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Canada Honeymoon Itinerary for the Kiwis! (5 weeks)

Canada Honeymoon Itinerary for the Kiwis! (5 weeks)

Old Mar 15th, 2016, 12:07 AM
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Canada Honeymoon Itinerary for the Kiwis! (5 weeks)

Hi travellers!
My husband and I are from New Zealand and we are planning on taking our honeymoon in Canada (with a quick stop in the US at the beginning and end) in September/October. We have 5 weeks. Neither of us have been there before. We have our flights booked into Seattle and out of New York, but nothing booked in between!! We need some suggestions on things to do, best travel options, and any tips (ie which internal airlines to fly with, rental car companies, train etc). Any advice on any/all aspects of our itinerary would be much appreciated!

Rough Plan:
1. Fly into Seattle on 5 September (spend a few days visiting a friend) - suggestions on things to do?
2. Travel to Vancouver (trying to decide whether to get a one-way rental car or catch a train)?
3. Spend a few days in Vancouver- need to find accommodation here - suggestions? How long do we need in Vancouver?
4. Drive Vancouver to Calgary (a few stops along the way over a few days...looking for recommendations on the best route to take, how many days we should allow and places to stop/stay)
5. Stay with friends in Calgary and explore surrounds, Lake Louise etc (+- 10 days)
6. Fly to Montreal
7. Spend a few days in Montreal staying with a friend - again things to do/see/experience
8. Travel around Montreal surrounds (is there anywhere recommended to go for a few days?)
9. Fly Montreal to New York
10. Spend 4-5 days in New York
11.Fly back to New Zealand

We are in our early 30's and outdoorsy/active. We want a trip that's a blend of exploring, culture, music (gigs/concerts), food and adventure.

Thanks in advance!
KHamilton is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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Seattle to Vancouver: Suggest you take the train to Vancouver. When you are ready to begin your trek to Calgary, then pick up the rental car. You'll need a Canadian rental and not U.S. for a one-way drop. Plus, Vancouver has excellent public transportation.

There are several routes you can take, and I am partial to all of them. Consider a couple of days in the Okanagan wine area. Several wineries also have restaurants and lodging, which may appeal to you.

I'll come back with a few suggestions, but start with perusing the Hello BC website. It is a terrific resource: http://www.hellobc.com/


Burrowing Owl winery: http://www.burrowingowlwine.ca/
Spirit Ridge winery: http://spiritridge.ca/
sludick is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2016, 07:05 AM
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Be prepared for driving a lot of steep mountain highways sitting on the opposite side of the car than what you are used to. By October you might see some snow. I'd go looking for advice on driving regulations, possibly from a New Zealand auto club if there is one (the Canadian equivalent is the Canadian Auto Club, CAA. http://www.caa.ca/
Southam is online now  
Old Mar 15th, 2016, 11:08 AM
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Good lord!

What a honeymoon!

With five weeks, I think I would do

3 days in Seattle

4-ish days in Vancouver

Maybe one night in between Vancouver and the Rocky Mountains... and three more nights in various spots in/near the mountains.

From Montreal, definitely Quebec City for 2 or 3 days... and on a honeymoon, IF you can afford Le Chateau Frontenac, then it makes sense!

And definitely leave your 4-5 days for New York in the end!

(you'll be SO tired after that whole trip... LOL)
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 11:28 AM
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+1 to the above advice

For the Canadian Rockies, while you'll want to allocate a time to visit your friends, Calgary is not the place to base yourself. Pleasant city, but nothing truly unique to distinguish it from any other similar sized city.

The mountains are the showpiece, and they run north-south, so Calgary - 2 hrs east of Banff -- is where you fly into, not a base to visit them from. Calgary to Banff is usually a good 2 hrs, up to 3 hrs to Lake Louise. It's a further 4 hr drive from Lake Louise to Jasper -- and that drive is the crown jewel of the Rockies, often rated one of the top drives in the world. You want to spend a whole day on that drive - and then have a second shot on your way back from Jasper.

For the mountains, we'd suggest at least 3-4 nights in Banff or Lake Louise, then 2-3 nights in Jasper before heading back down the Icefields Parkway. You could see your friend before and/or after. As mentioned, you could easily spend 10-14 days in the Rockies.

From Banff or Lake Louise, you can visit Banff NP, Yoho NP and Kootenay NP. Then Jasper NP from Jasper. There are also several provincial parks which are contiguous to the national parks and well worth time.

You'll want to book your accommodation as soon as you can - September is still peak time, especially in Lake Louise. Be aware that our Thanksgiving in Oct 11 - that's a very busy weekend, and also marks the end of the summer season in mountain. Some seasonal roads shut as do some paid attractions.
kgsneds is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2016, 08:35 PM
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LOL - about Calgary ... I feel that its use of "_____ TRAIL", for large road names, distinguishes it from other large cities of its size and larger.

... though not very significantly !!
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 06:36 PM
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Dear KH - don't do what we ended up doing when we visited NZ! A Kiwi friend developed our itinerary & he wanted us to see everything in 4 weeks. Mostly we saw the country as it flashed by our car window as we had to get from A to B daily & the distance was too far. Considering that BC alone is about 3.5 times the size of all of NZ, you can easily spend your time just in BC. Personally? Relax & enjoy some slow travel. Try Vancouver Island - esp Tofino/Uculuet; maybe the Gulf Islands; Vancouver; the Okanagan Valley then on to Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper. Then fly home from Calgary (IMO)

Don't worry about BC's roads. Despite driving on the "wrong" side of the road, our roads are wider, faster, smoother & straighter than what you are used to. Nary a single lane bridge in sight!
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 08:17 AM
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I disagree. Five weeks, including 4-5 days in NYC, is more than enough time to do what you want.

From Montréal, I would visit Ottawa (2 days), Québec City and its environs (3 days) as well as perhaps 3 days in Montréal itself. If you have more time, then perhaps an overnight in the Laurentians or in one of the villages in the Eastern Townships.
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Old Mar 28th, 2016, 08:35 AM
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I thoroughly endorse as much time as possible in the West-Vancouver for a few days, a few days in Whistler BC, Vancouver Island ( this is at least 10 days worth). Definitely as much time as possible in the Rockies-it is unbelievably beautiful! Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Do not spend more than a day in Calgary!
I would add Toronto and Niagara Falls to this trip. Montreal and Quebec City are wonderful. Ottawa is nice but you don't want to spend so much time in urban centers.
A stop at Fairmont Montebello outside Ottawa is an option if your budget allows it.
A nice trip from Montreal could be the Laurentians (Saint-Sauveur is a nice town). Or head south to the Eastern Townships (Cantons de l'Est) and stay in North Hatley. The Fall colours will be splendid!
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:38 AM
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take the train or a bus from seattle to vancouver.or, if you wanted to include a couple of nights in victoria, bc...you could take the "clipper ferry" from seattle to victoria...spend two nights (no car needed)...then ferry to vancouver for 3-4 nights before you pick up your rental car to head west. check out :canadian affair" for one way car rentals.
i'd recommend 2 nights in penticton, bc, one night in clearwater, bc - go to wells grey provincial park in the morning and then spend 2-3 nights in jasper, ab. drive the incredible "ice field parkway" and spend 2-3 nights in banff or lake louise before going to your friends in calgary. if money is not an issue...for a great memory of your honeymoon...book a lake view room at the fairmont chateau lake louise. or, if you choose banff...there are a lot more options of hotels at various price ranges.
hope you have a great trip.
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