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Old 05-02-2015, 02:01 PM   #1
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Vancouver Island questions

I'll be on Vancouver Island for a bit over a week late May, early June. Taking the Anacortes to Sydney ferry and hope to spend the first two nights at Island View Beach regional Park. They don't take reservations. The ferry arrives around 11:30 AM. What are the chances of my getting a site, or should I book somewhere else? I figure I won't see any other Escapes there due to poor timing on my part.....

From there I'm heading north, and also going west. When I leave the Island midweek I'm going to Chilliwack for some more retrofitting. Which ferry, and what time, should I take for the least noxious traffic? (I'm thinking Naniamo rather than Victoria?). And what is a good campground for getting to the ferry, whichever one that is?
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:11 PM   #2
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http://www.livingforest.com/
Is RV park that's very popular. We stayed once and it was good. Close to Departure Bay ferry terminal.
You can figure two hours total ferry time ( trip is shorter, but by the time you get off, it's at least another 20 minutes ). You do not want to be on the Upper Levels Highway after about 2:30 pm and don't want to be in rush hour on #1 heading east to Chilliwack. Rush hour starts by 3pm.
So, I'd go for a ferry around 9 am. Google BC Ferry and you can see routes and departure times and make reservation ( good idea depending on day of the week ).
Wave at us when you cross the Capilano River.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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Sally we did the trip in reverse from Chilliwack to the Island, it took us 1hr 15 minutes from Escape to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. The traffic at rush hour (7:00am - 8:00am) was minimal. From there it is a 2 hr ferry trip to Duke Point Nanaimo.

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Old 05-02-2015, 03:02 PM   #4
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Good idea. Duke Point never occurs to me since we live 12 minutes from Horseshoe Bay.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:14 PM   #5
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We've been to that one as well , very handy location nice spots . We tend to chose the longer ferry crossings , love the water .
Oops didn't say which one - meant the same one Gbaglo was referring to . Not sure that the traffic is less noxious in Nanaimo than Victoria . We always try to pass through Van very early , unless we really must stop off to see an uncle ....
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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Hi Sally, Island View Beach is an 8 minute drive from our place. You should not have a problem getting a site. Not sure which day you arrive but chances are you will get a better spot if you show up mid week. It is a spectacular beach with a beautiful View of the Gulf and San Juan Islands. The drive from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Island View is about 15 minutes max. Easy to get to. Once you get off the ferry, stay on the highway for about 8 miles and hang a left onto Island View Road and follow it down to the beach. It is will marked. There is a farmer's market right on the corner of the intersection , Michell's Farms and , the strawberries will be ready by the time you roll in. Lots of local veggies as well.!!!!! If you like to read, there are lots of great little book stores in the waterfront town of Sidney. Worth poking around.

When you do go back to Tsawasseen from up island, the fastest way to get to Chilliwack is via the new perimeter highway that opened up a while ago. Much quicker the taking Highway 10 through Surrey and Langley.

Any questions, shoot me an email.

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Old 05-02-2015, 08:46 PM   #7
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When you do go back to Tsawasseen from up island, the fastest way to get to Chilliwack is via the new perimeter highway that opened up a while ago. Much quicker the taking Highway 10 through Surrey and Langley.
You had me puzzled - I didn't know which road was the "new perimeter highway", but apparently it is South Fraser Perimeter Road (Highway 17). I'm not a Greater Vancouver local, but I've visited there quite a bit, and I couldn't picture a new road traversing Surrey and Langely; instead, it is a faster route to the Trans-Canada (Highway 1), so you use it across the top of Surrey and the Trans-Canada past Langley. Now that I see it, I realize that I got on 17 accidentally once when headed to Port Coquitlam - not a good detour!

I assume that this is still a near parking lot at afternoon rush hour, although not as bad as when there was more Trans-Canada and bridge construction.

Tsawwassen to Chilliwack in Google Maps
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thanks so much. Just the information I needed. Really looking forward to seeing this beautiful island. What I get from the driving discussion is its better to go from Nanaimo to Tsawassen rather than go to Horseshoe Bay? And book a 9 AM or thereabouts trip and hope to avoid what I seem to always hit when going through Seattle - traffic with a capital T. It's not so much the time, there's plenty of that, but the start and stop and trying to guess what lane one needs to be in since no one will let you over that drives me crazy.

