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Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

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Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

After spending the Sept 14th week in a timeshare in Dead Man's Flats (south of Banff), we have 2 days to get to our timeshare in Nanoose Bay, Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Per Mapquest, this is about a 14 to 15 hr drive to take the West Vancouver Ferry at Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo - would like to make the 12:50 pm ferry on the Sunday, Sept 22.

Where should we stop for the night? Do I need advance hotel reservations or no need this time of year? Any recommendations - just need a budget place for the night that includes breakfast?

Will there be much traffic on Hwy 1 thru Vancouver on Sunday? Do I need ferry reservations on Sunday afternoon?

The following week we are at Birch Bay, WA timeshare - between the border and Bellingham WA. Do we just use the same ferry back to Horseshoe Bay and drive south or is there another ferry from Victoria to somewhere on the WA coastline that would be convenient (just another route that would be different) ?

Generally - how much is the ferry service for a car and 2 adults? Hard to tell - maybe $55 for the car and about $20 for each person?

Thanks for any help.

Joyce

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Banff
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Banff National Park, Canada
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British Columbia, Canada
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1. Re: Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

1. It sounds like you want to be within about 3 hrs of the ferry when you stop on Saturday night, so it sounds like you probably nerd to get to Merritt or even Hope. Either town has several basic, serviceable motels and I'd be surprised if you couldn't just find a room, unless there is a big wedding in town that weekend. Going for a later ferry would be more realistic and allow you some time to appreciate the drive. Hard to know about the reservation and will depend on how urgent it is for you to get on your sailing of choice. If you arrive 45-60 minutes ahead of your desired sailing, you should be fine, or you may have a one-sailing wait.

2. Standard car under 20 ft is $51.25 and each adult passenger is $15.50. Car and two adults is $82.50 one way.

3. Return to the mainland via the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen crossing. It's a pretty drive and a very scenic crossing, and puts you within easy reach of the Peace Arch Border crossing.

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Merritt
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2. Re: Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

Both Saturday and Sunday on that Sept weekend should not be a problem traffic wise - on the roads or on the ferries.

I would have a look at Chilliwack. It's about 9 hours drive from DMF, via Hwy 1 and Hwy 5. It's big enough to have some hotel choices. The Coast Chilliwack seems quite nice, although I haven't stayed in their rooms, their restaurant, Preston's, has an outstanding seafood chowder. Even at 10h00 at night! And the rate on the 21st is $139. I think you will pay rack rate at any hotel if you show up on the day of.

coasthotels.com/hotels/…

Best Western usually has bkfst included but not the one in C'wack. Chilliwack hotels are here. Maybe their websites will show which ones include bkfst:

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g154927-Chilliwack_Br…

From C'wack to Horseshoe Bay takes about 1.5 hours + 1.5 hour wait for this particular ferry terminal. You do not go through Vancouver proper. Hwy 1 skirts the whole city on the Vancouver-Burnaby border. Zoom out your Mapquest to see that detail. So to catch the 12:50 ferry on that Sunday morning, i would think you would have to be in the car, wheels turning by about 9:45 am.

The HB ferry schedule in Sept is every couple of hours. 2 hours is enough time to build a ferry full of cars in the lineup. I don't trust the "arrive 1 hour in advance" for this run. If you have extra time once you get to HB, all the better. You've made the ferry you want and you can have some peaceful winks in the car while you wait.

I wouldn't take the ferry back to HB. This would have you mooching your way through Vancouver downtown and city. Instead I would drive down Island to Victoria and out the Saanich Peninsula to Swartz Bay. There are a number of attractions on the 2 hour drive. Goldstream Prov Park for example where there may be some salmon in the river there on their way to spawn. Then you would head for the Peace Arch border crossing.

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3. Re: Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

Here is a map from Nanoose Bay to Swartz Bay, via Victoria way. Note Balloon G which shows you the left turn to make at Burnside to avoid going all the way down into Victoria.

http://goo.gl/maps/oZASI

Here is a zoom in on satellite view of Balloon G to show you the lay of the land for the 2 left turn lanes at Hwy 1 and McKenzie. It's labelled Balloon B on this new map and you will see the two lanes of cars coming in from the west about to turn onto McKenzie. No sense going all the way down to the city given your destination and your time frame.

http://goo.gl/maps/l0UZw

Duncan: http://www.bcforestdiscoverycentre.com/

Duncan: http://www.quwutsun.ca/ (check back when this site is reconstructed. Should be in time for September, I would think.)

Chemainus: chemainus.com/arts/…Chemainus-murals.htm

Cowichan Valley wineries: http://www.islandnet.com/~victourism/mall/aavanisle/cowichan-valley-vineyards.htm

Kinsol Trestle: http://www.cvrd.bc.ca/index.aspx?nid=1379

Goldstream: http://www.goldstreampark.com/ ... and ... …gov.bc.ca/bcparks/…

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4. Re: Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

Are you an early riser or prefer driving into the night? Kamloops - 4 hours from ferry, Merritt - 3.25 hours, Hope - 2 hours, Chilliwack -1.5 hours away, are all good options. Hope is the smallest town in term of amenities, and arriving too late may mean a very limited selection of places to eat. All should have rooms available walk up that time of year.

As for reservations, mid September you should be fine without one. That said if there is a big event such as a concert or something the Saturday, the route can get busy. I would arrive 1 to 1.5 hours before departure of not reserving. You could always check that morning how full the ferry is and adjust your arrival time at the terminal accordingly.

Are you visiting Victoria on your way off the Island? If so the above post has great info. If you are not visiting Victoria, the Duke Point - Tsawwassen route would be fastest for getting to the US Border.

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Virginia Beach...
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5. Re: Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

Vancouverite67 and MuftiMixandmatch (MMM):

Thank you both for your replies esp. MMM - great suggestions on things to see along the way and Googlemaps. I have got to improve my computer skills and figure out how you experts posts the links to Googlemaps with the street views - truly awesome - thank you so much!

I may opt to drive to Burnaby from Banff and spend the night with a cousin. It would be nice to see them, but sort of rude to be literally just spending the night. If we opt to do this, we can always take the 3:10 pm ferry and at least have brunch with them on Sunday morning. This will still allow us plenty of time to get to Nanoose Bay for checkin prior to darkness. I just wanted enough time to go to the grocery store and get basic food that evening so we are ready to start our vacation the next morning and not waste a morning at the grocery store. Horrible to have a Type A personality - I should just learn to chill since we are now retired!

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British Columbia, Canada
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Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
6. Re: Overnight stop from Banff to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island?

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