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Need Help Planning Vancouver Island Visit next May

Need Help Planning Vancouver Island Visit next May

Old Jul 8th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Need Help Planning Vancouver Island Visit next May

We have two business class ticket anywhere in the US that we bought at a charity event. Unfortunately, they have to be used by June 30, 2009 and we can't travel until September at the earliest. We live in Georgia, so I want to visit the west coast to make the best use of Business Class.

We are thinking of flying to Seatle, renting a car and driving to Vancouver Island. We want to relax, sit with a bottle of wine to a spectacular view and great sunset and perhaps catch and cook our own seafood including shell fish (neither of us know how to fish, although it doesn't look hard). We also want to play golf 2-3 times.

I am thinking of renting a condo or cottage, perhaps through VRBO. I saw some great looking ones in Victoria. The one we like is $1800cn a week. We'd like to spend less, but I would say that is the top of the budget for lodging.


Is May a good time to go?

Should we focus on staying in Victoria or do ou have another suggestion? Tofino is out since we want to stay in one place and it is too far from Victoria (Buchart gardens, two of the courses we want to play, etc.)

Any suggestions for lodging, location, time to go, and any other suggestions are appreciated. Also any must do activities for a 50 something only moderately-adventurous couple?

Thanks so much
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Old Jul 8th, 2008, 05:45 PM
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May can be a delightful month - or, not. My SO always says that the weather becomes consistently perfect after June 21st and stays that way all summer. He's pretty much right about that; this year summer was a little late but it's certainly here now.
If you don't mind cool weather and perhaps some rainy days, May would be fine. And that might not even happen. Vancouver Island has mountains and ocean, and when those come together the weather can be variable and unpredictable.
Having said that, the fishing here is great in May. You could catch halibut or salmon. You don't need to know how; the fishing boat operators carry everything on board and will show you what to do. You will need a fishing licence but you can get that almost anywhere - our local convenience store sells them. There are places where you could get the fish flash-frozen to be shipped home.
The drive up from Seattle is lovely. We live in Sooke, just outside of Victoria, and I've done the drive several times since we moved out here. You can drive to Vancouver from Seattle and take the ferry across to Victoria, or go further north and take the ferry to Nanaimo. My bias - because I live here and love it so much - would be Victoria; also, you want to see Butchart Gardens and that's here.
Have a look at www.cottagevictoria.com. I don't know if that will suit your needs but we stayed there once before we moved out here and we loved it. It's on the east side of the island; Sooke, where we live, is on the west side. If you're interested in this area there are some great places to stay.
You can do lots of day trips from Victoria; the Gulf Islands are lovely to explore. You might enjoy Saltspring Market on Saturday mornings; that's a pleasant day trip from here.
Have a great trip!
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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if u were here this year over the May longweekend ( weekend before ur Memorial Day ) u'd have had beautiful weather; the rest of my was marginal; that said we rarely have a day of consistant weather inmMay Usually some sunshine, some rain ( its light here not gully washers) and wind as we r on the ocean. There r often very low spring tides which make the 2 hour drive to Botanical ABeach to see the tidepools a "must do"

on a nice day u could rent a kayak and an instructor from Ocen River Sport and learn how to paddle the inner harbour and Gorge

Ferry to Saltspring would make a nice day trip; a drive up the Saanich Peninsula to Butchart also gets u into farm and vineyard country or a drive up to the Cowichan Valley gives u access to more vinyards and Merridale Cidery

For $ 1800 per week u could rent my whole 2 bedroom architect designed year old house!! I'm sure u could find
something less expensive

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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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If your goal is Victoria from Seattle, I would drive to Port Angeles on the Peninsula and take the Coho Ferry. It's about an hour and a half, easy on and off, and much preferred to the I-5 dismal drive to the border which is totally non scenic, heavily traffic'd and there are numerous border delays. Or, take the sea plane from to Victoria and rent your car in Canada.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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I guess my standards are low - I would never describe that drive as "non-scenic"!
It's true that there are border delays, but a lot of that depends on where you cross. The truck crossing is usually not too bad. We waited about 5 minutes in each direction the last time we went, which was at the end of May.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I'm with OliverandHarry on this one. Seattle's traffic is a nightmare and the border can be as well. Even the truck crossing. If you are lucky you can catch a quiet time but don't count on it. The drive to Port Angeles is a pretty one - along the canal and far more relaxing. Its the only route we take now. If you want to play golf you are right Tofino is not for you. There are some lovely places north of Victoria and are handy to a lot of very nice courses. Look at VRBO in places like Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Ladysmith and Duncan esp #35170 but there are a lot of lovely condos with oceanview in the Ladysmith section. It doesn't take long to get to Victoria from any of these places and you are handy to the wineries and some excellent golf courses. As a matter of fact although we have a place in Victoria we are leaving this week to spend a month in the Cobble Hill/Shawnigan Lake area because my husband loves playing the courses nearby and the area is lovely.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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Thanks so much for the valuable information. This is just what I needed to get started!
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Where are you planning to golf? We just spent a week in Vic, golfed Bear mountain twice, the weather was beautiful. We stayed on the inner harbour on Songhees road. Great location easy walk to restaurants and great harbour watching. May is usually a good month but there is no guarantee on the "wet" coast. just bring a water proof jacket, in B.C. life continues even in the rain. I would probably take the ferry from Port Angeles 1 way and drive back shwartz bay - tsawassen the US border then take chuckanut drive off lakeview rd in Bellingham Wa. along the coast(oyster beds and restaurants) into LaConner to see the Tulip fields(should be in bloom in May) on the way back to Seattle.
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 05:40 AM
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victoria island is nice, but so is whistler, and halfway between whistler and vancouver you have one of the most exciting golf courses you will ever play on the west coast. furry creek.

it is amazingly designed. the scenery on the drive along the fjord-type inlet up to whistler is breathtaking, as are the views from every tee at this course.


i donīt know how you are dividing your time, but whistler also boasts excellent accomodations, lakes, mountains and lots of adventure possibilities.

in vancouver itself i would try for a priceline hotel. i am not sure if whistler accomodations participate on priceline or hotwire.
see www.betterbidding.com or www.biddingfortravel.com.

we love this area. tofino is also fabulous, as are so many places on v.island. you will have a great trip no matter where you go.

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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 01:25 PM
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This is a rather unusual vacation for us and I am sweating over it. We normally don't stay any place for a week, but we are determined to relax on this trip. Golf is a must. We are looking at a VRBO apartment that is on the water in Victoria. We plan to play the Bear Mountain course and the Victoria Club if we can get on. Maybe a few more. We want to cook fresh seafood/shellfish. Eat, drink and play golf is the gist of it.
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