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Vancouver Island Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 17, 2017
1st week in Feb  (4 Answers)

We have the chance to visit from London during 1st week in Feb. Probably not the best time to visit but its all we have. Will there be enough for us to do/see? Will we be able to drive around (Whistler?) or will the weather make that impossible? Grateful for your thoughts.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 30, 2014
Itinerary/things to do  (8 Answers)

As will be seen from previous question we plan to visit end of June

Proposed itinerary - really need some helpful practical suggestions as to what to see/ferry routes

Depart Horseshoe Bay crossing to Nanaimo Bay - do we need to book this crossing as we will have a car??

Drive to Victoria - suggestions as to what to see greatly appreciated

Day 2 Circular tour from Victoria - Lake Cowichan - Port Renfrew - Sooke - Victoria - OK long day - Google calculates 4hr 29 264 KM - not so sure going on the coast via Sooke would have preferred to have cut back in through national park - or what looks like national park on map but showing no roads - may be the costal route is picturesque

Is it worth visiting Campbell River

Costing of inside passage from Port Hardy-Port Rupert seems horribly expensive and we simply can't afford it . Also we do not do small boats only major drive on ferries - so trips to islands would not be possible

Depart via Toll Bridge from Victoria to Port Angeles - any idea of fees as website seems ambiguous

Many thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 05, 2014
Can anyone give me a quick description of Vancouver island?  (6 Answers)

Hi everyone
Thinking of goin to Vancouver island mid Jan. For two weeks.
Can anyone give me a quick description of demographics,things to do,boating ect.
Love fishing,outdoors and the ocean so it seems really nice
Thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 06, 2014
Vancouver Island - 2 days  (14 Answers)

Hi there, I'm planning a 10 day road trip through BC and the Alberta rockies, and I have allotted 2 days to be on Vancouver Island. We will likely be camping both days, and would just like to visit beautiful places and spend time outdoors. I would love visiting or camping near a beach there one or two nights. Seeing wildlife would be a bonus! I don't need to drive all around the island, I just want to spend 2 scenic days on the island. Any suggestions?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 24, 2014
Itinerary Suggestion for Visiting Vancouver and Tofino for a 7 day trip  (6 Answers)

I will be flying to Vancouver the end of June this year and am trying to make plans for a tentative itinerary. I've done some research and I would really like to explore vancouver Island (tofino specifically) as well as vancouver. Is it reasonable to travel to tofino for a 7 day trip spanning between both island time as well as time in the city? I just would hate to spend that much time traveling to Tofino and be disappointed. I was also curious how Hornby Island is and if it would be worth stopping at one night on the way to Tofino?

Tentative Itinerary with comments/suggestions welcomed:
Day 1 - Fly into Vancouver YVR and take ferry to Nanaimo. Rent Car and drive to hornby Island
Day 2 - Explore Hornby Island in the morning and then drive to Tofino in the afternoon
Day 3 - Explore Tofino, possibly hot springs?
Day 4 - Explore Tofino and Long Beach in Pacific Rim Park
Day 5 - Drive to Nanaimo and take ferry back to Vancouver
Day 6 - Explore Vancouver
Day 7 - Explore Vancouver
Day 8 - Fly Home


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 08, 2014
car rental  (4 Answers)

Do I need to reserve a car in advance or are the deals better if I wait until I arrive?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 08, 2014
How to travel to Butcart Gardens  (4 Answers)

Please advise on how to travel to Butcart Gardens from Vancouver. I will be arriving by cruise ship, and I only have a day.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 21, 2013
Hiking with one year old  (2 Answers)


Planning to go for hiking with my one year old son. Can you pls recommond 3 best hikes with stunning views.(Vancouver) .

Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 17, 2013
10 days in Vancouver Island  (8 Answers)

We're a family of 5, kids ages 17,16, and 12. We are renting a travel trailer from Errington, from there we will camp in Tofino (spend maybe 3 days, see Ucluelet). Then camp in Qualicum falls for a couple of nights. Then to Nanaimo for 4 days with day trips to Victoria and Sooke Potholes. Does that sound like a reasonable itinerary and enough time at each place? Am I missing any must see places? We are experienced campers so pulling a trailer is fine.