Then there's the fact that Loonies are supposed to be more polite than those ugly Americans just south, eh?
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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Hi Sally, yes I would take the ferry from Nanaimo (Duke Point) right to Tsawasseen and bypass the Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay route. This way you will avoid traffic in downtown Nanaimo as well as West Vancouver, North Vancouver etc. The trip is about 1/2 hour longer then the Horseshoe Bay run but you will avoid a ton of traffic and lots of aggravation once you get to the Lower Mainland. The perimeter highway out to Highway #1 is really quick and less congested and it brings you onto the #1 around 200th Street in Langley, thus you will avoid much of the traffic on Highway 1. You will still get a bit of it but most of it gets off at either Surrey or Langley, so it will be clearer sailing! With all of the improvements they have made to Highway 1, it is not as much as a parking lot as it used to be, but traffic can still be heavy at anytime of the day. Taking the 9 am ferry is a good time to go as it is in between both rush hours and traffic will be lighter.

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Old 05-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #10
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Also, toll for vehicle and trailer on Port Mann Bridge is $9, so you save that.
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:48 PM   #11
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Pet Friendly Motel on Vancouver Island

ETI will be doing some work on The Skylark after the rally. Current plan is they will have the Skylark for a couple of days. Lindy and I thought we would take this opportunity to drive over to Vancouver Island and see some of the things we have missed on previous trips. Lindy wants to see Butchart Gardens (again) and have tea in the big hotel in Victoria.

Since we won't have our trailer, we need to find a motel for one or two nights. But the hotel has to be pet friendly since Murphy-The-Dog will be with us. I was wondering if those of you who are familiar with the area would have any recommendations for us.

Thanks much.

Leon
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:06 PM   #12
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When we go to Victoria we camp at West Bay Marina and have also had an overnight in one the cabins . They have several cabins and a few floats homes for rent ( as well as a list of private float home rentals ) ,and since there are pets in the RV park/ Marina - would guess them to be pet friendly . It is a nice area - can walk all the way around the bay to The Empress or take a harbour ferry across . The West Bay Marina and RVPark are across the harbour from the Empress. We love that walk , there are restaurant/coffee shops enroute as well .
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:16 PM   #13
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ETI will be doing some work on The Skylark after the rally. Current plan is they will have the Skylark for a couple of days. Lindy and I thought we would take this opportunity to drive over to Vancouver Island and see some of the things we have missed on previous trips. Lindy wants to see Butchart Gardens (again) and have tea in the big hotel in Victoria.

Since we won't have our trailer, we need to find a motel for one or two nights. But the hotel has to be pet friendly since Murphy-The-Dog will be with us. I was wondering if those of you who are familiar with the area would have any recommendations for us.

Thanks much.

Leon
Hi Leon,
I stayed at the Admiral Inn with my two dogs and had a wonderful time. The pet friendly rooms are located on the ground floor and in the mornings you can have a nice walk along Victoria's inner harbour. It is also about two blocks to the Empress Hotel and the high tea was very special there. You will likely need reservations for the high tea there so google their website. Here is a link to the Admiral Inn site:
Admiral Inn & Suites Budget Downtown Hotel Accommodations Victoria, BC

Cheers,
Jim
ps The horse drawn carriage tour was sure nice and they are by the parliament buildings next to the Empress Hotel.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:05 PM   #14
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Will never forget the Sooke Harbour House Inn. They do take pets; $40 each. While this place is a foody haven you dont have to dine there however they do serve an incredible breakfast in your room.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:21 PM   #15
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Check out the Cedarwood Hotel in Sidney by the Sea. Right across the street from the beach.

Cozy pet-friendly hotel near Victoria | the Cedarwood

Scott
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:45 PM   #16
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Oswego Hotel near the Victoria harbour takes pets. When we stayed there they brought up a dog bed big enough for all three of us and bag of dog treats.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:08 AM   #17
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Thanks much for the hotel suggestions. We will be making some reservations tomorrow. Looks like Murphy-the-Dog is going to sleep well!
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:51 AM   #18
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It's a bit of a drive.... Bramberton Provincial Park. Very lush.
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