Lucky the traveler who gets to spend a whole week or more exploring this ruggedly beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest. If you don't arrive with a car, you can rent one in either Vancouver or Victoria. Most visitors travel to Victoria by car ferry. The assumption here is that your week begins and ends in Vancouver, the major travel hub.
1 & 2 Vancouver
Start your week in Vancouver (refer to http://www.frommers.com/destinations/vancouver for suggestions).
3. North Vancouver
Use your third day to get out of the city. At Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park, you can test your love-hate relationship with heights on the narrow, bouncy suspension footbridge that spans a scenic ravine, or step out onto the new Cliffhanger walkways for views of granite cliffs and the Capilano Canyon through glass. Afterward, drive to the nearby SkyRide gondola and be transported to the summit of Grouse Mountain, where you'll enjoy panoramic views of the entire region. Capilano and Grouse Mountain have casual dining and picnic areas, or you can enjoy fine Pacific Northwest cuisine and a panoramic waterfront view at the Beach House at Dundarave Pier, a restored 1912 teahouse located on the water's edge.
4. Vancouver to Whistler
Take Georgia Street from downtown Vancouver and head west through Stanley Park, across the scenic Lions Gate Bridge, and hook up with the Sea-to-Sky Highway, which winds along the edge of Howe Sound and climbs into the mountains. It should take you about 2 hours to reach Whistler Village. Once you get to Whistler, ski (it is one of North America's greatest ski resorts, after all) . . . or mountain bike, or hike, or Ziptrek, or shop, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment. A casual and delicious lunch or dinner at Ciao-Thyme Bistro (tel. 604/932-7051) will set you up for whatever activities are on your agenda.
5. Whistler to Vancouver
Spend the night in Whistler. Before leaving the area, drive to Nairn Falls Provincial Park, where the Green River shoots through basaltic rock formations and forms a series of thundering waterfalls. Once back in Vancouver, enjoy seafood at Coast (tel. 604/685-5010) or local farm-sourced fare at West (tel. 604/738-8938).
6. Vancouver to Victoria
Spend day six of your weeklong adventure in Victoria, preferably taking an early-morning ferry through the Gulf Islands.
7. Victoria to Vancouver
If time allows, make a trip from Victoria to Pacific Rim National Park, a temperate rainforest with old-growth trees and a wildly magnificent coastline on the west coast of Vancouver Island (a 4 1/2-hr. drive or 45-min. flight). Otherwise, this is the day you return to Vancouver by ferry. Back on the mainland, the Tsawassen ferry terminal is the closest to the Vancouver airport and hooks up with I-5 south to Seattle or north to Vancouver. Or you can travel back via Port Angeles, a gateway to Washington's Olympic National Park, or Anacortes.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.