Plans for British Columbia Vacation

Aug 1st, 2006, 10:36 AM
  #1  
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Plans for British Columbia Vacation

My husband wants to go to BC next August for his BD present.

Preliminary plans are:
Fly San Diego to either Seattle or VAncouver (which ever is more economical)
stay Vancouver 2 nights (rec for hotels possibly with kitchenettes near Stanley PArk, Granville MArket and tourist area downtown), drive to Whistler hotel rec other than Alpine), stay 2 nights then drive to VAncouver Island
stay 4 nights.
Want to stay in Tofino (rec for best hotel) on or very near sandy beach so DH can jog on beach am and do forest trail runs and spa too.
I would prefer beach front so I can rest, read, hear and see the ocean and walk to ocean without climbing, running or conquering other obsticles.
Both of us would like to enjoy good food at Hotel in Tofino, maybe one night out.
Would also love to hear about things to not miss VAncouver city and Island and distance, drive to/in Whistler and places to see/eat.
Txs for the help...
1JAR is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:16 PM
  #2  
 
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You're pushing the pace a bit giving travelling distances and times.

Bear in mind that driving from Sea-Tac Airport across the border to downtown Vancouver can take anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 hours depending on traffic and border waits. And travelling to and from Vancouver Island is another half-day each way proposition and the drive to Tofino is another half-day from the South Island.

Best hotel/restaurant in Tofino is Wickaninnish Inn, on the beach.
littlemountain is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:12 PM
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Check out Long Beach Lodge website. Great hotel on a wide sandy beach near Tofino. Stayed there in June and the wife loved the place.

Rain Coast Cafe and So-Bo (both in Tofino) are interesting dining options--not fancy but good food (be sure to try the fresh salmon tacos at So-Bo).

Agree with Littlemountain that you will save a lot of time by flying into Vancouver instead of Seattle.


craig91355 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 09:44 PM
  #4  
 
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I am probably going to be criticized for saying this, but if I only had 2 days in Vancouver I would not be wasting any of that time at Granville Island. I was just there this spring and thought most of the shops were overly touristy, and therefore overly pricey, and nothing there caught my fancy - except the African art store, which was interesting. If I lived in Vancouver I would definately go there for the food market, but not for the other shops.

I definately agree with the rec for Wikkinish Inn in Tofino - it has everything you asked for.

In Vancouver consider the Sylvia - I have never stayed there but friends of mine swear by it.
murphey is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:46 PM
  #5  
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Tx much for the distances..that will help with palnning alot. What about distance to Whistler..and any lodging and eatting suggestions there?
1JAR is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Vancouver to Whistler is 78 miles. It takes 2 hours to drive, if you don't stop. But there are two very worthy stops along the way. One is Shannon Falls just before Squamish and the other is Brandywyne Falls just before Whistler.

If you manage to go past Whistler, almost to the next town, which is Pemberton, and visit Nairn Falls, so much the better. Of the three waterfalls, Nairn is my favourite.

When you return to Vancouver to catch the ferry to Vancouver Island, you need not go back to downtown Vancouver. You need go only as far as Horseshoe Bay, which is in West Vancouver. That's where you catch the ferry to Nanaimo / Departure Bay. If I was going in August, I would feel more comfortable if I had a reservation (through www.bcferries.ca ).

Anyway, if you have to go only as far as Horseshoe Bay, that knocks maybe half an hour off your drive, compared with going all the way to downtown Vancouver, depending on the time of day.

But don't cut the driving time too fine. They are widening the Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy #99) in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. That said, when we drove the road a couple of weeks ago, we found that they were well organized and they caused the minimum of interruption to motorists.

Sorry, I am not familiar with accommodation and restaurants in Whistler, so will defer those questions to someone else.

My thoughts about Vancouver are on this page of my website:

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...vancouver.msnw

Near the bottom of that page there are links to some fabulous websites that Vancouverites have created about their city. There also is a link to an excellent website about restaurants in Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 03:06 PM
  #7  
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Thank you so very, very much for the wonderful help!!!
Really kind Foderites on the Canada Forum... _
1JAR is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 10:03 PM
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1JAR,

Recently stayed in Whistler on someone else's dimeat the Pan Pacific Lodge fronting the mountain. very comfortable. There is great biking at Whistlers w/ more km's of trails than I could do in one day.

While you could ferry across to the Island from Horseshooe Bay enroute from Whistler and get to Nanaimo which is more the approach to Tofino., You should try and come back through Victoria and go back on the ferry from Sydney to Tsawswassen through the beautiful Channel Is. Also a good way to see Orcas. Victoria and environs are worth a day or 2 also.


