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Old 02-11-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
peyjax
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British Columbia recommendations.

Traveling to Victoria for a wedding and would love recommendations on any must see or do things. We are traveling from east coast so it is a big trip. We are a young family so kayaking and horse back riding things would not really work.

I am not sure if this is the right place to put this but I figures many people from the BC area are on the Disneyland section more frequently.TIA
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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Are you sticking to Victoria? I would say the Undersea Gardens for sure, the parliament building is always neat to see. If you go to Oak Bay Marina you can buy frozen fish pieces and hand feed the seals off the dock.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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Are you sticking to Victoria? I would say the Undersea Gardens for sure, the parliament building is always neat to see. If you go to Oak Bay Marina you can buy frozen fish pieces and hand feed the seals off the dock.
No I don't think I want to. I really know nothing about BC except it looks beautiful in the pictures. Victoria looks pretty but I can not imagine it would have enough to keep us busy with things to entertain kids. Feeding the seals is the kind of thing I was thinking of.

We would rent a car and drive to places to visit. All the ferrys and size of the place has me overwhelmed a bit. What are good things that we should see that we could drive to. A 6-7 hour drive would be about my limit I think. Just to give you an idea we went to Cali last year and drove to Yosemite from Disneyland and it was not bad at all. The kids 3,6,9 were good. We love nature and do not live near mountains so we enjoy that type of scenery and want to expose the kids stuff to things they are not used to.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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What month are you going in? I would drive to Nanaimo/Parksville area. Go to Coombs beautiful little town. There is a super cool suspension bridge to hike to in ladysmith, let me know if you want the name of that too. We go to the island every summer so I can help you from that vantage point.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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I'm going to respectfully request that the moderators transfer this thread to the Canadian DIS board. You'll get a ton more answers there about Victoria, than here. There's so much to see in Victoria, and I hope you have a great trip!!
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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Lots of fun things to do with kids in Victoria. What time of year are you coming? Undersea Gardens isn't great, I wouldn't recommend it. The Royal BC Museum and Imax is a must do. Beacon Hill park is a fantastic place to take the kids. They have a petting zoo, playground, waterpark. In Sidney (near the ferries, airport) there's the Shaw Ocean Discovery centre. There are a lot of great swimming pools/recreation centres too. Goldstream park is an oldgrowth forest with a nature house and you can walk to the top of Mt. Fynlayson. Butchart Gardens, although expensive, is a fun place to take the kids.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:34 AM   #7
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I live in Vancouver (the mainland) and am also from the east. How old are your kids and what time of year are you coming? There are lots of fun things to do on the mainland as well and I can give you some info if I know more of what you are looking for
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:18 AM   #8
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We lived in Victoria until my oldest was 5... We loved Butterfly Gardens, out by Butchart. Great, magical place for kids (and adults). Seconding Beacon Hill Park. Kids love the goats on the roof at Coombs. Haven't been to Cathedral Grove in ages and I think it suffered some storm damage, but I'm sure it's still worth a visit. We have seen orca from both the ferry to Vancouver and Dallas Point, the beach below Beacon Hill. Goldstream Park, just on the outskirts of Victoria on the way up-island, is lovely for walking, and they have interpretive programs for kids and families, easy trails, very accessible. Coming from NL, the first time I saw the trees and vegetation on the island, was a revelation to me. So different from our forests here in the east. It will feel very different to you and your kids.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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Miniature World is a neat place. It's right by the Empress Hotel. It's not a whole day thing, maybe an hour or two, but my kids loved it. http://www.miniatureworld.com/

If you plan to drive up north (as far as coombs as someone else suggested), you might want to go to Duncan and go to the Forestry museum with a working train... http://www.bcforestmuseum.com/ (can you tell my kids like trains?).

... you can also drive to tofino if you're going to be driving around.. .it's the far west coast, and really beautiful.

Last edited by donkthemagicllama; 02-18-2013 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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OP HERE: Seems to be so much to see so little time. We are a young family with kids under 10 however we try to not let that stop us from doing things. We will be traveling this summer Jun-July.

So after the suggestions on here and other places I am starting to come up with some ideas. I am sure it is ambitious, seeing I am sure I do not understand the magnitude of the island and Vancouver. We do not mind driving as that is inevitable on a trip outside of a resort type vacay. Here a couple things I would like to see and do.

-Victoria (1- 1 and half days) not really a museum vacay kind of person but would like to see British Royal. Walk around the harbor and feed the seals (Thanx for suggestion). That is about all I have. The gardens sound nice but not sure I want to put the $$ and time in it. Is it a must see? The lighthouse looked neat as well as the Maritime museum but not high on priority list.

Nanaimo- (2 days) This is where the wedding is or in the vicinity. I think Coombs was close so perhaps see the goats on the roof or some hiking for a bit if there is time.

Tofino- (3 days) I really want to hit this spot! I would love to try the surfing there as my older ones want to take lessons. I would like to see the rainforest. I also was looking at a Hot Springs tour. Ziplining is also something that is something Dh and oldest might try. This really could be done somewhere else but looked cool there.

Port Mcneil-(2 days) Whale watching day 1 then about a half day or so on ferry to Alert bay to see the culture stuff. Then back to Nanaimo for the ferry to Vancouver.

