Best Victoria/Vancouver Excursions?

Old Apr 28th, 2003, 12:30 PM
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Best Victoria/Vancouver Excursions?

We will be in Vancouver Fairmont for 2nts/days, then Victoria Fairmont for same. What might be the #1, #2, &#3 activities if we are looking for the local "flavor"? We do not like the mainstream touristy things, we DO love good vistas, hiking, whale watching,etc. Would a trip to Tofino & Hot Springs Cove be a good bet? With our limited time, how long does the drive take to Tofino?
What might be a good whale watching company where it would be in Kayaks & peaceful, again, nothing "Disney World-like",ie, crowded mainstream. Lastly, anything on Eagle watching?
Thanks in advance for your valuable help!
Steve
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 08:13 PM
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I believe Tofino is a 5-6 hour drive from Victoria, so I would skip that or go there and skip Victoria. In Victoria, do visit the museum right next door to the Empress Hotel. For a nice view, drive up Mt. Doug, park and walk up to the viewpoint, especially on a clear, summer evening. Or you could walk the whole thing if you'd rather. You might also enjoy a drive up the Malahat and a walk through Goldstream Park. For a nice garden setting, not as crowded as Butchart Gardens, visit Hatley Park and Castle (on the road to Sooke). It's free except for parking. As for eagles, when are you visiting? Bald eagles routinely fly over the James Bay area in the summertime so if you hear a great ruckus from the gulls, look up and you'll likely see them in hot pursuit of an eagle. A large heronry is on the edge of Beacon Hill Park.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 01:18 AM
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Also, Brackendale, north of Vancouver, is the eagle gathering hotspot in winter. You're probably not planning on visiting in the winter but here are a couple of websites you may find interesting anyway.

http://www.brackendaleartgallery.com/Eagles.html
http://www.goldstreampark.com/bald_eagles.htm
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Absolutely agree with visit to the Royal Museum in Victoria. If you have time for only one floor..I'd recommend the first peoples exhibit which includes a longhouse! It is a fascinating and very well done introduction to the first peoples of BC.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Loz527,

I am in Vancouver regularly and I always make my way to the Capilano Suspension Bridge just outside of North Van. Great Views over the gorge and last time I was there a bald eagle flew under the bridge as I was standing on it. It isn't everyday one gets to look down on a soaring eagle.
Also, Take a walk around Stanley Park.
Have Fun, Vancouver is a great city.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 08:28 PM
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Well if you aren't interested in 'mainstream tourism' options in Vancouver then I can't recommend the Capilano Suspension Bridge-which is a tourist trap of the tackiest variety.

Nearby Lynn Canyon is much better and free.

With the small amount of time you have I suggest you go Kayaking http://www.deepcovekayak.com/ is a good place to start-accessible yet remote a real gem.

Renting a mountain bike is another idea few people consider http://www.reckless.ca/ to start you off.

Eagles are everywhere-I saw 3 juveniles and one adult flying along Spanish Banks when I was on my walk yesterday-just a 10 minute drive from downtown Vancouver.
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