Vancouver and Banff Questions

Jun 7th, 2007, 07:11 AM
  #1  
mdn
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 298
Vancouver and Banff Questions

My gf and I are planning a trip to Vancouver & Banff from June 22nd - June 30th. We'll be traveling there from New York City. Tentative plan is to arrive in Vancouver early on 22nd. Fly to Calgary on 23rd to spend 23rd-26th. Return to Vancouver on 26th to stay until 30th. The air fares dictate this itinerary.
Looking for:
1) Hotels in the Vancouver area for around $100/night. A nice little boutique hotel perhaps with a view of the water? I need a good room with a comfortable bed & shower. I'll pay more for a great view or if people highly recommend a hotel that's worth the experience. Don't need amenities in the hotel like pool, big restaurant within the hotel etc., as long as I can get my morning cup of coffee nearby.
2) Things/places to see while in Vancouver. For eg. is a trip to Whistler worth while? Any other surrounding areas? Also looking for restaurant suggestions: Chinese, Indian, seafood...all the things I love!!
3) I stayed at the Brewster Mountain Lodge last time I was in Banff and liked it. Loved being able to sit in the balcony with a view of the mountains. Any other suggestions for lodges/hotels in the <$100 range? We'll visit Jasper, spirit island etc. Any other must see places? I'll have a rental car in Banff/Calgary.
Many thanks.
mdn is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 11:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
>>>>>>Things/places to see while in Vancouver. For eg. is a trip to Whistler worth while?<<<<<<

Yes.

>>>>>>Any other surrounding areas?<<<<<<

Suggest you spend one day taking in Vancouver's centrally located attractions (Stanley Park, Granville Island Market, Yaletown, Robson Street).

Then spend another day either going to the North Shore (principally Lynn Headwaters Regional Park) OR, better still, doing a day trip to Whistler.

Finally, spend another day visiting attractions that are located south of downtown, most especially the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

If you are an active / sporty type of person, you might want to substitute kayaking at Deep Cove for the museum.

More .......
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 11:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Before I continue, I should compliment you on the way in which you posed your questions. The context that you provided was helpful.

Now, back to your questions.

>>>>>>I stayed at the Brewster Mountain Lodge last time I was in Banff and liked it. Loved being able to sit in the balcony with a view of the mountains. Any other suggestions for lodges/hotels in the <$100 range?<<<<<<

Last June 10th my husband and I spent a night at Homestead Inn, which is a modest (but clean and friendly) motel-style property round the corner from Brewsters. It cost us C$148 before tax. The days of $100 hotel rooms in Banff are long gone. I'm guessing you'd be able to find a B&B in Banff (or, even more likely, in Canmore) for that price.

>>>>>>We'll visit Jasper, spirit island etc. Any other must see places?<<<<<<

Well, I don't know what you've already seen in Banff National Park and what you haven't seen. This is my list of must sees:

BANFF NATIONAL PARK

* Moraine Lake
* Lake Louise
* Johnston Canyon
* Sulphur Mountain Gondola

YOHO NATIONAL PARK

* Takakkaw Falls
* Emerald Lake

ICEFIELDS PARKWAY (HWY #93)

* Peyto Lake
* Columbia Icefields
* Sunwapta Falls
* Athabasca Falls

JASPER NATIONAL PARK

* Maligne Canyon
* Mount Edith Cavell
* Maligne Lake Road (up to Maligne Lake, but without the cruise)
* Jasper tramway

Many active people find the cruise to Spirit Island lame. I've been on it several times and have liked it. But each time I've gone I've been with elderly, relatively frail people who have not been able to do much hiking, etc. For those people it's a way of seeing scenery they would not otherwise be able to see. If you're in reasonable shape, you can spend your time more profitably in other ways.

If time permits, you'd also enjoy visiting Mount Robson Provincial Park, which is about an hour west of Jasper townsite.

Oh, I've just looked at your schedule again, and have been reminded of how tight your time frame is.

Even if you don't stop at any scenic lookout points, it takes 2 hours to drive from Calgary Airport to Banff townsite and then between 3.5 hours and 4 hours to drive from there to Jasper.

If you do stop at the scenic lookout points along the Icefields Parkway, it takes the better part of a day to drive from Banff to Jasper.

If you want to do even the most minimal justice to Jasper National Park, you need 1 full day / 2 nights there. But the more time you can spend there, the better.

If you've been to Banff and have not been to Jasper, I suggest you focus on Jasper this time.

The one place in Banff National Park that you should visit if you did not go to it last time is Moraine Lake. It's 9 miles from Lake Louise, and it's more beautiful than LL.

Backtracking to your questions about Vancouver, that city has HEAPS of good restaurants in every price range. Here is a website on which you can sort them by location, type of cuisine, price and customer rating. The site includes restaurants in Whistler as well:

http://dinehere.ca/

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 12:49 PM
  #4  
mdn
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 298
Amazing! As concise as my inquiry may have been, your answer was very helpful. I'm finding very quickly that hotels are far more expensive than I'd imagined. The weak US dollar isn't helping either.
I was in Banff 3 years ago in late Oct, which was non-peak but I was alone then. After I told my gf that it was probably one of the most naturally beautiful places I've seen, she wants to go there too! Jasper is probably a little too much for this trip. A friend suggested that if I walk into one of the hotels/lodges in Banff and ask for a room for 3 nights, I will stand a better chance of a good deal. But don't know if I should risk that in peak season. Wow... $$$ !! Thanks a lot for your super helpful response!
mdn is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 03:13 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 430
I would not recommend to visit Whistler during a day trip from Vancouver. The drive will cost you between 4 and 5 hours for tour and retour trip during one day.

I recommend to plan a trip towards Whistler at least as overnight trip. There a plenty of nice thinks to do in Whistler.
tom22 is offline  

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