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Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

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Redmond, Washington
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Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

Good evening TA-Victoria!

I'm thinking of spending 3 days in V Island, but have pretty much "done" the spots of proper Victoria. Am looking at doing outdoorsy stuff (mostly hikes) in other parts of the island, but I'm also reading stuff about wineries in Nainimo, etc. I'd like some of your thoughts. Planning on reaching on Sat AM and leaving hopefully by the last ferry to Seattle on Monday nite.

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1. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

Hi Vikram ~

With only 3 days, your selections will be somewhat limited. And I'd definitely make reservations on any ferries.

Pacific Marine Circle Route: Victoria - Port Renfrew return. Or Victoria - Port Renfrew - Duncan, then your choice of north or south from there. About 5 hours driving, stops extra.

http://www.sooke-portrenfrew.com/

Victoria - Nanaimo (with stops at Duncan + Chemainus,) 2 hours stops extra.

Victoria to Mt Washington in Strathcona Provincial Park, 4.5 hours, stops extra.

Victoria to Tofino, 5 hours, stops extra.

Some wineries on the Island can be found in the Cowichan Valley area: http://www.islandnet.com/~victourism/mall/aavanisle/cowichan-valley-vineyards.htm

Redmond, Washington
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2. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

Thanks for your very detailed response. As we live in Seattle, coming again (and again) to V Island isn't a problem, so hopefully we can discover more! We'll be driving our car from Seattle and taking it on the ferry (so yes, will advance book).

I am thinking of basing ourselves in Nainimo for 2 nights. Would that be a good option? I'd obviously like to do stuff around the place (max drive not more than 2 hours).

seattle
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3. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

hopefully you've factored in a fairly long border wait in each direction. If your leaving on saturday you will spend almost the entire day getting to VI. There is a link to border wait times on the Seattle forum. On top right look at the question dealing with trips to Vanc and Victoria.

Redmond, Washington
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4. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

Good point DavidMG.

Parksville, B.C.
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5. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

If the wineries are your goal, you could consider staying in Chemainus. The Best Western there is very nice, and you'd be closer. Make sure you include the Merridale Cidery. It's a great place for lunch, where they will pair your meal with a cider. You can even do tastings.

If you are looking for beaches, and such, Parksville would be a better place for a base. Apart from the local beaches, you could travel up to Hornby Island, or even make a day trip to the West Coast, but it would be quite a bit of driving.

As for ferries, you do have the choice of taking the Coho from Port Angeles. That way you don't have to worry about border lineups.

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6. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

I'd like to stay at the hostel in Nainimo to be honest. I'm not much of a hotel person - I like a warmer ambience as well as a self help kitchen. What could I do based in Nainimo for 3 days?

How does this sound?

- Reach V Island Sat noon and if the weather is good, drive into Victoria and walk around the harbour/city centre

- Drive to Nainimo and check into the hostel by 8pm

Sunday - ?

Monday - ?

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

Open the link in Dave's OP on this thread:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154935-i1422-k505…

Parksville has wide sandy beaches, especially at low tide. Get over to Denman and Hornby Island for part of a day. Strathcona Park has Mount Washington and some good hiking/walking trails. There is Coombs, North Island Wildlife Recovery Center at Errington and the big trees at Cathedral Grove near Cameron Lake. There's coal mining history at Cumberland with a small museum. There a paleonotology focus in the museum in Courtenay.

Heading up from Victoria, stop in at the Goldstream Provincial Park for a walk. Visit Duncan's BC Forest Discover Center and Chemainus' 39 outdoor murals. Get a pamphlet that explains them from the Information office.

In Nanaimo I have enjoyed a meal at the Modern Cafe.

Allow yourself an hour ahead of sailing to go through US Customs pre-clearance at the ferry terminal.

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8. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

MuftiMix - thanks so much! I think you've given us a week's worth of activity right there!!

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9. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

And Crow and Gate Pub south of Nanaimo in the neighbourhood of Cedar. Both the suggestions are reviewed on TA.

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10. Re: Thinking of spending US Memorial Day wknd in Van Island...

Lots more ideas on Nanaimo in a previous post on the Nanaimo Forum. Have a look at:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154935-i1422-k455…

Any further questions or queries feel free to ask!