BC itinerary help

Jan 14th, 2007, 11:46 AM
  #1  
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BC itinerary help

I've been researching and enjoying all the great advice from fellow fodorites.

i am sort of thinking of the following general itinerary.
Please let me know what you think.

All suggestions regarding itinerary, hotels, activities are welcome!

Fly into Vancouver, rent car

Drive up Sunshine Coast to Desolation Sound (3 nights)
-- stay at Desolation Resort or any other suggestion??

Drive to Tofino (3 nights)
-- stay at Middle Beach Lodge, possibly

Drive to Victoria (2 nights)
-- stay at Westin Bear Mtn Resort (outside of town)

Drive to Vancouver (1 night)
-- for night before our flight.
(we've been to Vancouver before)

thank you!
dina
dina4 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Hi dina4,

If Iíve understood your plan correctly, it looks awesome, except for one possible weak spot.

The way you described it, it sounded as if you expected to be able to land in Vancouver and get to Desolation Sound the same day. My guess is that it would take at least 7 hours (and maybe more) from the time that your plane touched down at Vancouver Airport to the time you arrived at Desolation Sound.

The Desolation Resortís website states that it takes about 5 hours to get from Horseshoe Bay to Desolation Sound. I think that sounds plausible. (Consider that you have to catch 2 ferries, the one from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale and the one from Earlís Cove to Saltery Bay.) Add to that the hour or so that it would take you to drive from Vancouver Airport to Horseshoe Bay. And then also add the hour or so that it takes to clear immigration and customs at Vancouver Airport.

So, depending on the time that your plane lands, it may be more realistic to aim for a point on the southern half of the Sunshine Coast for your first night.

To put my opinion into context, I have never been to the northern half of the Sunshine Coast. I have driven only as far as Earl's Cove, which is the most northerly spot on the southern half of the Sunshine Coast. But, based on the time it took us to do the Horseshoe Bay - Langdale crossing and to drive from there to Earl's Cove, I feel the information I've given you probably is reasonably accurate.

I can't tell you anything about Desolation Resort. But I have a Vancouver friend who loves kayaking in the Powell River area. She raves about it.

Hope you have a great trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #3  
ltt
 
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another point to consider...when we did the sunshine coast, our first ferry was delayed which caused us to miss the second ferry at earl's cove. it resulted in a long day - added on about 2-3 extra hours for the trip between powell river and whistler.
ltt is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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I like your itinerary - just a couple of thoughts about Desolation Sound.

Desolation Resort is near Lund, and I think that's pushing it to call Lund in Desolation Sound. Now, I really like Lund, and it's close to Savory and Hernando Islands which makes for good kayaking IF the weather is good (I don't think you mention when you're planning on visiting). Is your principal reason for visiting D.S. to kayak or boat or simply relax or... ? I think that will help determine where to stay and how best to do what you really want to do. I've visited this area numerous times and would stay farther north, but for a first-time visitor, depending again on what you want to do, Desolation Resort would probably be just fine.

BowenLinda is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Just one comment -- love your idea of Middle Beach Lodge; went there last fall and loved it. Wished we could have stayed longer, wish we live closer and could go more often (we're in Florida). They have complimentary slickers and flashlights for hikes through the trails on property. Do that, and do go to a dinner. Lots of fun walking through the woods to go up to the cliff for dinner, meeting up with fellow guests. Go early, have a glass of wine and enjoy the great view.

Oh yes, and make sure you enjoy the breakfast. This is NOT a television place, and I think it would be sacrilege to even spend any time watching tv here.
sludick is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:15 PM
  #6  
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Hi Judy and ltt,

Good points about the time and ferry issue. Perhaps we should stay in Vancouver overnight and then get an early morning flight?

Hi BowenLinda,
We plan to travel in mid july. Our main goal was to stay somewhere beautifiul on the sea where we can enjoy kayaking and lots of marine lie. i had earlier been considering Quadra Island (tuka lodge). We've never been to this area, so it's so hard to compare these places.

Hi Sludick,
I am so excited about middle beach lodge, too. it sounds so beautiful!

thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

thanks,
dina
dina4 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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Yea, I'm glad you're taking the suggestion of going to Tofino and I hope things work out to stay at Middle Beach.

I don't know that I'd go out of my way to spend 3 nights in Lund however. It's a nice drive/ferry ride up there but it's pretty sleepy. You have kids, right? Are they really into boating? I don't know, I think I'd spend more time in Tofino, since three nights there only gives you 2 full days there and that's really just scratching the surface.

