Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Canada (
-   -   Vancouver/Vancouver Island in 5 days? (

Kevin Jul 3rd, 2000 04:20 PM

Vancouver/Vancouver Island in 5 days?
My wife & I have never been to BC. We'll be in Seattle in late summer for a wedding but have 5 days beforehand to head north. We're admitted tourists, enjoy beautiful scenery, hiking, museums & maybe whale watching. Tofino looked fun but can we realistically do Vancouver, some of Vancouver Island & Victoria and still get back to Seattle in time?

Susan Jul 3rd, 2000 06:28 PM

I think you're cutting it kind of tight. How were you planning to travel? Rent a car and drive to Vancouver? That's not a long drive, but you could stuck in traffic at the border. Also you'd then be taking the ferry to Victoria - there can be long delays there. If I were you, I would limit myself to maybe Vancouver and Victoria, or Victoria and other parts of Vancouver island. Speaking personally, I don't always to be on the go, but that's just me. It's been years since I was in Tofino - I don't know how long it would take to get there from Victoria, but maybe you could see Victoria and Tofino. Good luck and have fun!

April Jul 3rd, 2000 08:36 PM

I'm with Susan in narrowing it down to a maximum of two places since most of two days would be used for travelling (which is fine if you're enjoying the scenery). The Tofino area would be my first choice. <BR> <BR>I would allow 5 hours to drive between Tofino and Victoria. Or you can take a BC ferry from the mainland to Nanaimo and go from there, although I think that ferry trip is not as scenic as the one to Victoria.

Kevin Jul 3rd, 2000 09:55 PM

Interesting, so you think I should consider cutting out Vancouver until another time eh?

April Jul 4th, 2000 09:38 AM

Not necessarily. If I'd never been to BC, I'd probably want to see Vancouver and maybe skip Victoria. However, given the amount of time available, I would be inclined to combine Vancouver with Victoria, or Victoria with Tofino... although Vancouver-Tofino could be done. It's a long way from Seattle to Tofino though so maybe save it for another trip. Sorry to be so vague but it's a tough choice.

Robyn Jul 6th, 2000 01:56 PM

It all varies on how in depth you want to visit each place. Visiting all three areas within 5 days can physically be done. You'd have enough time to drive to each destination, but you'd be very rushed to tour around once you got there. <BR> <BR>If it was up to me, this is roughly what I'd do. <BR> <BR>Day 1: 3-4 hours out of your day to drive from Seattle to Vancouver. Spend the afternoon visiting some of the attractions: Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium, strolling the seawall at English Bay, exploring Granville Island, Robson St or Denman St. <BR> <BR>Day 2: Full day in Vancouver. (Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown, Chinatown). Drive across the Lions Gate bridge to the local mountains: Cypress, Seymour or Grouse. Do some hiking. Drive to North Vancouver to Lynn Canyon for some more hiking (the suspension bridge at this park is free, unlike the tourist-trap Capilano). <BR> <BR>Day 3: Wake up early and drive to Whistler (2 hour drive). Spend the day around Whistler village, take the gondola up the mountain, hike the trails or visit the surrounding lakes and waterfalls. Drive back late afternoon and have dinner in Vancouver. <BR> <BR>Day 4: Wake up early and drive to the Tsawwasen ferry terminal, a 40 minute drive south of Vancouver. This is the only place to catch Vancouver-Victoria ferry. Spend the afternoon touring Victoria. <BR> <BR>Day 5: Tour more of Victoria. I believe there's a direct ferry from Victoria to Seattle. <BR> <BR>Of course, this is just an idea, but the time-frame is just about right for each place. <BR> <BR>There's some really good sites I usually recommend people from out of town that you might be interested in. Most have sections on Victoria, Whistler, Tofino and surrounding areas as well: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>Hope this helps! <BR> <BR>- Robyn

rand Jul 6th, 2000 02:43 PM

There is a flaw in Robyn's itinerary. The direct car ferry from Victoria to Seattle died a financial death years ago. That left the Koho from Victoria to Port Angeles so overloaded that it is a 1/2 to 1 day wait in a parking lot to get on. It is much more reliable to ferry back to Tsawasen and drive back to Seattle. You can reserve now on the BC ferries so you know you will make it. That route will take most of day 5 depending on when you leave Seattle.

April Jul 6th, 2000 09:05 PM

I think Robyn's itinerary is excellent. If you do go to Victoria be sure to visit the Royal BC museum.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:36 AM.