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We are planning a trip and found a seemingly nice place through the VRBO web site on Half Moon Bay (this is my part of the trip). We are from Florida and the closest we have been to here is Banff National Park area so need recommendations.

Our trip itinerary is the following:

Fly in to Vancouver then:

Drive to a destination within the same days drive to stay for a week of fly fishing, kayaking, even hiking, and general family outdoor fun (have 17 year old and my wife). We found a house on the water on Half Moon Bay (good or no good?). They have 3 kayaks and a canoe so that’s perfect, but have no clue if its a good area for fly fishing and in general scenic family kayaking or even hiking in the area. The main part of this stop is for me to fly fish and family kayaking so please make suggestions as my wife is ready to book this one.

Next:

Leave there and go to Whistler for hiking (maybe some fishing?) for a few days. Any lodge/condo rental recommendations we are still looking here.

Next:

Leave there and drive to Vancouver to stay at a nice Hotel in walking distance to the shops and restaurants so we don’t have to drive once we park. This one we are still looking too although this we don’t have to book near as quickly as a house/cabin.

Notes:

Our trip will be in June of next year but we always book far in advance as good accommodations book early. It’s really helpful to get local help as it’s hard to narrow your search via the internet without general knowledge of the area.

This will be our third trip to a different region of Canada in the past 4 years; we have enjoyed each trip very much and look forward to visiting your region.

Thanks in advance and if anyone is coming to Florida let me know and I will help as much as I can....

Walt - aka: Shallowfly
 

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Hey Walt,

Halfmoon Bay and the Sunshine Coast (SC) are nice areas. One thing I would tell you is June "can" be a questionable month for weather.....ie. RAIN!! I have boated up and down along the SC many, many times over the past few years and it is nice. One thing to bear in mind is to get to Halfmoon Bay you do have to take a ferry, but all in all....the ferries aren't too bad and this one is a fairly short run from Horsehoe Bay (Vancouver area) to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast.

Here is some general info on the area.

http://www.vancouverisland.com/regions/towns/?townID=5

You should be able to keep yourself busy with the exploring up and around that area.
There is plenty to do up there but unfortunately I can't give you much info on flyfishing. I do 99% of my fishing out in the saltwater so can't comment too much on the lakes, rivers etc around there. You may be a bit early to try any fishing out on the salt, but there may be some early/resident springs kicking around. I am not sure of the names of any guiding outfits but I do know there are a couple up that way.

As for Whistler....great area to explore in the summer months if you're not a skier. There is good fly fishing up and down the Sea to Sky Highway that is between Vancouver and Whistler. The good thing is when you take your ferry back from the SC you are in Horsehoe Bay and you are right on the Sea to Sky Highway in about 2 minutes. Keep an eye out on here for 'dereke' as he can probably give you some decent fishing ideas up that way. Assuming you will have a vehicle then going a half hour either way from Whistler you have a fair number of options at for fishing. I spend a TON of time up there in the winter skiing but just not as much in the summer months. As far as accomodations......there is everything you can imagine from simple hotels, to homes, condos, town homes, middle of the road hotels and luxury hotels. I think it may be all based on your budget and what you are used to. If you let me know I can certainly recommend some nice options. One thing I would do if I were you is wait until next spring to book anything up there.....they are not crazy busy up there since the Olympics and you can get some pretty good deals going into the spring. If you go to www.whistlerblackcomb.com you can get on their mailing list that sends out all sorts of info....including "accomodation packages". There is a fair bit to do up there....with hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, FISHING, dining (some great restaurants), 4-wheeler tours etc. You'll see lots of info on their website.

As for Vancouver....TONS of great dining....and if you need to...."shopping" ;) :p too. If you want to be "close" to the action and in downtown where you may only need a quick cab ride to get you around, I would stay at the Westin Bayshore in Coal Harbour. It is right in downtown Vancouver...right on the water. It is a quick walk up to Robson Street which is one of the more popular "tourist" shopping areas. There are lots of great restaurants scattered all around the downtown area. You are a short cab ride over to Yaletown which is a trendy sort of warehouse area with some more unique shopping/stores and great restaurants as well. Granville Island is a short cab ride and then water taxi ride to an area most tourists tend to gravitate to. Also at the Westin Bayshore you are right on teh seawall and right at the entrance to Stanley Park. You can rent bikes close by....cruise around the sea wall and explore the park...you are also a quick drive across the Lions Gate Bridge if you wanted to go explore Grouse Mountain or any of the areas on the North Shore.

