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Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

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Philadelphia...
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Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

Hello I am at a stand still with regards to planning a three day stay in the Victoria area- there is so much to do….too many options.

We are an outdoorsy family with one 10 year old…and a 6 year old that sort of slows our adventurability if you get my drift…so we need to be sensitive to her in order to make our trip fun… :) We would like to do a protected water kayak tour, a whale watching tour and also go to a aquarium or museum that the kids would enjoy…they are both good travelers and basically after dinner we would get ice cream and put a movie on for them and then just chill since our days are pretty active… a cycling tour or shorter hike (4 miles or less) would also be fun…we are sort of torn where to stay…Sooke Harbor Resort and Marina or Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa…or another suggestion??? Not sure we want to be right in Victoria or need to be…we would like to see it but think the natural beauty of the area is what we will appreciate and enjoy more. Like to keep our per night rate under $350 US/nt. Also, whats the best way to get back to Seattle from this region. We will have a car and take ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria to get onto Vancouver Isl. Thanks! any and all advice is much appreciated...

calgary
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1. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

My choice would be Sidney as there is more around there to do, more restaurant choices, etc.. You could drive over to Sooke for a day of beach combing and looking around.

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

Sooke is an easy day trip for the kayak. Vic Harbour is too busy in some areas for a kayak . Sidney is too exposed. You might consider http://www.brentwoodbayresort.com/ which would give you some sheltered water and be close to the Sidney-Anacortes Ferry where you cruise through the Islands back to Seattle. You might do whale watching from Friday Harbor, maybe even stay there or in the funky www.rocheharbor.com/lodging/hotel-de-haro.

Penticton, Canada
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3. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

There is a Best Western in Sooke that may fit in your description.

For outdoor, museum, adventure, in one package the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse Close by is the Royal Roads University grounds.

Most of the whale watching tours are from the Inner Harbour in Victoria. I do not know of an aquarium in Victoria so that I will be on my list if someone else is aware. Undersea world which is so not close to being an aquarium is now closed.

there is kayaking in Sooke this is one of the outfits http://www.rush-adventures.com/

BC Museums was interesting but not sure from the eyes of kids....could probably get boring fast. A hike up Mt Douglas could be interesting.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

When I think of Sooke, I think of nature. The town is nothing to write home about - feels like a bunch of strip malls on the side of the highway, but the nature here is amazing, especially the Juan de Fuca provincial park further down the highway.

When I think of Sidney, I think of a tiny seaside town full of used book stores. I haven't been there in a while, but people seem to like it.

I find Victoria the most interesting for a place to base yourself out of in terms of culture, but not for nature.

I'm not sure if this helps at all, but might give you some food for thought.

Also, I think the Royal BC Museum in Victoria would be an absolute must with kids that age. The exhibits are all life-size replica walk-through dioramas. I'd recommend going through the Modern History gallery, as you basically go through the history of BC - you get to board Captain George Vancouver's Ship, walk through a tiny replica of Victoria (complete with silent movie theatre), and so on. The Natural History gallery would also be interesting for them. Here's the info: royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/exhibitions/current/

You could easily spend an entire day in this museum - spend 2 hours here at the very minimum. I'd argue it's one of the best museums in Canada.

Edited: 26 January 2014, 22:43
Penticton, Canada
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5. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

HI Robyn

..... I'd argue it's one of the best museums in Canada...... I would love to take on that argument over a cup of tea LOL. Museum of Civilization in Gatineau (Ottawa) ranks pretty high

cheers

cbaarch

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6. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

"feels like a bunch of strip malls on the side of the highway"

That's exactly what it is.

Holland
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7. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

Royal BC Museum is very interesting, and I think if there is one museum that will interest kids, it is this one. There are tons of "lively" displays showing them life in early BC, so not just displays with boring documents. We did this museum with 6 kids ranging from 6 till 11 and none of them got bored or disinterested. We spend about 3 hours and could have stayed longer.

Edited: 26 January 2014, 23:33
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

cbaarch - Indeed! When I visited the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau in 2003, I thought it was fantastic, and in some parts reminded me of the Royal BC Museum. All I'm saying is that the Royal BC Museum is in the same league - it's, again, one of the best museums in Canada. :) If you're visiting the Victoria area and you're seeking a museum, that one is an absolute must.

Edited: 26 January 2014, 23:40
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9. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

SamSalmon - I'm all about setting expectations for first-time visitors.

SE Ontario
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10. Re: Sooke Harbor Area, Sidney or Inner Harbor

Yeah ... the Royal BC Museum is no way in the same league as the Museum of Civilization ... it's nice enough, and kids will enjoy it ... the Totems are amazing .... but the rest of it is pretty kitschy. Overall - I was completely underwhelmed by it and somewhat shocked that it was so bad... I expected better.