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Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

Sammamish...
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Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

Hi there. My husband and I are quite torn between Whistler and Victoria to spend a week around Christmas holiday in with our two young kids, 3 and 4.5. We haven't been to either and have heard so many wonderful things about both. Of course, Whistler is a very popular winter destination, but we aren't skiers; we'll just probably play in the snow with the kids. Our apprehension is with the high probability of not good wintry drive and we have a minivan. Is it really quite tricky getting there (we're from Seattle)? On the other hand, will there be good amount of snow and plenty to do in Victoria for a week for our family around then? Thanks for your help!

Port Moody, Canada
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1. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

Not likely to have snow in Victoria...probably the mildest place weather wise in Canada. If you have snow tires or chains the drive to Whistler should be fine. Thousands of folks drive up everyday...road is a good highway, sanded, plowed and well maintained.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

It will be exponentially more expensive in Whistler. And usually the snow doesn't really stick to the ground anywhere but Whistler before the end of the year. Not so on the slopes though. Starting in January, there is more risk of snow sticking on the road and the ground to the south of Whistler as far as Squamish. There is snow tubing, sleigh riding. But I'm not sure about a whole week for non-skiers.

In Victoria, Butchart Gardens will be dressed up for Christmas. Lots of Christmas things going on in Victoria. The Christmas trees in the Empress Hotel's lobby. Much more for non-skiers to do, even though it will be quite quiet in Victoria. Not tourist season really.

Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

Snow in Victoria ,,,I wish , highly unlikely , every year for last 4 Lu's decades I have wishes for a white Christmas, think we'be had like two, maybe three.

It rains here.

Butchard gardens is nice, but if you aren't on a tight budget I would choose Whistler, more likely to see or enjoy a bit of snow, place will be decorated, maybe some toboganning..

It is however pricey place at Christmas.

Roads will be fine, we drove to Silver Star ( east thru mountains ) in a mini van !any times when our kids were little.

I would spend night in Vancouver ,take kids to Science World there .

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

I think you have to choose a snow vacation vs. a city vacation. I see that you're from Issaquah, which shares the same climate as Victoria, so you're no doubt familiar with west coast rainy winters. Just like in Washington state, if you want snow in BC, you'll have to head into the mountains. If you're staying on the coast, you're going to find winter rains. Victoria's no different in this regard.

Whistler doesn't always have snow in the village at Christmas, but it will always have snow higher up on the mountain. Because it's a major ski resort, the prices will go up dramatically at Christmas with families travelling all over for its world class skiing. There are, of course, non-skiing activities that gets you out in the snow: snowshoeing, ziptrek, dog sledding, etc.

Victoria, as others have said, will be quiet and cheaper... with a lot of Christmas activities. Victoria's not a city like Seattle or Vancouver, but a city like Olympia and Bellingham... although I'd argue that Victoria has way more tourist attractions than Bellingham and Olympia combined. It's small, it's charming, it's walkable, there are lot of great restaurants, waterfront walks, beautiful gardens, and so on. Of course, being winter means short daylight hours. But snow in Victoria is about as likely as snow in Seattle. It happens occasionally, but nobody would choose either destination for a snow vacation.

Edited: 13 June 2014, 16:37
Comox,British...
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for Victoria
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5. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

You could allways go to Victoria for a few days and then head up to Mount Washington on the Island for the snow & play part. Mt Washington is a great family place, not near the scope of Whistler.It is aprox 3 hr drive from Vic

www.mountwashington.ca

Rockies BC
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6. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

If you are looking for Christmassy things to do in Victoria, take in Craigdarroch Castle - it is always beautifully decorated for Christmas

Victoria, Canada
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7. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

like everyone said, there is very little chance of snow in Victoria, yet lots of our sites do a really nice Christmas theme. Our spectacular parliament buildings are lit up with Christmas lights, the Empress Hotel has "Festival of Trees", like someone said Craighdarroch Castle does a great job, Butchart Gardens which has an outdoor ice skating rink, Centennial Square has a huge Ferris wheel, Point Ellice House. Victoria is a very charming city with amazing architecture, and is absolutely nothing like Bellingham!

8. Re: Victoria vs. Whistler for Christmas

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