Way, way, way too many things to try and sum up in a post and it's also tough without knowing budgets, timelines (how long you're going to be in each place), what you are looking for as far as a hotel goes etc. In downtown....other than the Westin there are great hotels....and some that are right in the core where you walk out and you are just in and amongst a bunch of high rises. The ones like the Westin are a few blocks removed from there and sit right on the water. There is also the Pan Pacific etc. Hopefully this map will work...you can click on the hotels in the map and get an idea of them.
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=map+of+vancouver&rls=com.microsoft:en-ca:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ADBF_en&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Vancouver,+BC&gl=ca&ei=AVaiTMjpN8eRnweU_YGqAw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCEQ8gEwAA

Feel free to fire away any questions.....there is lots of smart folks on here. :p

My only hesitation for you.....would be the month you are coming here in. It can be good some years but this year was one where it was WET in June and LOTS of rain came down. By the end though....we got into our usual summer weather and July/August were awesome. May is even usually a better shot at weather than June....but for me....I would, if you could...push it to July or the very end of June.

Cheers
 

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Hey Walt,

On a side note I just noted that this in the saltwater section....saltwater flyfishing isn't "overly" popular here. The species are somewhat limited that you can target....most people hit the salmon with fly, gear, etc when they return to spawn in the rivers or around the mouths of rivers. June is going to be pretty early to have too many salmon returning. There are searun cutthroat around which can be targetted on the fly but I don't know how that is up the SC.

If you were wanting to take a salmon charter and do some salmon fishing out in the salt....there are lots of places you can go and get into fish. If it was me.....my personal recommendation would be Tofino or Ucluelet area. I live right in Vancouver and if I catch the 6:30 am ferry going to Vancouver Island (Horseshoe Bay to Nanimo) I can be in Tofino pretty easily by about noon. And it is STUNNING over there....I had my family out from central Canada back in early June and they were blown away. There are plenty of guides you could look to get you into some fishing over that way....and a few who are actually on this forum too! But there is stunning kayaking over there....whale watching, hiking, surfing etc etc. I can't say enough good things about Tofino as I love it over there.

Just thought I would add that in as I went to edit my earlier post with a bit of info and didn't realize you were possibly looking for my "saltwater" fishing opportunites. When the coho are running etc then the salt opportunities offer a bit more but I would say you are FAR better off if the budget warrants it....hiring a guide and hitting the saltchuck out on the West Coast of Van Island.

But........that's just my opinion.
 

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The Sunshine Coast is a pretty touristy area and most rental properties are quite nice especially if they are waterfront. From Halfmoon Bay a little more than an hours drive you will find more than ten lakes and there is all sorts of hiking trails from sea level up to a few thousand feet although some of the higher trails require a 4x4 to get to. PM me if you need anymore info.
 

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Drive to a destination within the same days drive to stay for a week of fly fishing, kayaking, even hiking, and general family outdoor fun (have 17 year old and my wife). We found a house on the water on Half Moon Bay (good or no good?). They have 3 kayaks and a canoe so that’s perfect, but have no clue if its a good area for fly fishing and in general scenic family kayaking or even hiking in the area. The main part of this stop is for me to fly fish and family kayaking so please make suggestions as my wife is ready to book this one.
I think your wife and daughter will be set as the kayaking and hiking will be great and Halfmoon Bay is a great spot. If flyfishing is a key objective, you might want to stay a bit further up the coast in the Pender Harbour area to put yourself in closer proximity to the larger lakes. Many of the small lakes are stocked but you'll be chasing smaller cutties. You should check out http://www.bigpacific.com/ for a good guide to the Sunshine Coast.

