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Vancouver winter visit

Auckland Central...
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109 posts
Vancouver winter visit
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Hello

My family and I are visiting Vancouver from New Zealand this year in December. We have 3 children (9,12,15).

We have one week holiday before our family arrive to join us. When they are with us we are doing Grouse Mountain, Capillano Bridge and Whistler.

I am looking for things to do in and around Vancouver to fill in one week. We were thinking of maybe flying into Seattle for a few days also. I'd like to travel outside the city possibly to explore further afield.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Kelly

Vancouver, Canada
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39,541 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
1. Re: Vancouver winter visit
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It sort of depends what you want. The south west corner of BC typically is wet and grey at that time of the year, although it can be spectacular when the sun comes out. If you stick with the Gulf Islands, southern Vancouver Island and around the Fraser Valley, its unlikely you will hit snow on the roads. If you go much further than that, then you are into the mountains and you need to give some thought to winter driving conditions. Seattle is also a very realistic 3 hr drive and there's quite a few cute little spots along the way worth exploring.

With a week, you can do Vancouver > Victoria > Seattle > Vancouver quite easily, with a couple of nights in each, and its possible to do this without a car, although to be honest, when booking coach and ferry fares for a family of five, the car will be cheaper. You do need to just check about rental cars on the ferries though, as I've read that some are not insured when on a ferry.

Penticton, Canada
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28,616 posts
27 reviews
11 helpful votes
2. Re: Vancouver winter visit
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@Vancouverite

, as I've read that some are not insured when on a ferry.

do you have additional info on that one - I have seen it mentioned for the Greek Islands but I have never seen any rentals from the majors that does not allow their cars/RV to go Vancouver Island. ??

@ kellynz75

If you do not want to or, can not drive: there is the Amtrak train that goes to Seattle 2x daily - it goes along a scenic route but only the morning run would be in daylight.

and, there is a bus/ferry combo to get to Victoria on Vancouver Island but as mentioned would not be cheaper then renting a minivan for that trip. Cost of getting using the ferry is at www.bcferries.com Victoria to Seattle passenger ferry is the Clipper and the car ferry goes from Victoria to Port Angeles on the MV Coho.

If you have some winter driving experience; in usually wet snow; there are more options for Vancouver Island.

+going to Seattle you would all need an ESTA if flying - a land/water crossing can be done with a Visa Waiver at the border which costs $6.00 called and I-94

Vancouver, Canada
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39,541 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
3. Re: Vancouver winter visit
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@cb - its mostly discussed on the WA state forum, and not recently. So far as I've seen, the BC ferries are considered part of the highways system and we believe that the insurance is valid on those. However, for going to Seattle in winter, there is no WSDOT service to Anacortes, so you are looking at the Blackball service out of Port Angeles. As this is a private service, I would want to just double check my ar insurance if I was renting on that route. Yes, rental cars go on that all the time, but not sure how many people actually check their insurance.

On the other hand, there is a one way car rental arrangement between Port Angeles and Seattle, so the OP could look at doing a one way rental between Vancouver and Victoria, and just compare that drop fee to 5 tickets with the BC connector, and then walking on to the Blackball.

All more info than the OP needs if they aren't going to do this at all. First they need to decide what to do, then the details.

4. Re: Vancouver winter visit

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