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Renting a car for one day

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Austin, Texas
Destination Expert
for Austin
posts: 3,957
reviews: 169
Renting a car for one day

My husband and I will be in Victoria mid-September for three nights (arriving Tuesday from Vancouver, leaving Friday for Seattle). We would like to rent a car for one day to drive ourselves to Butchart Gardens and do some exploring. I've read some about the West Coast Road, and would like to drive a bit of it, but I understand that it's the opposite direction from the Gardens. Is there a driving route that would incorporate some costal scenery either before or after we visit the Gardens? A route that includes an interesting lunch stop is even better. We'll be picking up the car early in the morning and returning it by 6pm.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 36,017
reviews: 54
1. Re: Renting a car for one day

Hi MrTed ~

Yes Butchart is about 30-40 minutes drive north up the Saanich Peninsula from Victoria.

When you say West Coast Road, I think you mean part of the Pacific Marine Circle Road, at least until Port Renfrew, but not cutting across the Island to Duncan. ~2.5 hours, stops extra one way to Port Renfrew. ~5 hours as a circle across Island and back down to Victoria.

Map of the way to Butchart, as well as the way to Port Renfrew: http://goo.gl/maps/U10Zl

Here's the info, along with a menu on the left to open for further information about the PMCR:

http://www.pacificmarinecircleroute.com/

Victoria, BC Canada
Destination Expert
for Victoria
posts: 1,086
reviews: 13
2. Re: Renting a car for one day

You could go from Butchart Gardens and take the Brentwood Bay/ Mill Bay ferry over to Mill Bay and get on the pacific marine circle route.

bcferries.com/schedules/…bbmb-current.php

http://www.pacificmarinecircleroute.com/

Or do the drive first and end in Brentwood Bay for Butcharts.

Penticton, Canada
posts: 5,230
reviews: 5
3. Re: Renting a car for one day

hi

this is a couple maps since google will only accept a limited # of stops.

The first one starts from downtown to butchard gardens via the coastline of Victoria; then up to Mt Douglas for a great overall view before heading off to Butchart Gardens.

http://tinyurl.com/lrym7u4

If you still have energy I took a cue from Breezed and I have from Butchard Gardens to Mill Bay via the ferry. then back to Victoria via Esqimalt and Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse http://goo.gl/maps/y3OCL

if you want to see the Fort and lighthouse it might be better if you reverse the direction as outlined in these 2 maps since the Fort closes early at 5:30pm. It is still a nice area to tour even if the fort is closed.

This is based on all the driving around we have done in Victoria on our annual visits. If you follow this map you will have a really full day. pc.gc.ca/eng/…index.aspx

Austin, Texas
Destination Expert
for Austin
posts: 3,957
reviews: 169
4. Re: Renting a car for one day

Thanks for all of the maps and links!

Mufti, I was looking at this website - www.vancouverisland.com/regions/towns/… - which refers to the West Coast Road (Hwy 14). I see that it is part of the Pacific Marine Circle Road. I don't think we have time to do the whole route, or even all the way to Port Renfrew and back, but I'll try to piece a nice drive together based on eveyrone's recommendations.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 36,017
reviews: 54
5. Re: Renting a car for one day

I see, tomayto, tomahto.

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

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

Botanical Beach wild: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLECADWisQQ

Just to reiterate, you need 35 min to go to Butchart, 35 to get away and about 1.5 hours in the gardens. I just called Butchart about their Night Illuminations, because it's not showing up on their newly designed website, and they say the last night for them is Sept 15. So if that date fits, you might head up there for dinner perhaps at the Blue Poppy (cafeteria, but very nice) or The Dining Room and then explore the Gardens as the Night Illuminations begin to come on. i.e. saving your day time for something else, such as one of the drives that cbaarch has outlined. To Sept 15th, the gardens close at 9 pm, from Sept 16th, they close at 5 pm.

Penticton, Canada
posts: 5,230
reviews: 5
6. Re: Renting a car for one day

HI again

some will disagree but this is my experience driving (no hiking or camping) to Port Renfrew - there is way too much tree lined (forest) road and not enough water views for a single day drive and way to much to see close to Victoria to make that journey in the time frame you have

Austin, Texas
Destination Expert
for Austin
posts: 3,957
reviews: 169
7. Re: Renting a car for one day

Thanks for the additional information about the Gardens, Mufti. Unfortunately, we will arrive in Victoria on the 17th, so we will miss Illuminations.

cbaarch, thank you for the insights into the drive to Port Renfrew. I wish we had more time to explore other parts of Vancouver Island, but you're right that our time frame probably does not allow us to even make the drive all the way to Port Renfrew and back. I appreciate the other options you provided and will spend some more time looking into them.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,779
reviews: 47
8. Re: Renting a car for one day

Have to agree with cbarch - I did the drive out to Port Renfrew and back in a day several days ago and it was very short on any coastal views. It was a pleasant, winding, tree lined road, but to see any scenery, you have to park the car and walk. I don't know Sooke Potholes, but its on my list of places to visit next time we get over there. I like the suggestion to drive up Mt. Douglas, and take the coastal road between Victoria out to Sidney. That has some lovely coastal scenery. What about walking on to the Sidney Spit ferry?

alpinegroup.ca/companies/alpine-sidney-spit-…

Although that might defeat the purpose of having a car. You could spend a few hours on Saltspring Island if you wanted to take on the expense and delays of the ferry. Drive up island and then take the Vesuvius-Crofton crossing back to Vancouver Island.

Lots of good options!

Austin, Texas
Destination Expert
for Austin
posts: 3,957
reviews: 169
9. Re: Renting a car for one day

Vancouverite67, thank you for the additional suggestions. My husband and I are going to sit down and look at them all and figure out how we want to spend the day. I'm getting really excited about the trip!

10. Re: Renting a car for one day

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