Whether you're heading for saltwater or fresh, I hate to admit it but you're likely to have a better fishing holiday heading to Vancouver Island. I love the SC and can't think of a better place to live, but if I only had a week and was after some good fishing in June, I'd strongly consider the Island.
 

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Great input, I really appreciate it. The Westin is perfect for Vancouver in the city just what we like so that’s checked off now. And concerning Whistler, we will check out the website provided and I appreciate the tip to wait before we book there.

Now, concerning Half Moon Bay that we still need help on. We found it based on the drive distance from the Airport and knowing we would go to Whistler afterwards and using the VRBO website. I am happy to fish fresh or salt it does not matter this is more about the scenery and serenity.

Here is our primary objectives for the first week we were looking at staying in Half Moon Bay. If this additional info makes you think of additional or more specifc area's please let me know.

1 – Renting a nice private house/cabin from VRBO web site directly on the water (fresh or salt) within a reasonable drive from Vancouver Airport so we can drive there same day and knowing we will leave a week later and drive to Whistler. If Vancouver Island or Pender Harbour is a better more scenic choice outstanding, we have not booked yet at Half Moon bay and we will look there today.

2 – Private house/cabin must be on the water (fresh or salt) with a great view and have kayaks and reasonable fishing out of the backyard via bank and/or kayak. Finding the house on the water with kayaks is easily done on the VRBO web site if we know what general area, or exact lake, or quaint town etc to zone in on as its map based and that’s where your help trumps all.

3 – Goal: To find a scenic less travelled area to stay for a week. We want to spend days not having to leave because there is too much outdoors to be had from the backyard as the next two destinations there will be plenty of people. In the mornings when the girls are sleeping in, to walk with my fly rod in hand and fish from the backyard/kayak for a few hours, and the same in the late afternoon after our family daytime adventures are done. To walk out of the backyard with wife and daughter grab kayaks and go for a safe, peaceful, and scenic family kayaking adventures daily as well as hiking nearby.

I understand June is the Monsoon season but it is also before the crowds come. We trade off the chance of rain to see less peopleJ

Again, thank you so much for the input it is something you just can’t Google. Any additional or more specific area’s we can check the website mapping feature for please send; even specific condo/resort in Whistler. Also, if you wouldn’t mind my wife or I calling you to ask some additional questions after we look into the additional places you gave us please PM me.
 

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Great input, I really appreciate it. The Westin is perfect for Vancouver in the city just what we like so that’s checked off now. And concerning Whistler, we will check out the website provided and I appreciate the tip to wait before we book there.


Now, concerning Half Moon Bay that we still need help on. We found it based on the drive distance from the Airport and knowing we would go to Whistler afterwards and using the VRBO website. I am happy to fish fresh or salt it does not matter this is more about the scenery and serenity.
The scenery going across Vancouver Island to Tofino is really quite nice. It's a great drive and if you are blessed with good weather it makes it that much better. Once you are in Tofino.....it may not be quite as "serene" as you will find in Halfmoon Bay. I would think from my experience that Tofino would offer more to do, but if serenity is the ticket then Halfmoon many be better. There are a lot of hippyish people in Tofino (and on the SC) who find their serenity there as well. Now Tofino will have more tourists around than Halfmoon.....and there is a town of Tofino that is certainly more than in Halfmoon Bay. Having said that there is all sorts of accomodation all around 10km's outside of Tofino if you want to stay away from the town area. Tofino is really located on a Peninsula with the townsite being kind of at the end of it.

http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=map+of+tofino&rls=com.microsoft:en-ca:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ADBF_en&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Tofino,+BC&gl=ca&ei=an6jTOnCD4uosQP12936Bg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ8gEwAA

Here is more info on the Tofino area. http://www.tofino-bc.com/

I wouldn't base your travel too much on going to Whistler afterwards. Whether or not you are coming back from Vancouver Island or the Sunshine Coast you are going to be coming into the same ferry terminal that is basically right at the start of the Whistler Hwy.

Again....I can comment on the fishing in Halfmoon or actually any real "flyfishing" opportunites over towards Tofino. I would venture a guess you may be a "walk away" in Halfmoon but you may have to find yourself in either place getting in a vehicle to go for a bit of an exploration.

