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Old 03-22-2019, 10:29 PM   #1
scottz
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Vancouver Island

We will be in the Seattle area this summer and want to take the ferry to Vancouver Island (leaving the RV in Seattle). It looks like the ferry leaves Anacortes in the morning, arriving Sidney about 11am. The return trip would be the next day or following day, departing Sidney about noon. On the return trip, we plan to stop over at Friday Harbor for a few hours.

Here are the questions:

*Would one day be enough on the island or should we plan for two?

*What should we plan to do/see while on Vancouver Island?

*Any recommendations where to stay the night? Sidney? Any specific hotels?

*What should we do with the four or five hours we may have at Friday Harbor?

*Is this plan too ambitious?

Thanks
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:46 PM   #2
PNW Fireguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottz View Post
We will be in the Seattle area this summer and want to take the ferry to Vancouver Island (leaving the RV in Seattle). It looks like the ferry leaves Anacortes in the morning, arriving Sidney about 11am. The return trip would be the next day or following day, departing Sidney about noon. On the return trip, we plan to stop over at Friday Harbor for a few hours.

Here are the questions:

*Would one day be enough on the island or should we plan for two?

*What should we plan to do/see while on Vancouver Island?

*Any recommendations where to stay the night? Sidney? Any specific hotels?

*What should we do with the four or five hours we may have at Friday Harbor?

*Is this plan too ambitious?

Thanks



Friday Harbor is known for whale watching. The last time we were out there the Orcas absolutely put on a show.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:17 AM   #3
Loneoak
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We took the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria last summer with the trailer and spent a week there. Butchart Gardens is worth a visit. We also saw the water taxi ballet in Victoria harbour. We took a two day trip to Tofino and stayed at a B & B. Our son lives in Victoria, hence the longer stay.
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:29 PM   #4
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Butchart Gardens is a must see. Try to have tea at the Empress Hotel while you’re there, if you’re feeling fancy. The island s a beautiful place. Enjoy!
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:06 PM   #5
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Ditto on Butchart Gardens! I posted elsewhere about using the Washington State ferry from the island to Anacordes (I think something like that). They were running a sale (1/2 price) on our trip home - even tho we were headed into Canada mainland. It was about 20 minutes to the border crossing, but saved $80 or so.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:52 AM   #6
timandsusan
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Great advice from other Montana owners! Include the British Columbia Museum on your idea list--it is located near the harbor area. The day we visited Victoria the harbor hosted a wooden boat show and allowed visitors to board many of the larger vessels. Then throw in a Blues Festival after our Butchart Garden tour made for a full day. We departed from Port Angeles and returned via ferry to that location. Our RV stayed put in Sequim at a local RV Park.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:23 AM   #7
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There is the Victoria Clipper from downtown Seattle and Kenmore Air Float planes for foot traffic. Several options for the Washington Ferries to cross the Sound to Port Angeles and take your vehicle across on the Blackball ferries. Fort Worden in Port Townsend is an excellent state park for activities if you can get in there. This is a historical military site for the entrance to the Puget Sound area and where they filmed the movie; Officer and Gentleman with Tom Cruise 30 years ago.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:59 PM   #8
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We went over from Port Angeles in 2016 on the Blackball Ferry. At that time we had a MH and a Wrangler toad. We stayed at Elwah Dam RV. Took the Wrangler over on the ferry and stayed for two nights. We told the owners what we were going to do and they let us park our MH on site with power but not in a RV spot for the two mights we were in Vancouver for FREE. They saved a RV spot for us for when we came back and we were all set.

You can and definitely should buy your tickets online way ahead of time with Blackball if you are taking a vehicle across. You could take the whole rig across if you wanted to but it would be spendy. They put double lumber trucks as well as 65' tractor trailers on the ferry.

Lots to see in Olympic Park white in Port Angeles. There is an Elks lodge in Port Angeles also that I believe takes RV's.

Oh yea, Passports are a must and weapons are a no no. The US border people will give you the stink eye coming back.
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:18 PM   #9
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Another neat place to see in Victoria is Dunsmuir castle. Butchart gardens is a must. I first saw them when I was 10 years old and if a 10 year old boy was impressed you know it is great. I have been 4 or 5 times and will go again.
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:12 PM   #10
Leftie Canuk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottz View Post
We will be in the Seattle area this summer and want to take the ferry to Vancouver Island (leaving the RV in Seattle). It looks like the ferry leaves Anacortes in the morning, arriving Sidney about 11am. The return trip would be the next day or following day, departing Sidney about noon. On the return trip, we plan to stop over at Friday Harbor for a few hours.

Here are the questions:

*Would one day be enough on the island or should we plan for two?

*What should we plan to do/see while on Vancouver Island?

*Any recommendations where to stay the night? Sidney? Any specific hotels?

