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Please help - Family Trip in the Summer to Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Whistler

Please help - Family Trip in the Summer to Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Whistler

Jan 19th, 2018, 12:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1
Please help - Family Trip in the Summer to Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Whistler

I am so grateful to everyone who posts travel advice on this forum. I have spent months reading your advice and fine tuning our summer trip. I have put together what I think is a good itinerary and I would be most grateful if you could have a look and see if you think it works. A bit about us: our family of 4 includes 2 young teens. We like to be out and about and like to do different things each day. Enjoy sightseeing, zip wires, SUP, kayaking, cycling, gentle hikes, swimming, the odd lazy day. We like to travel at a relaxed pace. This will be our first trip where we we are travelling from place to place (we normally have 2 location holidays) and I want to try and get it right! So, at the moment our trip looks like this:

5 Nights in Vancouver
  1. Arrive
  2. Cycle Stanley Park / Granville Island
  3. Science World/Downtown Vancouver
  4. Kitsilano / UBC
  5. ?
5 Nights in Sooke/Jordan River area
  1. Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay Ferry / Butchart Gardens
  2. China Beach / Mystic Beach / Botanical Beach / Sandcut Beach / French Beach
  3. Sooke Potholes Provincial Park / Adrena Line Ziplines (is this worth it?)
  4. Cowichan Valley / Cowichan River Tubing
  5. Cycle part of the Galloping Goose Trail or visit Victoria
3 Nights in Ulcuelet / Tofino
  1. Drive to Ulcuelet / Tofino (with the usual stops that are mentioned between Nanaimo
  2. Wild Pacific Trail
  3. ?
2 Nights in Whistler
  1. Ferry and drive to Whistler. Arrive Mid-afternoon
  2. Mountain Bike Festival
  3. Travel back to Vancouver via North Shore for Lynn Canyon or Capilano Suspension Bridge.

1 Night in Vancouver (before morning flight)

Does this seem a good combination to you? Will it be too tiring? Can you suggest any other good activities for young teens? I like to strike a good balance of sightseeing and scenery (for me!) and exciting activities for the teens! I am most struggling with the Ulcuelet/Tofino part of the trip. Every report I read says it's a 'must see' but I'm not sure what we should do there. We do not want to go on a Whale watching boat trip or the Hot Springs boat trip as we have done these types of trips before. Any suggestions?

Please critique my trip so I can make it better! Thank you!
fuchsia is offline  
Jan 19th, 2018, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,184
I wrote out one answer that got lost. I wrote out another where I contradicted myself. So I deleted that one. And now I am on an iPhone at one word per minute so Iíll keep this short for now.

I think you wrote a very interesting post. We have travelled with three kids, most recently to BC with only the two boys. As much as I love Vancouver I would find five days one day too long. I would also cut a day from Sooke. I completely understand what youíre saying about Tofino. But a lot of people enjoy just walking along the beaches there. If thatís not you then skip it.

We would spend longer at Whistler than you are so we could hike, mountain bike and rent a townhouse with a pool. And look around a lot.

In each of the places you have mentioned it is nice just to be there. But it sounds like you already know that as you have not overplanned.
xcountry is offline  
Jan 8th, 2019, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
I would make 4 nights in Sooke and 4 nights in Tofino. Or take one from Van if you still want 5 in Sooke.
You might want to;
stop in Squamish for the gondola or mountain biking
you can get an amazing view of Vancouver at top of grouse mountain if it isn't cloudy
you can zipline in Tofino too, and learn to surf or take in some great hiking trails
Granville Island is ok, but some like it. Nice beach or two between Kitsilano and UBC.
Victoria also has the BC museum and bug museum, both are interesting
shewanders is offline  
Jan 15th, 2019, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,946
I too would find five days at least one day too long in Vancouver - Iíd add it to Tofino - or Victoria ( really good whale watching from Victoria ) .

In tofino consider surf lessons - my friend did it last year , sheís 54 and NOT athletic, she took her two boys ( aged 15 and 17 ) and they all loved it !! They provided wetsuits and she said she did not feel the cold at all ( which amazes me as she thinks water is cold in Hawaii lol ) . Plus tofino is great for bear watching tours and a visit to Hotsrpings cove ( you need a boat so take a tour )
justineparis is offline  
Jan 15th, 2019, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,946
Pa do take a lesson - having a guide with you in the water is important , the water has areas you should avoid unless experienced , and novices canít tell by looking at it
justineparis is offline  
Jan 18th, 2019, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,087
Since you mentioned kayaking, I would check out Deep Cove in N. Vancouver. I have always wanted to kayak there but never seems to work out - its a beautiful spot. Did my first kayak trip ever at Tofino- just a beginners trip in the bay. Would love to go back there too.
sunbum1944 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2019, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 666
Hi Fuchsia,
At the risk of self-promoting, might I suggest that you check out my trip report here about the Island and Van? It is titled 'Ocean Odyssey'. It is both lengthy and eclectic but will probably answer a number of your questions. Bonne chance!
I am done. The end.
zebec is offline  
Jan 20th, 2019, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,963
FOLKS . . . Fuschia asked her question Jan 19th, 2018 and has never returned to the forums. Not quite sure why this was topped a year later . . .
janisj is offline  
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