That is all I have for Vancouver Island. I want this to be an adventure trip. We really want to see as much as we can. Still planning the other leg which would be Whistler, Vancouver, or Seattle (Mt Ranier) etc. So tell me how crazy I am or where there are holes in my ideas. TIA
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Last edited by peyjax; 02-19-2013 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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There was another DIS discussion recently about Victoria sites. I'm not allowed to post links yet, but it was called "Recommendations for British Columbia?" and it was posted Feb 11.

In downtown Victoria, I'd walk through the Empress hotel, which is right by the Royal Museum. However, I would pass on their "High Tea."

The Victoria Bug Zoo is a lot of fun for kids and is within walking distance too.

Butchart Gardens are pretty pricey for what you get, unless flowers really move you. I'd check out some online photo galleries or YouTubes.

About the rest of the island, I'd spend some time at the huge sandy beaches in Parksville. If your kids like chasing tiny crabs (and letting them go!), the small beach at Bamberton north of Victoria can be fun too.

Port McNeill is an unusual choice. Myself, I'd leave more time for the Pacific Rim Park (Tofino) park of the trip. The park has a startling range of sights and biomes -- rainforests, swamps, old mining trails; you want to visit many different stops.

I haven't heard about Alert Bay's tourism options. You can learn a good amount about native culture in the Royal Museum in Victoria and there's a gallery in Tofino too.

You can get whale watching from Tofino too. As I recall, March-April is peak whale watching season, but if you take the Zodiac (rubber boat) tours, the trip itself can be a hoot, even if you just see a resident grey whale.

In terms of adventure tourism, there are ziplining places near Nanaimo and cave tours in Horne Lake (an hour from Nanaimo). Cathedral Grove, on the way to Tofino, is worth the stop for the giant trees. Not adventure exactly, but you can imagine they're ents.

Have fun!

Tim in Victoria, B.C.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peyjax View Post
OP HERE: Seems to be so much to see so little time. We are a young family with kids under 10 however we try to not let that stop us from doing things. We will be traveling this summer Jun-July.

So after the suggestions on here and other places I am starting to come up with some ideas. I am sure it is ambitious, seeing I am sure I do not understand the magnitude of the island and Vancouver. We do not mind driving as that is inevitable on a trip outside of a resort type vacay. Here a couple things I would like to see and do.

-Victoria (1- 1 and half days) not really a museum vacay kind of person but would like to see British Royal. Walk around the harbor and feed the seals (Thanx for suggestion). That is about all I have. The gardens sound nice but not sure I want to put the $$ and time in it. Is it a must see? The lighthouse looked neat as well as the Maritime museum but not high on priority list.

Nanaimo- (2 days) This is where the wedding is or in the vicinity. I think Coombs was close so perhaps see the goats on the roof or some hiking for a bit if there is time.

Tofino- (3 days) I really want to hit this spot! I would love to try the surfing there as my older ones want to take lessons. I would like to see the rainforest. I also was looking at a Hot Springs tour. Ziplining is also something that is something Dh and oldest might try. This really could be done somewhere else but looked cool there.

Port Mcneil-(2 days) Whale watching day 1 then about a half day or so on ferry to Alert bay to see the culture stuff. Then back to Nanaimo for the ferry to Vancouver.

That is all I have for Vancouver Island. I want this to be an adventure trip. We really want to see as much as we can. Still planning the other leg which would be Whistler, Vancouver, or Seattle (Mt Ranier) etc. So tell me how crazy I am or where there are holes in my ideas. TIA
I love living in Victoria and there are lots of fun things to do on our little island! It sounds like you guys might really get a lot of enjoyment out of geocaching! If you've never heard of it, check it out. All you need is a GPS device, DH and I use our iPhones. You can learn all about it at Geocaching.com

As for ziplines, you might want to check out Wildplay. I've done both the Nanaimo and Victoria Westshore courses and have enjoyed them both, although the Nanaimo one is a little more extreme!

The area around Nanaimo, Tofino, Ucluelet are absolutely stunning and really are not to be missed. Cathedral Grove is a BC Provincial Park and has some of the most amazing old growth Douglas Fir trees.

Personally, I would skip Butchart Gardens, I have lived in Victoria almost 21 years and have only been once. Butterfly Gardens, on the other hand, is a lot of fun if you are into things like that. It's small but fun.

I agree with Yogurt, skip the Empress Hotel's afternoon tea, if you really want to go for tea, I'd recommend the James Bay Tea Room. Small and quaint and not as terribly overpriced as the Empress.

Any more q's about our lovely city, please ask or pm me!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peyjax View Post
OP HERE:
Tofino- (3 days) I really want to hit this spot! I would love to try the surfing there as my older ones want to take lessons. I would like to see the rainforest. I also was looking at a Hot Springs tour. Ziplining is also something that is something Dh and oldest might try. This really could be done somewhere else but looked cool there.
TIA
2 summers ago, my sister did a week long camp with Surf Sisters, and I know they do private classes too... there are a couple of companies up there, but I don't know much about them. The water may be cold but you would wear a full wetsuit anyways. You could also find less expensive accommodations in Ucluelet but be sure to book soon, the summer season is very popular
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