Average July temperature: 71
A little tough luck by the NHL's Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final and a lot of self-destructive behavior by "fans" after their Game 7 loss hasn't tarnished Vancouver Island as a vacation destination. If anything, it's made Vancouver's neighbor Victoria look better by comparison.
"Vancouver has been so popular, especially after the Winter Olympics last year," Banas says. "Even if you stay on Vancouver Island, there are a lot of great things to do in Victoria and on the ocean."
An oft-overlooked Pacific Northwest destination that's accessible by discount carriers including Frontier and JetBlue (JBLU) via Seattle and a $25 round-trip ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Victoria, is teeming with architecture dating back to the 1800s and strong floral scents emanating from Beacon Hill Park, Butchart Gardens and other plots in the "City of Gardens."The inner harbor has sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and great people-watching thanks to the boatloads of tourists and travelers unloading there, but the best street scenes belong to the city's Chinatown, the second oldest in North America behind San Francisco's. The cost of staying in town is much less than San Francisco's, though, with a three-bedroom, five-person Victorian home a block from the water and six blocks from Beacon Hill Park going for $339 a night. The cool climate also makes it a lot easier to get out of town and go exploring in the sprawling nearby Okanagan Valley wine region. Roughly 10,000 acres of vineyards ring Okanagan Lake and form a Canadian Napa complete with cozy bed and breakfasts and wine country-quality restaurants in the nearby city of Kelowna.
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