We are now trying to figure out which is a better choice... to ferry the RV across Victoria, or have them cross to the mainland & basecamp somewhere near Vancouver. We should save $200 if we do the latter. The question is, which has better sights, activities, and RV parks... Vancouver or Victoria?
If you decide to go to Vancouver to see & do stuff then your best bet would be to stay at the Capilano RV park. You family could then come across via Tsawwassen and drive into Vancouver to meet you, or if they don't like the city traffic they could drive up Island to Nanaimo and take the ferry to Horseshoe Bay which is about 20 min from Capilano RV park.....would take about the same amount of driving/ferry time for them either way....
OK, scrap that idea...I just re-read your post that they don't have a car, although there are many sched seaplane flights every day direct from Victoria hbr to Vancouver Hbr....http://www.harbour-air.com/
* This post was
edited 01/04/12 11:19pm by Z-Peller *
Francesca, they do not have US Visas... so we do not have any choice but to be on Canadian soil.
Bill, I just checked the seaplane flights. They are expensive... however, they can take the ferry ride since tickets only cost $14/person, and we can just pick them up with the RV @ the Tsawwassen terminal.
Anyway, I did some more online reading, and it seems that Victoria really has a more family-friendly atmosphere... it sorta looks like it'll be our choice. Thanks again for all your input folks!
Too bad you are strapped for time. Unless you have a desire to drive through Seattle, either on the way there up or back, I would highly recommend taking Hwy 101 from Olympia to Port Angeles and taking the ferry from there. The drive up the Hood Canal side is beautiful and a lot less stressful than I5 or I405 through Seattle. If you can spare a day, a stay at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend is well worth the time. The park and town are one of our favourite places.
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Born/raised in Victoria, all my family is still there. I personally wouldn't want to do much sight seeing around town in a 29' Class C, the city streets are not set up for it. If you stick to the routes the transit buses drive you'll be fine, some of the nice waterfront drives will be challenging though, in particular due to the trees/shrubs that encroach on the roads. Gas prices in British Columbia are also horrendous.
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Read about Fort Worden, it sure is a nice stopover. I'm going to see if we can squeeze that into our schedule... thanks for the tip!
96Brig, if we can get a spot at the Westbay Marine Village, most likely we would just park our motorhome there. Downtown would be accessible via water taxi or other public transportation, right? My bro-in-law should know, since he's been working there for half a year now.
There's a couple other coastal RV parks too on the island... just north of Victoria. Kinda thinking we might relocate to another one after a day or two, just to mix it up.
Since I live on Vancouver Island, I have a slightly biased take on Your entire Vacation Plans.
First the Traffic through Seattle isn't that bad so don't let that influence You. Second the Twice Daily Ferry at Port Angeles or the Once a Day sailing from Anacortes are Great if You have Time to waste due to missed sailings. The scenery through the Islands is wonderful on that Anacortes~Sidney route.
The BC ( Bring Cash) Ferries are on a regular schedule every second Hour or unless They run into a Dock! They are pretty safe and since They have the Largest Ferry Fleet in the World pretty reliable as well!
The route that You would want is Tsawwassen (Delta) to Swartz Bay ,near enough to Victoria on Vancouver Island! That will get You to within 20 Miles of the West Bay Marine/RV Park.
Personally I would favor spending at least a Week or Six while You are up this way but I can understand and appreciate that You can only do what You have to do.
In any event We will be happy to have some of Your Hard Earned US Dollars so come on up!
Rob & Jean
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We live just outside Victoria. We have occasionally taken the Port Angeles ferry when traveling south, but do not always use it as the sailing times do not co-incide with how far we want to travel that day. We also do not like the fact that you have to be there one and a half hours before you sail, even WITH a reservation.
We NEVER take it when traveling north as it is just too difficult to time it with the sailing times. There is only ONE ferry boat traveling this route where as BC Ferries uses FOUR on the Victoria- Tsawassen run.
Westbay is a convenient place to stay, you can even walk into town along the very scenic waterfront trail, but it is quite a hike.
On edit: it is called the Westbay Walkway and is 5Km.
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We live about 2 blocks from Orion and agree with what he says. I also agree with robatthelake. I'd take BC Ferries and stay at Westbay. We really like Pedder Bay but it's closed for the winter, Weir's Beach is right on the beach but a little far from downtown. Even if you had to take a taxi to downtown there's plenty to see and do in our gorgeous city to keep you busy. Make sure you come out to Orion and our neck of the woods! "Butchart Gardens"it's a must see, even in the winter. Enjoy your stay, if you want any other info PM me and I'll help as much as I can.
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Just a quick reality check -- you are traveling with a 3 year old -- have you ever been on a multi-day driving trip with your toddler? One of mine was a champion car traveler. The other was NOT. If I had to go a long distance with my younger son, I would have paid any price to fly instead of drive. (Just to make it clear, the younger one had a wonderful disposition and a nasty case of motion sickness.)