Vancouver and Vancouver Island in August

Mar 8th, 2008, 12:54 PM
  #1  
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Vancouver and Vancouver Island in August

We're planning a trip to B.C. in August and have 6 full days. We've never taken a trip to Canada and heard the Vancouver area is beautiful (we live in Southern California). We'd really like to spend most of the time on Vancouver Island and would like to stay somewhere not too far from Victoria so that we have a base from which to take short trips. Our 14 yr. old daughter loves the woods, hiking, wildlife, rocky coast and perfers to stay in a cabin. Can anyone give us an idea of a area...Sooke, perhaps? And any advice on accommodations? Thanks for any help!
momofrenee is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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When exactly are you going? I know of a spot that would be perfect for you but we are renting it ourselves from the 20th or so of July to the end of August so it wouldn't be available at that time.
traveller69 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 08:47 PM
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Have a look at www.pointnopointresort.com. We live about 20 minutes away from there, in Sooke, and go there often for special-occasion lunches or dinners. We haven't stayed in the cabins but they look lovely.
Meesthare is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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We'll be on the Island from August 7th until the 11th. The Point No Point Resort looks nice...we'll check it out. How long of a drive is it to the resort if we take the ferry from Vancouver? Just want to know if we should go directly there and see Victoria on our way back.
momofrenee is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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It takes about an hour to drive from the ferry dock to Sooke, and Point No Point is about another 20 minutes along West Coast Road. Victoria isn't really on the way from Swartz Bay (the ferry dock) to Sooke - at one point you turn off the highway that would take you in to downtown, and you're travelling west rather than south.
I go in to Victoria a few times a week; that also takes about an hour. You could certainly stay at the resort and do day trips to Victoria or out to Butchart Gardens (quite close to the ferry), or north to Nanaimo. We sometimes do a day trip to Saltspring Island on Saturday mornings, for the market (which is wonderful).
From Point No Point you can easily and quickly get to Botanical Beach. Have a look at that - I think your daughter will love it.
Meesthare is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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....we stay at Point-no-Point every
year - I think it would be a great
place for your daughter (and you).

They have a tract of semi-wild water-front land with a nice private
beach area (and cabana w/firepit)
and lovely walks right on the ocean.

The tearoom serves v. nice dinners.

We've stayed in almost every cabin
at one time or another and they are
all nice - esp. the new chalets.

Plus you are close enough to Victoria to make day trips. And
Sooke is a charming little down.
llamalady is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 12:06 PM
  #7  
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Thank you! This is great information!
momofrenee is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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We fly into Vancouver and arrive about 5:00 p.m. Any suggestions for an inexpensive place to stay close to the Tsawwassen Ferry as we'll leave in the morning the next day.
momofrenee is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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There are all sorts of accommodations near the airport--that's probably your best bet. Tsawwassen isn't far from the airport at all--maybe 20 minutes or so?
NWWanderer is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Although it's more than a day trip away from Victoria, it would be a shame not to see the Tofino area and Pacific Rim National Park while on Vancouver Island. That region is unique and features spectacular examples of some of the things you mention your daughter likes, but really, you would need to spend at least 2 to 3 nights there.
mat54 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Thank you, Mat54, but I don't think we'll have time. Are there other areas near in the Southern part of the Island besides Victoria that we should see? Perhaps on the East Coast?
momofrenee is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:41 PM
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I would definitely suggest the Gulf Islands, and as I mentioned before, if you happen to be there on a Saturday the Saltspring Island Market is wonderful. This is a pleasant day trip from Sooke, but you've got to get into the ferry lineup early because it's very popular. You can check out the ferry schedule on the BC Ferries website - it will change between now and the summer when you're coming. People chuckle at us sometimes for doing this, but we generally make sure we're in the lineup an hour ahead of time. The people who chuckle at us often have to wait for the next sailing!

Here is what I'd suggest, if the idea appeals to you. Take one of the earlier ferries on Saturday morning. Allow lots of time to get there and get your car into the lineup. You won't be bored once you're there - the weather will probably be lovely and there are lots of interesting crafts booths and shops to browse in at the ferry docks in summer. The trip to Saltspring takes about 35 minutes and you'll dock at Fulford Harbour. Follow the signs on Saltspring to Ganges which is where the market is. It will take you a while to find a parking space but if you get there early enough, it's possible.

When you're ready to leave - which for us is usually midafternoon - go back via Vesuvius Bay. You'll see road signs on Saltspring that will get you there, or pick up a map at the tourist office right near the Thrifty's supermarket in town. It's not far. That little ferry crosses back over to Vancouver Island in about 20 minutes and takes you to Crofton, a little over an hour north of Victoria. The drive back to Victoria along the Malahat is scenic and beautiful.

Another possibility is Gabriola Island - not much to do there but there is an interesting sand formation called the Malaspina Gallery (check it out via Google).

Depending on when you're here you might see if either of the two big sand sculpture competitions are going on. There's one at Parksville and one on Gabriola - both very impressive.
Meesthare is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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Great ideas...thank you SOOO much!
momofrenee is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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If you're driving to the market in Ganges be sure to pack a parking space in your trunk-you'll need it b-(
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Aha, Sam, that's because you don't know my trick. It has two parts.

Part one is this: instead of parking on the street or cruising around looking for a space, when you get to the market you'll notice that there is an intersection just by the firehall. Follow the traffic bearing left there instead of following along with the street that parallels the market. You go along that street - it curves uphill, past the gas station on the left, and you come to the driveway that leads into the Thrifty's parking lot. This parking lot has several sections. I don't like to park in the one just adjacent to the grocery store because that does interfere with people doing their food shopping, but there is another section by the post office and another behind the tourist office. There's quite a bit of turnover in both of those lots and nobody minds if you park there for the market. The locals always do. It's only about a 2-minute walk from the market.

The second part of the trick is very simple: patience! Don't expect to find a space right away. I always figure I will have to wait a good 10 minutes or more before somebody comes along and moves their car. If my passengers are getting antsy, I invite them to go on ahead - I don't mind waiting. I stay out of other people's way, sometimes I drive around the lot a bit, but I have always been able to get a space. It's closer and less of a pain than trying to park on the street.
Meesthare is offline  
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