Post # 1
Hello everyone! I am currently planning my honeymoon in Canada. I discovered Tofino and like so many others, am now dying to visit. I was thinking of flying into Victoria, spend 4 days there, drive to Tofino, spend 4 days there, then back to Victoria to leave. However, my SO is wondering if we should put some time in to visit Vancouver. It looks like it’ll be hectic to figure out the rental cars and ferry over there, so I’m wondering if seeing Vancouver is worth the potential headache?
I appreciate any and all help! 😀
Also, if there’s anything in Tofino/Victoria you think we should absolutely see, I would love to hear it!
Post # 2
I’ve lived in Vancouver and Victoria. Both are extremely beautiful, but different. I spent about a week in Tofino one winter as well. If I could use Hawaii to compare, Vancouver is like Honolulu, Victoria is like Maui, and Tofino maybe like Kauai. These are loose comparisons.
I think there are some very beautiful and interesting things to do in Vancouver -seawall, Grouse Mountain, English Bay, Stanley Park, gastown, White Rock, kayaking, Chinatown, Granville island etc. I am not sure where you are coming from but getting to the island is bit of a pain with the ferry but not impossible with a rental car (rather easy). The drive to Tofino is long, but beautiful. It will take up a lot of your time. Unless your deadset on surfing and having that quiet ocean time, I’d skip Tofino and do Vancouver and Victoria. Victoria is great as a tourist especially if you stay in the downtown area, you can literally walk everywhere. I would do a high tea, carriage ride through James Bay, whale watching tour, feed the seals, check out the great restaurants, Royal BC Museum, rent a kayak (you can even check out a paddle thru cafe window), castle, and lots of other great things. Those are just my thoughts.
If you would like some additional information, please feel free to PM me.
Post # 3
Thank you so much for your help!
Alright, I’ll cut Tofino. What would you recommend as a day trip from Victoria to a beach and/or trails through the forest?
Also, have you been to the Night Market in Vancouver? Is it something worth going to?
I will definitely look into all of those things. They sound amazing.
Post # 4
I was recently in Vancouver and had no trouble getting around. We did the night market, and even though parking seemed tough it was so fun and totally worth it! I stayed in a hotel right near there, and it was actually really nice staying on the water. Stanley Park is gorgeous, and I’ve been to the aquarium every time I’ve visited.
I went to Tofino when I was younger and remember having a blast. We went on a zodiac boat tour and I think I went on a seaplane tour as well. I remember it smelling like fish, but being gorgeous.
Post # 5
Yay! I couldn’t tell by internet reviews if the Night Market was worth going to. It looks really fun, but some people were grumbling about it haha
Post # 6
You don’t have to be a surfer to thoroughly enjoy Tofino. There are miles and miles of beaches and trails, fabulous restaurants, great arts and crafts, wonderful hotels and B&B’s. You can take a side trip to the hot springs or go whale watching. We go there twice a year- once in the summer and once in storm watching season.
If you want to rough it, Pacific Rim National Park(between Tofino and Ucluelet) even has some tent sites you can reserve that come fully equipped with tent, stove etc.
Whether or not you go home via Vancouver, depends on where you are from, how long you have for your honeymoon and what is the likelihood of getting back here again.
It’s easy enough to catch a ferry from Nanaimo on your way down island at Departure Bay. You will land at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver – an easy 30 minute drive to downtown Vancouver. The rental car can be picked up at Victoria Airport and left at Vancouver Airport with no problems.
Post # 7
PLEASE DON’T CUT OUT TOFINO! It’s a beautiful place and you definitely can do so much more than surf! Even though it is SO MUCH FUN! There’s the hotsprings, whale watching, bear watching, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, fishing trips, first nation canoe trips, hikes, and not to mention just roaming the beautiful beaches, oh and the food there is awesome! Honestly, I would cut out vancouver. I’m born and raised in Victoria so I’m not too interested in the hustle and bustle of the city life Vancouver offers. If you’re looking for other places around victoria there are numerous amounts of islands that are short ferry rides away: pender island, salt spring, galiano, gabriola, hornby, quadra island. So many sweet spots that I personally think are more romantic getaways for a honeymoon.
Post # 8
The pp reminded me that if you don’t want to do Vancouver, you could always catch the ferry to Saltspring Island when you come back down the island. You catch the ferry from Crofton on Vancouver Island to Vesuvias on Saltspring Island.
Saltspring Island is so charming. It has hundreds of artists of all kinds. They have a self guided tour to the artists’ studios. You just drive around the Island and if there is a sheep sign on the road at their driveway their studio is open.
Try to schedule a trip to Saltspring so you are there on a saturday to attend their famous market.
When you are ready to leave you catch a ferry at the other end of the Island from Fulford Harbor back to Victoria. It’s only a short drive to the airport from the ferry.
Post # 9
I’d spend maybe one day and one night in Vancouver and do Stanley Park and Granville Island, unless you want to go shopping. I’d split the rest of my time between Tofino and Victoria. Tofino is definitely something you don’t want to miss.
Post # 10
Definitely try and hit up all three!
Post # 11
Please please do not cut Tofino! As a PP mentioned the drive takes a couple hours but Nanimo to Tofino is my favorite streach of road I have ever driven. Cathedral Grove will take your breath away.
Tofino itself is lovely. I’ve only ever been for work so haven’t done many “touristy” things but the beaches are amazing. I can speak about food as sometimes the big shots would fly in and take us to the nice restaurants. Sobo and Shelter are both excellent and The Sea Shanty has the best fries I have ever had in my whole life. And I know fries!!
Post # 12
Don’t cut Tofino. Actually… If you want scenic and not super touristy, stay at the Black Rock Reslet in Ucluelet. It is amazing. The drive from Victoria to Ucluelet is about 3.5 hours but beautiful, but I agree with PP- you must somehow do the drive from Nanaimo to Ucluelet/Tofino or vice versa. Amazing!
Post # 13
Victoria is beautiful. Vancouver is awesome. Tofino is wonderful. Try to hit up all three, but give yourself enough time in each place to appreciate it. 🙂
Post # 14
For Victoria, if you’re ok without air conditioning, check out the Garden Suite at the Craigmyle for accomodations. It’s a little outside downtown but is inexpensive and extremely charming. The other rooms are cramped but the Garden Suite has a full kitchen, walk out patio with chairs and it includes breakfast in the morning. Tofino is an excellent choice to visit and the drive is definitely worth it if you’ve never visited the West Coast before. There is a ferry that will take you from Naniamo to Vancouver (you end up in North Vancouver) if your husband really wants to visit. The night market is an experience – last time I was in Vancouver there were two and varied upon offerings. With that in mind, if you don’t like asian food (like authentic asian street food) I wouldn’t recommend going. In terms of what to see in both cities, it really depends on what you like to do, where you’re from and when you’re visiting.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2016 - Backyard
Vancouver is worth a two or three night visit. Anything shorter, you will be kicking yourself.
I haven’t been to Vancouver Island yet, but it is in the plans. See all three! 🙂