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Need suggestions for where I can take a daytrip from Vancouver??

Need suggestions for where I can take a daytrip from Vancouver??

Old Sep 10th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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Need suggestions for where I can take a daytrip from Vancouver??

We will be traveling to Vancouver in early March and we are scheduled to be there for seven days. Can someone suggest ideas for a nice day trip? As much as I anticipate our visit to Vancouver (we will be staying downtown), I donít believe that there will be enough to keep us busy for an entire week. We can either spend the night at the alternate site or come back at the end of the day. Iíve heard a lot about Tofino, can we drive there? We will be renting a car during our entire stay. Or should we drive to Seattle.? The Gulf Islands?

A little about us, we enjoy nature, but we are more observers than participantsÖ.so we wouldnít be interested in kayaking, etc. Museums and architecture is of interest too. We like to shop for items that are particular to that region as well. If someone would be willing to offer suggestions of a locale, that will allow me to do further research on it and determine if we will pursue it. Thanks in advance for any help that you can give and please let me know if you need clarification or more info.
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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Tofino is one of the greeat places in the world, let alone Canada.

But it would be a very long day trip from Vancouver. It's farther than it looks when you glance at a map. But for a two day one night trip, even in March, it would be wonderful.

Vancouver - Victoria - Vancouver can be easily done is a day in a rental car. Take the Horsehoe Bay ferry over, and the souther (Sydney? Sidney?) ferry back.

Or Whistler up and back in a day.

Or head inland up the Fraser River. until 4 in the afternoon, and then turn around.

BAK
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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I would like to suggest Bowen Island. If you are staying downtown and have a car, drive to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal in West Vancouver (over the Lions Gate Bridge, drive up Taylor Way and left onto the Upper Levels Highway and a 10 minute drive to the ferry terminal). The ferry takes 20 minutes to cross.

Bowen Island is a great escape from the city. When you drive off the ferry you'll be in Snug Cove - Bowen's village is filled with many attractive shops, restaurants and galleries. Park your car in Snug Cove and wander. If you want an easy and scenic trek, there are trails from Snug Cove which lead to Killarny Lake (pack some snacks and a drink and take your time to enjoy). For more interesting galleries and shops, take the one minute drive up the hill from Snug Cove to Artisan Square.

You'll fill your day with Bowen Island and won't be disappointed or exhausted with driving distances from your hotel.

Wear warm clothes and take some raingear just in case - March in Vancouver is moderate, but unpredictable weatherwise.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 06:03 AM
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Thanks so much! You have both definitely given me great food for thought and I'll start investigating them immediately.

Any more suggestions?
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 01:26 PM
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You'll want at least 3 days minimum for adequately exploring Vancouver, but you can easily spend one week in Greater Vancouver without seeing everything.

A trip to Tofino is excellent, but you'd then have to make this trip into 2 separate trips - 3 days in Tofino, and 3 days in Vancouver. It takes 5 hours to get to Tofino from Vancouver, and that doesn't include extra waits at the ferry.

Whistler makes an excellent daytrip, although once you're there in the village, you won't need your car, as it's completely pedestrian-only. However, there are some nice stop-offs along the way. When you drive from Vancouver over the Lions Gate Bridge, you can take Marine Drive through the city of West Vancouver, which is a scenic route between Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay. You can stop off at Lighthouse Park - one of the rare old-growth rainforest parks in the area (that have never been logged). You can stop off for lunch at Horseshoe Bay, and take pictures of Howe Sound from Whytecliff Park. From Horseshoe Bay to Whistler, you can stop off at Garibaldi Provincial Park and Shannon Falls. The town of Squamish is the half way mark between Whistler and Vancouver.

