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Scenic Drives on Vancouver Island

Greg G

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Anyone have suggestions on scenic drives on Vancouver Island? We'll be there for a week in early Oct staying in Victoria. I've got several websites I've looked at but was wanting suggestions from people who have actually taken drives there.

Also anyone know where is the area shown on page 6 of http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/tvi/vacation08/ ?

Greg
 

pianodinosaur

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Visit Butchart Gardens

You should take time out to see Butchart Gardens and walk around the innner Harbour. This is a view of Butchart Gardens.
 

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T_R_Oglodyte

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Anyone have suggestions on scenic drives on Vancouver Island? We'll be there for a week in early Oct staying in Victoria. I've got several websites I've looked at but was wanting suggestions from people who have actually taken drives there.

Also anyone know where is the area shown on page 6 of http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/tvi/vacation08/ ?

Greg
The drive through Port Alberni to Ucluelet is spectacular. I don't know if the scene on page 6 is from that area, but there is similar scenery along that drive. You obviously want to catch it on a clear day if you can.
 

Werner

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Anyone have suggestions on scenic drives on Vancouver Island? We'll be there for a week in early Oct staying in Victoria. I've got several websites I've looked at but was wanting suggestions from people who have actually taken drives there.

Also anyone know where is the area shown on page 6 of http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/tvi/vacation08/ ?

Greg
Greg, We did a two week road tour of Vancouver Island a couple of years ago, basically circumnavigating the island by road. Some scenic rides are;

1. Victoria to Port Renfrew on the southwest coast, Hwy 14​

2. Rt 4 down to Tofino and Uclulet. I think this is where your picture was taken. There are mountains running down the spine of the island. Both towns are very scenic but touristy.​

The rugged west coast of the island is the most scenic coastal environment but there are no coastal roads beyond Port Renfrew going north. There are logging roads that meander around the central mountains and get you to Bamfield and from Bamfield north to Rt 4 and eventually Tofino and Uclulet but the logging roads are not really scenic, they are working gravel roads and run mostly deep in the woods with no real views. However once you are at Port Renfrew there is not much choice but to take them if your going north. You will need good maps and / or GPS waypoints because there are many confusing crossing roads used by loggers. (BTW, give the logging trucks plenty of space, they are on the clock and in a hurry.)

We also went all the way north to Winter Harbour, which was interesting but the ride is hardly scenic, it is mostly a logging road.

Not so subtle hint to pay attention on the road to Winter Harbour;


3. Another scenic area is Cowichan Bay on the southeast coast.​

I have a home-made Google Earth file of many of the Points of Interest and routes on Vancouver Island. If you use GE and you want it, sent me a PM with your email address and I will send it to you.
 
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Victoria

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A visit to Chemainous - The Little town that did! The murals there are quite unique and the live theatre is great. The Miracle Worker is playing in October. There are many small boutiques and lots of interesting walks. Parksville beaches are interesting, and there are great whale watching tours out of Victoria. Cathedral Grove just out of Parksville shows an old growth forest. The provincial Museum in downtown Victoria is one of the best! Butchart Gardens are worth a visit at any time of the year.
 

djyamyam

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Greg, We did a two week road tour of Vancouver Island a couple of years ago, basically circumnavigating the island by road. Some scenic rides are;

1. Victoria to Port Renfrew on the southwest coast, Hwy 14​

2. Rt 4 down to Tofino and Uclulet. I think this is where your picture was taken. There are mountains running down the spine of the island. Both towns are very scenic but touristy.​

The rugged west coast of the island is the most scenic coastal environment but there are no coastal roads beyond Port Renfrew going north. There are logging roads that meander around the central mountains and get you to Bamfield and from Bamfield north to Rt 4 and eventually Tofino and Uclulet but the logging roads are not really scenic, they are working gravel roads and run mostly deep in the woods with no real views. However once you are at Port Renfrew there is not much choice but to take them if your going north. You will need good maps and / or GPS waypoints because there are many confusing crossing roads used by loggers. (BTW, give the logging trucks plenty of space, they are on the clock and in a hurry.)

We also went all the way north to Winter Harbor, which was interesting but the ride is hardly scenic, it is mostly a logging road.

3. Another scenic area is Cowichan Bay on the southeast coast.​

I have a home-made Google Earth file of many of the Points of Interest and routes on Vancouver Island. If you use GE and you want it, sent me a PM with your email address and I will send it to you.
Werner has provided some great info, especially about the roads north of Port Renfrew. One option of bypassing the logging roads it the Juan de Fuca Express water taxi that would take you from Port Refrew to Bamfied and vice versa. From Bamfield, you could take the Seaway Express passenger ferry from Bamfield to Uclulet/Tofino area and see some wonderful scenery and pacific wildlife (whales, etc) sailing up the coast.

http://members.shaw.ca/berry5868/juanfuca.htm

http://www.barkleysoundmarine.com/route.html

You could also take the Lady Rose ferry from Bamfield to Port Alberni, which is also another very nice boat ride.

http://www.ladyrosemarine.com/

We took the Lady Rose after hiking the west coast trail while friends took the Juan de Fuca from Port Renfrew to Bamfield.
 

