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Narrowing down Vancouver-Tofino/Ucluelet-Victoria options

Narrowing down Vancouver-Tofino/Ucluelet-Victoria options

Old Jun 25th, 2001, 04:14 PM
  #1  
Susan
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Narrowing down Vancouver-Tofino/Ucluelet-Victoria options

I have read back through the past 6 months of postings on BC queries, so I know some of my questions can be answered there. However, I'd like input on designing the ideal BC vacation that includes:<BR><BR>3-4 days/nights in Vancouver<BR>2-3 days/nights in Tofino or Ucluelet<BR>2-3 days/nights in Victoria<BR><BR>I should tell you that my husband and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, we are both 30 and love active vacations (e.g. scuba diving, hiking) as well as great food &amp; wine (everything from posh restaurants to local dives). We're not big on "cute" things so I think high tea is out. But everything else sounds so fantastic that I'm having a hard time narrowing down what we should/should not plan! The trip will be over the Labor Day, from Aug. 30-Sept. 8.<BR><BR>I'm looking for ideas on the itinerary and activities as well as restaurants. I think I have read back far enough to get good input into the lodgings situation and will get working on that while I wait for your responses!<BR><BR>Thanks so much.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2001, 05:38 PM
  #2  
sheri
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I'd take a day away from either Vancouver or Victoria and add it to Tofino (and I'd definitely stay in Tofino over Ucluelet). I think two days/one night in Victoria is plenty, personally. Since you enjoy the outdoors, Tofino is definitely worth three nights, and four is even better!<BR><BR>
 
Old Jun 25th, 2001, 08:32 PM
  #3  
Robyn
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I agree with Sheri 100%! That would be my answer as well. If anything, try to spend the most time in the Tofino area.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2001, 08:56 PM
  #4  
Carl Z
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If you drive ovet to Ucleulet do try Matterson's Restaurant.<BR>On a recent Sportfishing trip to 'Ukee' I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely old renovated house, the efficient and friendly service and great food.<BR>Ucleulet was for many years 'the end of the road' gastronomically speaking, beyond even the MacDonalds in Port Alberni.<BR>No more though I'm happy to say that Matterson's is as good as anything here in Kitsilano!<BR>Look for a pale yellow old bungalow on the Main Street, on weekends ressies are a good idea I was there twice and it was packed for Dinner, and the back Patio was hopping for Brunch.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2001, 10:10 PM
  #5  
xxx
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While I thought Tofino was a pretty area on a recent visit, I'd have been bored to death staying there for more than a few days. Then again, I was fortunate enough to be staying on a bay on the other side of the island where I was able to kayak everyday and still had the luxury of nearby towns to visit at night for good meals.
 
