Re: What and where in Vancouver and Vancouver Island?
Doing the "loop", ie taking the Tsawassen ferry to Victoria, driving to Nanaimo and coming back on the Horseshoe Bay ferry is a nice little trip.. as an option rather than the overland/inland route from Victoria to Duncan you can take a small ferry across Saanich inlet from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay.. it's more of a coastal drive that way, but slower, of course. While in Victoria Butchart Gardens is a popular stop but this wouldn't be prime season for that.
The Victoria downtown is great.. Empress Hotel, Legislative buildings, BC museum and the public wharves and floats are all within sight of each other... lots of activity and attractions in that general area, including a pretty vibrant chinatown.
If you end up in Nanaimo with time to spare a passenger ferry across the harbour gets you to Newcastle Island Marine Park.. one of our true gems, esp for essentially being in a city harbour. Another waterfront attraction, also accessible by ferry (a different one leaving from city docks) is the Dinghy Dock Pub.. a floating pub/restaurant that's not too bad and the setting is great.
The drive from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish and Whistler is one of the prettiest drives in the world on a nice day, esp now with the snowcapped peaks of the coastal range.
You'll just need more than a week!!
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"