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Honeymoon Must-Do's in Victoria and Vancouver?

Honeymoon Must-Do's in Victoria and Vancouver?

May 6th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Honeymoon Must-Do's in Victoria and Vancouver?

My new husband and I will be headed to Victoria and Vancouver for our honeymoon in two weeks. Any suggestions, whether restaurants or sightseeing, would be great! Neither one of us have been to either city before.
hillskip is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hello Hillskip,

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

I looked up your previous posts to see if I could find out anything more about your time frame, budget, interests, etc.

I saw that PamSF gave you what seemed to me to be good advice in this thread in the US forum:


To put things into context for folks here (some of us read the US forum and some of us don't), you started that thread by stating:

"I am planning a May honeymoon that will start of in Seattle for 2 nights, Whidbey Island for 1 night, Vancouver for 2 nights, Aerie resort for 2 nights and Victoria proper for 2 nights. To be honest though, I have no idea if this is the most efficient itinerary or if we are spending too much time in Victoria at the expense of too little time somewhere else."

To my taste your itinerary is way too scattered. I've never been to Seattle, but you were told in the US forum that you weren't giving enough time to Seattle. You also were told, and I concur with that advice, that you weren't giving enough time to Vancouver.

I guess it depends what you want out of this trip. It is your honeymoon, after all, and perhaps you want to be pampered at a place like Aerie Resort.

But 2 nights in Vancouver, which really means just one full day, would be grossly inadequate for me.

PamSF suggested you cut out Whidbey Island. I'll assume she knows what she's talking about, and suggest you devote to Seattle the time gained by eliminating Whidbey Island.

Then, on the Canadian side of the border, I would spend 6 nights in Vancouver with a day trip to Victoria.

Your original itinerary would have had you hopping around a lot, so that a good deal of your time would have been spent in packing and unpacking, checking in and checking out.

Here is Fodors' "Best in 4 Days Itinerary" for Vancouver:


It really is a good itinerary. Everything it mentions is worth seeing.

Stanley Park is a must see.

The Fodors itinerary puts the Skyride up Grouse Mountains near the end of the 4 day itinerary. I would give it a higher rating than that. I would include it even if I had only one day in Vancouver. It can be done as an evening activity, when you can watch the city lights come on.

If you're a person who loves shopping, you might want to check out the main downtown shopping street, which is Robson Street. When it comes to relaxed browsing, just to soak in the atmosphere as much as anything else, Granville Island Market has charm.

The Museum of Anthropology, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), which depicts the traditional lifestyle of the First Nations people of the west coast, is fascinating. UBC is in a suburb rather than in downtown Vancouver, though, and it takes some time to do justice to the museum. So, if you elect to do this activity, I would guess you would need to allocate about half a day to it.

I agree with the advice you received on the US forum that Queen Elizabeth Park and Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver, although they're less famous than the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, are beautiful.

If you spent 6 nights in Vancouver, you might even be able to fit in a day trip to Whistler, driving along the Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy 99), past Shannon Falls and the Tantalus Range glaciers. I've never been to Whistler, and have taken Hwy 99 only as far as Squamish. Now that I've heard so much about Whistler here at Fodors, I've added it to my wish list for future travels.

Vancouver is situated in a gorgeous position from a scenic point of view. It also is a diverse, cosmopolitan city, with a great variety of cultural influences, including a substantial Chinese influence.

Hope this helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 315
I may be different from the pack, but I prefer Victoria to Vancouver! (same with Quebec City to Montreal) Victoria has a slower pace and lots of charm. Vancouver, while it offers lots of amenities, leaves one a bit tired. And if you're like the typical newlywed couple, you will need lots of rest after your hectic wedding festivities!For dinner, I would choose Sooke Harbor House near the Aerie Resort. Fabulous food in a beautiful waterfront setting. Butchart Gardens are out of this world. You can do tea at Butchart Gardens, the Empress Hotel, or other places posted on this site (do a search for "Victoria tea"). That said, I would spend one additional night in Vancouver and/or do a day trip to Whistler. The drive alone to Whistler makes it worth the trip! Breathtaking scenery!
laurafromtexas is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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I second Laurafromtexas's suggestion - I too prefer Victoria to Vancouver

Either of the two places - Sooke Harbour House, or Aerie Resort, would be fabulous for a honeymoon stay - romantic and scenic!! And the dining at Sooke Harbour House is wonderful - mouthwatering fresh seafood with "just picked" herbs (from the gardens surrounding the place). Just thinking about it makes me want to go on a second honeymoon ;-) !!!
Borealis is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Oh hillskip - I just read Judy's post all the way through (sorry Judy !!) and noticed that you are already booked for Aerie Resort. Excellent choice!!

