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Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

arlington
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Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

We'll be staying in seattle for 3 days, and in the city of victoria for 3 days in early october, taking a whale tour one of those days...so we get a lot of water/ocean scenery on our trip. Fiancee is also wanting to see/photograph some of the beautiful mountains/trees kinda scenery too.

If we take the amtrak train from Seattle-Vancouver and then ferry over we get some good mountain/woodsy scenery.

But we were thinking, if we don't ride the train and just take the ferry from Seattle to victoria---that's more water/ocean photos...how can we experience the beauty of the mountains and trees while in victoria?

Would it be worth renting a car for a day and driving around to see the mountains/trees? Or is there a good state park/scenic area within an hour or so drive of Victoria? Are there commerical day tours from Victoria to somewhere in the mountains? Whistler is like a long way away from Victoria, right? Or is it an easy drive?

Sorry for so many questions.

Thanks!!!

Vancouver BC
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11. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

Goldstream is an excellent suggestion. Lunch or golf at Bear Mountain is pretty too.

arlington
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12. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

We had considered staying at Bear Mountain...looked like a gorgeous resort but decided to stay in-town instead. Is there any other restaurants out that way? It's about 10 miles or so outside of victoria, correct?

Nanaimo, Canada
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13. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

This may be too late given that you are traveling next month, but have you considered at least waiting one day before getting on the flight to Seattle? You may find yourselves exhausted after all the wedding planning, and then the excitement of the day. It might be an advantage to take one or two evenings at home in Texas just to catch your breath before taking off for the honeymoon.

Of course, if it isn't a big wedding, it may not matter anyway.

If you get out to Sooke, you may want to drive further to Port Renfrew. Check the tide tables and see if you can get to Botanical Beach for low tide. Lots of interesting things to see in the tide pools.

Congratulations too, and hope you have a great time on your honeymoon.

Vancouver, Canada
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14. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

Hi TexMav ::

As I don't know that resort, I have just used Google Maps, and the "search nearby" feature to show the nearby restaurants. You can check out all the balloons and little red dots on the following map.

http://goo.gl/maps/A4gSi

The resort is about 17 km and 30 min from downtown Victoria. On the following map, I've chosen the Craigflower Rd. route, which is a little more laid back than Hwy 1 (the latter being called the Colwood Crawl in rush hour) and prettier. If you look on the map, you will see a number of words saying "Gorge." Well that narrow throat-like waterway is the Gorge Waterway, bounded by Craigflower and Gorge Roads. So, taking that route from Bear Mtn, if you swing off Craigflower onto Admirals, and then down Gorge Rd. you could stop along there and walk the pathway alongside the Gorge (waterway). It's a beauty. You could reverse it and visit on the way to Bear Mtn, of course.

http://goo.gl/maps/shIzj

The following video is perfect for showing you the Gorge pathway, but please forgive the real estate promotion at about 1 minute on the vid for the last 20 seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_xQJcm1esc

Victoria, BC
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15. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

Would absolutely recommend staying downtown (Laurel Point is nice and a great location) rather than Bear Mountain. Whale watching a great idea for some great photos of scenery and wildlife. And I like the recommendation of Goldstream Park - great walk through the woods/trees and along the river. You could rent a car or even take a taxi - check with the hotel on costs. You could also consider a scenic float plane tour from the downtown Victoria harbour - Harbour Air.

Seattle
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16. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

I would highly recommend driving over the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington for your mountains/scenery fix and then taking the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria. Olympic National Park is only about 2-3 hours from Seattle, with a beautiful trip to get there. You can see mountain tops from Hurricane Ridge, the Hoh rainsforest, Sol Duc Hot Springs and the ocean beaches all within a couple of hours of each other. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason, and definitely worth taking that route.

Nanaimo, Canada
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17. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

FrugalTravelG, they are already back home as they were traveling in October of LAST year, although I have to agree with you... the Olympic Peninsula is a wonderful place to explore.

Victoria, Canada
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18. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

Come to the island on the clipper and rent a car.

I take most of our visitors on a whole day tour, drive north to lake Cowichan, then over the mountain to Port Renfrew, and drive south down the coast, Stop at Botanical beach if the tide is low, there are many beach parks along the way south, botanical is my favourite,but love French beach too.

You can stop in Sooke for dinner.

Vancouver, Canada
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19. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

Old post. Please read the dates before posting, especially post 17. Better to advise on current questions.

Victoria BC
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20. Re: Mountain/trees/scenic area suggestions

Some good suggestions here texasmaverick, so I'll just throw in a few personal favorites, and try not to repeat. If your booked into Laurel Point, you have an excellent location, and I wouldn't consider Bear Mountain, which is a moderately tacky suburban development. From your hotel, you could explore the Songhees Walkway around the harbour, Beacon Hill Park and its adjoining coastal walkway, and the downtown core, with myriod attractions, all within a couple of miles and quite walkable.

If you rent a car, some easy day trips include: the Malahat Drive, which will give you sweeping views of the Victoria area; Whitty's Lagoon, with includes just about every kind of local geographical feature, like rainforest, sand beach, lagoon, and waterfall; East Sooke Park, with old growth forest and ocean and mountain views (the high mountain views here are the Olympics, in Washington state, 20 miles across the water); or out of the way spots like Todd Inlet, not far out of town but a real oasis of West Coast scenery. Check with BC Parks, CRD Parks, or Travel BC for these locations.

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