Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Canada
Reload this Page >

Help me plan my itinerary in Western Canada & Northern western States (travelling with 2 teens)

Help me plan my itinerary in Western Canada & Northern western States (travelling with 2 teens)

May 17th, 2001, 06:48 PM
Posts: n/a
Help me plan my itinerary in Western Canada & Northern western States (travelling with 2 teens)

Please help me plan my 17 days trip.. Arriving in Vancouver in July and renting a car. First night booked at Whistler, BC and we want to go thru the Rockies , see Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Edmonton.

We were thinking of doing a loop; start with Western Canada then down to the states and back for the last 3 or 4 days to Vancouver & Victoria.

Please give me suggestions. We are traveling with our 11 and 15 yrs old kids and we want it to be fun for them as well!


May 18th, 2001, 02:34 PM
Brian Kilgore
Posts: n/a
Make the kids dig out some maps, and measure some routes. It is good for them, and may make you change your route. Becasue...

Edmonton is a long way from anywhere, and not all that interesting, sez I, who used to live there. Note the angle of the Rocky mountains. it's a long way.

You might want to skip Jasper, too. Go as far north from Banff as the Columbia Ice fields, and then head south again.

Calgary is worth a visit; best deal for kids, if you can find one, is a small town Alberta summer rodeo. Dinosaur museum in Drumheller is a winner for kids, too.

May 18th, 2001, 05:18 PM
Posts: n/a
WOW, you have a huge amount of territory to cover in not a great deal of time. From Van. to Calgary, driving non-stop is about 10-12 hrs. (by non-stop I mean not stopping to gaze at sights but you will stop to eat and fuel up). I am not that familiar with BC or Banff although I live in Southern Alberta. I think that kids would love the Crowsnest Pass area and the Frank Slide. I drive through the Frank Slide area every w/e and am still in awe of the power of nature. From Frank Slide, you can travel on Hwy. 22 toward Calgary through Longview area. Really, really beautiful and not at all touristy as it hasn't been truly "discovered" as yet. When you reach the junction of Hwy 22 and Hwy 22X which is close to Calgary (I Believe, I don't have a road map in front of me), you can either head towards Calgary or Banff. I would skip Calgary unless you wanted to visit the Stampede and head for Drumheller especially for your kids. Drumheller is amazing and is like no other place on earth.

Given the time you have, unless all you want to do is drive and not see and experience anything, you may have to cut out some of your proposed sites.

Good Luck and welcome to Canada.
May 18th, 2001, 07:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the info. I tried to get the kids involved in the planing of the trip but they are not interrested at all.. They would rather go to the beach or go to the arcades and water slides...

I really want them to enjoy this trip and I'm trying to get them interrested but so far, they don't have my enthousiasm...

I used to live in Edmonton and I have been to Jasper, Lake Louise, the Columbia Ice Fields, Banff & Calgary. But my family have never been there.

I have never been to BC though and the western northern states.

Jasper to Edmonton is a 3 to 4 hour drive and my kids really want to see West Edmonton Mall and I'd like to see my old neibourhood.

My husband does not want to go to Calgary since my brother in law said to skip it. (We are not going to be there during the stampedes)

I don't want to be driving all the time. I want to stop and enjoy the views, lakes, hot springs but I also need activities for my kids to enjoy. Keep in mind that they have been to Disney World, Universal Studios amongs other places, so they are pretty hard to please.

What is the Frank Slide?

Thanks for your help.

P.S. Is Yellowstone Park worth the extra mileage?
May 22nd, 2001, 06:29 PM
Posts: n/a
May 22nd, 2001, 06:45 PM
Brian Kilgore
Posts: n/a
For those who don't know about the West Edmonton Mall...

No, her plan is not to take her kids to a shopping center. Instead, this is a very spectacular place with an indoor beach, submarine rides, and much, mouch more in the way of amusements, etc.

Maybe the brother-in-law is a travel expert; several otehr people have been known to visit Calgary and have found it a fine city, with good restaurants, a decent zoo, interesting heritage sites, nice parks, and more.

It does depend on where you come from, so that there's some sort of standard to which to compare. Calgary's no big deal to people from Denver; Calgary's a wonderful, exciting city to people from Dayton.

May 22nd, 2001, 07:36 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks Brian,

You really described the West Edmonton Mall very well and this will probably be the most exciting place for my kids during our trip (knowing their interrest)

I have also been to Calgary before and I don't think we will be missing very much by not going there. When I was there some years ago, it was interresting to see how many men still wore cowboy hats in the city but it might have changed since then...

Do you have any suggestions on a route for us? Remember my kids are now to old to be interrested in a zoo or Dinosaures
May 22nd, 2001, 08:03 PM
Posts: n/a
The Frank Slide is just at the edge of the Crowsnest Pass and has an interesting interpretive centre. 80 years ago, the face of Turtle Mountain fell away and engulfed the town of Frank. The highway runs right through the slide area and it is really something (in MHO). Also, about an hour south of there is the Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre which is very well done and the Town of Fort Macleod which has the RCMP musical ride on weekends and the fort museum which is interesting but it is also prairie, not mountains so you may not be interested.