*What should we do with the four or five hours we may have at Friday Harbor?

*Is this plan too ambitious?

Thanks
Hi,
We live in Sidney, where the WA state ferry lands from Anacortes. My recommendation is to plan on two days; when you get off the ferry, head to Buchart Gardens, about a 30 minute drive from Sidney. Dine in a variety of restaurants, from the White Spot chain (think Cracker Barrel without the attached store) to the high end Brentwood Bay Hotel and Spa [5 star]. The next day check out the shops and sights in downtown Victoria, and if you are at all interested in history and geography, a visit to the Royal B.C. Museum is a must. Many visitors cannot believe how interesting this museum is, and so well curated. There are also Craigdarroch and Dunsmuir Castles to visit. Lastly, stroll on Fishermans' Wharf and have fish and chips or freshly-caught Dungeness crab [which we prefer over lobster !]. If there is any time left, walk downtown Sidney, and then get in line for the Anacortes ferry, which is just outside the downtown Sidney core. Be aware that once you get into the ferry terminal, you cannot leave the compound [US. Customs' rules, not ours !]. A couple of suggestions regarding travel: get fuel in the U.S. before coming, leave all weapons in the U.S., and change some USD into Canadian currency if you want to get a decent exchange rate, or plan on using your U.S. credit card for your bank's exchange rate and fees. Of course you all will need a valid passport or enhanced drivers license.
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:41 PM   #11
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Allow an afternoon for the museum. I have never been so impressed by an educational experience.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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Hi Scottz
We live here also. What do you like to do ? The "Rock Cod" café in Cowichan Bay has many accolades for seafood ! Featured in "You have to eat here" on the "Food Network". Visit the "Kinsol Trestle" in Shawnigan Lake, maybe a 1/2 mile easy walk from the parking lot, each way. I am going to point out the less travelled, at the other end of the island, near Port Hardy, there is a short ferry ride out from Port Mcneil to Alert Bay, a Native Community with a fabulous Museum. In Coal Harbor, there is a Bush Pilot by the name of "Joey", he has lived there all his life, he operates a float plane service from there to all points, but he has a WW2 hanger filled with his private collection of artifacts & you name it stuff, he is more than willing to show you if he feels that you are interested, very interesting man ! This year is "Deuce Days" in Victoria, it is held every 3 years, 32 Fords, [all models] come from all over the planet to attend, the group from California usually is so large that they charter the "Coho" ferry from Port Angeles, people line up when the ferry docks & welcome our American brothers & sisters when they drive off ! Just "Google" Deuce Days. Just some thoughts !
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:30 PM   #13
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The round trip ferry ride for us, since we were 58 feet total length, was about $500 american, so you might want to stay there more than a few days to make it worth your while? Be careful, there are real fussy about arriving too early, or a minute late, so we parked in a parking lot near the ferry, and waited until the window of opportunity was correct. They can actually cancel your pass if you get there too early or a minute late, so be careful.
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:00 PM   #14
scottz
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Thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions. We will not be taking the Montana; just a pickup or car.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:53 PM   #15
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Trip to Vancouver Island.

Good replies from the group for Victoria Proper. We lived on the island for twenty five years. You definitely need to decided on time constraints as there in absolute must sees after leaving Victoria and travelling up island. One post really hit the major problem - the cost of taking your trailer to the island either via Washington State or BC Ferries is ridiculously high. That being said there is a couple of weeks between the West coast and up to Campbell River area. We face the same delima when travelling south - you just can not see it all.
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:19 AM   #16
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Good replies from the group for Victoria Proper. We lived on the island for twenty five years. You definitely need to decided on time constraints as there in absolute must sees after leaving Victoria and travelling up island. One post really hit the major problem - the cost of taking your trailer to the island either via Washington State or BC Ferries is ridiculously high. That being said there is a couple of weeks between the West coast and up to Campbell River area. We face the same delima when travelling south - you just can not see it all.
Yes, I can attest to the cost of the ferries. When we went last summer, we stayed a week because our son lives there. We also had some work done to the trailer while there. It was still cheaper than hotels and eating out every day. Our son is single, so no wife to cook for us.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:47 AM   #17
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Hi Everyone
Regarding the ferry cost, go to the Website & check which ferry runs are discounted. There is a substantial reduction in cost on those ships, they discount based on ridership. We always reserve ahead, you are guanteed boarding as long as you arrive 30 minutes before departure, the times aren't difficult either. We are 55 feet & pay less than $200.00 CAD on those runs. The Black Ball out of Port Angeles is equal to the regular fares in Canada with exchange, the Anacortes ferry which is a State ferry is cheaper on regular fares & the crossing is far more sheltered, but has only one crossing per day.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:55 AM   #18
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Thanks. We are just planning to take a car or pickup over; cost should not be a problem.
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