Thank you!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 28, 2013
West Coast Trail - Looking for a partner/group to join August 2-5  (2 Answers)


I've planned to hike half of the West Coast Trail from Port Renfrew to Nitinat from August 2 to 5. I'll get to Port Renfrew by bus from Victoria. I'm looking for a partner/group to join as I'd love to share this experience with someone :-)
31-yrs girl from Italy is waiting for you to start together the trail!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 03, 2013
8 day visit  (10 Answers)

We have 8 days to spend in Vancouver Canada and Seattle Washington in August any suggestions as to best use of time? The 2 of us have not been to this area before and are returning from 18 days in Alaska.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 21, 2013
Vancouver Island with Kids  (6 Answers)

Hi, we are planning a four day trip in an RV to Vancouver Island with kids (range 5-9). Where are the best places to go? Right now Iʻm thinking 2 day in South Island - Victoria, 2 days Central Island and 2 days somewhere else? Suggestions??? Thank you!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 11, 2013
Butchart Gardens in a Day  (3 Answers)

We are planning a RV trip to BC this summer and want to go to Butchart Gardens. We will be taking a ferry from Anacortes, WA and want to make sure we will have enough time to see the gardens with travel time included. We have to small dogs that would be staying behind for the day or perhaps put into a kennel if we need more time. Would it be more economical and better to take our car or take a bus/cab or rent a car on the island? Can we do it in a day? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 07, 2013
West canada on a shoe string with a 4 year old?  (6 Answers)

Hi, my husband, our 4 year old daughter and myself are thinking about a trip to west Canada (from Ireland). We teach so have July and most of August off work. Although we have loads of time, we would be doing it on a shoe string!! Would like to know what people think; should we a) just focus on Vancouver and Vancouver Island (b) focus on the Rockies © try to do both - although I don't think we could afford it all at once!
We really want to get the 'real Canada' outdoorsy feel and would be staying in hostels (hopefully there are child-friendly ones about!!) any advice/opinions on what we should/could do?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 25, 2013
vancouver to vancouver island  (13 Answers)

what to get to vancouver island from vancouver , what is the best way, float plane or hire a car and use ferry??? thoughts please people, thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 19, 2013
Cruise Terminal to Airport  (3 Answers)

What is best way to get from Canada Place to airport?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 18, 2013
Is this too much to take on?  (4 Answers)

My husband and I are planning an eight day (not including travel days) trip to Vancouver Island in late June. On the first night our plane arrives from Florida around nine at night. After customs we are intending to drive straight away to Parksville for our stay for the next three days. I realize that the sun will be setting latter in the evening and this is unfamiliar territory to us. Is this too much for a first day? Is the road in this direction too dark or narrow for this late night trip? I really don't want to stay in Victoria at the beginning of our trip but rather at the end. We will be staying three days in the Parksville area then days in Ucluelet and the final three days in Victoria. Advice?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 17, 2013
Canada Day best place to be in BC  (10 Answers)

My husband and I will be going to Vancouver Island and the general area for the time before- during and after Canada Day. We are Americans but we wanted to see how our northern friends celebrate their national holiday. We are at the very beginning of planning our trip. I know that I want to see Vancouver Island but am unsure if I have enough time to visit the city of Vancouver as well. Minus the travel day there and back we will be there eight days. We love fireworks and general shows and celebrations but not so much bar or club hopping. Are we better off to go the The City for the special day or is there a city on Vancouver Island that has a nice celebration? By the way we still have not hammered out an itinerary so we are fully open. With only eight days should we just stay on Vancouver Island? We want to be relaxed and still see what this wonderful area can offer. .

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 25, 2012
Safety in Vancouver Island  (4 Answers)

I have a niece who lived in Nanaimo till crime got too close to her. She then moved to Vancouver itself. My question is what exactly is the types of dangers that visitors to Vancouver Island have to be wary of? I know on the mainland that suburbs like Abbortsford had a history of things like United Nations. But I've only heard just one thing from family about the island.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 08, 2012
Vancouver island in mid October?  (38 Answers)

Fingers crossed, it looks like we may be in Vancouver visiting family at the end of the second week in October, and we're thinking about adding on a couple of days to visit Vancouver Island.
Is this a good or bad time of year to visit? Is it too early/late for the Fall colours?
Our time is sadly limited, but would we be able to get at least a taste of the Island in 2-3 days, or would we be better focusing our attentions on Vancouver itself (we're particularly interested in landscapes and wildlife)?
Any guidance would be useful: if you assume that we're pretty clueless, then you won't insult us!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 02, 2012
4 Days in Vancouver Island in September  (5 Answers)


My mum and me are traveling up to Canada from Oz in September and looking at spending 4 nights on the island before taking a cruise. We've come up with an itinerary, but not sure how feasible it is. ANy help appreciated

Day 1: Spend day exploring Victoria, pick up rental car & drive to Campbell River
DAy 2: Grizzly bear tour, stay night in Campbell River
Day 3: Drive to Ucluelet, stopping at some touristy places on the way (don't know where yet)- sunset cruise in Ucluelet and spend night there
Day 4: Drive to Nanaimo, drop off car and head to Vancouver, possibly check out Tofino on the way

Not sure if we're going to be rushing around like crazy if we try to fit all that in or if we'll be missing any must-see stuff. We wouldn't mind doing a little hiking, but not concerned if we can't fit it in.

Thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 11, 2012
Honeymoon Accomodation  (3 Answers)

Hello all :)

I am getting married in the summer, and for our honeymoon my wife-to-be and I are wanting to go to Canada. We are going for 3 weeks, and pretty much have an itinerary sorted (at-least in our heads)

The only thing we cant seem to find is he perfect accommodation/location on Vancouver island. Obviously as its honeymoon we want somewhere as nice as possible, as near some beaches and other sites/things to do but (and this is the bit we are struggling with) we cant seem to find anywhere which is in easy walking distance to restaurants and bars. We really dont want to rent a car on the island as we are doing this on another leg of the journey. So if anybody has any good ideas or recommendations that would be fantastic


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 03, 2011
Ranch / Farm stay bed and breakfast  (6 Answers)

Hi there VT members
We'll be travelling to YVR island (again)in May 2012. We're looking for a recommended B&B for 2-3 nights, hopefully on a farm or ranch, and ideally in the central/north of the island. We'll be travelling back to Vancouver from a weeks stay in Tofino and would like to see the eastern coast of the island.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 14, 2011
Vancouver Island with small children!  (2 Answers)

We have four days to spend in Vancouver Island in early September and are wondering how best to spend our time. We have two small children aged 1 and 3 years, so we don't want to be too ambitious in terms of long drives etc, but would love to see as much as possible. We will be coming from Vancouver, so can take the ferry to Victoria or Nanaimo, or go to/from each one to reduce the time we are in the car. Any suggestions are very welcome! Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 30, 2011
4-wheel-drive vehicle or standard car for Vancouver Island?  (5 Answers)

My husband and I are leaving for a 2-week trip around Vancouver Island in a couple of weeks.

We enjoy getting off the main highways when we travel by car, and would like to be able to explore some of the gravel roads, etc on the island.

Is it advisable to rent a 4-wheel SUV or will a standard car do just as well on VI? If anyone has experience touring the island off the beaten path, we'd love your advice.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 09, 2011
recommendations for a 4-day visit on Vancouver Island please!  (6 Answers)

Hi everyone,

this July 2 friends of mine and me are travelling to BC/Alberta for 3 weeks and would like to visit Vancouver Island for 4 days (unfortunately, we're on quite a tight schedule and cannot stay longer than that).
Therefore, I would like to ask your advice whether our travel itinerary is manageable and every bit of suggestion for a nice alteration or nice places to stay over is warmly welcome!

We had planned to go by ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, stay there the day (and night?), then drive northwards to Port Alberni (stay there the night on a campground? Advice?), and continue to Ucluelet. As I understood, Ucluelet is a good place to access the Pacific Rim NP - is that correct?.
The 4th day, we were thinking of driving back eastwards to Nanaimo, take a mid-day ferry back to Horseshoe bay and start driving on the 99 towards East/ Rocky mountains.

Have you any suggestions concerning campground, activities, walks, trails? I don't really have a good concept about the driving distances and road features on the island...
our focus would be on scenery and wildlife (we have to try to see some whales, that's for sure)

Cheers for your help,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 10, 2011
travelling without a car  (9 Answers)

we are a family of 4, with a four year old and a 1 year old baby... we would love to go to Vancouver Island or one of the gulf islands during our stay in Canada in April... but we don't drive! Can anyone suggest a lovely quiet place to go to that is accessible by public transport and taxi if necessary. We really don't want to restrict ourselves to a city, but equally don't want a journey from hell to get somewhere! Any suggestions? Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 27, 2011
Itinerary Advice for a 2-week Vancouver Island holiday  (11 Answers)

My husband and I are planning a trip to Vancouver Island duringthe last 2 weeks of May. We'll be flying into Victoria, renting a car, and taking it from there. Some must-stops for us are Tofino, Ucluelet and Campbell River (with a trip to Mt. Washington).

We're also considering going further north to Port McNeil, but not sure how long to stay in each place and the best route.

Do we start by staying on the east coast and driving north, leaving the west coast to the end? Do we veer over to Ucluelet and Tofino first?

Are there other destinations that we shouldn't miss?

All and any advice would be fabulously welcome!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 18, 2010
bears and elk in early october  (1 Answer)

where are good places to see bears on vancouver island in early october? Also, I have read there is a good chance of seeing elk around gold river. Any tips on exactly where to see them?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 14, 2010
Anyone stayed in Sointula on Malcolm Island?  (1 Answer)

Hi, We have planned to stay in Sointula on Malcolm island for a few days in August. I cant find any reviews about the place we have chosen and am beginning to get cold feet, particularly as we are taking a guest with us. Has anyone stayed at Rainbeaus End? or can anyone recommend a good place to stay on the island?
Many thanks

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