The Gulf Islands can make good daytrips if the ferry schedule (www.bcferries.bc.ca) works in your favour, however, you'd get more out of the trip if you had an overnight. Galiano Island is my personal favourite, and it's the first ferry stop. There's beautiful white shell beaches at Montague Harbour. Bluffs Park gives you beautiful scenic views of the channels between the islands. Pick up a book on tidal pool sea life from the Galiano Book store and go beachcombing... lots of starfish, sea anenomes, jellyfish, crabs, fish, etc, at low tide. You can rent boats or mopeds on Galiano, or you can simply relax at the beach or go for gentle hikes. Also, La Berengerie is a fabulous gypsy-like restaurant owned by a French woman. If you're lucky, like I was in mid August, your ferry back to Tsawwassen (Vancouver) will coincide with the local orcas (killer whales) as they feed on salmon.

Which reminds me... you might enjoy a trip to the village of Steveston. While they wouldn't have whale watching trips at that time, it would make an excellent half-day trip for exploring leisurely. It's about a 40 minute drive from downtown Vancouver, located in the south-west corner of Richmond, but it'll give you a big contrast in terms of scenery. Steveston's an old historic fishing village which was founded around the same time that Vancouver was. It's on the mouth of the Fraser River, home to the largest fishing fleet in Canada. There are a lot of quaint shops, good restaurants, and a riverfront boardwalk where you can stroll. There are also a lot of historic sites to visit, and many trails along the waterfront. On weekends, they sell fresh fish off the boats.

Central Richmond would also provide you with a different experience. All along No 3 Rd and around Cambie Street in Richmond, there are many different Asian malls. Aberdeen Centre and Parker Place are some of my favourite (www.aberdeencentre.com, www.parkerplace.com), as they have a lot of great food stalls and boutiques that you can't find elsewhere. It feels as if several blocks of Hong Kong fell from the sky and landed there. This is also where the majority of "Vancouver's" best Chinese restaurants are located, although there are also many other kinds of cuisine here too.

Victoria could be seen as a day trip, as long as you got on an early ferry and came back in the late evening. It takes about 3 hours to get to Victoria from Vancouver. Once in Victoria, the downtown is small and compact, so you could see it in a matter of hours. Victoria has a huge colonial Victorien feel to it... worlds away from the post-modern vibe in Vancouver... many people call it a "quaint" city. To me, it feels more like a town than a city, as there's no hustle & bustle.

I don't know if I'd put Seattle on my list for a day trip, as it would include border hassles, and a mundane stretch of interstate through suburbia and farmland for 3 hours. Rush hour in Seattle is pure hell, so if you did decide to go, be sure to arrive in the late morning or early afternoon. Seattle (at least during my visits) seems a bit less cosmopolitan and a bit more industrial than Vancouver (despite the comparisons of similarities). While it's famous for being on the water next to mountains, after Vancouver it will feel a lot more further removed from nature, as in, you have to drive further out of the city to see it and access it. I also find that Seattle's attraction is its proximity to the surrounding areas, such as Mount Rainier, the Olympic Peninsula. To do Seattle justice, you'd probably want to spend several days exploring beyond the city. For this reason, I'd just spend the week in British Columbia, as you'll already have everything easily accessible out of Vancouver.
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Old Sep 13th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Hi Renee,

I LIVE in Seattle and I get to Vancouver 15 to 20 times a year. I want to cast my vote for NOT planning a day-trip so far in advance, but instead banking on Vancouver proper having enough options to fill your week.

Instead I would leave the door open to some options to be explored spontaneously upon arrival.

Vancouver is a dynamite city that has so much natural scenery very near that you couldn't be too inspired to go very far. In March, perhaps the Whistler ski area might make for a nice day trip, with some impressive scenery along the path there.

Staying in downtown Vancouver should have you central to everything, so let yourself relax and only venture very far if you're completely 'captured' by a particular idea to be determined at a later date.

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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 07:18 AM
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My wife and I just spent 6 nights in Vancouver We NEVER ran out of things to do. I did like our 2 nights in Victoria--
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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I just got a chance to see the other responses...thank you guys so very, very much! I appreciate the time that you took to give me this additional advice!!

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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 02:34 PM
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We liked very much Victoria. Stayed there 2 days and visited also Buchart gardens and buterflies conservatorium.
In this case you will have 5 days for Vancouver, and it is a beautiful city.
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