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Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?

Philadelphia...
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49 posts
Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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We arrive at Vancover airport about 1pm, renting a car. So out of there by 2pm say. This is on a Tuesday. I then have rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and till Thursday 11am when I have to start to drive to Banff. Is this enough time to see Vancouver island? I was thinking of taking a late ferry (with our rental car) to Victoria and stay in a hotel there for 2 nights. On thursday after any final morning sight seeing we would take ferry back and start drive to Banff.

On our return we will have 2 more night and 1-2 day in Vancouver, hoping to see main vancouver sights on that back end. Does this make sense?

When one goes to places in Vancouver (Stanley Park, chinatown? gastown? the "neighborhoods", where does one park? I am not a foodie or a beer/bar person, but would enjoy walking in quaint, safe parts of town.)

George.

Penticton, Canada
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1. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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HI

you will not be "doing" Vancouver Island if you only have 1.5 days. You will be able to take a nice ferry ride to the Island and back and visit the city of Victoria as per you plan which in itself is worth doing but you are missing on the 90% of the Island which has some awesome natural features which are very different that what you will be seeing.

Since we do not know how you are spending the rest of your time between Vancouver and the Rockies it is hard to say if that 1.5 days would be better spend on that route but if can not leave any sooner than what you say then the time spent on the Island could be worthwhile.

Edited: 4 years ago
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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Pretty much a waste of time IMO for the expense you will pay for the round-trip ferry plus the travelling time. You really won't have time to see much in the time allotted for. You would be better off going to Whistler instead, nice scenery, beautiful area to stay in. As far as a car in Vancouver, that is the last thing you really want to have. Parking is expensive, traffic is horrendous, downtown streets are being torn up, it's simply a mess. Why don't you start in Vancouver, go to Whistler and from there you can head to Banff and not have to return to Vancouver. Here is a link to the highway from Whistler to Banff

https://goo.gl/maps/3DBgjohRqYz

Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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If you are heading to Banff, not sure I would bother with Whistler.

And I doubt you would get out of the airport with a rental car in an hour. Customs needs to be dealt with first! No telling how long that will take. Depends on how many other flights are landing at that time.

If you are renting the car at the airport, avoid Budget! Not a good reputation at all.

For the time you would have in Victoria, assuming you decide to go, I wouldn't bother getting a rental car at all. Just get the bus to Tsawwassen terminal, and head to Victoria for your two nights. No car needed there, and you won't have time to venture too far out of the city anyway. So get the rental car upon your return to Vancouver, when you are ready to head to Banff.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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How much time are you taking to get to Banff? An extra day in Kelowna or nearby makes more sense in this case.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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5. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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Hi George ~

I don't have enough detail of your trip to do much good, but in general, yes, you could go to Victoria for 2 nights. It will take you about 3.5 hours to get there from the airport to downtown Victoria. About 45 min to drive to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, 1 hour wait for the ferry, 1.5 hour ferry ride (arrgh, don't even know what month this will be) but the ferry runs every 2 hours on the hour between now and July 1, then every hour on the hour until Labour Day. 2 nights would make a good visit in Victoria.

www.bcferries.com

On the travel day back to Vancouver, (don't know what the magic of 11 am is in terms of leaving for the Rockies) you would need to allow 4 hours to get back to Vancouver, so you would need the 7 am ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen ferry terminal in order to meet that requirement.

Visit Butchart, if that appeals to you, on your way to Victoria. You get off the ferry at Swartz Bay, toddle off for 20 minutes to Butchart for a couple of hours, then continue south to Victoria for 30-40 minutes for the evening. Here's a map of what's involved, including showing where Butchart is located: https://goo.gl/maps/QXYyAHFWo4Q2

Then from Vancouver to Banff, you would benefit from taking 2 nights to get across the province, maybe a city in the Okanagan Valley (Penticton or Kelowna) and a night in Revelstoke before finishing up in Banff.

Back in Vancouver 2 nights is a bare minimum. You will need to get selective about what attractions to fit in. You'll drop the car upon arrival back in Vancouver right? My rule of thumb is 3 attractions/activities a day. Stanley Park, the seawall all around the waterfront, English Bay, Denman Street = all on the way to the foot passenger harbour ferries to hop over False Creek to Granville Island for 2-3 hours. Head on down to Gastown on the #50 Waterfront bus for dinner at one of the many restaurants in that neighbourhood.

You would really enjoy walking through the West End, especially west of Denman, between there and Stanley Park. Quiet, no through traffic, just you, apartment buildings, walkers, dogs, the trees and the squirrels. As well, you would enjoy walking anywhere in the West End, bordered by Robson St., Davie St., Denman St and Thurlow St. This was the original residential area of Vancouver back in the day. Not too many 100 year old houses any more, mostly highrise condos and apartments, but Roedde House and Barclay Manor are two houses that represent the pioneer days in the city.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/bniWqGKVbuR2 . West of Denman is the small rectangle, the original residential area is the large rectangle and Roedde House and Barclay Manor are at the red pin.

You also might enjoy walking through Kitsilano, maybe from 4th Avenue down to the beach and Kits Point. Another old neighbourhood of Van, a "suburb" if you will, back in the day. 4th Avenue has a lot of shops and stores.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/hBRWQpDAAjS2 . Zigzag through the inner streets of this outline and note that Granville Island is at the red pin.

==

Caveat. I know nothing about the rest of your trip, no idea of the number of nights you are allowing to get to the Rockies or for visiting the Rockies. I know you are planning a round trip to the Rockies, so I hope you are allowing 14 nights for it, including the last two nights in Vancouver.

Edited: 4 years ago
Victoria, Canada
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for Regina
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6. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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As noted it depends what else you're doing... I did a lot in 1.5 days, 1 night, in Victoria in 2008 before I moved out here, but most people aren't going to runaround like crazy to whale watch, go to Butchart Gardens on a Saturday for the fireworks, etc., do the museum, Craigdaroch Castle and the Greater Victoria Art Gallery, all while spending the night and hanging around for a leisurely B&B breakfast. I walked from Fort Street to Fisherman's Wharf in that time as well. Crazy to think I got all that in. I took the bus on the ferry back to YVR. I came over on the floatplane from downtown Vancouver.

Also as noted it may be more practical to spend a night in the Okanagan or just add a day to Vancouver or the Rockies... you certainly won't see anymore of Vancouver Island in day and a half as it's ten hours round trip just to get to Tofino and that's not even north island...

Edmonton, Canada
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7. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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yeah...we really don't have enough detail as far as after this day and a half...how long and what you are doing between vancouver and banff. while i LOVE the ferry ride to victoria...but with such a short time frame, and assuming you are going in the summer, i would spend that time in penticton, bc.

Philadelphia...
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49 posts
8. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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Thanks for all the detailed and useful replies folks, I should have said my arrival there is May 31st. I am hoping that though a bit rushed I will still get to see enough/2-3_things of vancouver (and may be Victoria.) we can do a bit or running around, and we are not foodies so we can spend time walking/seeing.

All comments welcome.

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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George,

I say go visit Victoria! It is a very beautiful and fun city- a highlight of my trip to BC a few years ago. It's fairly compact and walkable. Public transport within the city and to the popular sites is good.

Happy Travels!

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Is it worth doing Vancouver island if I have 1.5 days?
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Oh- as the OP's said- don't try to see the rest of the island. Just enjoy Victoria.

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