how long for Vancouver & Victoria?

Old Jul 13th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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how long for Vancouver & Victoria?

It is our first trip to the area-we want to drive from Seattle. We would stay in Vancouver and take a ferry to Victoria....how should we spend our time if we have 4 days???
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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More time in beautiful Vancouver.
Victoria is very small.
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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Is VBictoria worth the trip since it is a long day? I am getting the impression it is not worth it???
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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Well, that's kind of a subjective issue. I happen to live in Victoria and like it much better than Vancouver, but it depends very much on individual taste. What are you wanting to see/do?
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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Well, I think the issue is that Vancouver and Victoria are very different places, and it does take a significant amount of time to get between the two. I think many first-time visitors underestimate the amount of time it takes to get between Vancouver and Victoria. The ferry ride alone is an hour and a half, but the ferry terminals are a good 45 minute drive outside of each city, and that doesn't even include the wait time at the ferry terminal. The ferries in the summer, however, are hourly, so if you arrive at the ferry terminal and the next ferry is already full, you only have to wait one hour for the next one. And each ferry terminal has a little shopping plaza/food area, so the time is not necessarily lost in a parking lot.

Vancouver is a great place to base yourself out. It's a cosmopolitan city with a lot of great restaurants, waterfront walkways, beaches, forested parks and such... and within 30 minutes, you can be in the mountains, or you can be out sailing in the bay, or you can be chilling out on the beach.

Victoria is more like a big town by comparison, with a touristy downtown that's very compact. We're talking a downtown that you can walk in the span of a morning. It also has more beautiful Victorian-era architecture which lacks in downtown Vancouver. That's why Victoria is often described as quaint and charming. Whereas, you don't come to Vancouver to look at the buildings, you come to Vancouver to look out at the scenery that surrounds the buildings.

With 4 days, if you split it 2 days in Vancouver and 2 days in Victoria, you're not going to necessarily give Vancouver justice, but it'll give you enough time to give Victoria justice. With 3 days in Vancouver, you should hopefully be able to explore the different faces to Vancouver (the wilderness mountainous side, the cosmopolitan downtown side, the leisurely "life is a beach" side)... and with 1 day in Victoria, it'll be a very long day (3-4 hours of travelling in each direction), and you'll feel as though you've seen the highlights of Victoria, but you'll likely feel as though you wish you had more time.

Ideally, you'll want 3 days in Vancouver and 2 days in Victoria.
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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For a more relaxing time, I'd almost recommend doing all 4 days in Vancouver, or all 4 days in Victoria (as long as you include a day trip east to Sooke/Juan de Fuca Provincial Park), or a day trip to a Gulf Island, or exploring the outlying communities (like Sidney-By-The-Sea). After 2 days in downtown Victoria, you'll likely want to start exploring outside of downtown.
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 06:44 AM
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This reinforces some of what has already been said, but does add another opinion. I agree that 4 days isn't much time to explore both areas, but it's possible. I've never thought of doing Victoria as a day trip because the ferry rides there and back are pretty time consuming as pointed out. I think of Victoria as a nice small city to spend a couple of nights in, spending part of one day enjoying the compact downtown with its tourist oriented shops, restaurants, and a good museum, then spend the rest of my time in Victoria day-tripping to nearby sections of the island (e.g. Botanical Beach, Butchart Gardens). Or make Victoria a jumping off point for a few days of exploring elsewhere in the island (e.g. Tofino and spectacular Pacific Rim National Park).

Vancouver is a larger more cosmpolitan city with typical city attractions (good restaurants, museums, a lovely park, shopping districts) but located in an unusually picturesque setting - surrounded by a mix of water, forest and mountains. Whistler resort in the mountains can be done as a day-trip, or overnight, from Vancouver.
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