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Victoria - Weekend vs Weekday? Tsawwassen vs Seattle? 1 vs 2 nights?

Victoria - Weekend vs Weekday? Tsawwassen vs Seattle? 1 vs 2 nights?

Feb 13th, 2008, 07:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 86
Victoria - Weekend vs Weekday? Tsawwassen vs Seattle? 1 vs 2 nights?

I'm planning a vacation trip in mid-March, with Victoria Island being one of the desinations.

1. Is Victoria Island more fun on the weekends or weekdays?
I thought it would be better on weekdays when it's less crowded, but I've also heard that b/c it's geared towards tourists, it will be kind of dead and not as much fun during the week.

2. Should I take a ferry from Tsawwassen-Swartz or the ferry from Seattle?
I will be in both Seattle and Vancouver during my trip, so I can go from either place. If I went from Seattle, I'd have to park the car there and would be car-less in Victoria. If I go from Tsawwassen, then I would have a car and I believe that ferry is a lot cheaper. However, I've also heard that if you have a car, you have to get there very early and when all is said and done, the trip from downtown Vancouver to Victoria takes a very long time (5 hours or so?)

3. How long should I stay? I've heard 1 night is enough to see everything (assuming a morning ferry there and an afternoon ferry back). Would 2 nights be better with all the ferry waiting involved? Will I start to get bored? (I'm mostly interested in the gardens, walking around, eating - not really into shopping.)

tjhsu is offline  
Feb 13th, 2008, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 850
I'd plan at least two days in Victoria. Don't think the cruise ships come into port that early which is a good thing. Like any resort town, the weekends bring out the younger, livlier crowds, but March is going to be quieter of course. Don't miss the British Museum and tea at the Empress is fun. Craigdarroch Castle and Buchart gardens a must also.
Jayne11159 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2008, 07:29 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,916
I assume you mean you want to go to the city of Victoria, which is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island? Or do you want to see more of Vancouver Island than just the city of Victoria?

If you're just going to Victoria itself, I think an overnight is just about the right amount of time, particularly if you go up in the morning on the Clipper from Seattle and come back the following evening. There's really no need for a car if you're just seeing Victoria--there are buses to the gardens.

I've been there on weekdays and weekends and in the summer, I prefer the weekdays.

If you do opt to go from Vancouver with a car, it takes about 3 hours each way, assuming you don't have much of a wait for a ferry. In mid-March though, it's unlikely you'd have to wait long, but you can always make a reservation if you don't want to risk it (esp if you're traveling over on a Friday or Sat and coming back on a Sunday).

NWWanderer is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,091
I usually use the Tsawwassen Ferry because there is one almost every hour and I think the scenery is better too- Its a beautiful ride

You can make a reservation for car though so that eliminates hassle -
last time I went I just went as a walk on and when I got to Swartz Bay I took a bus to downtown which was waiting there- it was easy.

I think Victoria deserves 2 nights and if you have a car you could do a side trip to Sooke and get out of the city- the area outside of Victoria is very spectacular
sunbum1944 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,438
In March the crossing on the Clipper can be quite rough; they'll slow the boat down which starts eroding into your available time on site.

If you take a car from the mainland with two nights you can drive up the coast - very pretty country.

If you want a day trip only, then you could fly from Seattle on Kenmore Air's floatplanes (probably a good package deal in March) or from Vancouver on Harbour Air - or do a triangle. More expensive than the ferry if your time is limited it's a great alternative, also fabulously scenic and fun.


Then if you still wanted to see some great scenery from a car, drive up the Sea to Sky Hwy toward Whistler on the mainland. In March there will still be snow on the hills but hopefully not down at the road.

BTW Victoria Island is in the Canadian arctic. Long drive in March .
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