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Whistler or Lake Louise with 2 teen boys in the summer?

Whistler or Lake Louise with 2 teen boys in the summer?

Jan 6th, 2004, 08:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Whistler or Lake Louise with 2 teen boys in the summer?

My husband and I have enough frequent flyers to take our family of 4 to Canada this summer. To date our favorite family vacation has been to Jackson Hole. I cannot decide whether to go to Vancouver and Whistler-Blackcomb or Calgary and visit Banff and Lake Louise. Any suggestions? Our boys are ages 12 and 14.

LoriFrost954 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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I'd go to Vancouver / Whistler because you get mountains plus ocean, while in Banff/Lake Louise you just get mountains.

On the other hand, Lake louise puts you near rodeos and Calgary, and depending on timing, the Calgary Stampede.

But, on balance, Vancouvber.

BAK is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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I heartily endorse what BAK said. Vancouver's combination of mountains and oceans is very special. I too would recommend it over the Rockies. You'd have the advantages of a cosmopolitan city with great restaurants, shops, museums, galleries and interesting areas (Chinatown, Gastown) combined with a gorgeous natural setting. You could do some city activities and then head for the great outdoors.

That said, you could have a lovely vacation in the Rockies too. If your sons are active, outdoorsy guys, they might like to go horse back riding and white water rafting. If they're interested in dinosaurs, you could do a day trip from Calgary to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. Then there's the cowboy lifestyle outside of Calgary (which can be seen IN Calgary during the Stampede from July 9 through July 18, 2004).

I've never been to Jackson Hole or Yellowstone. From what I see on the Internet, Jackson Hole is close to, but not inside, a national park. Keep in mind that Banff and Lake Louise are inside a national park. While Banff has hotels, restaurants, shops, a golf course and other amenities (and Lake Louise has facilities on a much smaller scale), the Parks Department does attempt to minimize human impact on the environment. Hence there are restrictions on towns' expansion, speed limits are lower inside the park than outside, and so on. So, without having been to JH, I would expect Banff and LL to have many similarities with JH, but also some differences from it. Just guessing.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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I have a different perspective than either BAK or Judy.
Which of the two locations you choose depends on the type of activities that you and your family enjoy while on vacation. And the kind of surroundings that you like to see while away from home.

Speaking from experience with my son (when he was a teenager), city-type activity bored him; he liked the outdoors and sports. Vancouver, although a very beautiful city (and I think that it is THE most beautiful city in Canada), is still a city, with crowds and traffic etc. Will your sons enjoy the activities there? Or would they prefer hiking, horseback riding, swimming, exploring the natural surroundings etc??

Banff and Jasper National Parks have a lot of outdoor activities, numerous hiking trails, horseback riding trails, white water rafting, plus beautiful mountain scenery along the way as you explore the (very large) area of the two national parks (if you added Yoho you could visit three national parks !!).

If you prefer the sea, then I would suggest Vancouver Island, and in particular, Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of the island, where you could explore the beaches and go whale watching etc., and since you would probably fly in and out of Vancouver (the city), you could also spend a day or two there.

Personally, I would never choose a city - any city - for a vacation. I love to "get away from it all" meaning away the crowds, traffic, busy-ness, and artificiality of city life.
Borealis is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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One spring Saturday I was in a meeting in the downtown heart of Vancouver; a somewhat strange client, and there were two dogs at the meeting, in addition to humans.

We broke up at noon, with two of the people heading for the mountains to go skiing.

But Darryl and I had to write a speech, so we drove across a bridge to the town of Deep Cove (you could see Vancouver from there) and rented a canoe. We loaded Heidi in (one of the dogs from the meeting) and started paddling. Then Heidi stood up, put her front paws on the side of the boat, and started barking at the seals we were paddling past.

After a while we got to Darryl's dock. We brought down a pot of coffee and wrote the speech on my portable computer on the dock. Then we got back in the canoe, paddled back to Deep Cove and returned the boat, got in his Jeep, and drove back to the house.

No need to leave Vancouver for outdoor recreation. But if you do, there's a wide range of options, including seeing the west coast of Vancouver island, where the ocean is huge.

BAK is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:33 PM
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You must be a Torontonian BAK, and from those "canyons of concrete and glass" have forgotten the delights of nature if you think that a brief canoe ride in the shadow of a big city qualifies as a vacation outdoors!! [-(
Yes I am jealous that you can work that way ; I don't think that the organization that I work for will let me write while paddling a canoe, although I may try to convince them once the North Saskatchewan River melts next April !!!

However, for Lori and her two teenage sons, I still don't think that they would enjoy Vancouver as much as they would a wilderness experience.
I base this on knowing the likes and dislikes of teenage boys in my family, among them my son, who didn't begin to enjoy urban delights until he was in his late teens (19 plus).
But we should wait to see what Lori herself has to say on the subject.
Borealis is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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FWIW, I agree that if you liked Jackson Hole, you'll probably like Banff and LL a lot.
Doh is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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Dear Lori: All of above are very good ideas. My 2 cents worth is to go to Vancouver and then on to Whistler. Yes, Vancouver is big city, and yes, my two boys (9 and 12) were bored sometimes (I defy any parent to excite their kids all of the time), but they still enjoyed themselves a lot. Bike riding in Stanley Park is fun. Also, the Capiolani suspension bridge just north of the city is a hoot for kids (young and older). Also, Grouse Mtn, a few miles up the road, is also fun. Take a tram to top of the mountain and there's lots of fun activities up there in the summer.

As for Whistler, there's an outdoor adventure area at the base of the ski lifts which is great fun for the kids, including mountain biking especially designed for teens on the mountain trails (all gear can be rented). Taking the ski lifts to the top of the glacier (lots of snow in mid-summer so wear warm clothing even if the temp at the base is warm) is great fun and affords a spectacular view!.
Finally, for the more frugal minded, there's Entertainment Books for both places, which we used and saved literally hundreds of dollars on hotels, restaurants, and amusements. Go to www.entertainment.com. Wherever you end up, Canada is a great vacation (I'm from the States). w
waltd is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 10:20 PM
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We have done both trips with our 2 kids ages 9 and 11. Both were fantastic. First of all the ride from Vancouver to Whistler is breathtaking, and so is the ride between Banff and jasper. if you do the Banff trip, fly into Calgary, stay in Banff, then travel to jasper. If you fly out of Edmonton, you can stay in the hotel in the Edmonton Mall which has an enclosed water park, regulation size ice rink, Imax theatre, Amusement park, just to name a few, all located in the mall. We did about 12 days of nature and then ended it with the mall trip which was a total blast. you could stay there a week and never go shopping.
Whistler was also fun in the summer,but if you do that trip, then you should make it your business to try to stay in victoria on Vancouver island as well. We did whale watching over there, among other things and that was alot of fun.
Another really cool place to go with frequent flier miles is Alaska. We went last year and had absolutely the time of our lives. Actually we were considering the Tetons and yellowstone this year for a trip so I'm glad to hear that you like Jackson Hole.
rubigayle is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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I would go for the Whistler-Vancouver, you can almost do the same and more as you would in Lake Louise, plus there is always Vancouver when everyone's had enough of whistler.
Maudy is offline  

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