NWWanderer is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:10 PM
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well the website makes the desolation sound area sound so great. maybe it would be too boring for teens, i dunno.

am having finding the perfect gulf island or sunshine coast stop for us. We want to kayak, see wildlife, and maybe take a bike ride.

not interested in those really "family oriented" resorts with mobs of little kids.

i'll keep looking... lund is sounding really far.
dina4 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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It's not far at all and there all kinds of things to see/do if you love the outdoors.

In terms of a Gulf Island do a search on Cortes Island-you'll have most of it to yourself.

If you love the well worn tourist track follow the crowd to Tofino.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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Lund and the Desolation Sound area is lovely, very quiet - a much smaller Tofino without surfing.

Sam has it right - it's all about the outdoors.

If you're wanting, however, something more citified, then Tofino is great. Saltspring Island would probably be up your path, too.

And I'll throw in again Port MacNeil, where you could take a whale watching tour and/or hire a fishing guide. Sointula is a charming stop and the totems and culture at Alert Bay is amazing. It is really different and beautiful.
BowenLinda is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Tofino "citified"??? Maybe compared to Lund but it's really a stretch to call it that ;-)!

NWWanderer is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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NWW, hmmmm, maybe I'm comparing it to my home as well. Comparatively speaking Tofino is more - let's say - "townified" than Lund which I guess just means bigger with more restaurants, stores, etc. But rest assured, dina4, I'm not talking about malls, etc.
BowenLinda is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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well, i'm not too worried. i live in L.A., so i'm sure Tofino won't seem "citified" to me.
dina4 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Tofino is pretty small town. A small town with amenities that most other small towns don't have. It's a far cry from "citified"!
Carmanah is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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I live in Powell River, otherwise known as the Upper Sunshine Coast. We are situated about 40 minutes south of Lund, Desolation Resort area. We are 5 minutes from the ferry to Vancouver Island. for accommodation reviews see tripadvisor.com, Powell River B&B's for example. Our local website is www.discoverpowellriver.com. From Vancouver it is about 6 1/2 hour drive from Horseshoe Bay. If you wish to catch the ferry at Horseshoe Bay in the summer don't stop on your way through or be prepared to miss a ferry as the ferries are very busy. If you have time you can also spend a night on the Lower Sunshine Coast exploring. The website for that area for accommodation is www.bbsunshinecoast.com or www.bigpacific.com for the whole Sunshine Coast. There is a lot to do on the whole Sunshine Coast. Lots of outdoor adventure. Often referred to as a little bit of heaven. Don't forget to ask for a Circle Pac ferry ticket at your first point of departure from Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. This will save you about 15% on 4 ferries. Check it out at www.bcferries.com Coastal Circle Tour it is called.
angeliclovebug is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Hi Angelic,

those are great websites. i look forward to checking them out this weekend.
thank you!

Seeing as you are a local, what is YOUR favorite place in the area (west coast VI, gulf island, or sunshine coast locale)??

dina
dina4 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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I have to say I love all of the areas you mention. It really depends on how much driving and cruising you wish to do. It is a large area. It is possible to do all the areas you mention if you like driving. If you do the websites you can see what is our part of the world. Powell River is a laid back town of about 16,000. Check out www.beaconbb.com for a view to die for. Nobody who visits are disappointed. I tend to like the Eastern side of the Island versus the Tofino area but that is just me. I am also a fan of Saltspring if you like an eclectic mix of people. Victoria is our capitol city and I love it very much. The parking is for the birds and very expensive though. Hope this has helped a little.
angeliclovebug is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:54 PM
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thanks, angelic!

The Beacon looks really nice.

just curious why you like the eastern side of the island better than the western side.
dina4 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:33 AM
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hello Dina
The weather usually is better on the East side and there are lots of communities to stop and browse in. If you wish to see whales, the orca are out of Port McNeil or Sayward, just north of Campbell River. The sunsets from Powell River are lovely, when happening that is. They don't happen every night, depends on the cloud formation at the time. Hope you are coming along with your travel plans.
angeliclovebug is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 03:51 PM
  #20  
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ok.. i've edited the itinerary a bit. let me know what you think...

Day 1 - arrive in Vancouver, stay overnight

Day 2 - get an early start for long drive up to either Lund, or Quadra Island or somewhere else in this area.
***stay 3 nights

Day 5 - head to Tofino
**** stay 4 nights (is that too long?)

Day 9 - head to Victoria
****stay 3 nights

Day 12 - head to Vancouver Airport from Victoria

*** (how much time should i plan for this drive????)

thank you SO much. i really appreciate all the great advice i've gotten so far.
dina4 is offline  

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