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Back from Seattle and Vancouver Island- WOW!

Back from Seattle and Vancouver Island- WOW!

Aug 22nd, 2009, 08:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 55
Back from Seattle and Vancouver Island- WOW!

My husband and I, both 50ish, just celebrated our wedding anniversary with a wonderful trip to the west coast. After many helpful suggestions from Fodors, we scheduled our time this way:

Monday- Flew from the east coast to Seattle
Tues. - Took the Victoria Clipper to Victoria, rented a car, and drove to Tofino
Wed.&Thurs,- Tofino/Ucluelet
Friday&Sat.- Victoria
Sunday- Took the Clipper back to Seattle
Monday - Flew back home to NC

This schedule was completely doable, and we had a wonderful time. While in Seattle, we saw the Mariners play the Whitesox at Safeco Field, went to Pike Place Market, walked around the city, and saw a fabulous new musical at the 5th Ave.Theatre -"Catch Me if you Can" - watch for it on Broadway now.

Stops along the beautiful drive to and from Tofino included Coombs, Chemanus, Duncan, and Cathedral Grove- all suggested by Fodors posters. We enjoyed them all.

While in Tofino, we soaked up the gorgeous scenery by hiking several trails in the Pacific Rim National Park- trails through coastal rainforests that led to the ocean. We also loved the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet. The views were breathtaking.

In Victoria, we spent time exploring the inner harbor, and went on a whale watching trip with Prince of Whales. We saw a lot of orcas, and although we couldn't get as close to them as I would have liked, it was fun. We also went to the IMAX theatre at the museum
and saw the film about whales.

I highly recommend all three of places we stayed while on this trip:
In Seattle- The Arctic Club Hotel on 3rd Ave. > Absolutely beautiful historic hotel, good location for walking to sights, and the best service and friendliest staff we've ever encountered at a hotel.
In Tofino- Middle Beach Lodge> Rustic, no frills lodge with beautiful views, delicious breakfast included
In Victoria- Carlton Plaza on Johnson St.> Huge room w/ sitting area and kitchen, very reasonable price, easy walk to inner harbor. Ask for a quiet room, though.

Our trip was a perfect mix of exciting city sights and the wonders of nature. We really hated to leave Tofino after three nights. Although Victoria is a beautiful, we wish we could have stayed in Tofino one more day to go kayaking or on another adventure.

Suggestions to others considering this trip: The average temp. in this area in August is about 68 degrees F, so pack accordingly, but pack lightly. The luggage we brought was a bit of a burden since we stayed in three different hotels. We reserved everything online before going- rental car, hotels, the clipper, and tickets to attractions. Some things could be canceled if needed, but everything went according to plan.

Thank you so much to everyone who posted suggestions about Seattle and Vancouver island, and to those who answered my questions when I was planning the trip. It was wonderful!
onthego919 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2009, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
It sounds like a wonderful trip. Thanks for posting.
annetti is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2009, 02:48 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,916
Glad you had a great trip and that you made it to Tofino and Middle Beach, one of my favorite places. Which lodge did you stay in--the Beach or the Headlands?

And I'm glad to hear you say you could have used more time in Tofino--I'm always writing on here that 3 nights is a minimum and I feel like a broken record sometimes ;-).
NWWanderer is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3
I am so, so glad to see this!! We are from SC and considering a trip to Tofino. Just wondering how much of our time would be spent in actually getting there... I was beginning to give up! We do plan to spend our whole time in Tofino. So, would you basically take a whole day to arrive in Tofino? We don't want to get there, just to have to turn around and come home.
mwwhillary is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Okay, I have another question or two. You would recommend renting the car in Victoria and not Seattle. I know the ferry would be cheaper... How long was the ferry ride?
mwwhillary is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Okay, I should have done my homework... I see that this is a passenger only ferry and takes about 2 hours 45 min..
mwwhillary is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 07:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 55
Hi everyone- At Middle Beach Lodge we stayed in the Beach Lodge, room 10. It was small, and we had to redo some things and put our large suitcase back in the car, but oh what a view from our little deck...
mwwhillary- After arriving in Victoria on the Clipper at noon, we left in our rental car at about 1:30 and arrived in Tofino at 7:30. We did stop to enjoy the sights along the way, and didn't try to rush. As others have mentioned, though, it's better not to drive the last couple of hours when it's dark. Taking Highway 19 keeps you from going through so many traffic lights. If you like hiking, kayaking, exploring nature, etc. you won't be bored in Tofino and Ucluelet.
onthego919 is offline  

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