Happy boyA couple of weeks ago, Alan solicited tips on vacationing without a vehicle in the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday, CBC Radio did a story on the subject, featuring yours truly and Brian Grover, author of BC Car-Free, and invited listeners to call in.

I asked friends to submit ideas for the show. Below are excerpts. Please share yours! (As for me, I plan to vacation for several months to test-drive—so to speak—these ideas.)

From a Vancouverite: “Two years ago, we biked, took the Horseshoe Bay ferry to Nanaimo, biked up to Denman/Hornby islands, stayed at B&Bs, took the Comox ferry to Powell River, then biked back to Vancouver (a little challenging coming down from Powell River, but a great trip all round.) Another nice trip, my wife and I did on an anniversary – taking the West Coast Express (a train) from Vancouver to Mission (bikes on train) then biked to Harrison Hot Springs for the weekend, back to Mission and the train to Vancouver.”

  • From a Portlander: “Our favorite is to pack our panniers, ride to Union Station, ride Amtrak to SEA, sleepw/friends, catch the clipper (Orcas or Victoria), then bike camp and kayak on the islands (Canadian or San Juans). We did this every summer for years. Fabulous! We even did it w/a 2 year-old, except that we spent a few nights at Roche Harbor resort when the rain came. Glacier is also on the short list. Lots of National Parks have good train links. We also used to ride to the Oregon Coast. There’s also a great ride: PDX-Hood River-Portland.”

    From a Seattle-ite with kids: “Several times we rode to downtown Seattle and caught the ‘Clipper’ to Victoria where we rode either west on the Galloping Goose Trail to Sooke—or north on the Lochside Trail to Schwartz Bay, where we caught a ferry to the Canadian Gulf Islands.

    You can travel for nearly 60 kilometers on the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. You can cycle, walk, or ride a horse along this former rail line past some of B.C.’s finest scenery.

    Last summer we left home on bicycles and headed to the downtown Amtrak station where we boarded a train to Portland to do a week long bicycle trip along the Columbia.

    On these trips we used our two tandem bicycles, with my wife and I as captains and our kids as stokers. We carried panniers with a change of clothes and stayed at hotels and B&B’s.My parents and nephew have joined us for most of these outings—which makes for great intergenerational adventures.”

    Other tips

    • Iron Horse Bike trail from Seattle (via other trails) out to Vantage.
    • There is a new bike trail that is going to eventually reach the NW corner of Rainier from Commencement Bay.
    • Sea Kayaking to boat-in-only State parks in Puget Sound.
    •  And then there’s the ferry up the inside passage to Alaska.