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Hi All,

So, Der Flieger, noticed in a thread that in July me and my missus + 2 others are off on holiday to Sunny Canada, our initial inspiration was the Calgary Stampede, but this has since developed into a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver.

So I'm after some insightful ideas, places to visit, restaurants to try, 'must do' and 'must see' places and sights.

Any snippet of information would be useful, after all the locals know best, I don't want to come all that way and miss something important. :)

So our current plan is to fly into Calgary around the 9th July, and spend 3 nights there, driving onto Banff, for 3 nights, then Jasper for 3 nights, then down to Clearwater for a couple of nights, and finally to Vancouver for 3 - 4 nights before flying back to the UK.

We'll have a car so anything 'interesting' from those 5 main stops can be visited..

I've already got some ideas from Der Flieger (Thanks), but thought I'd open up a thread to help expand the knowledge..

Cheers in advance..

Mark
 

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Hi Mark,

Calgary you will spend most of your time at the Stampede so here's a Calgary Stampede Planner: http://planner.calgarystampede.com/w/calgarystampede/calgarystampede2012scavenger/events

Here's a good site describing trip from Calgary to Banff/Jasper: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/road-trips/banff-jasper-canada-road-trip/

Clearwater is quite a small town so unless you have friend/relatives or something in mind I would just use it for a driving break one night.

Here is a site with good info regarding Vancouver. http://vancouver.about.com/od/historylandmarks/tp/toptenattractions.htm

Three items I would recommend for Vancouver:
Stroll along the seawall around Stanley Park in the afternoon.
Chinatown Night Market
We have 4 major Casinos with good entertainment for nightlife. The casinos usually have a free live music lounge with dancing and a "show" lounge for international acts.

We also have an active sailing community and I enjoy visiting Whistler mountain in the summer for sightseeing/golf.

PM me when your trip gets closer and let me know what interests you, and I can provide further info.

G.
 

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Good evening. My wife is a travel agent and we have travelled extensively throughout western Canada. She can be reached at [email protected]

There are a few highlights on the west coast near Vancouver including the Sea to Sky highway to Whistler (site of 2010 Olympics) and Stanley Park (aquarium is top rated) in downtown Vancouver, Vanvouver Island (ferry required for trip to Victoria). Lots,of excellent hotels throughout the area

Enjoy
 

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Great drive

When in Jasper drive north on the 16 towards Hinton for about 50 km then hang a right and drive up to Miette Hot Springs. You will find yourself wishing you had brought the SLK with you. If you do it midweek maybe there won't be too much tourist traffic and you can really enjoy the road with a swim at the end if that suits and of course the scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Clearwater is quite a small town so unless you have friend/relatives or something in mind I would just use it for a driving break one night.
Hi,

There is no special reason for me to stop in Clearwater, it just looked like a place to stop along the route to Vancouver.

If you know of a better place to hole up for a couple of nights between Jasper and Vancouver, where there is more to do, or more around it too see, then let me know :).

Thanks for the input.
 

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Hi Mark,
Here are some additional thoughts for your trip:

Calgary gets quite busy during "Stampede" week so book your rooms early. Any bar/lounge with a cowboy themed name is impossible to get into during Stampede week. You might be better off with public transit going to the Stampede so I would check with Calgary tourism. I get a bit of jetlag so the 3 days in Calgary will help. When you leave Calgary put your Cowboy hat, Cowboy boots and other Cowboy paraphenalia in the trunk (boot is a trunk in Canada) as no one outside Calgary wears them and you'll soon wonder why you bought them.

From Calgary drive to Banff. Thats just a short 2 hour drive.
Stay 1 or 2 nights in Banff.

From Banff, drive to Jasper. Thats a 2 hour drive that takes 6 hours (views).
Stay 2 - 3 nights in Jasper. Banff is more touristy. Jasper is more rustic. The drive between the two on the Icefields Parkway is amazing. Don't worry you will see it both ways.

From, Jasper, drive back to Banff (see). Thats again 2 hours that takes 6 hours. Stay another night in Banff. Make it an early night since the next drive is longer.

Banff through Kicking Horse Pass is spectacular. You are driving from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains to a semi-arid high desert.

From Banff drive to Kelowna. Kelowna is a resort/lake/wine/fruit valley that will be quite warm. That drive is at least 6 hours. Stay 1 - 2 days.

From Kelowna drive to Vancouver. Thats about 6 hours also. A few stops for fruit along the way. Good sites for picnic.

You will be travelling through every imaginable temperature and weather so you need some light, some heavy, and some rain clothes.

G.
 