I second the choice of the Sylvia in Vancouver. Cheap and shabby, but an unbeatablre location on English Bay near Denman and very close to Stanley Park one of the stars of Vancouver. Rent a bike on Denman and do the park and then bike out through Kitsilano to UBC to see the Anthropology Museum

cheers

AndrewDavid
AndrewDavid is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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No exaggeration, if you want to stay at the Sylvia Hotel next August, start thinking about booking it now. Although it certainly falls more into the "faded former glory" than "stately old gem" category of accommodation, there are generations of visitors to Vancouver who book same time, next year, year after year.

littlemountain is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Not to take anything away from the Sylvia (it does have an amazing location and a cool shabby chic vibe), but the thought of someone staying at both the Wick and the Sylvia on the same trip kind of blows my mind ;-).

In addition to the Wick and the Long Beach Lodge, I'd also recommend considering one of the single cabins with hot tub at the Middle Beach Lodge. For the cost difference vs. the Wick, at least, I prefer having the extra space and privacy. Plus I just like the vibe at Middle Beach. The Lodge doesn't have a restaurant, per se, but I had a wonderful Dungeness crab meal my last time there (they do big group suppers several nights a week).

In Whistler, if money is no object, I'd go for the Four Seasons. A more economical but still nice choice is the Summit Lodge, the Kimpton property there (but it doesn't have the mountain views of the more pricey places).
NWWanderer is offline  
Aug 26th, 2006, 02:43 AM
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NWWanderer,
have you stayed in different units at Middle Beach?

We're pondering between a Headlands Suite, Beachhouse Sixplex (also recommended as similar to Headlands but perhaps more intimate view vs. wide open ones)...and also cabins.

To keep things affordable may do a couple nights in the "At the Beach" smaller room lodge. Then, splurge for a few more nights in one of the more spacious units.

Did the cabins have gas or wood fireplaces? Do you have a fave number for views or ambiance?
Thanks so much!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 26th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Yes, I've stayed in a bunch of different room types over the years. Of the Headlands vs. the beachfront sixplex, I prefer the view from the Headlands (I prefer the waves crashing on the rocks to the beach view). But for almost the same price you could get a duplex cabin with a hot tub on the deck (53 or 54)--I'd go for that if you don't want to splurge for a single cabin with hot tub. I've stayed in 49 (single) and in 47 (duplex) and liked both of them (I am partial to that side of the property). I have also stayed at the beach lodge a couple of times (before the Headlands was built) and those rooms are fine--very small but comfortable.

I am trying to remember if the fireplaces in the cabins were gas or wood. I'm pretty sure they were wood-stove type with duroflame logs, but you might want to call the Lodge to verify.
NWWanderer is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 02:01 AM
  #13  
 
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Wow, NWWanderer!! Thank YOU!!
Truly appreciate the specifics.
Helps *immensely*.

After studying the numbers you mentioned...it seems that #53/54 have a tub on the balcony, whereas maybe #47 wouldn't? (only inside, if at all)

Do you generally prefer the tubs outdoors? (those units vs. indoor hot tubs)

Also, ever stayed in the Templar Point Sixplex...different feel perhaps than the Beach Sixplex?

You mention you liked the view from Headlands more than the Beach Sixplex...
but you'd say you *most* enjoy the singles & doubles more to the side of the Headlands, it seems?

The 47 or 53 area?

Thanks again so very much.
I understand if you don't have time to reply to yet another very detailed note from me.

It's just your note sparked a few more questions. All the best!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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That's right, the 47 duplex cabin does not have a hot tub on the deck. But heck yes, that would be my preference, to be able to sit outside in the hot tub, hearing the crashing surf!!!

I haven't stayed in the Templary Sixplex--I peaked in the last time I was there while they were cleaning one of those units and it looked nice, but they are more of a standard hotel room size wise (compared to the single or duplex cabins). And yes, I like the view from that side of the Lodge (where cabins 47 and 53 are).
NWWanderer is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 12:40 AM
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Thanks so much, NWWanderer
again!!

So...Headlands Suite wasn't your *absolute* fave, like some on TripAdvisor seemed to write.
(when I was scanning those reviews)

That helps to know, as the more 'cool' options I can request, the better luck I'll have landing one of them, I think! (during the dates we need)

Thanks again. Now the debate remains...3-4 nights enough for Tofino? Hmmm...or maybe 5 if we're really lucky w/travel schedules...?
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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No, it's not my favorites. Not that those suites aren't really nice, but they're rooms. I prefer having the extra space and privacy of a cabin. But of course everyone has different preferences and priorities in lodging choices.

4 nights there would be a good stay...that gives you 3 full days. I never feel like I have time to just relax when I'm there, though, because there's so much to do! So, if you want to include some relaxation as well, then 5 nights is better ;-).
NWWanderer is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 01:30 AM
  #17  
 
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Thanks again!
Truly appreciate all the details.
Daydreamer is offline  
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