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family holiday in vancouver and whistler

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Derby, United...
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family holiday in vancouver and whistler

My hubby and I are hoping to travel to Vancouver in August 2011 with our daughter (14) and son (11). After some research, we have decided to spend 4 nights in Vancouver, 5 in Tofino, 1 in Victoria and a week in Whistler (mountain biking etc).

I originally wanted to see the Rockies, but think it may be too much travelling.

Does the itinerary seem ok? Where would be the best place to stay in Vancouver?

We are quite active and enjoy the outdoor life, but kids would also enjoy beaches and shopping. Not too keen on museums etc.

Any advice would be gratefully received, thanks!

Vancouver
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1. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

The itinerary seems OK, but I would do 5 nights in Vancouver, and 4 in Whistler, but thats just me. I don't think you need that much time in Whistler in the summer, its really beautiful but not worth that much of your time IMO.

For Accommodations in Vancouver try the Landis Hotel & Suites. They have two bedroom suites that are really inexpensive and great for families.

For activities, Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Granville Island, Chinatown, Stanley Park (renting bikes and touring around is always fun). Beaches are right downtown and shopping, so both would be close to the accommodations mentioned above.

renting Kayaks, whale watching are all very accessible from downtown as well.

I would also recommend coming at the Beginning of August so you can enjoy the Celebration of Light! The fireworks take place every year and usually either finish in the last week of July or first week of August.

Try eating at Society in Yaletown, they actually have some really kid friendly options and I think they have introduced kids eat free (more suitable for the younger one!). Rodney's in Yaletown is also great!

I am not sure about where to stay in Victoria, perhaps try just a hotel room, something in the harbour like Laurel Point Inn or Days Inn.

Do not miss eating at Red Fish Blue Fish and definitely check out the Saturday Fireworks at Butchart Gardens (if you are there on a Sat). Butterfly gardens is actually really enjoyable as well and is fun for everyone!

For dinner check out Ferris's Oyster Bar and Grill! Great food with something for everybody.

In Tofino www.mackenziebeach.com is a great place to stay, they are not expensive, right on the water and close to everything!

You HAVE to eat at www.sobo.ca AMAZING! The polenta fries are a must try!

It would definitely be recommended to plan another trip in the future to see the rockies, Banff, Lake Louise etc. etc. its amazing, but is a trip in itself! You will get lovely views on the drive up to Whistler.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

You might have a look at www.findfamilyfun.com. You can sort activities in various ways,

Here's what I like to suggest (toss the museumy ones):

VICTORIA:

Inner Harbour Causeway

Butchart Gardens

Royal BC Museum

Craigdarroch Castle

Helmcken House

Emily Carr House

Miniature World

Dominion Astrophysical Observatory http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/hia.html

Shaw Ocean Discover Center http://www.oceandiscovery.ca/

The Victoria Bug Zoo http://www.bugzoo.bc.ca/

Day trip from Victoria:

You might consider driving up as far as Nanaimo (2 hours one way) --

Chemainus - great outdoor murals in a very pleasant town

Duncan - BC Forest Discovery Centre

Nanaimo - The Bastion and historic downtown area

VANCOUVER:

Granville Island and False Creek

Stanley Park, including the Aquarium

Gastown - for a self guided walking tour: www.gastown.org --> history --> take a self guided walking tour. Otherwise this historic birthplace of Vancouver will just be brick and stone to you.

4 Self Guided walks - vancouver.ca/commsvcs/…index.htm

Chinatown

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Robson Street

Bill Reid Gallery at 639 Hornby St.

Vancouver Art Gallery with its great Gallery Restaurant

Grouse Mountain

Lynn Canyon Susp Bridge (free) or Capilano Susp Bridge ($$$)

Maritime Museum - at Kitsilano Point

Van Dusen Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory

Outlying regions:

Fort Langley http://www.fortlangley.com/

Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/bc/georgia/index.aspx

Day trip to Whistler:

It's a two hour drive one way. Have a look on this website for things to see on the way

wildwoodlodge.com/getting_here/things_to_see…

I would suggest you tweak your itinerary a bit:

2 nights in Victoria and less time in Whistler. In Victoria you might want to try the Pacific Marine Circle Route: www.sooke-portrenfrew.com/circle-route/. You do not have to circle back to Victoria, you could stop at Duncan if you wanted to go up Island. Consider visiting the Sooke Potholes as well on the way to Port Renfrew.

http://tinyurl.com/23fj23t

sookepotholes.com/swimming_sooke_pot_holes.h…

In Vancouver, you might enjoy swimming in Kitsilano Pool, outdoor, heated salt water, stunning setting.

http://www.vancouverinfocenter.com/merchant2.php/list2/214/Kitsilano+Pool

Edited: 14 October 2010, 21:39
Derby, United...
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3. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

many thanks for your comprehensive advice, it will be very useful in planning our trip

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

You're welcome!

