Vancouver and Victoria - So Close Yet So Different

19 November 2010

Flight Centre's Jesse Crichton travels to Canada to explore Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Jesse stays in Vancouver and then takes a tour of Vancouver Island where she visits the towns of Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River.

Vancouver Vancouver

Last year, in November, I travelled to Vancouver and Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Vancouver Airport is great. The staff are generally friendly and it is so easy to find your way around. You can enter and exit the airport quickly and easily. I always seem to fly into Vancouver in the late afternoon or at night. In the winter it will get dark by 4pm so you are going to want to stay somewhere close to the airport.

The Best Western is a good choice of hotel, but I prefer the Sandman Inn as it has a great restaurant called Moxies. The food is always huge and really tasty. The bar is a great place to meet locals and is a good base for your first night in Canada. Although, last time I was there they didn't have free wi-fi. From there you are going to want to head to Granville Island to see the markets and if you are lucky enough to go around December you will enjoy the Christmas spirit of Vancouver. Granville Island has plenty of fresh food, chocolates, cheeses, sushi and baked breads. Down on the docks there is a nice pub which is a great place to go for a drink. There are a few different shops with nick-nacks but most things are very pricey so it is best to stick to the markets if you want value for money.

My favourite town on Vancouver Island is Victoria it is similar in size to the Gold Coast but has a small town feel to it. Victoria is one of the prettiest cities I have ever been to. It has beautiful old ‘English-style' buildings throughout the city. If you get the chance, you should visit any of the pubs in town. Many pubs have huge timber beams. There is live music and entertainment and the great Canadian beer flows all night long. It will be a night to remember! Victoria has a museum which I found very interesting. They even had information about Captain James Cook and all his nautical adventures, including his discovery of Australia.

If you are heading over to Vancouver Island from Vancouver, your ferry will dock in Nanaimo. It is a couple of hours north of Victoria and it is well worth staying the night if you get in late. There is everything you need in Nanaimo including the most northern Costco store! Further north on Vancouver Island are the towns of Comox and Courtenay. They are both lovely little towns with Comox having heaps of great little pubs and restaurants and a great marina.

Drive even further north and you will find Campbell River. This is where my family is from and is a town of around 30,000. It is a lovely small town which has a laid back feel. There are a lot of retired people living there. From Campbell River you can catch ferries out to the more rural islands around Vancouver Island but that is as far north as I have gone.

Looking for more information about travelling to Vancouver or Vancouver Island to explore the beauty of British Columbia, Canada? Contact [email]text=Jesse Crichton[/email], an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre in Cairns, Queensland who can be contacted on 1300 281 789 or by [email]text=email[/email].

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