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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Need help, can't decide

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Hi All,

My husband and I are visiting Vancouver City from Boston Sunday Sept. 8th for one week. I have three nights booked so far at the Sutton in Vancouver city. We are just unsure what to do the rest of the week. Some suggested Victoria or Whister for a couple of nights. But, what I have read Torfino sounds wonderful also! We love the city life, but obviously enjoy gorgeous nature and wildlife. We fly in and out of Vancouver airport. Could we fly to Torfino to save time? Rent a vehicle there perhaps? Suggestions would be great. Hubby thinks we should just stay in Vancouver city and do a day trip to places outside of the city. But, I think one week in Vancouver city will be too much.
Thoughts?

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    I live in Vancouver and go to Tofino almost every year. It is a fantastic place to visit. If you can afford to fly in you would save a lot of time and get a great view of the Gulf islands and Vancouver island on the way over.

    If you want to save money I would recommend you take the bus from near your hotel to Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and take the ferry to Nanaimo. Once there National car rental will pick you up if you make a reservation with them and then call them as the ferry comes in. Rental should be about $100 for a 2 night, 3 day rental. The drive to Tofino is beautiful but the whole trip (ferry and driving, stopping for pictures) will take you into the late afternoon). Two nights in Tofino is enough time to wander the amazing beaches (Long Beach, Chesterman Bay, etc) and decide you will back again sometime. Also lots of bear, sealife tours available if wildlife interests you.

    Google maps is great for public transit directions in Vancouver. BC ferries has a good website for schedules to Vancouver Island. And I recommend you take the Canada Line train from the airport to downtown. It is a fraction of the cost for a cab and is usually faster (unless you arrive late at night)

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    If you're coming from Boston, and have never been to Vancouver before (???), there will be plenty to do in Vancouver for a week, making day trips to various nearby spots if so inclined.

    What we here in the northwest do, and would do ourselves isn't really relevant considering we could do the same trip next month, and the month after that, and the month after THAT (to cover it all).

    Vancouver is so diverse and so filled with options, that you should cover as many of those as you can.

    A day trip to Whistler makes sense, an evening excursion to Grouse Mountain makes sense, and rather than use the time and expense involved in going to the island, you might do well to use Priceline.com to land two (potentially) different central Vancouver hotels, and switch in the middle of your week, on the chance that it puts you in different *spots* around what is a very walkable, and very interesting city.

    There are other suitable day trips and I think I'd get all of the ducks in a row for the one-night/two-day drive to Winthrop, WA over the North Cascades Highway if you just had to get out and see more nature. (I think I just tallied 575 miles on a circle route from Vancouver-Bellingham, WA-Winthrop, WA-Princeton, BC-Vancouver) ***CAREFULLY be aware that such a circle path would entail two border crossings and needing to be CERTAIN you had a rental car which permitted you to take it into the U.S..

    Aside from such day trips, you could do the whole week without a car if you wanted to. The Skytrain can take you right from Vancouver's airport into central Vancouver. The town is mostly flat and very walkable, with more normal people walking around all night than in most any other North American city (NOT the same normal people all night - that wouldn't be normal). Going without a car would save staggering valet parking charges at hotels.

    Just, immersing yourself in the randomness of central Vancouver for a week would be plenty of vacation by itself. I do NOT feel that one week in (central) Vancouver would be too much. (many other towns? - maybe, but not Vancouver)

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