I do highly recommend one museum though. The Royal BC Museum, especially the First Peoples, Modern History and Natural History galleries. About 2 hours would do it.

royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Exhibit_Gall/default.aspx for a photo look at the Galleries.

You may already know about www.hellobc.com, but you may not.

Edited: 17 October 2010, 15:31
Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

Whistler is s dream destination for the sporty and physically active. The biking is world class, you kids will love it. You will probably love that Whistler is a compact pedestrian village where activities are literally step away. Responsible kids can safely wander a bit without worrying about managing an urban environment. There's no down time travelling around.

http://www.whistlerbike.com/index.htm

Along with some poking around the Village you'll find plenty to do. Look into taking the Peak to Peak and check out the Alpine hiking trails. They are self guided and it's more than easy to spend a very memorable half or whole day here. You can find your options here. A family dinner mountain top at the weekend bar-b-ques might be fun.

whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/…index.htm

The Zip Line is a blast and well as Wildplay.

http://www.ziptrek.com/whistler-canada

http://wildplay.com/

You can also take the walk (or shuttle) from your hotel to Lost Lake and do the trails around that area, maybe including a picnic and a swim. No charge, easy to find and do.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154948-d1…

I love a canoe trip paddling the River of Golden Dreams.

http://www.backroadswhistler.com/rogd.asp

The Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone has a bunch of activities such as zuge rides, trampolines, climbing walls etc.

whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/…index.htm

Rock climbing adventures are available for kids as well. Our favorite, the golf is stellar.

As far as paid nature tours, the bear tour with Michael Allen is world renowned so worth the money in my opinion if you have the interest.

whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/…index.htm

Happy planning!

Edited: 17 October 2010, 16:30
Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

My favourite hotel in Victoria is the Royal Scot (located in the inner harbour area) walking distance from most attractions. Most of the units have kitchenettes and there is free parking and an indoor swimming pool.

http://www.royalscot.com/

Althought you mention that your kids don't care for museums, the Royal BC Museum has some really amazing galleries which most kids love. There is also an amazing collection of totem poles and First Nations art. But be sure to hang out by the woolly mammoth until the thunder claps! And this museum is two blocks away from the Royal Scot.

www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/MainSite/default.aspx

While we love Whistler, I agree with the other posters that a week may be too much. I would add a night or two to your time in Victoria. The drive from Tofino to Victoria will take at least 5 or 6 hours, so assuming you leave Tofino at noon, you won't arrive in Victoria until dinner time. I would book two nights in Victoria so you have at least one full day there. Other than the Royal BC Museum, I also recommend a tour of the inner harbour on the aquabus or ferry.

http://www.attractionsvictoria.com/

Whistler is a great place if you love the outdoors. Our favourite hotel is the Chateau Whistler in the upper village at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. This hotel has a huge outdoor pool area (one lap pool complete with underwater speakers and one leisure pool which has a passage way to the small indoor pool. There are also five hottubs, 2 of which are indoors, plus a steam sauna, fitness room, etc. This pool area is connected to the lounge so you can order food and drinks poolside. Other than mountain bikiing, there is also horseback riding, ziplines (so much fun), alpine hiking (be sure to buy your two day two mountain alpine pass online before you go as you basically get two days for the price of one), etc etc. whistlerblackcomb.com/tickets/…index.htm

Whistler Village is also fun, only a 15 minute walk from the Upper Village. I find the Village too noisy at night which is why we always stay in the Upper Village.

You have chosen 4 great destinations. Have fun planning your trip!

Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

Sorry, a couple of those links are not good

whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/summer/index.htm

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154948-d1…

Texas
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8. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

While in Tofino, make sure to do the Archipelago Wildlife Tour in Ucluelet. Your kids will LOVE it!!!

9. Re: family holiday in vancouver and whistler

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