Scholefield House

731 Vancouver Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 3V4, Canada
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Forum Posts

Day / overnight trips from Victoria BC

by puffcanada

My wife and I will be in Victoria in October for a conference. We have about 1 day of free time, and we were hoping to rent a car and see a bit more of Vancouver Island (giant trees and/or nice beaches, if possible). Is it possible to make a nice day trip (leaving in the morning and returning at night) either to Tofino, or Nanaimo, or Parksville, or some other nice location? Or would it be best to stay overnight somewhere? I am really not familiar with distances on the island, so any suggestions as to places to visit (and places to stay for one night), and as to driving times, would be much appreciated. Thank you!!

Re: Day / overnight trips from Victoria BC

by bondsgal

You can do a day trip to Nanaimo or Parksville. I also recommend stopping at Chemanius. But if you want to go to Tofino, my recommendation would be to make it an overnight trip.

Re: Day / overnight trips from Victoria BC

by Carmanah

Tofino is beautiful but way too far for a day trip, or even an overnight. You'd be cheating yourselves there as you'd need at least 3 full days to properly experience the area. It takes 5 hours to get there from Victoria.

May I recommend driving to China Beach and Sombrio Beach just west of Sooke (about a 1-2 hour drive west of Victoria)? Beautiful old growth temperate rainforests on the ocean - quite a change from what's immediately around Victoria, and it takes a lot less time than visiting Tofino.

The east coast of Vancouver Island has its own charms, which is infrastructure close to shallow/tame beaches. The beaches are great if you want to sunbathe, but they lack the waves, marine life, and temperate rainforests - the "enchanting/spiritual" factor of the west coast.

Re: Day / overnight trips from Victoria BC

by Carmanah

BTW - China Beach and Sombrio Beach are located in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Take a look at my VT home page to see a photo I took from within the rainforest next to Sombrio.

Re: Day / overnight trips from Victoria BC

by ltt

the sooke area is suppose to be beautiful - i haven't been there.
another option is you could take a ferry to one of the gulf islands for a day.

Re: Day / overnight trips from Victoria BC

by bubba4783

You can do a nice day trip up the old island highway to Parksville and then head inland to Cathedral Grove (it's a beautiful old growth forest with some huge trees). You can also include a visit to Little Qualicum Falls.

Travel Tips for Victoria

See the provincial museum's...

by noahsdad

See the provincial museum's ethnographic exhibits. Informative and moving. Driving to Nanaimo--spectacular! Taking the ferry from Tsawassen to Washington state--the islands, forests, mountains, and waters of the Sound are all on breathtaking display!

Nude & Improved!

by Jetgirly

Victoria's only clothing-optional beach is called Prior Lake, and it is located just on the outskirts of the city. No matter what other websites tell you, NO other beach in the area is entirely clothing optional (ESPECIALLY NOT any Cordova Bay or Island View Beaches!)

There is a dock that jets out into the lake at Prior Lake. Apparently this dock was built by (and paid for by) the nudists and they DO NOT appreciate people wearing swimsuits while using it. You will get many evil glares and possibly some rude comments.

The lake itself is small and warm. There is less "jungle" (read: plant life) than in other lakes, but the beach area is VERY small. In otherwords, prepare to undress! If you get to the lake and feel uncomfortable about stripping down, head to nearby Thetis Lake where you can (and must) wear your bathing suit!

From the Clothing Optional BC Website I provide you with the following directions:

From Victoria, head west on Hwy 1 for about 9 or 10 km. Take exit 8 (Helmcken Road) and keep right (to go north). On Helmcken Road, pass Victoria General Hospital (on your left) and make a left (west) onto Watkiss Way. At the next intersection, stay on this road -- do not turn onto West Burnside Road. Eventually, after about 2.5km (?), this road joins Highland Road. (It's no longer possible to get onto Highland Road directly from the highway.) Continue driving past the new subdivision on your right and into the park until you see the "No Parking On Pavement" signs near the silver-gated fire road and a (hard to see) sign marking Trillium Trail. Continue another 50m until you see a trail on your left starting from another silver gate (the portable toilet that used to be here is now further down the trail). From here, a short walk takes you to the lake where you will find a floating dock for suntanning

Thunderbird Park

by annk

Thunderbird Park is located on the grounds of the Royal British Columbia Museum which is right next to The Empress Hotel on one side and the Parliament Buildings on the other. Nice collection of totem poles.

The totem poles were originally erected on a vacant lot in 1940 in an effort to preserve & display the Northwest's deteriorating art. After years of renovations to the poles, the lot became known as Thunderbird Park.

Douglas & Belleville Streets

A new pod of orcas

by suziezed

I didn't know where else to put this tip so I decided to put it here. The Lion's Society of British Columbia has come up with rather a neat fundraising campaign for the year.

They created several life-sized killer whale calves from fiberglass and then distributed them to local artists to decorate as they see fit. The orcas are placed throughout downtown Victoria (and are apparently in Vancouver too). At the end of the year they'll be auctioned with the proceeds going to charity.

I find the orcas quite a lovely example of public art and they are just so touchable. Everyone goes up and pats them or hugs them. I'm sure folks will love to have their pictures taken with them. Supposedly a map of their location is supposed to be coming and will be distributed to tourists.

Contrary to popular belief,...

by Carmanah

Contrary to popular belief, Victoria is located on Vancouver Island, (not Victoria Island). Victoria Island is an island located in the Canadian arctic. Brrrrr!
Photo: The Empress Hotel on the Inner Harbour. Photo taken during a cloudy July afternoon in 2002, by me!


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