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Touring Vancouver and Victoria without a car

Touring Vancouver and Victoria without a car

Jul 5th, 2006, 11:23 AM
  #1  
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Touring Vancouver and Victoria without a car

We'll be in Vancouver for two full days and a half day in late July. We want to visit the top attractions in Vancouver. We also want to take a day trip to Victoria to see the Buthart Gardens. We will not have a car. We are considering one or a combination of the following modes of transportation:
1) Gray Line Double Decker
2) Vancouver Trolley
3) Organized Tours
4) Local Transit
5) Organized Tour to Victoria

Does anyone have any recommendations on getting around in Vancouver and Victoria given our situation?

Thanks in advance.
Guest2006 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2006, 11:27 AM
  #2  
 
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I've been to both places and seen all I wanted to see by walking, using public transit and taking tours.

Victoria, especially, is easily and best seen on foot except for Butchart Gardens but you can get there with a tour. http://www.grayline.com/franchise.cf.../details/id/66
SallyCanuck is offline  
Jul 5th, 2006, 04:34 PM
  #3  
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What would be better in Vancouver: public transit or a trolley/double-decker hop on and off tour?
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Jul 6th, 2006, 05:14 AM
  #4  
 
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Guest2006.

We are also staying very shortly (3 weeks to go) in Vancouver and Victoria without a car.

I asked a very similar question recently and got a great response from traveller69 on transport to Butchart (Greyline have also now e-mailed me the full details).

Thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=29

Alternatively type in Butchart in the search and you will also see the thread I started.

We are planning to cycle or walk most of Victoria and Vancouver with the exception of the trip to Butchart Gardens.

TeddG is offline  
Jul 6th, 2006, 12:47 PM
  #5  
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Where is this bus terminal behind Empress Gray Line?

How do I get to Victoria from Vancouver? I'll probably opt for the ferry, but is there just one ferry route? How much does it cost? Once I get to Vancouver Island, how far is Victoria?
Guest2006 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2006, 05:05 PM
  #6  
 
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To get from Vancouver to Victoria (and back) your best bet is to take Pacific Coach Lines - fare includes bus from downtown Vancouver to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Ferry fare (great views of the Gulf Islands - keep eyes open for possibility of Killer Whales off of Mayne Island), and then bus to back of Empress Hotel in Victoria. Weblink: www.pacificcoach.com
You can do it a bit cheaper by taking public transit to/from ferry terminals, but I don't recommend (lengthy trips from the downtowns to the ferry terminals).

Gray Line to Butchart is a good bet (located in front of Empress - can't miss it). If you are there on a Saturday, they may have fireworks at night (we viewed them there 2 years ago). Not sure if Gray Line travels to the Gardens at night though.

tudorterrace222 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2006, 11:01 PM
  #7  
 
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Downtown Vancouver is very compact... think one square mile, and everything you'll probably want to see it is within that distance. Therefore, you can easily walk to explore Vancouver, perhaps with aid of public transit.

The Gray Line Double Decker and Vancouver Trolley have teamed up now, so if you buy tickets to one company, you can ride on the other company's vehical as well. This is great if you want a narrated tour of downtown Vancouver. It stops at Stanley Park, English Bay, Granville Island, Yaletown, Chinatown, Gastown, and Robson Street. However, it doesn't go beyond that area, so if you wanted to travel to say, Grouse Mountain or Capilano/Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, or the Museum of Anthropology, then you'd want to look at public transit.

Victoria's main attrations are within a 5 block radius of eachother - you do not need any type of transit, just your feet and comfy walking shoes!


BTW - Keep in mind that it takes 3 and a half hours to get from Vancouver to Victoria. The organized tours cost about $145 per person - they do hotel pickups, they take you on the ferry, they drive you to Butchart Gardens (including the $23 admission), then they give you a short narrated tour of Victoria to give you your bearings, and then they give you about 4 hours of free time in Victoria before picking you up to take you back to Vancouver.

Pacific Coachlines costs $70 round trip per person and it leaves as early as 5:45am, but you have to pick it up at the Pacific Central bus station which is a short 5 minute taxi ride outside of downtown Vancouver. But it essentially takes you from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria the most hassle free. I think the last one back is at 8pm or 9pm.
Carmanah is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 01:11 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for the great advice, everyone! So it seems like taking a day tour to Buchart Gardens from Vancouver is probably the most convenient way. I saw Gray Line has one: (http://www.etix.com/glwest/servlet/o...anchise_id=409). The tour also provides free time at the Inner Harbor. I'm assuming that's downtown Victoria.

Doing it on my own with Pacific Coach Lines and Gray Line once in Victoria will probably end up being the same time and money, it seems.
Guest2006 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 07:48 PM
  #9  
 
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Landsea Tours and West Coast Sightseeing also offer similar Victoria day trip tours, so give those a look as well.
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