I'll be in Vancouver for work for 1 week around March 20, and we'd like to spend some weeks there afterwards (2 adults, no children). However we're thinking the climate might not be that good at this time of year (March-April). How's the weather then? Any suggestions for things to visit that time of year? We're nature lovers, but we like to spend a few days in a city as well. We also thought about booking a flight to the US and visiting Yellowstone NP or something, but maybe at that time of year this is not a good idea. We're still doubting if we should take 2 or 3 weeks of holiday. I though 3 weeks at first, but now I'm thinking that might be a bit too long.
Vancouver Island is a paradise for nature lovers - especially people who fish or love fish. The BC Ferries and Washington State Ferries can get you to Victoria, Seattle or the San Juan Islands (USA). I believe that March-April will be somewhat cool, but very nice weather, generally, and the advantage of the early spring is the lack of crowds. Instead of far off Yellowstone, why not extend that trip to the Pacific NW of the USA - Washington, Oregon, Idaho or even SE Alaska?
We love hiking especially. I think Vancouver Island might be nice!
As for visiting the USA, I really have no idea of the distances: is it possible to visit f.e. Seattle using a (long-haul) bus or do you really have to fly?
Vancouver Island is great for hiking. I live here and go all the time. From Vancouver, Seattle is a couple hour drive not that bad. From Victoria, you can catch a ferry direct to Seattle which I think takes about 3 hours or less.
Hiking in early spring means snow in the mountains-it's been a mild year so some lower trails will be walkable.
In the city a favourite of many is the complete circumnavigation of Stanley Park and the False Creek Seawall by rental bike-ending @ Granville Island for lunch-Note the rule is pedestrians water side/cyclists land side on shared paths-which most of the seawall is.
There are some great trails within the park as well.
One of many bike rental places near the entrance to Stanley Park
City Cycle Routes
If it's a warm afternoon you can rent a kayak Eco Marine
Vancouver Island as mentioned is a wonderland of outdoor opportunity but since it's 300 miles long and 50 wide it helps to know where you want to go/what you want to do.
You could head to WCVI and see the North Pacific maybe even do some kayaking on one of the inlets-also it's Grey Whale Festival time in Ukee town
Weather in March is very changeable-warm/sunny one day cool/rainy the next-this the time of year when I start to get really serious about putting in time on the bike.
Whatever you do- DO NOT rent a car from the Budget franchise @ YVR airport-horror stories abound.
One of the things I enjoyed doing in Vancouver was visiting the Grouse Mountain ski resort--which is great in both winter and summer. They have enclosures with live wolves and grizzly bears there.
Also, on Vancouver Island, not only is the city of Victoria a great place to visit, but there is also Butchart Gardens, Butterfly World, and a few honey farms selling their wares just a short ways north of Victoria. You'll love it there. I know I did.
Well, we booked our flights, first there will be the conference for me and our actual holiday will start March 24th till April 13th. We are considering going to Vancouver Island, Banff and Jasper NP. Is there anything else worth visiting in the region?
We'll probably be renting a car, or can things be done using public transport? (I guess many hiking trails are not that easy to reach?). Would it be an idea to rent a caravan or a motorhome? Do you need a 4x4 (I know in Costa Rica we certainly did!)?
It's still the dead of winter in the mountains you need a warm hotel room not a tin can to sleep in.
The city itself is compact and easily walkable transit is cheap and easy to use.
Click Here and look to the right of the page for answers to most frequently asked questions about visiting the city.
You can reach several of the North Vancouver trailheads by public transit, although the snow line will likely be low enough that you won't be doing much hiking.
You might want to consider visiting one of the local mountains to do some snowshoeing. Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour both have shuttle buses. Grouse Mountain is public transit accessible. All three offer snowshoe tours or trails.
If Seattle is still something you're thinking of, then you might want to consider the train from Vancouver. It's more comfortable than the bus and takes about 3 hours if I recall.
The weather in and around Vancouver at that time is highly variable - it might be really nice, or it might rain a lot. You'll find a lot of accessible hiking trails on the North Shore, that won't be snowed out. Check out Lighthouse Park (old-growth forest), Lynn Canyon and Capliano River Park - any of them will have enough hiking to keep you occupied for a day.
As has been mentioned, the interior mountains (where the National Parks are located) are going to be too snowy and cold for anything but normal winter sports.
You could also visit the Okanagan Valley - about 5 hours drive east of Vancouver. It is full of little wineries and the weather is dried and normally warmer around March/April.