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Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Leeds, United...
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Vancouver and Vancouver Island

We are travelling to Vancouver in late July with 2 (young) teenagers. We have booked 2 nights at Knight Inlet but have 3 weeks altogether. Current thinking is to go straight to Vancouver Island, work our way up to Campbell River (1 week doing this) then down to Victoria possibly via Tofino, then back to Vancouver for about a week. I don't think we want to over do the city break as we'll get enough in Vancouver. any suggestions?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Hi "A TripAdvisor Member." I think you are our first "phantom" member? It's a surprise to see a post with no user name, no location or number of posts.

Some questions come to mind. What are your interests? Assume you will be driving a rental car? Are you arriving at Vancouver airport from overseas or coming from the States by car? Is this your first post on TA? Quite a few things that would put you a bit in context so that effective help can be given.

In broad strokes, with 3 weeks you can do a lot in BC. Vancouver Island can be driven top to bottom in 7 hours. 1 week from Victoria to Campbell River would be a long time.

You might consider 2-3 nights in Victoria, depending on your interests and if you wanted to drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route.

www.sooke-portrenfrew.com/circle-route/

You might take max 1-2 nights on the way to the north Island.

Your 2 nights at Knight Inlet

3 nights in Tofino

3 nights in Vancouver.

There are a few variations possible.

That's 12 days so now it's important to know what your interests are. You could stay put in several places and hang out, but you would have "run out" of attractions to see in the time I have laid out above. Or you could move along, perhaps even to the Rockies in the 2 remaining weeks.

Or you could include Whistler, if you are not interested in the Rockies but want to see mountains. Either as a day trip from Vancouver or as an overnight. They have the Peak2Peak gondola ride across the valley.

whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/summer/index.htm

Or you could head up to the Cariboo region, near 100 Mile House and stay at a dude ranch for a few nights and do some horseback riding.

You could also head up to the Okanagan Valley (between Osoyoos and Vernon) where you could cycle the Kettle Valley, visit the pocket desert in Osoyoos, swim and other summer water sports, wineries for the big kids, orchards aplenty. 5-6 hours drive each way.

These are a few suggestions. I've taken you astray from VI for 2/3 of your time but 3 weeks on VI might be a long time. It would be very helpful to know a bit more about your interests.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Wow - three weeks! Normally we hear from people who have only 4 days and want to see all of VI in those 4 days. In a way, those types of requests are easier to answer.

How long are you planning on spending in Vancouver? That will let us know how long you have for the rest of your trip.

In terms of VI, here are some websites that may help -

A few days in Victoria -

http://www.tourismvictoria.com/

Pacific Marine Circle Tour (out of Victoria) -

hellobc.com/en-CA/…

Driving from Victoria to Tofino will take about 5 hours. Be sure to stop at Cathedral Grove on the way over or back -

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/macmillan/

Having three nights in Tofino is great -

http://www.tofino-bc.com/

Then drive on to Campbell River.

There are islands that can be reached by Swartz Bay, just north of Victoria, if that sort of thing interests you. I'm not sure whether they would interest your teens, however. Saltspring is the most "developed". There are also islands off the east coast of VI on the way up to Campbell River. Hornby is a personal favourite; however, again the caveat with respect to teens. Finally, there is Quadra Island which can be reached from Campbell River.

Including your two days booked at Knight Inlet, you could "do" Vancouver Island quite nicely in 7 - 10 days, depending upon your interests. Add to that some time in Vancouver and you still have some time available to do other things. Here is the website for Whistler, which some people like to see -

http://www.whistler.com/

However, overnight is probably as much time as you would want to stay and Whistler can also be done as a day trip from Vancouver.

There is the Okanagan, as mentioned in post #1. There is lots to do there. Depending upon where you start out (and stay in the Okanagan), it's about a 4 - 5 hour drive from Vancouver.

Leeds, United...
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3. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Thanks for your reply, I'm not really sure why I've come up as so anonymous - first TA post so am obviously doing it wrong! We're travelling from the UK, our interests are fairly sporty, would like to do some cycling and walking but would also quite fancy the idea of some time in a chill out area. We're not great at travelling long distances in a car so do like to break longer journeys and wouldn't be wanting to change location every day. We will have a hire car for the duration of the visit. I guess the ideal holiday would be one where there are activity options and chill out options. We're thinking of about a week at the end in Vancouver to satisfy teen shopping desires! Thank you so much for the ideas you've given, I'll have a look at the Whistler website.

Jo

Campbell River...
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4. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Hi Jo,

So many options to choose from. If you are headed our way to Campbell River, there are lots of options to consider. In July we have Whale Watches and Wildlife tours departing daily by boat which may be interesting for the kids. We are also surrounded by many beaches, Provincial Parks, ideal camping spots and scenic hiking trails as well as great fishing. Accross from Campbell River is Quadra Island which could be a good day visit seeing as it is only a 15 minute Ferry ride away.

And as for some good shopping, I highly reccommend the Victoria area!

If you have any further questions about the Campbell River area, please check out our website at www.visitorcentre.ca or send us an e-mail at info@visitorcentre.ca

Sechelt, BC
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5. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Think of adding an overnight kayaking adventure. You have the time and the teens will love it. No better way to see BC than on the water.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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6. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Your timing could be good for snorkeling with Salmon

destinyriver.com/rafting_tours_snorkel_salmo…

Leeds, United...
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7. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

They all sound great, thank you so much for taking the trouble to reply.

Nanaimo, Canada
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8. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Or you could stop in Nanaimo and visit WildPlay (bungy jump, canyon zip line, tree obstacle course) and go Snorkelling with the Seals!

And your kids still might enjoy the fishing hole at the Dinghy Dock floating pub and restaurant!

Videos of all three below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG0TuFOU90M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94NcSw-Z6PY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGPjQzefiTU

Leeds, United...
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9. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Like e idea of overnight kayaking - where can I find details of this?

Port McNeill
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10. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

You have a number of options for a guided overnight (or longer) kayak tours. Popular destinations include Johnstone Strait on northern Vancouver Island, Desolation Sound (often starting from Quadra Island), the Gulf Islands on southern Vancouver Island or the Broken Group Islands on the west coast of the island. Most guided tours will be 3 days or longer though you will find some that are only 2 days and 1 night long.

I live in on northern Vancouver Island and am most familiar with Johnstone Strait. This is a great place to kayak and view orcas and humpback whales and late July / early August is an excellent time to visit. If seeing whales from a kayak is a priority you probably want a tour longer than 2 days to give you the best chance of seeing them, If seeing whales are not a priority and you just want a short overnight trip you may be better suited to a tour in the Gulf Islands.

For information on kayaking (and other activities) on northern Vancouver Island visit tripadvisor.com/Travel-g499144-c112905/Port-…

For an overnight tour in the Gulf Islands check out www.islandescapades.com/kayakex_2011.html