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Stop there or keep going ?

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Mt Eliza, Australia
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Stop there or keep going ?

We arrive at Nanaimo by ferry at about 10am on Thursday 17 June on our way to Hidden Cove Lodge for a 3-night stay. After that, we drive to Victoria for a couple of days before taking the ferry back to Vancouver. We'd like to stop for lunch somewhere on the way to Port Elliott (happy to pay whatever we need to for a good meal) but can't work out where to go. We've looked at countless reviews but so many are "1 contribution" that we wonder about their reliability.

Should we have a look around Nanaimo and then have lunch there or would we be better off just heading for Port Elliott and stopping for lunch somewhere on the way ? For example, Campbell River ? We are due to arrive at Hidden Cove Lodge at about 5.30 pm.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Happy with anything except Thai, Indian or Mexican.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
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1. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

Stop in Nanaimo. Go downtown. After you get off the ferry, drive south on Hwy 1. Turn left at Terminal Avenue and the next left at Front Street. There is on-street parking and several parking lots.

If you have the time I would strongly recommend taking the small passenger only Protection Island ferry to the floating Dinghy Dock Pub and Restaurant. http://dinghydockpub.com/ Pub fare but a great setting. You can sit inside in the very well done pub or outside on the deck and watch the boats and get a great view of the harbour and Mt. Benson. It would take you 2 hours to have lunch there. The ferry departs at :10 past the hour and returns at the top of the hour. We have sent thousands of guests there.

Alternatively the Downtown and Old City Quarter have lots of great restaurants that we often go to and recommend. Some of them are:

- Modern Cafe

- Minnoz at the Coast Bastion Inn (great view of the harbour)

- Trollers (floating fish and chip restaurant in the Boat Basin)

- Fox and Hounds (excellent British pub with BC's best fish and chips)

- Bistro Taiyo (Japanese izakaya)

- Wesley Street cafe (excellent West Coast restaurant)

- Delicado's (very casual Tex-Mex but excellent)

Hope that gives you a hand and that you consider stopping in Nanaimo.

Enjoy your trip to Vancouver Island!

Vancouver Island...
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2. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

I totally agree with Dave!! Nanaimo is the hub city of Vancouver Island and it is the place to start your journey, this is a great little city with many things to see and do.

The downtown is being revitalized and it has a nice vibe, great restaurants, and one of the most beautiful waterfronts you will see anywhere! By all means stop and enjoy our city.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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3. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

I agree, stop there for a bit. A downtown restaurant I visited last fall (Sept.) is reviewed here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g154935-d972…

Edited: 12:02 pm, May 05, 2010
MBG
The Villages...
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231 posts
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4. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

Is the Dinghy Dock Pub open all year? Their website shows hours from Sept.- May only -- which made no sense to me. We will be in Victoria the first week of October and just want to make sure that they are only open May - Sept. Thank you!

MBG
The Villages...
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5. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

Oops -- meant to say "AREN'T only open May - Sept." Sorry!

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

For years the Dinghy Dock was only open during the summer months but two years ago they changed an all year format. So you can rest assured that when you arrive in Nanaimo you can enjoy some time at the Dinghy Dock!

If you are driving up from Victoria you might also want to stop at the Crow and Gate Pub in Yellow Point about 15 minutes south of Nanaimo. Truly one of the province's best pubs! http://www.crowandgate.com/

Enjoy your trip!

MBG
The Villages...
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231 posts
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7. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

Thank you so much! We are really looking forward to our visit to B.C.

Vancouver Island...
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8. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

Dave , again is right on! The Crow and Gate pub is in my opinon a must see. When you guys are here it is almost the height of the garden season, and the owner of the C & G is a fabulous gardener. You order your food and drinks at the bar and take a seat outside in the garden. The food is great, the atmosphere is fantastic. We live close by and go there all the time.

And! .... since you are there, take a drive around Yellow Point and check out the beautiful sandstone beaches there, and some of the parks!

Enjoy!

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

If DDP is open in the summer season, their website does not do them any favours at all!!

"7 days a week, September - May"

http://dinghydockpub.com/

MBG
The Villages...
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10. Re: Stop there or keep going ?

That was EXACTLY my point in my earlier posting. They need to update their website.