Aerie Resort is 25 to 30 minutes north of Victoria (on the "Malahat"), while Sooke Harbour House is to the west of Victoria on the south edge of the island (and it's also a 30 to 35 minute drive from downtown).
From Aerie you get a high panoramic viewpoint (an aerie is an eagle's nest) ; at Sooke you are on the shoreline next to Juan de Fuca Strait.

Borealis is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 642
Are you staying at the Aerie? We stayed an entire week at the Aerie for our honeymoon. It was an easy 1/2 hour or so drive to Victoria and also made a nice base for exploring further north of the Aerie. It was also luxurious enough so we had lovely days when we did little but lounge around our room reading, admiring the view, taking baths, and other, ahem, honeymoon activities. (For our anniversary in Oct we're staying a week at Sooke Harbour House.) We didn't go to Butchart Gardens this time around, but it's a lovely place to go. In Victoria my husband loved getting shaved. We stocked up on British candy. He bought some Cubans. We went walking up in the park near the Aerie. We visited some of the small towns north of the Aerie. We had high tea.

I don't know how much of a foodie you are, but Vancouver is really food heaven. Dim sum or dinner at one of the Kirin restaurants or out in the Richmond area. (Is it too early for the Richmond Night Market?) Lunch and strolling at the Granville Island market. All sorts of great ethnic food in the West End. Oh, and shopping in Yaletown!
PegS is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In Victoria, take a harbour ferry just for the fun of it (you could go to the restaurant at Ocean Pointe Resort for instance), walk through the Empress Hotel even if you don't eat there, and visit the museum. By the way, in Vancouver you can also take a small ferry over to Granville Island.

I think the restaurant situation in Vancouver is far, far superior to Victoria's. However, here are some restaurant ideas for Victoria: Cafe Brio on Fort St. and Camilles in Bastion Square are supposed to be good, but I've never been to either. Il Terrazzo on lower Johnson Street used to be ok too but noisy and Pagliacci's on Broad St. is very popular but cramped. Hugo's Grill in the Magnolia Hotel has a nice atmosphere - food is just ok, or inconsistent in my experience. For a cheap snack, try the cafeteria in The Bay store or the Dutch Bakery on Fort St. Some people like Milestones on the inner harbour for casual dining. Sam's Deli across the street has large sandwiches. Vista 18 in the Chateau Victoria has reasonably priced breakfasts and a nice view. For nice lunches or afternoon tea go to the White Heather Tea Room in on Oak Bay Ave. just a short drive out of downtown.

Assuming you have a car, drive along the waterfront, to the top of Mt. Doug for a bird's eye view, and if Butchart Gardens is in your plans take the backroads instead of the highway. There are some shops and eating places at Mattick's Farm on the peninsula. Happy honeymoon!
April is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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hillskip, I don't know where you're flying from but I agree with Judy and others in reducing the number of your destinations.

Seattle is a great city - I try to visit every couple of years - but it is a large city with horrible traffic gridlock. Whidbey is charming but one night is much too brief for that area.

I'd suggest visiting just Victoria and Vancouver, and visit Whistler while in Vancouver. I much prefer Vancouver over Victoria but visitors love Victoria for its pseudo-Britishness. Enjoy the Aerie Resort and Victoria for four nights, visit Vancouver for four nights, and stay overnight in Whistler once.

Take a peek at www.vanmag.com for an overview of Vancouver including restaurants and favourite shopping areas [visitors love Robson Street, but check out Yaletown and south
Granville Street (with a great Morrocan Hammam at 6th & Granville!)for easy shopping during your stay].

Have a wonderful visit,
BowenLinda is online now  
May 6th, 2004, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,465
The best reason to like Victoria over Vancouver (not that I'm suggesting that there is anything wrong with Vancouver - it is a beautiful city - the most beautiful city in Canada, IMO) - is that Victoria is smaller and quieter and charmingly pretty (although the traffic can sometimes be annoying), and in easy driving distance of some wild (as in "wilderness") and natural places, such as Sombrio Beach and Mystic Beach - places that feel very remote.

Vancouver is a great place to visit, but not a good place to "get away from it all" - it is, after all, a big city with all the hustle and bustle of a big city.
So I guess it depends on what sort of vacation one wants to have !!
Borealis is offline  
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