We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

Save Topic
5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

Hello- flying into Seattle- will have about 5-6 days to see Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler-

* what's the best way to map out,

* how much time should we allow at each stop

* what is the best way to get around-

* what is the 'not to miss' activity or restaurant-

probably flying out of Seattle as well- seems like Vancouver is too $$$$

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
5,690 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

When are you planning this trip for?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,626 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

Will you have a rental car Seattle back to Seattle? When are you coming?

You can count on a half day travel from Seattle to Victoria, including 2.5 hours from Anacortes on WA State Ferries:


2 nights Victoria

You can count on about 4 hours from Victoria to Vancouver, including 1.5 hours on BC Ferries:


3 nights Vancouver

The drive to Whistler is 2 hours. You could stay 1 night there. Or you could stay 4 nights in Vancouver and take a day trip to Whistler.

You can count on a 3-4 hour drive from Vancouver to Seattle. The border crossing is one glitch and can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2-3 hours wait, depending on the day and the season. The second glitch is the very heavy Seattle area traffic on the I5 which could affect your getting to SeaTac airport which is south of Seattle.

You can do all this without a car, but with your time frame, a car would give you the most flexibility.

No car? Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria. Pacific Coach Lines from Victoria to Vancouver. PCL from Vancouver to Whistler or Landsea Tours. Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver to Seattle. The train experiences no delays at the border - a straight 4 hours journey. Then you would have to ask on the Seattle forum for the best way to get from Seattle to the airport. You do not need a car in any of our 3 locations as all are easily walkable and public transit works well. Whistler is pedestrian oriented - a car is a liability.

Victoria? Royal BC Museum for sure

Vancouver? Stanley Park, Granville Island

Activities? depends on when you're coming.

Edited: 25 October 2010, 22:11
Save Reply
3. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

We are coming in June- spending some time in Seattle at my brothers, then off for 5 nights before returning to Seattle- so we will have a car- sounds like the car will be a pain - especially taking it to Victoria. I had heard Vancouver is something you can do in 1 overnight. I am not familar with the area at all and just started my investigating. Thanks so much for your input.

Save Reply
4. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

looks like we will have to go from Seattle to Whistler first, then catch Vancouver and Victoria-- if there is even time for all 3 locations.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,626 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

Your new best friends will be:


maps.google.com for driving routes, driving times and distances

and most of all the sidebar articles here on TA forums - Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and even Seattle: "Things to Do" and "Travel Guide." Have a look also in the top right corner where is says Top Questions.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
12,059 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

I'd skip bringing the car. Start by taking the Clipper

(walk on ferry) from Seattle to Victoria. Take the morning ferry.. spend the day in Victoria o/n Victoria.. late next afternoon take the bus/ferry combo ( Pacific coach lines) from Victoria to Vancouver. You'll catch the bus behind the Empress.. it will take your luggage etc you'll be driven to Swartz bay where you (and the bus) will get on a ferry..enjoy the trip through the Gulf Islands to Tswassen. As the ferry docks get back on the bus and be driven to downtown Vancouver.

Check into downtown hotel and spend next 4 nights in Vancouver. You'll have 3 full days and you can rent a car for one day and do a day trip to Whistler. You won't need a car for Vancouver.

On day 6 take Amtrak train from vancouver to Seattle..fly out late evening day 6.

The above will give you one night in Victoria, plus time to do Buchart's or other interests..two ferry rides, a look at Whistler, 4 nights in Vancouver and a train ride...you won't have border crossing wait times that can vary wildly ( this week..1.5 hours) (sometimes in summer 3 hours) and you won;t have extra costs to park the car for 3 days in Vancouver!

If you want a different option besides the bus/ferry from Victoria then look at flying downtown to downtown with Harbour Air..35 minute flight..spectacular views.

Amtrak is reasonable $$ and there will be a morning train at least for one more year. Beautiful train trip along part of the coast.

What not to miss? depends on your interests..Stanley Park, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, Museum of Anthropology would be my top 4.

Restaurants?? far too many to choose from and excellent values compared to other cities.

chek www.dinehere.ca, chowhound, or recent postings about favs.

Japanese fusion Guu on Robson, French Le Crocodile, Seafood Blue water cafe, Italian Lupo, westcoast CInCin..the list is endless.

New York City
Level Contributor
4,232 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

Hi buffalonian,

We have actually done this trip twice, with variations, in 2009 and this past summer.

From Seattle you can get to Victoria with the following car ferries,

From Port Angeles, great scenery driving, easy customs


from Anacortes, very beautiful ferry ride, easy customs


or from Tsawwassen, beautiful ferry ride thru the islands


I think having a car makes the trip more enjoyable. Vancouver and Victoria have a lot to offer. The drive to Whistler is attractive, but I would apend more time on Vancouver Island if possible, very beautiful, or on the Olympic Peninsula.

Might be a good idea to check out auto rentals away from the Seattle airport, you can save a lot of money.

You can do this type trip from either direction, depends on your flight times.

Use mapquest and maps.google for accurate driving times. By using USA based feries, you will only have one driving type border crossing for customs.

8. Re: 5-6 days to cover Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler???

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 April 2011, 05:17