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Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
83 posts
6 reviews
Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

Hi

We are flying to Vancouver via Toronto for a conference in Whistler, BC. We have 2 days before arriving in Whistler on January 13th. That time of the year, if we have an extra day or 2 prior to the conference, should we attempt to go to Victoria Island? Are the Christmas lights down at the Gardens by that time? I believe you take a ferry from Vancouver, then do a tour of the gardens. Is that a day trip or more from Vancouver? What else would you suggest we do/see if we have those days prior in Victoria or Vancouver? We are coming from NY..so it is an area we are visiting for the first time, unfortunately not in the best months to see the best of the arena. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

16 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
724 posts
28 reviews
11. Re: Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

> 5:30 am to go to the ferry? So, get up just after say, 4am

To each their own, I suppose - But it certainly doesn't take me 90 minutes to get up and get on the road, particularly when I'm getting my coffee and the terminal and my breakfast onboard the ship.

Yes, you're driving to/from Tsawwassen in the dark, but not much to see on that route anyway, other than greenhouses, fields empty for the winter and a giant mall.

Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
83 posts
6 reviews
12. Re: Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

Thank you for all of your input. We knew that seeing Victoria and the gardens was a long shot in January..given the timing we have and the season..for what you will see in January.

We are high energy adults..but not knowing the area, and not from the Country..it might be too much for our time..and we will have to return in the summer...when we have more time..and are retired to see everything.the area has to offer. The whole area is a bucket list item!

Having said that..and the fact that I have not purchased our flights (either out of toronto, or through seattle from upstate NY to get to Vancouver then Whistler)..we will plan to have a few days before our conference in Whistler to see some of the area either from seattle to Vancouver or direct into Vancouver from Toronto.... our interests...history, wine, food, sports, nature, museums and anything that is a must see when we travel. We will return to the area to "do it justice" in the future...but would appreciate suggestions for that dreary time of the year...if only a few days before we land in whistler for a week long conference (with skiing, and other winter Whistler activities in the area). I will be buying our flights in the next few days...and will consider all of your suggestions on timing, location when doing so. I really appreciate all of your input...I rely heavily on TA input for every trip we take..and we always have a wonderful experience!!

Edited: 17 October 2018, 03:22
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,669 posts
62 reviews
13. Re: Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

Vancouver is the larger city with more to offer, IMO. The proximity to Whistler makes it the natural fit with this particular trip, and there's lots here. In nice weather (and that does happen!) you can get outside and explore. You'll find that the minute the sun comes out, *everyone* is outside, walking, cycling, skateboarding. We soak up our vitamin D where we can. If its rainy and dreary, we're still out and about, but just between indoor activities - theatre, bars, public lectures, museums, restaurants, etc.

Wineries are probably not going to be a realistic option in either spot at that time of the year. Most of the tasting rooms are closed through the depths of winter. However, an afternoon/evening at Salt Tasting Room in Gastown is a great way to sample our range of wines.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
13,888 posts
152 reviews
14. Re: Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

The Museum of anthropology at UBC is a must do on my list. One hour will give you a chance to see the magnificent First Nations artifacts and art (the Bill Reid sculpture alone is worth the admittance charge) and explore a bit of the wonderful architecture of the building. 2 hours will let you explore a bit further. If the day is sunny then walk the five minutes to the Nitobe Memorial Japanese Garden..well worth a visit in any season and one of the best examples of it's kind outside of Japan.

https://moa.ubc.ca

https:/…

Granville Island is good in any weather. Venture further than the main market building to the Net Loft and the artists studios along Railspur.

The Bill Reid Gallery downtown will give you a perspective on modern First nations art and artists.

https://www.billreidgallery.ca

If the weather is cooperating look at renting bikes for a ride along the seawall and around Stanley Park. A good 2 hour brisk walk will also get you around the park from the Bayshore Hotel to the Sylvia...pop into the Sylvia for a warm you up drink at the bar.

Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
83 posts
6 reviews
15. Re: Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

Thank you. Is a car needed for the area? What would be the most convenient area to stay in?

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
13,888 posts
152 reviews
16. Re: Vancouver to Victoria mid January?

No car. Take the Canada Line into town from the airport (rapid transit) or a cab as cabs are zoned fare from the airport.

Downtown is where you want to be. UBC is a 20 minute cab ride but otherwise everything you'll want to see/do is within the downtown area.

Downtown is a compact peninsula. You can walk from the east edge of town ( Rogers Arena) to the west edge (Stanley Park) in about 40 minutes. North edge ( Canada Place ) to south edge ( False Creek) in about 20 minutes.

The Opus is a great hotel right on the Canada Line. Small, nice bar. Lots of good restaurants nearby.

Blue Horizon. Independent. Good size rooms, balconies, views from higher floors.

Sutton Place. Very central. Excellent hotel.

Wedgewood. Independent . Near the Sutton, smaller, traditional. Walkable from Canada Line. Bacchus Lounge is very good for drinks, snacks. Robson Street around the corner has some good restaurants

Waterfront Fairmont. Traditional. Closer to business district but still easy to access lots of restaurants. Walking distance from Canada Line.

Metropolitan. good solid business hotel. Rooms a bit on the smaller side but very good central location.

There are of course a lot more hotels in all price ranges. I have stayed at all of the above, some more than once, and have no hesitation in recommending them (and staying at them again)

Try sorting with Trivago and come back with some that meet your criteria and price range.

Not sure how you're getting to Whistler??? You can use Epic Rides or Pacific Coach Bus. If you rent a car to drive to Whistler get it on the day you plan to travel and be sure it has M+S rated tires, required by law. Whistler is car free so one way rental with Avis is possibility otherwise car just parked while you're at conference.

Also...assume you're coming from conference direct to airport???? If so please allow at least 3-4 hours extra. There is one road between Whistler and Vancouver. If there is any sort of accident then the road can be closed or experience long delays. This happens more frequently in the winter than one would like and we've had many an irate traveller come back and complain about missing their flight. We do try and give people a heads up on this.

You might even consider putting your extra travel days at the end of your conference if possible....

Edited: 17 October 2018, 05:58
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