Vancouver Island 7 Days - w/ Infant

Old Jun 16th, 2019, 06:31 PM
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Vancouver Island 7 Days - w/ Infant

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I will be visiting Vancouver mid-july for a week and are thinking about spending the bulk of our time on Vancouver Island. Our baby will be 8 months old when we travel so am looking for suggestions on what to do and where to stay etc.

We will have a car, stroller, carrier, the whole 9. We are thinking about visiting:

Nanaimo
Victoria - Maybe stay at Villa Eyrie Resort https://www.villaeyrie.com/
Knight Inlet
Tofino
Pacific Rim National Park
Port Alberni (Stop on the drive from Victoria to Tofino)
Strathcona Provincial Park
Joffre Creek Cabins ( Pemberton - https://www.joffrecreekcabins.ca/)
Straight of Juan De Fuca
Whale Watching

Is there a good place central where we can find a nice hotel, or air bnb and just make day trips, or is it better to move around to different hotels?
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Old Jun 17th, 2019, 07:11 PM
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I suggest you take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria and leave from Nanaimo, or vice versa. Are you wanting to visit Victoria at all? or just stay at the Eyrie?
This is an ambitious itinerary if you are also staying in Vancouver as well. I think you may want to fine tune this a bit. Day trips would not be feasible for where you want to go. The island is very big

Nanaimo , although lovely (in spots) would not be on my list given your short amount of time except for catching the ferry. From The Nanaimo (Departure Bay Ferry , which leaves from West Vancouver, Horseshoe bay) I would head to Tofino. Depending upon which ferry you catch ( a reservation is highly recommended) you may want to overnight on the way if it is late. Parksville is a nice stopping point, or take an earlier ferry and just push through. Driving time is: 1 1/2 hours on the ferry, you need to be there at least 1/2 hour earlier and in case of lineups I would allow at least 45. So we are already at 2 1/4 hours. Driving non stop to Tofino from Nanaimo will be 3 hours , There will not be any planned road closures for the summer during the daytime. So leaving downtown Vancouver at 9AM you may make it to Tofino by 230PM without stopping. However Coombs is a nice stop on the way, Coombs Country Market, to break up the trip. Also a short walk through Cathedral Grove, which is on your way, is another nice stop

The first thing however is to find accommodation in Tofino which could be a challenge for July. Ucluelet is also nice, a half hour away and less expensive. There is a lovely hike there on the Wild Pacific Trail which hugs the coastline and goes through the forest. It is stroller friendly. Find your accommodation before making any other plans.

What are you thinking of doing in Port Alberni? There is the Harbour Quay in South Port which would make a nice break for a walk if needed. I would probably just keep going however.
From Tofino/Uclulet you have to come back to the Coombs area and head North to Courtney to visit Strathcona park. An overnight would be in order somewhere near Courtney on close by. Tofino to Strathcona is a 4 1/2 hour drive one way non stop. From Courtney to the Eyrie is 3 1/2 hours. It is 1/2 hour north of Victoria. The ferry from Victoria to Vancouver is another 40 minutes because it leaves from Sidney.
Whale Watching can be done in Tofino/Ucluclet or Victoria
not familiar with Pemberton

I am not trying to put you off at all, I just think you should look at how far things are from each other and maybe choose one area, especially travelling with a baby. I would give up one of the choices. Maybe drop Tofino Strathcona or Victoria. Choose two of the three

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Last edited by live42day; Jun 17th, 2019 at 07:13 PM.
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Old Jun 18th, 2019, 04:31 AM
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Thank you so much for this information.

The plan is to take the first or second ferry from Delta to Victoria, walk around a bit, then head to the Eyrie resort and spend a lot of time unwinding on the grounds and spas. (it's expensive $550 / night with taxes and resort fees so want to get my $ worth). On the second day we want to go back to Victoria and / or Sydney Harbour, then back to Eyrie resort for the night.

On day 3 we plan to start the drive to Tofino.... because we will be with a baby we plan on leaving early and making 2-3 stops along the way or whenever we see something beautiful! I looked at accommodations in Tofino and everything is booked - so if anyone has any recommendations here, please let me know. Price is not an option I just want something clean and central.

Another Option: I looked at things to do in Tofino and aside from the beautiful drive, there is not much to do with a baby in a stroller - anyone have any options? Would we regret missing Tofino completely?
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Old Jun 18th, 2019, 01:24 PM
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I think you should look at Ucluelet. We stay in either Tofino or Ukee depending on where we get the best deal. you will be visiting both anyhow. On booking.com there are lots of motels if you just want a place to stay. Most are just fine, nothing fancy thought. Or Black Rock in Ucluelet is nice. Or try VRBO although a lot of places want a full week in summer. I don't know which search you are using but in Tofino there is Long Beach Lodge, Cox Bay resort, Pacific Sands, The Wick, Best Western Tin Wis, and middle beach lodge. If no luck then you can try to get help from Tofino Tourism office.https://tourismtofino.com/plan-your-...tory/inns-bbs/
If you have a baby backpack you will be fine walking the beach at Pacific Rim or Chestermans Beach and as I say the Wild Pacific Trail is stroller friendly. There are a few walks like the Bog Trail that are also stroller friends. The town of Tofino is also good for strollers.
If you don't have a backpack you can carry the stroller down to close to the waters edge where the sand is hard packed. People ride bicycles on that part too.
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