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Itinerary Help Please

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Alabama
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Itinerary Help Please

We have a 12 day vacation planned to Northwest in mid -July. We arrive and depart from Seattle. There will be 3 of us for most of the trip and possibly 2 additional friends from eastern Washington for part of the journey. We are a family travelling with one teenager. We have been to Seattle, Victoria, San Juan Islands, and Vancouver before. We plan to spend 2 nights each in Seattle and Vancouver. We are also considering attending the Sequim Washington lavender festival on 7/15/11. We would love to go to Banff/Jasper but think it is too far given our time frame. We would like to include some mountain time in our itinerary. The ideal would include alpine meadows, snow peaks, and crystal clear lakes with hiking, bicycle riding, & water activities also available. Please give some suggestions on the best area to add to our trip given our time constraints and departure city. Thank you so much. I have been struggling with this for several days.

Vancouver
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1. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Whistler

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Quit struggling. Whistler has all on your list 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Itinerary Help Please

I think you do have time to go up to the Rockies, but it would be a bit of a push. I would recommend some time through central BC and Washington State doing the Coast Range (BC) and the Cascades (WA). What about a loop that takes you east to Manning Park (which will offer all of those things you mention above) and then on to the wine country of the south Okanagan around the Osoyous - Penticton area, then travel south into Washington State, looking at places like Lake Chelan and Leavenworth and heading back to Seattle region that way.

If you want to, getting to Banff from Vancouver direct can be done in one long day, but best done in two. I'm not clear on how many days you have to play with, but even if that only leaves you with three nights in Banff before you have to head back south to Seattle via Spokane, that would still be a lovely trip, but a lot more driving, so it depends on the balance of time spent in the car vs. time spent relaxing somewhere.

Canmore, Alberta
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4. Re: Itinerary Help Please

It would be a rushed trip and certainly a lot of driving if you were trying to drive return trip from the Vancouver area to the Rockies and back to Seattle in your time frame, in addition to doing the other nights you have stated in Vancouver and Seattle.

From Vancouver to Banff for instance is a minimum of 10 hours of driving time alone, not accounting for any stops or breaks. Some people do attempt to do it in one very long day, but many choose to do an overnight to break it up.

Not sure what your budget is, but a consideration would be to look at a flight from Vancouver to Calgary and explore the Rockies from there. There is also the option of flying one way and renting a car to drive the other. Generally there is a large one way drop fee charged that makes this very expensive, however I was just talking to someone on a different forum that said they did find a decent rate to do this.

Whistler is a good alternative to the Rockies, it's very pretty, but certainly not the same. Another beautiful drive is the Cascade mountain loop in Washington that includes the Mount Baker area. It also has a lot of pretty meadows and lake areas. http://www.cascadeloop.com/index.php

Cheers

Edited: 04 May 2011, 22:24
Nanaimo, Canada
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for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
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5. Re: Itinerary Help Please

If you're considering the Sequim festival then the Olympic National Park is right behind you.

http://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm

Alabama
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6. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Thank you all for your excellent suggestions. I will get the maps out tonight.

Are there day trips in the Whistler area that we could take if we wanted to explore a little further?

Kootenays, British...
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7. Re: Itinerary Help Please

For a great mountain experience I'd suggest that you take the I-90 to Spokane and then drive north to the border at Patterson/Northport (or Nelway). From there you are about 2 hours from the Slocan Valley which will meet all of the things on your list. On the west shore of Slocan Lake is Valhalla Provincial Park which you can check out on this link:

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/valhalla/

July will also be the start of the wild flower season on Idaho Lookout:

www.bcfirelookouts.com/idaho/index.html

www.nastidyne.com/Dave/idaho_lookout.htm

You can drive back the way you came or across Hwy 3 (Crowsnest) through southern BC to Vancouver.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Itinerary Help Please

2 nights Seattle

I would suggest you consider taking Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver from Seattle.

Stay 2 nights in Vancouver and rent a car for driving to the Rockies.

Stay 1 night in the Okanagan Valley on the way.

Stay 3 nights Banff, 2 nights Jasper

Drop the car in Calgary

Possibly 1 night near Calgary airport to fly back to Seattle (United, Air Canada, Alaska, Continental, Delta)

Not necessarily a leisurely trip, but would focus enough time in the Rockies for you to experience them.

If this doesn't appeal, I would suggest you consider

2 nights Seattle

3 nights Vancouver

2-3 nights in Whistler

1 night on a lazy circle tour from Whistler - Pemberton - Lillooet - Lytton (white water rafting) - Hope.

2 nights back to Seattle via Abbotsford/Sumas crossing, Bellingham, the Chuckanut Drive (Larrabee State Park), Whidbey Island (Anacortes - Oak Harbor - Coupeville) and over to Mukilteo and Seattle.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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9. Re: Itinerary Help Please

"Are there day trips in the Whistler area that we could take if we wanted to explore a little further?"

Yes head east along highway 99 into the Coast Mountain/South Chilcotin range.

A search on the Gold Bridge Bralorne Duffey Lake Pemberton Valley will bring all kinds of options.

Alabama
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10. Re: Itinerary Help Please

I am still interested in Banff since our daughter has never been to the Rockies. We have already purchased air fare to Seattle so that is set. I am considering limiting the west coast portion of the trip to the Seattle/Sequim area and trying to add Banff in the place of Vancouver/Whistler. Can anyone suggest a stop in between Seattle in Banff for 1 or 2 days in BC? Thanks for all your help. I realize that I am getting out of the BC Forum and will also post on Banff and/or Seattle.