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First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Edmonton, Canada
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28 posts
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First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Vancouver Island at the end of April. We have 6 days total. We are 27 years and were thinking of spending a few days downtown Victoria, driving to Tofino to go whale watching and sea kayaking. Does anyone have any other spots or activities they recommend? What are some good towns to visit or stay overnight in? Thanks!

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Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Where are you flying into - Victoria, Nanaimo or Comox? That will impact what you do. With only 6 days, you don't have a lot of time. It will take a day to drive between Victoria and Tofino, and then you will need a day to get to your outbound airport again.

End of April is going to be a bit soon for sea kayaking I think. Not sure about the whales either, you'll need to check at what point in the spring the grey whales start moving up our section of coast.

2 days Victoria, 1 day to drive to Tofino, 2 days Tofino, 1 day to drive back to the airport. And you're out of time.

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Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Vancouver Island, Canada
Nanaimo, Canada
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2. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

The market in Coombs is lots of fun, IF it is open then.

http://www.oldcountrymarket.com/

Little Qualicum Falls to have a short hike and stretch your legs.

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/…

Cathedral Grove is another nice hike. The parking here is trickier though, and you may want to stop on the way back from Tofino if you can't find a spot on your side of the highway on the way out.

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

Bare Bones is a great restaurant in Port Alberni for fish and chips. And don't forget to fill up the gas tank in Port Alberni as well before continuing west.

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Coombs
Coombs
Vancouver Island, Canada
ontario canada
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3. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

there are many spots to stop at between nanaimo and tofino as mentioned with the above poster. cathedral grove is amazing. what about a boat trip to hot springs cove when you are in tofino? it was amazing and will pretty well take almost the whole day but you see so much on the way there and back as well and how beautiful it is at the hot springs..

Ucluelet
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4. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Kayaking is possible all year, depending on weather. See www.majesticoceankayaking.com for kayaking in Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park - Broken Group Islands off our coast. 6 days is pretty short, so one would need to pick 2 spots to concentrate on. Whale watching is also possible all year, depending on weather. Majestic has a tour that combines whale watching with kayaking. April is no exception. As previously mentioned Hot Springs Cove - a short boat ride from Tofino and the Long Beach unit of Pacific Rim National park is located between the 2 towns of Ucluelet and Tofino.

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Hot Springs Cove
Hot Springs Cove
Vancouver Island, Canada
Edmonton, Canada
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5. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Thanks for the suggestions! We have a total of 5 nights and 6 full days... So we are thinking of spending 2 nights in Victoria and head to Tofino for 2-3 nights. That way we can stop at a couple places (quick visit) along the way. I was thinking of doing some sea kayaking and whale watching from Tofino? Is that a good idea? We realize its not that long of a trip so we are okay focusing on two spots. As for activities what do you suggest doing? What are the top five activities for a first timer? We are open to any ideas! Thanks again for all the help!

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Hiking the beaches, especially Long Beach. You can walk along there for hours.

Eagle Aerie is always on our list, no matter how many times we have been in there. I love the feeling of walking in there, the way it is built, the way the art work is presented, the music. Just beautiful. Oh, it is in Tofino.

You will pay for a day pass in the park. It is good for more than a day, actually good until 4:00 the NEXT day. So plan any hikes or walks you want to do in the National park accordingly. Most of them are not that long of a walk.

Stop in at Wickaninnish visitor center. Very informative. But make sure it is open! We were there in early January, and it was only open on the weekends.

Make sure you take the time to visit Ucluelet. There is the lighthouse to visit there, and then you can walk for a ways on the trail. Rugged coast line, very different from Long Beach area.

A trip to the Hot Springs would be high on my list.

You can go whale watching in Victoria (orcas), or in Tofino, humpbacks and other varieties.

Make sure you eat out once for fresh seafood!

Minnesota
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7. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Hello, we would like to visit Butchart gardens in the summer. Any suggestions?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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8. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

Yes! go and see it. It's beautiful in the summer. As you explore the website, you will see they have fireworks on Saturday night in the summer. If you would like to know more, please start a new thread. That way the information for your trip will not get confused with the info for meggles. Thank you.

www.butchartgardens.com

9. Re: First Time Visitors to Vancouver Island

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