September is wonderful around here - the weather often seems designed to frustrate the kids who have to return to school.
In the greater Vancouver area alone there are hundreds of opportunities for hiking - from the North Shore mountains through the Fraser Valley and all the various waterfront areas.
The ferries to the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island aren't inexpensive, but if you aren't commuting frequently they are well worth it.
You shouldn't hesitate to contact us locals ahead of time - for a meet up and some showing around.
And if you like trees and forests ...:whistling:
About a week back by phone I was told of "heaps and heaps" of snow at Whistler and Banff, and "kids are riding mountain bikes down the steep slopes of snow...brave or stupid...". If you like snow, Alberta still has lots of it despite the devasting floods elsewhere e.g. Calgary.
If Whistler already has snow, then I ought to be set! I think there will need to be a daytrip to that Garibaldi/Brandywine area.
Tofino is also looking very good but given the 3 hour drive from Nanaimo I guess we'll need a night or two there.
Don't worry about spending time at Tofino,if you're not careful you could easily spend all your time there!!
Some fine dining to be had there also.
Tofino would defnately require an overnight stay. It is pricey, and crowded even off-season, a victim of it's success and popularity. Whistler is the same. (My opinion, I prefer to be more solitary.)
I always prefer when I travel to avoid the spots that ALL the tourists go to and find smaller, but still fascinating locales, so I'm going to suggest other options.
An alternate plan could be to go partway across the Island. There is a wildlife rescue centre in Errington - see eagles, bears, racoons, deer... whatever has needed care. Englishman River Park has a large, noisy waterfall that disappears into a crack, and good trails. Goats on the Roof Market in Coombs is a popular spot. The smoked salmon there is my favorite. Lots of other delicacies. A number of other funky shops, a parrot refuge, and a butterfly garden are nearby. Little Qualicum Falls Park has a number of beautiful cascades, and more trails. I think I like it even better than Englishman River. A bit further along is Cameron Lake, more of a picnic spot, but the highway driving along the shore is quite scenic. At the end of the lake is Cathedral Grove, the only spot on the mid-island with old growth trees. Trails and photo opportunities. If you keep going, over a mountain pass, you'll come to Port Alberni, which has McLean Mill, a forestry museum well worth seeing, that you get to by riding a steam train. Port Alberni is about an hour and a half from Nanaimo, if you drive fast and don't stop, but even a few of my suggested stops would make it into a day trip.
If you want to get to the west side of the Island you could stay overnight in or near Port Alberni (Sproat Lake, say), and take the Lady Rose in the morning. It is a freighter/passenger boat that travels down the Alberni inlet to Bamfield. I've taken it a few times, and have seen bears on the shore turning over rocks looking for crabs every time. Bamfield is a tiny fishing village, perched on an inlet. You can stay a few hours and take the boat back the same day, or stay overnight and return the next day. Bamfield doesn't have the sandy beaches and surfing that Tofino does, but because the road to it is pretty bad, it is not crowded or so overpriced.
Sorry to go on for so long, I love my home and am glad to share my experience and opinions. Hope I get to see you in September.
It's not that Whistler already has snow, it STILL has snow. It will be melting. Whether there will be any left in September will depend on the weather over the summer. I don't think the ski season there starts until late November or December, but I'm not a ski-er.
Thankyou very much sly; I will have to go mark all this out on a map and start arguing with Management about itineraries. Definitely if something is cheaper and less-trafficked then that is appealing.
If you are heading over to Victoria consider a short ferry ride to Port Angeles (U.S.) and drive up Hurricane Ridge. Best in clear weather for spectacular views.
If you have the $, you can ski year round at Whistler. Helicopters are involved.
Originally Posted by polyglot
Except for the $20,000, that sounds great. What's wrong with cushy, luxury and indulgence?
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour