British Columbia Itinerary Help!

Jul 9th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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British Columbia Itinerary Help!

My wife and I are taking a week in BC at the end of July to celebrate her 40th birthday. We've been to Vancouver and Victoria before and really loved it, but want to add something new this time. We're flying in and out of Vancouver, and will probably spend one or two nights in the city. Then we're figuring we'll head up to Whistler for three nights (maybe at the new Four Seasons?). What should we do with the other two or three nights? A Gulf Island (if so, which one), Sunshine Coast (where, exactly?), Tofino, or somewhere else? We're looking for somewhere beautiful and relaxing, but which won't be too much of a hassle to travel to on a somewhat tight timeline. (She's 6 months pregnant, and not up for spending lots of time in the car, or for roughing it at all). Is it realistic to get all the way to the west coast of Vancouver Island for 2 days, or should we stay closer in? Any thoughts - as well as specific recommendations for nice places to stay and things to do, would be most appreciated! Thanks a million, Ken
Jul 9th, 2004, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 343
Hmmm...Tofino is the most relaxing place I know. We try to get over there (from Vancouver) at least once a year. We usually get a mid-morning ferry from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver), stop for lunch in Port Alberni, and are in Tofino by about 3:30. I'm not sure whether you'd consider that too much driving.

Most hotels and B&Bs in Tofino require a minimum two-night stay. Know also that at this time of year most accommodations are fully booked. Nevertheless, it's worth a try. I'd recommend anywhere with an address on Chesterman Beach Road or Lynn Road. In both cases the beach and ocean will be just steps from your door.

(There are big hotels in the Tofino area as well, but I've never stayed in any of them and so don't feel able to recommend them.)

If you do decide to go over to the Island, be sure to make a reservation on the ferry. The ferries are very busy at this time of year and who wants to spend precious holiday time sitting in a car park at a ferry terminal?

The only trouble I foresee with going to Tofino is that two days just isn't enough. You'll want to stay a life time. Maybe you can cut a day from your stay in Whistler and add it to the Tofino jaunt.

Hope this helps. Maybe some other posters will have suggestions about the Gulf Islands.
Vorkuta is offline  
Jul 9th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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You could easily fly to Saltspring Island with rent a small car from (more or less next door) and stay at any of the upscale accommodation on the Islands-too many to count.
might suit. for all kinds of Island info.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Jul 9th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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kebanks, your schedule is fairly tight so since you've both been to Vancouver before, why don't you give it a miss this visit (other than to stay your first night to rest after your flight), and either:

- drive the next day to Whistler for 2 or 3 nights. Although a lot of Whistler's activities are athletically oriented, I have spent many a summer's day in Whistler sitting by a pool, pretending to read. And there's always eating, wandering about the village, enjoying free street entertainment, etc. I really like Whistler in the summer. Then drive to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, load onto your reserved-spot B.C. Ferry and enjoy the 1 1/2 hr trip to Nanaimo. Do the drive to Pacific Rim Park (Tofino/Ucluelet)and soak up that west coast beauty for 3 nights. Return ferry back to West Vancouver to return home. OR

- enjoy Whistler for 2/3 nights, then drive to Tsswassen (sp) ferry terminal to travel to one of the south Gulf Islands, perhaps Saltspring as Sam suggested, and relax there for 3 nights. Look to the B.C. Ferry website for its routes to the various islands, choose one, google accommodation (or come back to this board for specific suggestions).

Have a great trip,

BowenLinda is offline  
Jul 9th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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tofino is so wonderful. but, as mentioned you'd want 3-4 nights there to relax since the drive there and back takes up a significant part of a day (beautiful drive though). however, it may be tough to get accommodations now. we stayed at one of these condos and it was WONDERFUL.
ltt is offline  
Jul 9th, 2004, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hi ltt, glad to hear your positive comments about the South Chesterman suites. We usually stay a few hundred yards from that cluster of suites and have walked past it many times, wondering what it's like inside.

Yes, the drive to Tofino is beautiful, especially the stretch between Port Alberni and Tofino. You know, if I were kebanks (who started this thread), I'd want to skip Whistler altogether and head straight for Tofino the day after I arrived in Vancouver. I guess you can tell where my heart lies!
Vorkuta is offline  
Jul 10th, 2004, 06:04 AM
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Whistler is quite expensive and rather plastic IMHO. Depends on what you like, though. Tofino is a definite jewel.
ginocat is offline  
Jul 10th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Them's fightin words, Gino!!! I'd be happy to show you the non plastic side of Whistler, if you have a few weeks to explore.

The new Four seasons is very nice. We had a very nice dinner there the other night. Then we decided to take a few days away, and took the Horseshoe Bay ferry to the Island , and the Croften ferry to Saltspring, where we are now relaxing. You can go on a half day fishing charter( the salmon fishing isn't "hot" right now, but it's nice to be out on the boat) Today(saturday) we will stroll the village for the Craft market, and the numerous art galleries, and tomorrow is a Lavender festival. there is something happening evry week during the summer on Saltspring. It took us seven hours of travel to get here from Whistler. That includes waiting for and traveling on two ferries, which is better than the longgggg drive to Tofino. Enjoy, and cheers, Al
WhistlerAl is offline  
Jul 10th, 2004, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Tofino! Stay at the Long Beach Lodge Resort and get a beachfront room, with doors that open onto the beach on the ground floor. Relax in your room and listen to the ocean at night. Turn on your fireplace, or take a bath in your soaker tub. Go upstairs to the fabulous Great Room and have dinner at the amazing restaurant, watch the sunset, sit and have a drink (tea for your pregnant wife!) while you mingle with guests from all over the world.
We have traveled everywhere, and Long Beach Lodge truly is one of our favorite places anywhere. Incredible beds, too! Very comfortable!!!
stockexchanger is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Thanks very much to everyone for your suggestions! All that talk of Tofino sold us. We're going to split our time between Four Seasons Whistler and Long Beach Lodge, hopping a seaplane to Tofino to save on the travel time! Sounds like a win/win to me. Thanks again.
Jul 13th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,399
I hope you have a wonderful time - that sounds like a very nice way to celebrate a birthday. I'm sure you will love Tofino and environs. Let's hope the weather holds.
taggie is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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And remember - there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!
Tofino is beautiful regardless of the weather. It is a rainforest though so keep that in mind.
ginocat is offline  
Jul 15th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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i'm jealous...that sounds like a fabulous week.
ltt is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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Ken (kebanks), I would love to hear your comments and review from Whistler Four Seasons. We are headed out there in late September and would like to know if we should stay more than 2 days at the new resort. Thanks

HK719 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 05:45 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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To Stockexchanger:
Have you ever stayed at Middle Beach Lodge or the Wick, as well as at Long Beach. It's a tough choice between them, altho' I'm guessing price-wise, that the Wick is most.

Long Beach looks nice...esp. its lounge! But, I'm wondering if I'd like the beach/setting there, as much as at Middle Beach, but it's very hard to tell from website photos.
I actually prefer more intimate beach views...coves, etc. over wide open beaches (being from Calif).

R is offline  
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