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Mark;
I (we) live about a hour from the Calgary Airport SW of Calgary. I have not commented on your request as you had lots of input and there are more things to do than your two weeks allow. I support your change to drive to Vancouver as any of the 3 routes to get there are some of the best rides in North America. I have driven there using all 3 routes more times than I can count and usually am in a rush and do it in. The TransCanda takes us about 10 hours, missing the scenic stops and obligatory tourist traps along the way. If you are interested in seeing the rural country we could put you guys up for a day or two at the foot of the Rockys' and you could do some exploring from here before taking off to the coast.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you are interested in seeing the rural country we could put you guys up for a day or two at the foot of the Rockys' and you could do some exploring from here before taking off to the coast.
Hey there,

That's really generous of you, but there are 4 of us, and we've had to make sure we'd booked our hotels along our preferred route, as you can imagine, during the peak season, the rooms seemed to be disappearing before our eyes.. lol, so we decided better get em fast.. But if you want to meet up for a beer or some food... we'd be more than happy..

So far our route, is as follows (all hotels booked)

Fly into Calgary and get a car, and stay out of town in a place called Strathmore (no rooms at a decent price to be had anywhere near Calgary centre itself) for 3 nights.

Driving to Canmore, and staying 3 nights (using as a base to look around)

Driving to Jasper, and staying 3 nights (using as a base to look around)

Driving to Merritt, and staying 1 night as a stop over on our way to Vancouver Island for 2 nights

Getting the ferry back to Vancouver for a final 3 nights before we fly home.

PHEW!!!!

So now knowing our layover points, if anybody has any more great ideas about what to do whilst were in each of those locations fire away, were up for anything (bar a bungee jump), I've done parachute before, but I just don't think I could jump off with a cord attached to my feet...lol crazy I know..

Cheers again in advance
 

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As I'll be flying into Calgary in 2 weeks to start my Canadian Road trip, just wanted to say I hope all you Canadians in the area are safe and sound due to the horrendous flooding you guys have had over the last few days..

Let's also hope there is a Stampede for me to visit, as the Stampede Park was under about 20 feet of water last time I checked :(
 

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Hi Swagman....

At this point Highway 1 is closed, but will be open by the time you get here.

You might want to have a look and see if some hotels have opened up to stay in instead of Strathmore, which isn't too special. (with apologies to anyone from there). I suspect some will cancel their bookings because of the flooding.

The Stampede will go on, but will likely not be what it was last year. They are still trying to figure that out. The water has not receded from the grounds yet, and yes, it was flooded badly.

Canmore was quite hard hit. You may want to check with your hotel to make sure it wasn't damaged. If it was, Banff was not affected, so perhaps try there.

By the time you get here everything will be open, though there may be still a mess around.

Cheers!

Dan
 

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Hi Dang, Well were not cancelling so we'll just make the most of it :)

The property were staying at in Canmore, have already contacted us to say they survived, and had no flooding at any of thier properties, so all good there..

And good idea about the cancellations, unfortunately, when we paid for the rooms in Strathmore, as it was a cheap deal, the cost was non-returnable, so we can't cancel those rooms.

Can I ask another question, how is the ctrain?, we were planning on parking south of Calgary at one of the ctrain stops and coming in by train, is that still feasible?

Cheers
 

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A lot of the C-Train routes are a shambles from what I've seen/heard.

What's your route/timings again? I'll cast a net amongst the Air Canada lads and see what they know. You have my email I think.
 

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Just got back from Oregon, absent during the disaster. We were out of Province and all OK here. Going into Calgary in about 15 minutes. Will check out to see if any problems. We still have accommodations available if problems occur. We understand that Stampede is still going on!
Graham
 

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Hooray!!, Cheers for the update.

Strangely enough my wife is having dinner with a high profile Calgarian tonight, Alfred Balm, if you know him?

He's a billionaire Dutch Guy, who spends most of his time in Calgary apparently?

Well he actually owns the company me and the wife work for, and the senior management are having dinner with him tonight, before he flies back to Canada tomorrow..

He did say when he was picked up at the airport this evening that if we were off to Canada tomorrow, we could fly back with him :), perhaps he forgets us normal folk have to book our flights months in advance :), we haven't all got private jets., but wouldn't that have been cool :)

Anyway, I think he's also something to do with the Stampede, so my wife will be quizzing him tonight, about all things 'Stampede', but from what he said, they will be making the decision within the next 2 days as to whether the Stampede is a go or not..

But I'm guessing you guys will have it all up and running by the time we arrive, even if it's still a bit soggy :), and we shall have a great time regardless :)
 
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