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My itinerary---Please comment!

Columbus, Ohio
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My itinerary---Please comment!

Hi,

I've been posting and reading for awhile, thought I'd put our plans up and let the pros take a shot at it. Suggestions welcomed.

Weds 9/5---Fly into Bellingham, grab a car and arrive at the Sheraton 4Pts-Richmond for two nights, using Sheraton points. I know, not a great location to explore downtown Vancouver but low Sheraton points required and short trip to the ferry. No concrete plans for Vancouver at this point or transportation to downtown.Drive our car or public trans? Where to park downtown if we drive?

Fri 9/7--Ferry from Tsawwassen to Naniamo, drive to Tofino, stop at Cathedral Grove on the way, maybe lunch in Port Alberni if you guys think seeing Port Alberni is worth the stop.

Fri, Sat, Sun--Stay at the Tofino Motel Harbour View three nights. Good location and good price? Plan to do rain forest hikes, beach walks, eat, and chill out. Suggestions as to trail heads and restaurants appreciated. Whale trip? Not the best time of year I hear. Bear trip?

9/10---Check out, drive to Campbell River, leisure day. Where do we stop on the way, don't care if we get to CR late? Cheap room, Travelodge/ old Super 8.

9/11--Two nighst at the Heriot Bay Inn, Quadra island, with a bear trip to Butte Inlet on the 12th. The 11th is wide open, could hang in CR for awhile or take the ferry to Quadra Island/Cortez and spend the day there.

9/13--Work my way back to the ferry and go back to the 4Pts Sheraton, meet two friends from Texas who are staying there.

The 13th is wide open, time on the island or hurry back to Vancouver? Stuff to do on the way to the ferry?

Dinner the 13th----Joe Fortes, good views from rooftop?

13th & 14th-- Wide open to play in Vancouver, attend Night Mkt. (Fri only or Thursday also?) in Richmond. Suggestions appreciated. We're not museum people, love old funky parts of town to walk, drink, shop, sightsee, drink, etc.

9/15--Get up REAL EARLY, catch a 9:15 plane to Ohio from Bellingham. Can I do this?

Tell me where I've screwed up!

Port Moody, Canada
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for Vancouver, British Columbia
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1. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

9/10 drive to Campbell River..... you could .stop at Errington ( goats on the roof) then Englishman River Falls park for a beautiful hike.. it's before you get to Parksville.. stop at Rathtrevor Provincial Parkk beach for a gentler beach than the wild west coast... stop into the Qualicum fish hatchery for amazing sights of fish returning and again a neat hike back up behind the hatchery... do all this and get to Campbell River late... but the fall is a great time to see these spots

9/11 check out kayaking.. I am sure there is a rental/guide place that will do a day trip on Quadra...would be a wonderful way to really get close to nature google kayaking,quadra to see what comes up

9/13 it will take you most of the day just to get back to vancouver..don;t forget you have two ferries to coordinate and they may be on fall schedule by then so less frequent sailings.

Joe Fortes.. not really a view from rooftop..but excellent food...

9/13, 9/14 I would skip the Richmond night market.. not sure if it runs in September nayway BUT go to Commercial drive.. walk the drive from about 2nd ave north ( towards Hastings.. and towards the mountains.. ( and don't worry it's not bad Hastings street in this part of town) Lots of great little shops, funky coffee bars, one off stores, also try Main street from about 12ave south ( away from the mountains) all the way to about 25th ave again lots of little cafes, used shops, retro fashion stores, galleries, antiques ( not fussy type).. more your scene than Robson street I would imagine. if you search this forum for Main street and Commercial ( also known as The Drive) you will find some postings that I seem to remember from a few months ago.

finally 9/15 plane from Bellingham.. normally it would take about 1 hour to drive from Richmond to Bellingham...but these are not normal times...if I had to catch a 9 am plane I would probably go to Bellingham on the 14th and stay in Fairhaven.. it is an older part of Bellingham with great restaurants, old Edwardian buildings, new construction that fits in with the old, lots of artists ( potters etc).. in fact I would probably consider going down there on Friday after checking out of the Sheraton and spending my last west coast day there...There is a nice little hotel.. the Fairhaven Inn I think it's called.. also a great boardwalk along the water into Bellingham proper.. there is a wonderful pub with a huge selection of beer,,,I know I sound like an advert for Fairhaven but we have been down at least 3 times in the last couple of years as a weekend getaway.. and loved it.. you just park your car and everything is in walking distance. google Fairhaven Washington for more info.

Canada
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2. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

I suggest stop in Coombs (where the goats are - not Errington) on your way to Tofino rather than stop in Port Alberni. (Much more fun). You could eat there, or grab some stuff and picnic at Cameron Lake. You can drive right past Coombs on your way. Maybe check mapquest for the route. (The link is too long to post) Here's a link for Coombs.

www.britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/…

You could rent kayaks at Heriot Bay, go to April Point Lodge www.aprilpoint.com or Tsakwaluten Lodge near Cape Mudge http://www.capemudgeresort.bc.ca/ There are petroglyphs on the beach you can see at low tide in front of the Tsakwaluten Lodge.

