Heading to Seattle is a little while for a long weekend. Would have liked a few more days but that’s the way it is. Considering a short side trip up to Canada and was planning Vancouver initially. But Victoria was recommended to me and it could be an option.
In terms of logistics, how much travel time and I looking at? There are ferries from Seattle and Port Angeles. Is the Victoria ferry station relatively convenient to the city? My goal is to leave the car and walk or use transit where I end up. Is it worth the trip to spend an entire day or would it be better to hang around in Seattle?
Victoria is a lovely place. It always seemed to me to have kind of an other-worldly feel, maybe because of its publicized “european” atmosphere. Recommend catching the MV Coho out of Port Angeles. An interesting vessel, getting a little long in the tooth now, and good sized at 340 ft. To a landlubber like me, the 1-1/2 hour crossing of the strait is worth the price of admission all by itself. As I recall, the ferry brings you right into the inner harbor, with the town readily accessable. The last few times I was there I rented a bicycle for the day - cheap & easy, and a nice way to get around.
Disclaimer: I’ve visited Victoria a number of times, but not for several years now. Any of the above may have changed.
We visited Vancouver and Victoria a couple of years ago. I was meh on Vancouver, but I loved Victoria and will definitely be going back. I loved the ferry ride, too - I get what people say about sea air now.
You can pick up the Amtrak in downtown Seattle at about 7:00 AM and it will have you in Vancouver by noon. There is access to Vancouver’s light rail (Skytrain?) about a block from the train station in Vancouver and you can use that, water taxis, walking and an occasional bus to get all over the city without having to resort to the expensive taxis.
On a nice day, walk through Gas Town and take a water taxi to the public market on Granville Island
It depends. Yes, the ferry ride to Victoria is pleasant and it leaves you right at inner harbour and the Empress Hotel (a once luxury hotel, now a bit long in the tooth, but they have a very nice high tea–I think there may be a dress code), near the provincial legislature, and near the provincial museum. The Burchard Gardens are lovely and worth a visit.
Vancouver is a major city with all the things cities have to offer. Excellent public transit (the sky train and the sea bus are almost worth the trip if you are into public transit). Take the trolleybus out to UBC and the anthropology museum. Or the wonderful botanical gardens there. Still it is a city and if you are indifferent to city life, you might like Victoria better. I don’t.
I loved both. I could spend a day at the Butchart Gardens itself, though, so I have to second Hari’s suggestion about that. Stanley Park in Vancouver is a reasonable compromise, though!
Isn’t that the movie where one city dresses up like another city and it all winds up in romantic zaniness?
"So soon I’ll be off to Alberta!
I mean Vancouver!
Shit! Her name is Alberta, she lives in Vancou-
She’s my girlfriend!
My wonderful girlfriend!
Yes I have a girlfriend, who lives in Canada!!"
I’ve never really needed a car in Victoria - a very walkable town. The fastest travel from Seattle is via the passenger only Victoria Clippers, you can do a roundtrip in a day or find some pretty reasonable hotel packages. The museum is great and so is parliament if it is in session.