First Time Vancouver: VIctoria, Too?

Old Jul 11th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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First Time Vancouver: VIctoria, Too?

My wife, 12-year-old son, and I are flying into Vancouver for 6 nights (5 full days). We arrive late at night (11 pm) and stay near the airport the first night, then at the Renaissance Harbour Hotel for the next 5. We're trying to decide whether to go to Victoria, either for a day, or by changing our accomodations (going for nights 2 and 3 to Vicotria, then nights 4,5,, and 6 in Vancouver).

We would like to whale watch, to do the Capilano bridge, to hike in the mountains and Stanley Park, to perhaps rent bikes and/or kayaks. We are also interested in eating--Chinese, Japanese, seafood especially.

It seems like there's plenty to occupy us in Vancouver (we'll have a car), but don't know when we'll get back, so that's why we're considering Victoria.

All advice would be welcome.

rgrusin is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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If I were you I would plan to go to Victoria for a day at least, and overnight, although it depends on from where you're visiting (if coming from some distance then of course you should go when you're all the way here). Maybe try night 2 in Victoria and come back to Vancouver for the rest. Or nights 2 & 3 as you say. Staying at the airport you are already part way to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.
Try searching this forum for other Victoria posts to give you an idea of what to do. Victoria is smaller than Vancouver and most activities are in the Inner Harbour, so a car isn't really necessary there. But if you are taking your car on the ferry, it's a must to get reservations during the summer. Try the BC Ferries website at
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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How active do you want to be? I suspect that an 11 year old boy might want more outdoor biking etc. Might look into whistler for more activities.

if you do go to victoria, pacific rim trail world famous. You can look at the start, but need serious equip and reservation to go on it. i like inner harbour, emily carr museum, Provincial Museum, Butchart Gardens
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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pacific rim is too far to go with your time frame.
the ferry ride over to victoria is beautiful. i'd stay your first night by the airport, make a reservation for the first ferry to victoria and spend the night there. the museum there is quite good for an hour or so even for someone who doesn't care for them. the keg restaurant has a wonderful view and great food and good atmospher for a 12 year old. come back late afternoon the following day and spend the remainder of your time in vancouver. the ferries have arcade rooms so if your son gets board on the ferry, give him a few bucks to amuse himself.
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 03:44 PM
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We were in Vancouver 2 summers ago for 4 days and in Victoria for 3 days. Quite frankly, my two sons, ages 12 and 8 at the time, did not enjoy Victoria all that much, except for the hotel pool and the orca whale watching. They were bored stiff visiting Butchart gardens (though their parents thought the gardens awsome). Even the Butterfly Conservatory was ho-hum to them (but then again they've been to two others before that). The observation that your son will like the ferry ride is probably true, but only you can resolve whether the time and expense for a day to Victoria is worth it. While in Vancouver, don't pass up Grouse Mountain. A way cool gondola ride to the top, and kid-awsome activities at the top, including a hilarious lumberjack show, a grizzly bear interpretive center, and many other outdoor and indoor activities, all included in the admission price. Have fun!
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Old Jul 18th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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There are hour-long, informative horse-drawn carriage tours of Stanley Park, great for adults who like to SIT, but my kids were bored to tears. If I had it to do over, we would definitely have rented rollerblades and skated through the park. If you do rent skates or bikes, try to pick the coolest time of day. It was quite hot when we were in Vancouver last week (temps in the mid-80's). Also, I don't think 12 is too old to enjoy the small waterpark/playground in the park. It looked like fun.

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