Ask TofinoGuy on this site about freshwater opps in Tofino....he'll be the best resource for you.


Here is our primary objectives for the first week we were looking at staying in Half Moon Bay. If this additional info makes you think of additional or more specifc area's please let me know.

1 – Renting a nice private house/cabin from VRBO web site directly on the water (fresh or salt) within a reasonable drive from Vancouver Airport so we can drive there same day and knowing we will leave a week later and drive to Whistler. If Vancouver Island or Pender Harbour is a better more scenic choice outstanding, we have not booked yet at Half Moon bay and we will look there today.
Both locations are within a days travel easily from Vancouver Airport. One of the deciding factors may be as to what time you arrive in the city. It definitely is shorter to get to Halfmoon vs Tofino, but both can easily be done in a day. The ferry rides area bout 40-45 mins to SC vs about an 1H 45mins to Vancouver Island. ( www.bcferries.com ). Once you are on the SC if I recall correctly you are no more than about a 30-45 mins if I to Halfmoon.(it's been a while since I drove it so I may be off by a bit). When going to Tofino after you leave Nanaimo you are about 3.5-4.5 hours depending on traffic, where you stop en route etc. As mentioned...when I go over I take the 6:30am ferry and usually can be in Tofino before lunch time.

As for which is better.......it's a real toss up. For me...it's Tofino, but you may find Halfmoon Bay a little bit more peaceful. You are definitely not "remote" in either place as there are plenty of cabins/homes etc all through both areas. The only thing that "may" be better about Halfmoon is the weather....if it get's foggy in Tofino it can be a bit dreary if you're not used to it. Tofino is right on the Pacific so all it's weather systems are coming from out on the "big pond".....in Halfmoon you are on the "inside of Vancouver Island and generally the Island provides a weather break for precipitation and you don't see the fog roll in like it can on the "outside of the Island.


2 – Private house/cabin must be on the water (fresh or salt) with a great view and have kayaks and reasonable fishing out of the backyard via bank and/or kayak. Finding the house on the water with kayaks is easily done on the VRBO web site if we know what general area, or exact lake, or quaint town etc to zone in on as its map based and that’s where your help trumps all.
No matter which spot you go to....you can find accomodation right on the water. As to the ability to launch a kayak....with the surf/swell in Tofino it's not as easy right off the beach on some days, but most people tend to kayak on the inside waters where you aren't exposed as much to the big ole' Pacific directly. Plenty of inside waters to explore and for me personally...much more scenic than Halfmoon. Now there are some cool spots to kayak to around there as you'll see in my first post with the link to the Sunshine Coast area.

I would say away from Pender Harbour....it's a little more built up than Halfmoon.


3 – Goal: To find a scenic less travelled area to stay for a week. We want to spend days not having to leave because there is too much outdoors to be had from the backyard as the next two destinations there will be plenty of people.
I think in either place you are going to find that you may need to jump in the vehicle occasionally to do some exploring, hiking, kayaking a new area etc.

In the mornings when the girls are sleeping in, to walk with my fly rod in hand and fish from the backyard/kayak for a few hours, and the same in the late afternoon after our family daytime adventures are done. To walk out of the backyard with wife and daughter grab kayaks and go for a safe, peaceful, and scenic family kayaking adventures daily as well as hiking nearby.
This may lend itself a bit more to Halfmoon. Also sounds a bit like the setting for a Hallmark commercial, ha ha. ;)


Any additional or more specific area’s we can check the website mapping feature for please send; even specific condo/resort in Whistler.
Where you stay in Whistler will depend entirely on budget. Pretty much anywhere you are going to stay in and around the Village is all within walking distance. Your budget, need to cooking/kitchen, views, ammenties in the hotel etc are going to have more of a bearing on where you'll stay. The main village areas in and around Whistler are packed in pretty tightly as you will see if go on to their website and look at a map of the Village. My place is in Creekside and that is the only place I wouldn't recommend as it is a short drive into the main village where everything will be happening in June.

Also, if you wouldn’t mind my wife or I calling you to ask some additional questions after we look into the additional places you gave us please PM me
PM coming your way.
 
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