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.


Which Victoria hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
30 posts
3 reviews

Hi, I just booked flights last night to from DC>SEA and YVR>DC, am planning a 3.5 day / 5 night trip to the NW, and wanted to ask for itinerary and site-seeing suggestions/feedback:

7/31 = Arrive 7pm SEA for 2 nights @ W.

8/1 = Explore Seattle

8/2 = Leave Seattle heading to Victoria for day trip and eventually Vancouver for 3 nights.

Option # 1 = Seaplane 2x - Kennmore Air to Victoria 11am > noon flight. Harbour flight to Vancouver 6:20>6:55pm.

Option # 2 = Ferry + Seaplane = Victoria Clipper 8:30am > 11:15am. Harbour flight to Vancouver 6:20>6:55pm.

Option # 3 Seaplane to Vancouver afternoon of 8/2, spend 8/2 in Vancouver, take round trip ferry tour/daytrip from Vancouver>Victoria without luggage either 8/3 or 8/4.

I see pros / cons in each of the 3 options and am leaning towards option # 1 since it'd allow us to sleep-in, grab leisurely breakfast in Seattle, and minimize travel/connections when traveling Victoria despite being more expensive. I could also take 8am>9am flight but that seems aggressive wake up call for vacation that would yield 3 extra hours in Victoria / Vancouver Island.

Does the Victoria Clipper have great views of the Pudget Sound if we were to take ferry then seaplane to Vancouver? If not and this is a floating Amtrak, I imagine it being a boring 3 hours.

Is Seattle>Victoria>Vancouver too much travel in one day and too difficult to store carry-on luggage in Victoria making option # 3 more viable? I know least about this option, and am thinking the transfers on both ends are to be avoided for only having a day in Victoria.

In Victoria, I'd like to see Butchart Gardens whether permitting, downtown Victoria, and relax in some forest scenery area all without car if possible. I really wish I had more time to explore more remote locations of VI, but flights are already booked.

8/2 > 8/5 = 3 nights at Westin Grand Vancouver. The wife likes to sunbath so hoping for a nice 80 degree day she can catch some rays on the roof top pool, however plan to explore Vancouver and see the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Thanks in advance if anyone has any high level tips on my initial itinerary.


Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
41,141 posts
54 reviews
1. Re: Seattle>Victoria>Vancouver

Advice so far:


Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
154 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Seattle>Victoria>Vancouver

I'd suggest flying both ways. I've taken the clipper to and from Seattle in the summer and it is just like a floating train. There isn't a lot of room to walk around on the boat, and if you do, you loose your seat. So, if you go this route, bring a big book to read.

I don't know how you will fit Butchart Gardens into such a short stay. The float planes and clipper are in the inner harbour, but Butchart Gardens is in Brentwood Bay, a good 30 minute drive each way. There is enough to do within walking distance of the sea planes. See the buskers along the harbour, go to the museum, Beacon Hill Park, shopping and restaurants.

Another option you haven't considered is to take the 7pm BC Ferry out of Swarts Bay to Tssawwassen. The ferry terminal is not far from Butchart Gardens. You could look into the PCL bus for transportation from the bus terminal in Victoria.

Victoria BC Canada
Level Contributor
153 posts
26 reviews
3. Re: Seattle>Victoria>Vancouver

Just a couple observations - Butchart Gardens is outside Victoria - a 30 minute drive (as Kathini noted).

One suggestion to maximize your time in Victoria is to do the float plane from Seattle to Victoria and then Victoria to Vancovuer (on their last flight of the day). When you land in Victoria - you can probably kindly ask if the Harbour AIr/WestCoast Air folks will hold onto your luggage until you check in for your flight.

I'd then walk a block or so to the front of the Empress Hotel - they have various tour buses - and take one of their tour buses to get to Butchart Gardens and then back downtown.

The upside of doing it this way is that you are maximizing your time in Victoria (where you only have a day) and the float plane gets you directly downtown Vancouver which is just a quick taxi ride to get to your hotel.

The downside is that this is the more expensive scenario as the float planes and the tour buses add extra $s into the mix.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
41,141 posts
54 reviews
4. Re: Seattle>Victoria>Vancouver

For future posters, the OPs other thread, linked in post 1, shows that they seem to have made their decision @ post 6.

5. Re: Seattle>Victoria>Vancouver

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

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: 2:18 am, July 24, 2014