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Vancouver Trip Help With Itinerary and Sights

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Will be in Seattle next week for a conference. Starting Thursday afternoon 6/26 thru Sunday 6/29 (8 PM) I plan to drive with the wife and one-year old baby (first airtrip) to Vancouver.

Itinerary:
Thursday night drive to Vancouver - we are late night creatures so avoid lines at the border crossing.
Thu Night, Fri Night - Stay in Vancouver.
Saturday - Vehicle Ferry to Victoria
Sat Night in/around Victoria.
Sunday Noon take Ferry from Victoria to Anacortes (cross the border that way). Arrive in Anacortes with about 5 hours left to flight back from Seatlle to Los Angeles.

Want to take our vehicle so that all the baby stuff does not need to be taken on planes, public transport or trains.
How good/bad is the Ferry transport from Vancouver to Victoria & Victoria to Anacortes?
Am i saving border crossing time by taking the Ferry from Victoria to Anacortes? (instead of driving from Vancouver to Seattle on Sunday morning?)

We love history, small towns, local culture, foods, and some natural sights (no hikes with baby). But scenic drives etc is good.

Any suggestions for things to do in Vancouver?
Wife loves quaint british towns and flower fields so Victoria may be good?

Does this feel rushed to you? Any other recommendations?

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    So keep in mind that if you fly into Canada, your baby will need a passport. If you go by land or by sea, you'll only need a certified copy of the baby's birth certificate, but it will need to be certified.

    We took our "baby" (he's 24) on his first trip to Vancouver at 3 months, and back again when he was about 8. There's a couple of downsides to Vancouver, or British Columbia in general -- maybe it's different these days, but 20 something years ago, you were absolutely not permitted to go into any bar with a baby, including a hotel bar. Not even if the baby is asleep in a stroller.

    Aside from that, it really is a kid's paradise, and even though the baby is only 1, if he/she is walking, you probably want to get in at least a little playtime. Our son loved Granville Island where, in summer, the water park (free!) is pretty darned fun, with those fountains that shoot up water out of the pavement, and you have to guess when they'll spout!

    Stanley Park is another amazing place both for parents and kids.Great playground and pretty amazing aquarium.

    Now you're kid is way too young for this, but even at the museum of art there's kids programs.

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    What comes to mind for me is that you will be taking that ferry during a peak travel time (noon on Sunday), with not much alternative if you can't get on board. So - be sure that you make a vehicle reservation NOW.

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    This would make for a fine weekend in Canada were you not crazily attempting to shove Victoria into a tiny window where it does not belong.

    You don't hint whether you and the wife have been to Vancouver before. IF NOT then ditch the crazy Victoria idea and spend a less-hectic weekend in Vancouver...

    YOU ARE STILL semi-foolish for what would then be a scheduled Sunday evening flight on a day which would begin with you on the wrong side of a potentially hours-long border crossing wait.

    The way to combat that is not by shoving you and your family into an even smaller funnel with even fewer options should you be delayed.

    The sensible move here, given what you've said... is to go Vancouver at a reasonable hour on Thursday (leave Seattle-ish @ 6:30 or 7pm - after rush hour, but NOT "late night")... (it might still be daylight upon your Vancouver arrival - {this ain't L.A. in the summer})

    Then spend pleasant Thursday and Friday nights in Vancouver... before shoving off "late night" on Saturday toward and across the border... and then bed your family down somewhere near to Burlington, WA... where EARLY on Sunday you set sail for the "North Cascades Highway" to the east.

    Vancouver to Burlington is about 80 miles /90 minutes without allowing for border traffic.

    Were it me, I wouldn't leave central Vancouver until at least 8:30pm (Sat. night) ... and once you find your way to the USA it is a straight shot down the freeway to Burlington, WA. (this optimizes your time in Vancouver and minimizes your time at the border)

    Have a hotel/motel reservation in/near Burlington, and envision getting to bed at perhaps midnight???

    From Burlington to Winthrop, WA it is 133 miles of driving through some very scenic territory. In your case, you're going to likely need to double-back to Burlington, and then south to SeaTac airport. (which is another 80 miles/90 minutes, from Burlington)

    You can make tracks along the North Cascades highway in the early morning... (the sun rises before 5:30am around here these days)... and you don't have to go as far as Winthrop (which is a cute and unique little town)...

    but that would be time MUCH better spent, with far less fear of the unknown variables for those with a Sunday evening flight to catch from SeaTac.

    (if you were to hit major traffic going south on I-5 between Everett and Seattle... you should leave I-5 and use highway 99/Aurora Avenue southbound... through Seattle and then onto the airport.

    Should I guess that your flight is at about 6pm???


    Working that back, and having you drive up to SeaTac @ 4pm...

    I'd wanna leave Burlington by 1:30... to allow a margin for error. It will be steady weekend traffic most of the way.

    SO IF you had any (dream) of going all the way to Winthrop, you'd have to leave Burlington very early (in the morning, I mean)!!

    (the sights WILL be there, at any time you're likely to get out on the N.C. highway)

    IF beginning in Winthrop (after the first run of the N.C. highway)... give yourself 3 1/2 hours (allowing for occasional stops/time) prior to that 1:30pm target of Burlington.

    That would mean leaving Winthrop by 10:00am (which is admittedly hard to fathom) (wonder if there are any lodging options for Concrete {which is "the center of the known universe"} or Rockport... which would 'save' time on the morning trip)

    Anyway, you would tailor this, varying the distance you travel east when sightseeing on the North Cascades, before turning around to get back to Burlington and then south on Interstate 5.

    It's still plenty of sightseeing, but you control your own fate much more, and can have piece of mind when heading off for your Sunday flight.



    *** as for things to do in Vancouver... there is so much... and it is wonderfully compacted into a downtown area which you would never have to leave, unless you wanted to.

    The downtown area is suitably flat, and if somebody packs the kid on their shoulders, you could hike all around the city.

    Nearby Stanley Park was just named the "world's best park", and you could drive/hike that mere minutes away!

    The whole area is quite diverse, and you can sample many cultures within a short distance from just about anywhere in town.

    You neeeeeeeeeeeed as much time as my perceived two-night stay can offer you, and you won't be lacking for ideas.

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