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Feedback requested on 9 days itinerary to parks + suggestion for Vancouver island

Feedback requested on 9 days itinerary to parks + suggestion for Vancouver island

Old Jan 23rd, 2023, 01:23 AM
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Feedback requested on 9 days itinerary to parks + suggestion for Vancouver island

Hello
We will visit BC end of june- beg of July with our 4 year old son. He can hike, but max 1-2h.
Our first part will be a trip to East to BC/Alberta.
Here is what we have in mind.
- Day 1 : Vancouver - Revelstoke
- Day 2 & 3 : Revelstoke : visit of Revelstock and Glacier Ntl parks
- Day 4 : Revelstoke - Golden
- Day 5 & 6 : Golden - visit of Yoko Ntl park + lakes Louise & Moraine
- Day 7 : Golden to Jasper by Glacier road
- Day 8 & 9 : Jasper - Vancouver , with night stop in Kamloops

We also would like to spent 3 days in Vancouver island , taking the ferry from Vancouver DAy 1 morning and back to VAncouver Day 3 afternoon, so 2 nights in Vancouver island : any idea of place to stay and visit ?

Thanks a lot in advance
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Old Jan 23rd, 2023, 05:36 PM
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Can you share a little about why you've chosen these places on your list? What are your priorities? Is it to see the Rockies? Spend as much time in the mountians as possible? To go hiking? Or to just get a taste of the region? Right now this is very much a look-out-your-window road trip. What sort of experiences are you after? Have you been to Vancouver before? And do you like fast-paced road trips where you spend more time on the road and less time doing things?

Vancouver's a very family-friendly city with a lot of nature and wilderness immediately in the city. I'd spend at least 3 full days in Vancouver if you haven't been there before and save Vancouver Island for another trip. It takes 3-4 hours to get to Vancouver Island from Vancouver and 3-4 hours to get back. You can easily spend two weeks on Vancouver Island and not see it all. For just two nights in the height of summer, it seems awfully rushed and you don't do it or Vancouver justice.

Last edited by BC_Robyn; Jan 23rd, 2023 at 05:48 PM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 01:56 PM
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BC_Robyn Thanks a lot for your quick reply.

In fact my 2nd and older son has started to work in Vancouver (NB: we're from France).
So we will visit him with his 4year old younger brother.
Of course we will spend first 2-3 day in Vancouver aera.

Then the purpose of the 9 day trip is to get the first glimpse of the different sceneries the Rockies can offer.
Of course we will not hike, maybe no more than 1-2h with our younger son. So we will not get deep into the wild I will try to find if possible in each park a small hike, that he can enjoy. I hope we can find some.
I know it is lot of driving, but we're used to that. And also when we will come back a 2nd time, we will know where to focus and stay longer.

Regarding Island of VAncouver :
- Yes 3 days in short. In fact it is just 2 days, if you removed the 2 ferries. We would our younger to enjoy the sea, and also the nature of the Island. So
- Where could we stay as a "basecamp" for the 2 nights, and then we will visit from there ? Also we would like to find reasonable priced cabins for 4 persons. We do not need high comfort for just 2 nights.
Thanks so much for your insights
Laurent
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 02:56 PM
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Hi Laurent,

Thanks for the additional details! So you are visiting from France to visit your son and will have a child on this trip, and you are spending time in Vancouver already, and you want one "basecamp" for Vancouver Island for two days.

I usually suggest that if you have two days for Vancouver Island, to stay in one place and enjoy that one area, and don't try to drive around seeing it all. It is too big of an island and each part of the island offers different things. Having two days for Vancouver Island is like having two days to see Ireland. So I recommend one place, but do not try to see other regions. Focus on the one home base and don't drive too far away - save it for another trip!

