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Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

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Berkshire
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Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

We are a Uk family of 5 travelling to Seattle and Vancouver for 2 weeks in August. Having looked at transport and journey times to Victoria can't decide whether it is worth the time and effort to go there also? Is there very much to see and do? Flying into Seattle and then moving to Vancouver for return flight - it seems that the ferry points are some drive out of Vancouver so an overnight stay in Victoria would be necessary? Help no idea of scale or distances in this part of the world? Thanks

New Westminster...
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1. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

You could get to Victoria in a couple of ways, but the logistics are a bit challenging, especially for five of you.

You can take a bus downtown-to-downtown, but to have any decent amount of time in Victoria, you'd have to make it a long day. Get on a bus in downtown Vancouver at 0845 and you aren't in downtown Victoria till 12:20. Return trip similar.

A rented car wouldn't improve things much. Drive to ferry well in advance, 90-100 minute sailing, and moderately expensive by our standards (not so much compared to European ferry fares).

You could fly, but with five of you it will cost a lot.

If I were you I wouldn't do it. Even if you want to see the famous Butchart Gardens (and I suspect that not all five of you would), you might do better to see one of the nearly-as-good gardens in the Vancouver area.

You'll just have to come back another time to enjoy the wonders of Victoria.

Let's see what others say.

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

Others can't say much without knowing how they are moving between Seattle and Vancouver. Rented car? Train? Bus? That missing piece influences their options.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

Welcome to the forum, Eloise

Well, we can say it will take about 4 hours by either train (from Seattle), coach or car and 35 minutes by seaplane. Coach and seaplane will require individual fare payment, car will require a fare for the car and individual fares for the passengers.

The "worth it" question is the blocker. It is not possible to say if the time and effort will be worth it. What might be worth it for me might be the complete opposite for you and your family.

If you could look through the Things to Do in the left sidebar, make up a bit of a plan and post that for comment. We then have something concrete to work with in terms of time needed to see and do those things.

You don't mention your travel plans from Seattle to Vancouver. But if you are driving, you could actually do a circle tour - Seattle to Victoria to Vancouver to Seattle (or Vancouver first then Victoria to Seattle.) There is an article about this travel on the Seattle Forum. Click on the following blue printing to read it here:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60878-c2598/Seattle:…

The routes would look like this, and it can be done in reverse. Looking at the ferry schedules to get the timing just right would allow you to have the most time on the ground in each city.

Driving Option 1. Seattle - Vancouver - Victoria - Port Angeles WA - Seattle. www.bcferries.com and www.cohoferry.com

http://goo.gl/maps/Bybx

Driving Option 2. Seattle - Vancouver - Victoria - Sidney BC - Anacortes WA - Seattle. BC Ferries and the WA State ferry - http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

http://goo.gl/maps/gKNi

A circle route might eliminate unnecessary backtracking.

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

I like Mufti's idea. From Seattle, you could drive to Port Angeles or Anacortes and head to Victoria on the Island first. I like the Anacortes route because it goes through the BEAUTIFUL San Juan Islands. You would arrive in Sidney, less than a half hour drive from Victoria, but closer to Butchart Gardens. And if you left from Port Angeles, the ferry docks right in the Victoria Harbour. That crossing is not nearly as scenic.

Then you can hop over to Vancouver from Swartz Bay (half hour north of Victoria) and again, a beautiful ferry ride though the Gulf Islands. Get out on deck, and you might even see some orcas or seals while cruising through Active Pass. When you get to the other side, you are only 30 - 45 minutes away from downtown Vancouver.

August is a busy time, kids still out of school, lots of tourists too. If you are renting a car, you might want to consider reserving the B. C. Ferry. The Victoria ferries operate pretty much every hour, so it easier to catch one there, but if it is a weekend, expect it to be busier.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

Two weeks is a fairly long time for just the two cities. Most people seem happy with 3 to 4 days in a city. Victoria makes a very convenient third point on the loop tour as you can travel conveniently between Victoria and Washington State by car or as a foot passenger.

Are you planning any other "out trips" during this, or are you currently planning to spend your entire two weeks just in the cities? Nothing wrong with that, I'm just trying to get a feel for you over all plan and if Victoria would make sense for you.

"Is it worth it?" is just not a question we can answer for you. Sorry. :> You'll have to do the leg work and figure that one out on your own.

New Westminster...
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6. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

Note that if you plan a trip using the Port Angeles or Anacortes ferry, you'll need to check the schedules because they don't run as frequently as other ferries. Pick a sailing time, add how far ahead they need you there, then use Google Maps to calculate driving time to get there.

If you head for Port Angeles, and have plenty of time, consider stops at Poulsbo or Port Townsend.

Finally, to do it all WITH a night in Victoria? Oh yes. The Royal BC Museum would probably appeal to all five of you, and you could find a beach to explore, and so on.

7. Re: Is it worth the journey to Victoria?

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