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Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

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Chicagoland, IL
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Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

We are planning on a Vancouver vacation from July 27-August 5th. The family includes my wife and 2 boys, ages 12 and 16. So far, I have only booked airfare, no hotels, destinations, etc. I have been to Portland, Oregon many years ago, but no one else in the family has beeen to the Pac Northwest.

We would like to see Vacouver, Victoria island, Whale watching, beaches, rain forest, wineries, brewpubs (for me,not the kids!), etc.

Any suggestions on how to plan the trip? How many days in Vancouver, Victoria Island, Whistler? Do we need a rental car for the whole trip?

We would like to visit Seattle also, but don't know how difficult the border crossing is. How much of a hassle is the border crossing while driving across?

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1. Re: Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

its actualy vancouver island, victoria is a city on it

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

Ok, ten days, and the BC Holiday weekend in the middle, as well as the World Police and Fire Games in Vancouver.

If you want to check out some of the events at the WPFG, then plan to spend the end of your trip in Vancouver, otherwise get out of town. Stay put where ever you are for July 31, Aug 1, 2 3, as that's our long weekend and the borders and ferries will be seized up (although travel on the Sunday probably won't be bad as everyone will be parked for their long weekend vacation.)

Vancouver Island is HUGE, with enough to see and do to occupy two weeks all by itself. Suggest you look at the central island - Parksville and Tofino, but maybe skip Victoria given your limited time.

Whistler is only a couple hours north of Vancouver, so could be done as a day trip, but has enough going on to warrant a couple of days.

Seattle is about 3 hrs + border crossing time, which varies enormously. Some days its a real hassle, and others it's only a 20 minute delay.. I presume you are aware that you need a passport for all border crossings now.

Perhaps start your research on the BC Tourism site: www.hellobc.com. Once you start to have a rough itinerary together, then post it here and we can help you refine it.

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3. Re: Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

You can go whale watching from either Victoria or from Tofino. Your boys would probably enjoy Tofino - you can even surf there. Definetly Tofino for rain forest. Victoria (on Vancouver Island) may be a bit boring for the boys. THey could zipline in WHistler and even take a wakeboard lesson. google both.

A day trip is good for Whistler, but if you'd like to include some activities then a couple of days would be better. Tofino needs about 3 days. Travel to the Island in the summer can eat up a lot of time unless you reserve on the ferry. www.bcferries.bc.ca

You could spend some time in Vancouver, a couple of days in Whistler, take the Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay ferry then drive to Tofino for a few days. Then drive south to Victoria and take the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen ferry - very nice through the Islands.

You don't need a rental car while in Vancouver, but you would to get to Whistler, and of course to the Island and back.

Don't forget you need passports now to enter Canada from the US.

Vancouver, B.C.
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4. Re: Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

If your boys like mountain biking, I'd suggest a couple of night at Whistler. They have a lot of summertime activities. It is a long weekend, so the routes out of town on Friday, Saturday and into town on Monday will be busy (roads, ferries). I think it is a great time to be in the city as so many people go away. Try Whistler mid week your first week, then back to Vancouver. As mentioned, the wineries are for the most part in the Okanagan (Osoyoos, Penticton area), where you kids would love the lakes for swimming and boating. They are two very different locations, Whistler is a moutain, forest destination, whereas the Okanagan is a 'desert' destination (especially Osoyoos, the only desert in Canada). For Whalewatching, best to go to Victoria or drive to Tofino (but avoid the long weekend as ferries and accomodation will be hard to come by).

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

Lots to do over 10 days. I too would recommend a basic circle tour. Vancouver - Whistler - Tofino - Victoria. Might want to allocate it 3 night Vancouver, 2 nights Whistler, 2 nights Tofino, 1 night Victoria, then one final night in Vancouver. That still leaves one night to fill in somewhere (trip to seattle?).

Vancouver will have lots to do for the entire family. The boys will probably like Kits Beach if the weather is good. There are a couple of brew pubs in the downtown core (Steamworks & the Yaletown Brewing Company). There are also a couple of wineries (Domaine de Chaberton & Township 7) in Metro Vancouver but they are located out in south Langley which is about an hour out of downtown.

Whistler will have also have lots of activities foe the entire family. Check out the Peak-toPeak Gondola, the Zip Trek, as well as the various Olympic sites when you are not hiking or mountain biking.

Tofino will give you your Rainforest, Beaches & whale watching.

Victoria has more wineries & brewpubs (Swans or Spinnakers). Willows Beach is good on a nice day. It also has Butchart Gardens (which the boys might not appreciate) and the Royal BC Museum.

6. Re: Vancouver /BC Vacation 7/27/09 to 8/5/09 Recommendations?

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