Old Jun 26th, 2001, 11:44 AM
  #6  
rand
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Here in Victoria you can rent dive gear if you have a card and a log, so you could spend a week trying out different sites.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 08:25 AM
  #7  
Susan
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Thanks, everyone, for the great suggestions! <BR> <BR>Here is what we've decided to do: <BR>4 nights/3 days in Vancouver (staying at Westin for free on Starwood points!) <BR>3 nights/4 days in Ucluelet (staying at Roots Lodge) <BR>2 nights/2 days in Victoria (not sure where to stay yet) <BR> <BR>We chose Ucluelet over Tofino only because we were able to get a cabin at Roots Lodge, and I've heard/read GREAT things about that place (anybody else see the June 'Travel & Leisure' article?). We might try diving while at Roots Lodge, but definitely kayaking, which is new for us, and lots of hiking. <BR> <BR>In Victoria, we'll have to use the time for sight-seeing, so there won't be time for diving. But if we love it as much as I think we will, we'll be back and can check out the dive sites there next time. <BR> <BR>The only things I'm missing now are more recommendations for places to eat. We'll definitely take the recommendation in "Ukee"... any others? <BR> <BR>Thanks again for all the input. <BR> <BR>Susan
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 09:14 AM
  #8  
elizabeth
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Hi Susan - you may have seen an earlier posting of mine regarding Tofino/Ucluelet restaurants, but here's an abbreviated version: <BR> <BR>Here's a list of restaurants we'd recommend in the Tofino/Ucluelet area: <BR> <BR>"The Schooner"/Tofino - (left hand side of the street as you drive into Tofino) We went there for lunch but should have gone for dinner (alas, we ran out of dinners!) Delicious chowder (and I don't really like chowder as it's usually a floury, pasty lump - not this!) amazing tuna burger and grilled shrimp. Very ambitious menu, successfully pulled off. <BR> <BR>"The Crab Bar"/Tofino (slightly before the Schooner on the same side of the street). It was recommended by the locals (whatever that means!). Really simple meal - steamed, HUGE Dungeness crabs. Not long on presentation (drawn butter in paper cups as I recall, and an OK Caesar Salad) but the crab is amazing. <BR> <BR>"Raincoast"/Tofino - on the right hand side of the road on a side street in Tofino - easy to find. Ambitious cuisine using local ingredients (it works most of the time) by a young chef. In contrast to the Pointe Restaurant at the Wick, this food had "soul". <BR> <BR>"The Kingfisher"/Ucluelet - in the Harbour on Main Street (I think that's the street - but it's easy to find) - a young Swedish chef making the most of local ingredients. We had lunch there after our hike (Bill recommended it) - wonderful homemade gravlax! <BR> <BR>"Matterson House"/Ucluelet - on the right hand side of the main street in Ucluelet, next to a motel - GREAT Huevos Rancheros/Eggs Benie and cheap! <BR> <BR>The highlight of our trip was a private guided naturalist hike in a park in Ucluelet (right next to the Roots Lodge). Bill McIntyre is a retired botanist from the Pacific Rim National Park. We took a 3 hour hike with him through the rainforest and it made our holiday! We could have done the same walk - but he brought a richness and mass of information that made it incredibly interesting - not just "nature" info - we had long, interesting talks about the death of the resource based economy; status of Native claims, etc. He has other tours as well - storm watching (sounds fun!); walking Long Beach; whale watching from shore, etc - but we wanted to see the Rainforest. The three hour hike was $150CDN - and I highly recommend it. Contact info is: <BR> <BR>Bill McIntyre <BR>Box 557, Ucluelet, British Columbia V0R 3A0 <BR>Phone : (250) 726-7099, Fax : (250) 726-4282 <BR>E-Mail: [email protected] <BR>Web site: www.oceansedge.bc.ca <BR> <BR>Also - if you're still looking for a place to stay in Victoria you might want to consider Sooke Harbour House - about 20 minutes from Vancouver. A lovely inn with an outstanding dining room and the hiking nearby is excellent. If you want more information about Sooke Harbour House just e-mail me.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 11:14 AM
  #9  
?
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Elizabeth - How can this last hotel that you recommended be in Victoria and yet only 20 minutes from Vancouver? The ferry ride to Vanocuver Island is atleast 90 to 120 minutes (depending on the departure place).
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 02:42 PM
  #10  
Robyn
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I think Elizabeth meant to write "Victoria", not Vancouver. Mistakes happen.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 02:47 PM
  #11  
Susan
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Wow, Elizabeth! <BR> <BR>Thanks so much for those great recommendations. I hope we can try them all! Your descriptions provided exactly the kind of information I was hoping to get. <BR> <BR>I especially liked your recommendation for the guided hike. I'm going to call Bill next week to set it up... or at least to make sure he'll be around when we are! <BR> <BR>Thanks again for the help. <BR> <BR>Susan
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 06:25 PM
  #12  
elizabeth
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Obviously it was wishful thinking that Sooke Harbour House is only 20 minutes from Vancouver! Sorry for the typo! <BR> <BR>Susan - have fun!
 
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 08:40 AM
  #13  
Susan
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Hello again, <BR> <BR>As those of you who helped me earlier know, I've booked everything for Vancouver & Ucluelet. However, I'm still trying to figure out what to do about Vicoria! <BR> <BR>We are planning to stay in Victoria for 2 nights, September 6-8, and then catch the ferry back to Vancouver for our flight home. We will only have 1.5 days in Victoria to see everything, which makes me feel we will be spending little time in the hotel... whichever one we choose. Consequently, I ruled out the really posh, lovely places where we would want to linger! That means I am looking for somewhere to stay that is a nice room, good location, and definitely under $200US/night. Any suggestions? <BR> <BR>I am currently considering the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, the Ocean Pointe Resort, and the Admiral's Inn. If you have opinions about these or others, I welcome them. Thanks. <BR> <BR>Susan
 
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 08:57 AM
  #14  
???
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Don't the Magnolia and the Ocean Pointe fall under the category of POSH!
 
