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stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

manchester
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stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

Hi, we're in early stages of planning next year's road trip, calgary to Vancouver, in June 2013.

we'll be staying 4 nights in the region, and hope to be able to drop off the car and just use public transport to get around.

I've read some views that getting over to Vancouver Island on the ferry with car etc is more bother than its worth and with this limited time we may as well stay on the mainland and ferry across for the day to Victoria?

Whilst in vancouver we're planning to see much of the city, whale watching trip, possibly drive up to whistler before offloading the car, and a day over on the island.

what are your thoughts and advice about this as a very basic, starter-for-ten plan?

thanks,Caroline

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1. Re: stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

"Hopping over" to Vancouver Island is sort of like hopping over to Ireland for the day if you have 4 days to spend in England.

It can certainly be done, but most people severely underestimate the size of Vancouver Island (as it's an island in the same way that Ireland is an island) and they also underestimate the logistics of getting to/from the ferry terminal (as the terminals are a fair distance outside of Vancouver and are also a 35 minute drive outside of Victoria), the length of the ferry rides (90+ minutes) and so on.

If people do a day trip to Vancouver Island, they usually go to the city of Victoria at Vancouver Island's southern tip, as the city's compact, walkable, and there are enough options to do a round trip (whether that be a 12 hour bus tour, a round trip float plane trip, or simply a bus/ferry combo).

Typically I suggest 3 days minimum in Vancouver because, again, most people understimate how much there is to see and do, and how much time they'll take to see it. For example, simply a visit to Vancouver's Stanley Park can eat up a whole afternoon. Whale watching out of Vancouver is another activity that eats up most of your day as you're out on the water for 3-5 hours. And there are 2 days gone. For these reasons, I'd either do a day trip to Whistler or a day trip to Victoria, but don't try to do both if you only have 4 days in Vancouver. 5 or more days? Certainly. But with 4 days, I'd plan on one day trip.

Edited: June 11, 2012, 4:11 am
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2. Re: stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

Save Vancouver Island for another trip. It really is too hectic to try and fit in a day over here. I agree with Robyn whole heatedly. You need to choose between Whistler and Victoria. Both places will be nice to visit in June.

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3. Re: stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

Four days is really only enough time to skim the surface of Whistler and greater Vancouver. You don't have time for the island as well.

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manchester
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4. Re: stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

thank you all so much for your guidance - it makes perfect sense and i laughed at the comparison to Ireland - that's certainly a reality check! Am going to try to squeeze an extra day in vancouver but will take the advice and just do a day trip to victoria. Brilliant advice, as usual, thanks

caroline

wgr
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5. Re: stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

Given that you are coming from the UK, Whistler will offer more of something different than Victoria which is essentially ersatz English. The ferry ride over is spectacular but Whistler has mountains and glaciers that you don't have in the UK. Tea shops you have.

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6. Re: stay in vancouver or hop over to the island?

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