However, with regard to Drumheller and the Museum of Paleontology, even though your kids are teens, I would wager that you would all think this is worth a visit. You can visit actual "digs" as well and the hoodoos in the badlands are something else. It will be hot there in the summer.
May 23rd, 2001, 07:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the info. What route should I take and where should I stay and how long at each spot?

Whistler - 1 or 2 nights?
Where should I stop in between Whistler and Banff?

How many nights should I stay in Banff?

What route should I take from Alberta to Vancouver if I want to try a different road but still see spectacular scenery?

May 25th, 2001, 03:48 PM
Posts: n/a
I was in Banff last year with my 11 year old in August for 2 nights (this was plenty), I couldn't get my 18, and 16 year old to go along, unless it's some exotic place, they will not go with us to a "nature" type family vacation, with exception to rafting, and I mean rafting and coming right back. I was surprised that rockies had mostly elderly, retired vacationers. We did the trap at Banff (11 year old hated it, we loved it)We had to butter up the vacation with canoeing at the Lake Louise(stayed 2 nights; not enough), and at the Emerald lake for my 11 year old boy, he loved this, canoeing is a must here, as well as the hiking part and lots of stops for souvenirs...kids!
On the drive up to Jasper, we did the Columbian icefield on that large vehicle that takes you up, but far more interesting was the walk up to the Columbian Glacier we did on the way back from Jasper(don't stay more than 2 nights here) The rafting is more varied and cheaper at Jasper than at other locations. Couldn't take the tram at Jasper, the 11 year old baulked. We flew into Calgory so took 6 hours before flight to look around, not enough to even occupy 6 hours, skip it. We've found taking lots of time and lots of money to do sports type of activities on our vacations makes them more enjoyable for our 3 boys, as they get older. Good luck, make lot of stops for snacks, we ate 1 delicious candy or caramel apple a day,the candy store that sold them for some reason is a major tourist shop in each of these areas, go figure!
May 25th, 2001, 07:33 PM
Posts: n/a
Suggestions in Victoria, Vancouver Island:
Stay 3-4 full days:
Whale Watching, catch a boat from Victoria's Inner Harbour. You can choose from two types of boats an open boat or a closed boat. Your choice.

High Tea on Oak Bay Street, Try the 'Blethering Place' $12 Ca. per person or for a treat try The Empress $49 per person last month.

Dinner at Paliachii's... (south of hte Eaton Center in the little town) an awesome, close tabled Italian restaurant with live music m-w starting at 8:30pm. A must for fun! Fabulous!

Shopping and wondering the City of Victoria... may be a good time for kids and parents to "split up" for a few hours, then meet back for dinner or lunch.

Buchart Gardens is so pretty even kids like it... Suprising yes, a must go? you betchya!

All of the hotels, even chain names, looked fine near the harbour. For a treat stay at Abigail's Hotel and Bed and breakfast. The breakfast is wonderful. Menu is cooked by chef in front of you. The kids will love the library with books, board games and constant tea and hot chocolate and treats. Some of our breakfast choices from our last stay included 'lemon poppyseed pancakes' chocolate waffles, egg fritatta with fresh vegetables and herbs, scones, croissants and fresh muffins, etc.

Take the car out West on 'Vancouver Island' to Port Renfrew and see the Botanical Beach.... Poke around for live cool looking critters, see fish caught in the rocks. Hint best time to go is when the low tide is below 4 so look into this (the visitor center in Sooke,a must stop!, located about half way between Victoria and Port Renfrew has a schedule of tides) Stop at the many parks and beaches along the way. Bring a bell so to not startle the blackbears!

Check out the 'family poles' aka Totem poles.

I think you may be covering TOO much ground. Their is A LOT of travel time and ferry time between Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. Why not stay in this triangle all days and branch out on Vancouver Island (where Victoria is) and spen several days in each place?

Suggest day travel and relaxation time between Vancouver and Victoria (note from Vancouver to Victoria took about 2.5 hours when all was said and done but was so beautiful and cool totally worth it. Ferry ride alone is cool the first time and took about 1.5 hours.)

In Vancouver suggest 3 full days:
Take a grey hound bus tour to familiarize yourself with the city.

Spend a day in Stanley Park. Drive and walk the park. Visit the Aquarium which is located in Stanley Park.

Visit China Town and arrive around 11am for Dim Sum at the Floata (or similar cannot remember exactly) restaurant.

Goto Granville Island and let the kids walk around while you and your hubby explore. Meet back at the Granville Island Market for a picnic lunch.

Shop on Robson Street, the 'Rodeo Drive' of Vancouver.

Whistler: Shops and Village are cool.

May 25th, 2001, 09:21 PM
Posts: n/a
Jill - it looks like your trip out west was not that great... I sure hope my kids enjoy it more then your son did.

My 15 yr old son is a bit like your 18 and 16 yr olds... I`m afraid that he'll find the whole trip boring. He would prefer to go to California

My 11 yr old is more interrested but I can't say that she's really excited.

Amanda - Your idea of splitting up and let the kids go on their own sound a bit scary to me, what if they get lost? But I'm sure they would enjoy going out on their own...

Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Apr 14th, 2003 07:43 PM
Mar 21st, 2003 12:09 AM
Aug 31st, 2002 11:42 PM
Aug 21st, 2002 07:17 PM
Jun 7th, 2001 09:33 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:19 AM.