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Vancouver Island for 2 nights

SC
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Vancouver Island for 2 nights

We are flying into Seattle in mid May. We will arrive at about 11:30 am and wanting to get to the Island or the Gulf Islands for 2 nights. We have to be back in Seattle Saturday evening by 9pm.

We have never been to this area. ANY travel or B&B, hotel, etc. ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am at the start of the plan, so any musts would be great to know. Tea room is planned and hopefully a pub or 2. : )

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

It will take you a half day to get from Seattle to Victoria, more to the Gulf Island (assuming you mean Saltspring, Galiano, Mayne etc. and not the San Juan Islands)

Have a look at clippervacations.com for the pax ferry to downtown Vic.

Have a look at bcferries.com for travel between Swartz Bay and the Gulf Islands

You won't need a car in Victoria but you would for the GI.

SC
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2. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

Thank you. That is some info I needed. Any thoughts on the best area to aim for?

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

You could consider staying in the Inner Harbour area of Victoria where most attractions are within walking distance.

This link has a pdf map that shows all the hotels around the IH

http://victoriaconference.com/city_maps.php

tourismvictoria.com

Alton
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4. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

Reply to: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

You can take the Victoria Clipper from downtown Seattle, it is an express ferry that will get you to downtown Victoria in two and a half hours, it is a passenger ferry only. A nice hotel to stay in in Victoria is the Chateau Victoria, it is close to everything downtown and is only a few blocks from where the ferry docks. victoria is a wonderful city with a British flair. The Empress Hotel is a must to walk through and is located on the waterfront. They serve high tea in the hotel, when our family went it was $65.00 a person but worth it just for the experience. I'm sure you can just go in as a walk-in and have tea at a more reasonable price. There is a nice chinatown in Victoria which is also located within walking distance of the Chateau Victoria. There is a wonderful museum, The Royal B.C. Museum which is also right downtown. We love to go to an English pub which is located right across from the Chateau Victoria but for some reason can't think of the name of it but it's always amust when we go there. Hope this is helpful.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

Just remembered the White Heather Tea Room. It has a great high tea and is reviewed on the Victoria Forum under Restaurants. Reservations would be very advisable.

www.whiteheather-tearoom.com/index.html

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g154945-d7…

In mid May, the Victoria Clipper leaves Seattle at 7:30 am and arrives in Vic at 10:30 am. And 3:15 pm with an arrival at 6 pm. Once you've put your luggage down, you'll be ready to go.

The return Clipper that will meet your 9 pm deadline leaves at 11:30 with a Seattle arrival at 2:15.

Another option would be to fly SEA - YYJ.

Victoria Canada
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6. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

The Clipper is great and saves alot of time and hassle. I'll caution you to learn by my experience and take gravol, if you are prone to sea sickness.

If you do or don't stay at the Chateau Victoria, breakfast is a must in the restraunt at the top of the hotel called Vista 18 which is on the 18th floor. Ask for a window seat facing Douglas St which is the main street or I wouldn't go. It's awsome. Not my favorite for dinner.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

Hmmm - two very different experiences here, so I want to get clear on what you are trying to do. Victoria, which would be your destination from Seattle if you only have two nights, is a charming small city with plenty to see and do, but very much an urban experience. The Gulf Islands, by comparison, are very sleepy, rural places, with winding roads, quiet beaches, isolated parks and quaint artists galleries. Not much else. I've not been to the San Juan Islands, but I would expect the experience would be similar.

You do not need a car in Victoria. You would find it challenging to visit the Gulf Islands without a car (although I believe that if you stayed in Ganges on Saltspring it's reasonably convenient to do without a car)

Coming from Seattle, I would bet there are some islands in Puget Sound that would offer a similar experience to the BC Gulf Islands without all the travel time. Victoria is easy to access from Seattle and a realistic trip to take with only two days available.

It depends on what sort of experience you are looking for.

SC
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8. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

I guess we need to pick and with 2 days Seattle to Victoria seems the way to go. If we arrive at SEA we should most likely just head on to Victoria. A flight across is very expensive, so I assume one of the ferries is our best option. We are heading for a book store, I would love any suggestions about the ferries. I would really like to see the quiet rustic countryside if there is a quick ferry from Victoria to a small island. I am not looking at a map and have not planned anything, so I am grasping at straws right now. Thanks for any help you have : )

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

The main thing about which ferry to choose is tied to their scheduling.

With a car: you could get to Port Angeles for the Coho Ferry that goes right into Victoria Harbour. cohoferry.com. Or you could get to Anacortes, just south of Bellingham and take the WA State ferry to Sidney. Sidney is about a 30 min drive from Victoria. …wa.gov/ferries/Schedule/ScheduleDetail.aspx…

Without a car you could take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to downtown Victoria. www.clippervacations.com

If you took the WA State ferry to Sidney, you could drive north to Swartz Bay and take a ferry to Saltspring Island, drive/meander around there for a while and take a later ferry back to Swartz and then down south to Victoria. The sailings from Swartz to Fulford Harbour run every two hours. So you're back to being tied into schedules again. www.bcferries.com

maps.google.ca

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Vancouver Island for 2 nights

OK, I will tell you what I think you should do. Whether or not you do it is your choice. ;>

Take the Clipper from Seattle directly to Victoria and stay two nights. Rent a car in Victoria on one of your days and drive out to Sooke for a rural, west coast experience. Go all the way up to Port Renfrew if you feel like it and want to take the time to do that. It's a long day, but doable. Otherwise, just get as far as some of the beaches in Juan de Fuca provincal park - China Beach, French Beach, before returning to Victoria. Return to Seattle via the Clipper.