My favourite part of Vancouver Island is the west coast around Pacific Rim National Park. This is the wild, undeveloped side of Vancouver Island. It is famous for wild nature - old growth temperate rainforests (big old trees that are hundreds of years old), wild dramatic beaches with powerful ocean waves (and surfing!), lots of healthy ecosystems, healthy forests, healthy marine life, lots of wildlife. Only two tiny villages exist there: Tofino and Ucluelet, but you do not go there to stay in the villages, you go there to spend time on the beaches and in the forest. It is very enchanting and beautiful and otherworldly. It is unlike anywhere in Europe. However, it takes 6 hours to get to the west coast of Vancouver Island from Vancouver. You must drive to the ferry terminal and wait for the ferry (approximately one hour but longer if you arrive too early). Then you have the 2 hour ferry from Vancouver to the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Then once you arrive in Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island, you must drive west for 3 hours over the mountains to Tofino on the west coast of the island. But if you are willing to do this adventure, I would recommend staying at Ocean Village Resort: https://oceanvillageresort.com/our-cabins/. Also, this is the official tourism website for Tofino: https://tourismtofino.com/ Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park is the most famous area for nature and natural beauty on Vancouver Island. It's the most impressive scenery. Here is the scenery I am talking about: https://bit.ly/3Y3iKAe However, the resorts, hotels, and cabins there are also quite expensive. I usually do not recommend coming here if you cannot enjoy it for 3 days, but if you are ambitious, it may be what you have in mind.

Another area to consider is Parksville and Qualicum Beach on the east side of Vancouver Island just north of Nanaimo. It is famously family-friendly, lots of very young children play on the beaches there. Unlike the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, the east coast of the island is more developed with more towns and small cities. It has a drier climate. The trees are not as old, but there is wilderness and parks - waterfalls, rivers, parks, etc. The east coast of Vancouver Island is the protected side of Vancouver Island so the waves are tiny and gentle - perfect for young children who want to play on the sand. And if you prefer to drive and explore different parts of the island, you can explore a lot in this area, or expand further, to the Cowichan Valley (a beautiful wine/artistan farm region), the Malahat Skywalk (a new tourist attraction) or north to the Comox Valley, which has some lovely little charming towns and authentic cities, and access to rugged mountains. This is the Parksville Qualicum Beach tourism website, to get an idea: https://www.visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com/. I found this place for cottage rentals in Parksville, which may be a nice place to stay for a family: https://www.beachacresresort.com/

This is the tourism site for the Cowichan Valley (I love this area, especially the Saturday farmers market in Duncan and the wineries): https://www.tourismcowichan.com/
This is the website for the Comox Valley: https://experiencecomoxvalley.ca/
This is the Malahat Skywalk tourist attraction: https://malahatskywalk.com/

Finally, with only two days, I usually recommend Victoria. This is the charming, small city at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It's the capital city of the province of British Columbia and has a lot of English colonial architecture, wonderful restaurants, cafes, bookstores, artsy shops, historic sites, museums, tourist attractions, etc. It's a small city like St Malo is a small city in France. There are a lot of beautiful parks right in Victoria, famous botanical gardens, and waterfront walkways to explore in Victoria. It is also famous for whale watching. And you can also drive further west of Victoria for one hour to explore more wilderness forested parks like Goldstream Provincial Park or East Sooke Provincial Park. For two days, you can see a lot right in Victoria. However, you do not stay in cabins in Victoria - you stay in hotels. Usually if I hear somebody is going to Vancouver Island for two days, I always recommend Victoria because you can see a lot without having to drive around. It's also only three hours away from Vancouver so quicker to get to than other places on Vancouver Island. https://www.tourismvictoria.com/ is the tourism website for Victoria.

Finally, you may wish to look at the Vancouver Island tourism website as it may give you more ideas (or confirm that the areas that appeal to you are the right fit for your family): https://vancouverisland.travel/

J'espere que je t'ai aider un petit peu!

Last edited by BC_Robyn; Jan 31st, 2023 at 03:23 PM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2023, 08:35 AM
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If you do decide to go to Vancouver Island, please please please reserve a spot on the ferry. Both ways! It doesn't cost much & it guarantees you won't be stuck for hours in the parking lot on a hot summer day. www.bcferries.com
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