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 10:44 AM
  #15  
gary
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The Ocean Pointe is 'posh' but I thinck a nice room can be had there for under $200Can especially with a AAA/CAA discount. The Chateau Victoria is better located than either of the three mentioned above and you can get a one bedroom suite complete with seperate living room and kitchenette for under $200 Can and a standard room for under $150, (with 10% discount). <BR> <BR>Definately the Ocean Pointe and the Chateau Victoria will make you happy. I don't know the Magnolia personally but I don't believe you can get a room there for under $250.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2001, 07:36 AM
  #16  
Susan
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To the anonymous poster, I guess everyone's version of "posh" differs, and since I've never been to any of these hotels, I really don't know if they are or not! All I can go by is the descriptions I read and the prices. I've found that there are rates to be had at many of the nices places for less than $250CD, which makes them look very attractive to me. If I can find a place for less than $200 that meets the other criteria, I'll definitely take it. <BR> <BR>Thanks for your helpful post, Gary. I will check out the Chateau Victoria and see what kind of deal I can find. <BR> <BR>All the rooms left at the Ocean Pointe Resort in the *reasonable* price range are "Courtyard View" and the more expensive ones are "Partial Harbour View." Is it worth it to stay there without an inner harbour view? <BR> <BR>Thanks again, <BR>Susan
 
Old Jul 31st, 2001, 11:30 AM
  #17  
April
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The good thing about Ocean Pointe is its harbourside location. Personally if I were to stay there, I'd want a view of the harbour so I could watch all the boat and plane activity. But don't they have full harbour views?
 
Old Jul 31st, 2001, 11:45 AM
  #18  
traveller
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We stayed at the Ocean Pointe for our Son's grad from Royal Roads. The Ocean Pointe is indeed grand but my brother and sister in law got a suite for the price of a regular room. They will negotiate. Actually, when my son was in uni. in Vic. most hotels negotiated prices. I never stayed in a standard room. I got quality suites right on the harbour for about $135/ngiht. But............I was never there during a convention or when the city was full. Just negotiate. Good luck and have fun.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 12:45 AM
  #19  
seasoned traveller
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Very disappointed to see that you've settled on Ucluelet over Tofino. Tofino recently received a "Biosphere" designation - the first in British Columbia, although there are other in Canada and throughout the world. This designation means that the geography is VERY SPECIAL. Tofino has often been regarded at the "jewel" of the province. Please rethink your Ucluelet plans. The Matterson House is okay, but "nothing to write home about". I agree with the writer about the Schooner and RainCoast in Tofino. The Crab Bar is under new management which I've heard is not good. The Kingfisher in Ucluelet no longer exists. It's now the Rusty Anchor or something like that. Anyway, I think you will be sorely disappointed if you ever discover what you truly missed by not going to Tofino. Tofino is shockingly beautiful. Ucluelet was once a heavy duty logging town and they are just starting in on the tourism thing. Roots Lodge is okay - but I would highly recommend Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino. You'll think you've died and gone to heaven. Ask for a cabin, if you can. Good luck and I really hope for your sake, you reconsider the Tofino thing.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 09:45 AM
  #20  
Susan
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Wow, I wasn't expecting such a negative response on selecting Ucluelet - or actually, selecting Roots Lodge as the place to stay - over the much more expensive accommodations in Tofino. We are paying about half as much to stay right on the beach in Ucluelet, and I'm hoping that it doesn't mean our vacation will be less than wonderful. We will have a car and plan to spend time in Tofino as well, probably eat many of our meals there, etc. Do the rest of you feel that the decision to stay in Ucluelet is going to be a problem? (FYI, Middle Beach Lodge was booked, that's why we can't stay there, but thanks for the rec.) <BR> <BR>And back to my question about Victoria, I'm reconsidering the expense and wonder if the Admiral Hotel would be a good place to stay? Any thoughts on that? <BR> <BR>Thanks yet again, <BR>Susan
 

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