GregGH

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Hello

do you have time for a ferry ride to one ( or more ) of the many Islands like Salt Spring ...maybe you need more than a week :)

Ucluelet was mentioned -- our favorite is Toffino - just north - by too far for a day drive.

http://www.wickinn.com/?gclid=CK2Ly5_MtZUCFSASQQodCnDyRA

The above link is a 5 start hotel - just to the south of it is the LONG beach.

The next time I get out to the Island --I have to try the Sooke restaurant that is mentioned in Wine Spectator. The drive along the water with Washington across the straits is very pretty - then took a logging road cross country back east.

If you have time - Campbell River is interesting ( but also too far for a day's drive). Major salmon fishing area with lots of boat & guide rentals. And at the right time ( slack tide ) you will see all the Alaska cruise ships stacked up awaiting their turn to go thru the narrows.

Greg

ps - This is one VERY PRETTY place on earth.
 

Greg G

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Even though we would be based in Vicoria (WorldMark Victoria) I could see staying overnight at a place we drive to just to avoid a very long day.
I'm excited about this vacation as we've been to the Olympic peninsula and I really liked that and I'm certain Vancouver Island will be as scenic as that was.

Greg
 

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if you are looking for wilderness, I like the Port Alberni to Bamfield drive.... but it is a private logging road.

Many of the roads described here are private, and while you just need to obey their rules, your rental car company may not permit the car to be "off road".

Port Alberni is an old mill town, fallen on some hard times. but there is excellent fishing, and in spawing season, you can see 40 pound salmon jumping up a waterfall. There is also a National historic site with an operating steam mill. Check seasons of operation here, as in summer there is also a steam train out to the mill, and historic logging plays.
 
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Laurie

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. Victoria to Port Renfrew on the southwest coast, Hwy 14
Along the west coast:

If you plan to drive all the way to Port Renfrew, IMO the main attraction is not from inside the car, but outdoors. Before you plan your whole schedule, first get yourself a tide table, and plan your trip to Port Renfrew on the most convenient day tide-wise. Plan to arrive at least an hour before the lowest low tide. There's a parking lot there- walk on down to Botanical Beach first - amazing tide pools! Sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish, etc. Then walk the trail to Botany Bay (or if the tide is low enough, walk right along the coast - if you're lucky as we were during our second trip there, you'll see whales close in!), spend a bit of time at Botany Bay - then the trail loops back up to the parking lot.

Then have a meal at the waterfront hotel in Port Renfrew - excellent!

Along the east coast: we only made it up as far as Deep Bay - a beautiful spot, and we saw lots of eagles there.
 

Greg G

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Laurie, thanks for mentioning the tide pools. We wanted to see some the last day we were on the Olympic Peninsula but unfortunately got up late that day.
Greg, the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino looks nice (but expensive)

Greg
 

Laurie

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If you're budget-minded and looking for reasonably inexpensive overnight accommodations in Tofino, we once spent the night here - while not as nice as Wickaninnish Inn of course, it was fine:
www.duffin-cove-resort.com/
 

asp

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Anyone have suggestions on scenic drives on Vancouver Island? We'll be there for a week in early Oct staying in Victoria. I've got several websites I've looked at but was wanting suggestions from people who have actually taken drives there.

Also anyone know where is the area shown on page 6 of http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/tvi/vacation08/ ?

Greg
Further to your original question, I just returned from a trip to Telegraph Cove (fabulous whale watching), and am pretty sure the jagged peaks in that picture were the same as I saw north of Sayward. I suspect the lake is alpine like those shown http://www.wildisle.ca/strathcona-park/index.html
 

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This won't help the OP but the drive up to Port Hardy, the ferry to Prince Rupert, driving across to Jasper and down to Lake Louise and back to the coast will give you some of the most spectacular scenery you can experience in a car.
 

Eds

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Planning a trip

Planning on a cruise at the end of May and then getting to see Vancouver and Vancover Island. My big question is that I would like to drive all the way to Lake Louise from Vancouver, maybe try exchanging to that area and fly out from Calgary.

Will I have snow on the roads in mid June? Would this be the right time for this trip?

Thanks!!!:confused:
 

BevL

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Planning on a cruise at the end of May and then getting to see Vancouver and Vancover Island. My big question is that I would like to drive all the way to Lake Louise from Vancouver, maybe try exchanging to that area and fly out from Calgary.

Will I have snow on the roads in mid June? Would this be the right time for this trip?

Thanks!!!:confused:
While I wouldn't say it is impossible to have snow on the higher elevations, it would be extremely, EXTREMELY unusual to have snow in mid June. It wouldn't factor into my travel plans at all.

Yes, mid June would be a lovely time to visit Lake Louise - Banff would be where you would want to search for a timeshare in that area. You'd be there before the summer crowds.

Bev
 

BevL

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Planning on a cruise at the end of May and then getting to see Vancouver and Vancover Island. My big question is that I would like to drive all the way to Lake Louise from Vancouver, maybe try exchanging to that area and fly out from Calgary.

Will I have snow on the roads in mid June? Would this be the right time for this trip?

Thanks!!!:confused:
While I wouldn't say it is impossible to have snow on the higher elevations, it would be extremely, EXTREMELY unusual to have snow in mid June. It wouldn't factor into my travel plans at all.

Yes, mid June would be a lovely time to visit Lake Louise - Banff would be where you would want to search for a timeshare in that area. You'd be there before the summer crowds.

If you want the mountain experience without the drive, you could exchange into Whistler as well. Lovely up there that time of year.

Bev
 
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