The Rustic Motel http://www.bctravel.com/ni/rusticmotel.html gets good reviews -it's right beside the River where there are walking trails.

It's about 3 hrs. Tofino to Campbell River - depending on traffic. In Campbell River you could wander down the fishing pier for ice cream and a great view of Discovery Passage and go for a tour through the Maritime Heritage Centre. THe old seine boat BCP45 that was pictured on the back of an old $5 CDN bill has been restored and is in the building along with all kinds of marine artifacts. Dinner at the Lookout West Coast Grill has a view of Discovery Passage. You can wander the docks (there are two for commercial boats and two recreational ).

Just some ideas...

Canada
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3. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Oops - by the way... the Rustic Motel is in Campbell River. A thought for your one night stop before Heriot Bay.

Surrey, Canada
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4. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Do not drive your car into downtown Vancouver; transit is fast and frequent from Richmond; parking is expensive downtown and traffic is horrendous, esp with all the RAV line construction.

Port Alberni is a ghost town, don't expect to find anywhere nice for lunch. Don't build Tofino up to be the be all and end all. It's beautiful but expensive and there are tons of nicer beaches on the island.

Columbus, Ohio
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5. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Thanks guys, keep it coming.

BCWife,

Could you be a bit more specific on travel from Richmond to downtown Vancouver?

Bus?

What line, where best to get off to be centrally located?

Better beaches? OK, where?

Are there more rainforest areas we should consider on the way to the cities we're staying at?

Thanks Again,

Joey

Columbus, Ohio
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6. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Wow,

Just rechecked the Campbell River hotel reviews, not real encouraging!

Should I stay elsewhere one night on my way to the Quadra Islands?

Canada
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7. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Hi Joey,

Tofino definitely has the most "spectacular" beach. There are nice beaches at Parksville and Qualicum and some of the other Islands. When at Heriot Bay there is a nice beach at "Rebecca Spit". There is a campground out there, they hold Canada Day there, and other events. It's very narrow and long.

Yes, sadly Campbell River is lacking in the nice accomodation section. I know the reviews aren't the greatest, but if it was me, I would have no problem with the Rustic, or these others:

Passage View Motel www.passageviewmotel.com

Herons Ladnding www.heronslandinghotel.com

The Rustic is on the far side of town, beside the namesake Campbell River. The other two are on the highway and have a view of the Discovery passage. You can view marine activity from your room and it's about a 15- 20 min walk into downtown. I don't think any offer breakfast, but there is a Banners downtown that opens early and although nothing special it's a good brreakfast for reasonable and you can ususally get a seat where you can look out to Quadra Island and the passage.

There are also some bed and breakfsts in Campbell River, but I don't have any information about any of them.

In Willow Point ( on your way into Campbell River via the "Old Island Highway") you might like to stop and view the driftwood carvings still on display. Every year there is a contest and carvers come from around the world and carve large pieces of log into all sorts of creations. Very spectacular.

On more suggestion, when you come from Tofino, rather than taking the Inland Highway (Hwy 19) carry on the Hwy 4 that you are on and go right to Hwy 19A which intersects at Qualicum Beach. It's a slower, but much more scenic route following the shore a lot of the way rather than Hwy 19 which is all inland.

Columbus, Ohio
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8. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Looking at the map I had noticed the smaller road that went along the water.

Thanks for reminding me, looks like a much more scenic drive.

Checking out reservations in Qualicom Beach just in case, Casa Grande Inn & Sand Pebbles Inn.

Will check out Herons and the others youn suggested.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

JoeyG,

There are many bus routes connecting Vancouver to Richmond, but it depends on where in Vancouver you're coming from, and where in Richmond you need to go.

But the most convenient bus route is the 98 B-line route. This is one of those double buses (connected in the middle with an "accordion") and although nobody calls it an "express" bus - that's what it is, as it doesn't stop off at every stop - it has designated stops that are announced (almost like our skytrain system) - "the next stop is: Airport Station", etc.

The B-line basically loops back and forth between downtown Vancouver and Richmond and the route takes anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. If you're stuck in rush hour, expect it to take an hour. If downtown traffic is light, the trip takes half an hour easily.

The B-line, once in Richmond, goes down No 3 Road. Any hotel located off, or nearby No 3 Road, is convenient. Those off the top of my mind are the Best Western Richmond Hotel, the Vancouver Airport Marriott, the Vancouver Airport Hilton, the Raddisson Hotel. When the bus crosses the bridge out of downtown Richmond to the airport, it stops at Airport Station - a major bus hub. The Delta Vancouver Airport is located right next to this stop - this is also very convenient. Once the bus leaves airport station, it crosses another bridge into Vancouver and then heads down 70 blocks of residential neighbourhoods along Granville Street before crossing the final bridge into downtown Vancouver.

Columbus, Ohio
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10. Re: My itinerary---Please comment!

Thanks Robyn,

We're at the 4 Pts Sheraton in Richmond, and now that I know the real travel time I might bite the bullet ( $ ) and stay downtown for a night or two.

I will have limited time in Vancouver, just the night of the 5th and all day the 6th.

On the return we will have the night of the 13th and all day the 14th before flying out.

Waaaay too many options for limited time in Vancouver, suggestions appreciated.