into vancouver out of calgary ?

Old Feb 3rd, 2010, 02:34 PM
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into vancouver out of calgary ?

I am trying to plan a summer '10 family vacation for us with our 2 teens (18 & 16)...never seen any part of western Canada...coming in from South Florida. I just ran across a good mileage quote & can use miles...what are thoughts on going into Vancouver & out of Calgary? Is there a better option? We generally want to explore a new part of the world, scenic drives, mild hikes, check out some cities & towns...we enjoy exploring new places....we love a good road trip, but don't want to be stuck in a car the entire time....we've had great trips to Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, California Coast....can someone give me some hints where to start my research to get a feel for this area? Recommendations? Probably about a 10 day trip including travel...

Thanks for any input & ideas!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Vancouver to Calgary would be a good road trip. Drive up the Coquiholla (sp) highway to the Okanagan valley. Stay for a couple days. Book well in advance -busy in the summer. Try Kelowna as a base. THen drive north to hwy 1, then east to the rocky mountains. Multiple places to see and stay. Try Banff. Then a relatively short(several Hours) drive to Calgary. I' suggest Vancouver 3 nights
Kelowna 3 nights
Banff 3 nights
Calgary 1 night, before you fly out.
I'm sure the Alberta people will suggest 1 night in Vancouver and 3 nights in Calgary.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:06 PM
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You say you want to explore a new part of the world, but with only 10 days, you'll only get a taste if you travel between these two cities. I would suggest you pick a smaller area to explore, for example to a round trip from Vancouver to the Okanagan and back, or Calgary to the Rockies and back.

You'll also save on extremely high drop off fees (hundreds of dollars) if you were planning on flying into Vancouver, renting a car and dropping it off in Calgary.
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Old Feb 8th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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This is a beautiful part of the world and one of our favorites. If your 10 days does include travel as you indicated, I tend to agree with ShelliDawn and would probably vote for Calgary/Banff/Jasper. If you can make it 10 days without travel to/from Florida, you could probably do both - a little rushed but doable.

If you can do both, might consider flying into Vancouver for a few days, then take "The Canadian" operated by VIA Rail to Jasper. Leaves Vancouver at 20:30 and arrives in Jasper at 16:00 the following afternoon - some beautiful scenery and travel overnight saves some drive time. It's a very enjoyable trip.

Rent a car in Jasper, drive the incomparable Icefields Parkway with a stop at the Columbia Icefields to Lake Louise/Banff. [Members of our family have visited 6 continents and this is one of the most beautiful drives anywhere] Stay a few days and fly out of Calgary. Check on the drop off fee under this scenario - as I recall it wasn't nearly as much as from Vancouver, but I could be mistaken. If it's too high, return the car to Jasper, and take the train to Edmonton and fly out of there.
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Old Feb 8th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the info...sounds beautiful.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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Hi from a fellow Floridian, rattravlers! You are planning on a vacation in our favorite part of the world. In fact, we have done the Vancouver-Calgary trip several times ourselves. However, with only 10 days, I find myself agreeing with others suggesting something less far-reaching. Driving only one way would make it better, but the drop charges are probably very high. Does the 10 days include travel to/from Florida, though? That would make a big difference.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that the roads are not conducive to speedy driving. Even Hwy 1 is not what you'd call a freeway; it is largely a 2-lane winding road, with occasional extra lane for passing. Next is the jaw-dropping scenery and little roadside stops, with some trails just the right length for a leg-stretching hike to some gorgeous sight. It demands that you make a leisurely and appreciative drive. Sure, you can (and we have) driven from Banff to Vancouver in one very long day, but you may end up miserable, at each others' throats, and having missed some of the most beautiful country in the world.

The Canadian Rockies is a destination in itself. Distance-wise, you should know not to attempt to make a day trip from Banff to Jasper - plan on perhaps 2 nights in Jasper if you go. We didn't find Calgary worth spending time in, since we were not looking for city activities and the Rockies are so close. In the Banff area, we have seen plentiful elk, big horn sheep, etc.

You won't really have much time for Vancouver (unless you decide to stay here + maybe Okanagan). But there is so much to see and do in Vancouver itself, plus the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island (Victoria, Tofino, Busch Gardens, etc.). But you could visit Grouse Mountain, Lynn Canyon (free) or Capilano Suspension Bridge, Granville Island, Stanley Park if you stay a full day. That would be 2 nights, since I'm counting a full day of travel from Florida to Vancouver.

A route we've taken is this:

From Vancouver to the Okanagan is about 4 hours. What a wonderful wine region - who would guess? Worth a night. Then you could continue on and spend another night in Nelson (Steve Martin's movie Roxanne was filmed there) and stay at the Hume - wonderful historic old hotel. Be sure to have a drink and/or dinner in the library there.

Head north from Nelson (with a free car ferry ride along the way) to Revelstoke. Now you pick up Hwy 1 and go over Rogers Pass. Stop at a couple of the roadside parks for a leg-stretching walk, and also at the Visitors Center at Rogers Pass.

You'll continue along into Lake Louise/Banff - note that there will be a time zone change, so you need to add an hour to your trip. Banff has lots of shops, Lake Louise is more in the middle of the park, but they are less than an hour apart.

Some of the best advice was posted by Judy_in_Calgary, whom I haven't seen online in quite a while. bob_brown also has given us some great direction. Here is one of the threads still out there that might help you:
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