Vancouver Island Journals

Vancouver Island: A Beautiful Summer Getaway

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An August 2002 trip to Vancouver Island by JenLara

East Sooke Park Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: I spent a long Labor Day weekend with my parents and sister on Vancouver Island, exploring the incredible old-growth forests, rocky beaches, charming towns and excellent restaurants of Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island: A Beautiful Summer Getaway

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Overview

East Sooke Park Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
We really only had a few days on the island, which turned out to be much larger and with more to do than we planned for! We stayed pretty close to the capital city of Victoria, which was really a lovely place, and did short day-trips to the surrounding areas of Sooke and Saltspring Island. Both of these are definitely recommended highlights. Spend a day wandering through colorful Victoria, enjoying the sunny harbor with its street performers and craftspeople selling jewelry and paintings. Hike through the amazingly dense and green state parks of East Sooke and Roche Cove, both of which have an abundance of short and much longer trails to choose from. And ma...Read More

Abigail's Hotel

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Hotel

Abigail's Hotel Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
Abigail's is a special place, located away from most of the major hotel chains in Victoria which ring the harbor in the center of town. It's about a 10-minute walk from the harbor, and is kind of nestled in a residential area, which gives you as a guest the feeling of being a local. The accommodations themselves are very nice: spacious and comfortable rooms with tasteful provincial-style decor, not too flowery or lacy like some charming hotels can sometimes be. One of my favorite things about the room (aside from the fabulous fresh-baked cookies that awaited us on arrival) was the deliciously-scented soap, shampoo, lotion and candle in the bathroom. Citrus and woodsy smelling, evocative of th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

Abigail's Hotel
1 Beach St, Huskisson NSW 2540
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
1-800-561-6565

Victoria

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Attraction

Victoria Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
Victoria, the capital city of Vancouver Island, is a bustling city that revolves around a bright, sunny harbor filled with sailboats, small yachts, ferries and a floating underwater museum. The harbor is surrounded by some of the most characteristic buildings of Victoria: the imposing and regal Empress Hotel, and the massive Parliament building which lights up like a Christmas tree every night after sundown. The city is full of excellent restuarants and what seemed to be a lively nightlife scene with lots of bars and live music. We spent a full day wandering around the city and checking out the sights. A highlight was a crafts fair on a sidestreet off the main avenue, which had hundreds of l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 17, 2002

Victoria
Southern Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Saltspring Island

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Attraction

Saltspring Island Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
Saltspring Island was definitely a highlight of the trip to Vancouver Island. It's a gorgeous 30-minute ferry ride from Swartz Bay, and the ferry allows cars which is a good thing, as a car is definitely useful on Saltspring Island. Although we did see a few people hop off the ferry and immediately stick their thumb right out to catch a ride, presumably to Ganges, the main town. For info on the ferries including schedules and maps, check out the BC Ferries Official Web Site On the ferry ride over you're surrounded on all sides by lush green islands, and the sparkling clear water is filled with seals popping their heads up to say hello. Upon ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 17, 2002

Saltspring Island
Due east of Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Ganges

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Attraction

Ganges Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
Ganges is a very quaint little town filled with dozens of art galleries, cute cafes, a lively harbor and let's not forget - a great ice cream shop! We spent a few hours there, first eating at the excellent indoor/outdoor Currant Cafe which sits right on the harbor, then wandering around to check out some art and the other shops. It was in Ganges we learned that Saltspring Island has its own currency, hard as it may seem to believe! It's designed by a local artist and features beautiful paintings of local scenery and famous folk. It's actually recognized and used as money only on Saltspring Island, which is characteristic of this little place that seems so apart from the rest of the world. We...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 17, 2002

Ganges
On Saltspring Island
Vancouver Island, British Columbia

East Sooke Park

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Attraction

East Sooke Park Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
East Sooke Park has some incredible scenery, and features hikes ranging from the short and simple to what seemed like they'd be much longer and advanced routes. We chose a 60-minute round-trip hike, Iron Mine Bay, which was quite easy and very rewarding. It opened up to a rocky, deserted beach with a huge outcropping which we scrambled up to the top of, for some stunning ocean views. From the top of this small mountain of boulders and trees, we could see for miles in almost every direction. Seals popped their heads up and bobbed around every now and then, and huge sea birds soared overhead. In the distance we could see a few unnamed empty islands with the sinking sun illuminating their form. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

East Sooke Park
Sooke
Vancouver Island, British Columbia