2 hour drive from Vancouver, 3-4 hours there to visit and 2 hours back again at the end of the day.

Have a look at the Top Questions to the right of this forum, the Vancouver Forum, and on the Whistler Forum. Look at the Things to Do on each forum as well, in the green navigation bar across the top. Browse through the following website to see if Whistler is a good fit for you:

www.whistlerblackcomb.com

I think you might need to do some "shopping" to see what is in each location that interests you and your party before deciding how much time to spend where. If you like the small size of Victoria and rural nature of Vancouver Island you may want to add a day or two there and down play the big smoke of Vancouver. Or vice versa, depending on what your research results come up with.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
18,014 posts
54 reviews
4. Re: Interesting & unique trip

<< Other than Victoria, what are other must see/do attractions on VI?>> I'm sorry, but I'm struggling with this question, because you only have two days. There are some absolutely magnificent features and attractions on Vancouver Island, and with a couple of weeks, you could see some of them. You really only have time for Victoria and some of the outlying areas, which have been listed above, but you have no time at all for Vancouver Island.

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
15,365 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: Interesting & unique trip

"hiking, driving, good food and prefer sites that are less crowded"

My first thought was Pacific Rim park, either Tofino or Ucluelet or BOTH, but you would need a lot more time on the Island. If you can add more time to the VI part, it would be doable, but you have to decide where you want to spend most of your time.

There is still hiking in the Vancouver area, (Grouse Grind), and lots of choices for the good food. But you won't need the rental car in Vancouver. Parking is very expensive there, and the public transit system is very good.

Check out vrbo as well as the places that Mufti listed.

Oakland, California
3 posts
6. Re: Interesting & unique trip

We have changed our itinerary a bit. We'll be taking the Clipper from Seattle to Victoria on 7/2 and then leaving for Tofino 7/4-6 then Vancouver City 7/6-7 then Whistler 7/7-9 then back to VC to take the Amtrak to Seattle on the 10th. Any suggestions for hotels in Victoria and Tofina? Any not to be missed sights on the drives from Victoria to Torfino and Torfino to the Ferry to VC?

Edited: 7:52 pm, May 04, 2013
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
15,365 posts
36 reviews
7. Re: Interesting & unique trip

Little Qualicum Falls for a shortish hike to the falls

www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/little.html‎

Coombs Market

www.oldcountrymarket.com/‎

Cathedral Grove (big trees)

www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/macmillan/‎

Chemainus for the murals, just a quick jaunt down the hill. Very close to the main highway.

chemainus.com/arts/…Chemainus-murals.htm

For lunch in Port Alberni, check out Bare Bones for some wonderful fish and chips!

Lots of wineries in the Cowichan Valley too, but there are only 24 hours in a day!

Check out the huge number of places in Tofino, resorts, b and b, or vrbo, but book something NOW! Lots of places will only book a week during the summer months.

Hope you have a great trip!

8. Re: Interesting & unique trip

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 2:05 am, May 17, 2013
9. Re: Interesting & unique trip

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff has removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines with regards to off-topic chat. Please limit conversations to subject matter directly related to the host forum. For example: when in the London forum, please stick to topics that relate to travel within the London Metropolitan Area.

Off-Topic Chatter is a forum for discussions gone afield from the topic of travel. Please note that the Off-Topic Chatter forum is un-moderated -- the Forum Posting Guidelines are not enforced, with the exception of pornographic images or text, hate speech, unauthorized re-prints of copyrighted text, and messages that promote or encourage illegal activities. Each user is expected to take responsibility for his or her own conduct.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 4:03 pm, May 17, 2013
10. Re: Interesting & unique trip

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff has removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines with regards to off-topic chat. Please limit conversations to subject matter directly related to the host forum. For example: when in the London forum, please stick to topics that relate to travel within the London Metropolitan Area.

Off-Topic Chatter is a forum for discussions gone afield from the topic of travel. Please note that the Off-Topic Chatter forum is un-moderated -- the Forum Posting Guidelines are not enforced, with the exception of pornographic images or text, hate speech, unauthorized re-prints of copyrighted text, and messages that promote or encourage illegal activities. Each user is expected to take responsibility for his or her own conduct.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 4:03 pm, May 17, 2013