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Suggestions for 2 week Whistler/Vancouver/V.Island trip with kids?

Suggestions for 2 week Whistler/Vancouver/V.Island trip with kids?

Old Mar 8th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Suggestions for 2 week Whistler/Vancouver/V.Island trip with kids?

Been reading the great postings about BC and been researching. We will be there in crowded August (oh well). Would love ideas on suitability of the following for us and our two elementary-school-aged kids (who love playing in water and playgrounds and eating oysters). FYI - we live near SF, CA and get lots of great pan-pacific culture near home. Looking for BC coast specialties.
Current draft plan has us driving from Seattle to..
- Whistler (3 nights)
- Vancouver (4)
- (Nanaimo ferry)Parksville or Campbell R. or other town(1)
- Telegraph Cove (1)
- back south to Parksville or Campbell R (1 or 2)
- Victoria (1 or 2) then return to Seattle through Tsawassen.
Our questons are: recommendations for great kid friendly lodgings and seafood (shellfish) restaurants. Casual resort lodges? Is there still a train up to Whistler? How is the train trip from Courtenay to Victoria? (could put one parent & 2 kids on and other parent could hava a quiet drive). If we want to see Orcas, is Stubbs Island whale watch company or other Telegraph Cove company worth the extra miles? Or is the drive great anyhow? Any other Orca viewing company suggestions?
Any great First Nation cultural spots in addition to Vancouver and Victoria museums? Anyone been to Liliget (sp?) House restaurant in Vancouver?
Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 04:08 PM
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I highly suggest you spend two nights, at least , in the Telegraph Cove /Port McNeill area.

A super day trip is to take the little ferry from Port McNeill over to Alert Bay and visit the U'Mista Cultural Center. They have a world class collection of Potlatch masks and other first nations artifacts. Be sure to view the video before touring the exhibit.

August is an excellent month for Orca watching and the Port McNeill area is much better then Victoria. I very highly recommend McKay Whale Watching out of Port McNeill. Great crew, super boat and an excellent conservation ethic. We prefer them over Stubb's Island. Better, faster boat and a much more personalized experience.

cheers

Jerry
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the great info, Jerry...and for the reply to the other hopeful whale watcher above. I definitely appreciate knowing about whale watch operations with good ethics. I'm going to see if I can find soemthing on the web for Hidden Cove Lodge, too. Any thoughts on if it would be okay for a couple of well behaved kids? Of not, any other lodging ideas in the area? Or favorite casual places to eat? (and if you are ever in the SF Bay area in the winter, Chimney Rock out at the Pt Reyes National Seashore is a great place to see elephant seals!)
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:15 PM
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Hi Suz12, I agree with gannetmusic that you should spend 2 nights around telegraph cove. When in Parksville make sure to go to Coombs. There is a great market with goats on the roof and a small amusement park for the kids.Great place to stop for ice cream on the way to Qualicum falls. The miniature golf center in Parksville is good. Try to stay close to Rathtrevor Provincial Park, Tigh-n-mara resort is good but the resorts along this stretch fill up quickly. On the way down to Victoria stop at Fort Rod Hill Its a great place for the kids to strech their legs and interesting as well. In Whistler I would recommend staying at the Horstman house. It is perfect for kids. They have 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartment/condos.There is a pool,games room and videos in the lobby. A short walk to lost lake and the free bus to the village stops right out front. Take the gondola up to the top of Whistler. There are some great hikes and spectacular views. We often see black bears under the gondola eating berries at this time of year. Rent bikes and ride along the great trails and bike paths. Rent a canoe and paddle down the river of golden dreams. I would drive to Whistler because there are many great places to stop along the way. In Brackendale you can veiw the 100's of bald eagles fishing along the Squamish river. Stop at Brandywine falls. A short walk {15 min} takes you to a beautiful waterfall. Shannon falls just before Squamish is also a good place to stop. Watch for rock climbers on "the Chief" the big rock face beside the falls. In Vancouver, cycle or roller blade around the stanley park sea wall. Go to Lynn Canyon suspension bridge {free}. Science world is great if it rains. Stanley park zoo, The aquabus to Granville Island from across false creek. Check out tourism b.c.'s web site too
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 04:19 AM
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LOL....those 'goats on the roof' at Coombs are always fun. I'm sure your kids would enjoy them.

Three years ago we travelled with friends who stayed at Hidden Cove Lodge with their 9 and 11 year old kids without problem. There is 'nothing to do' for kids at Hidden Cove Lodge.....except enjoy the natural goodies that abound. The kids got quite a thrill out of [from a safe distance....] watching momma black bear leading her two small cubs to the waters edge each evening and teaching them how to turn over rocks and forage for food.

Just 15 minutes from Hidden Cover is the tiny 'village' of Telegraph Cove where the kids can get souvenirs, ice cream and visit the little whale museum. And you are less than 30 minutes from Port McNeill.

Another possibilty, just north of Port McNeill, is the Cluxewe Resort. It is basically a campgroud on the ocean and the estuary of the Cluxewe River. They do have seven very nice cabins right on the ocean edge. We stayed there in September 2 years ago and it was fairly quiet....with 120 campsites full in summer it might be a bit less so.

cheers

Jerry
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