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Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

Oxford, United...
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Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

Hi,

I am researching one leg of a road trip and would like to ask for suggestions please.

I have looked at the most frequently suggested places - Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Sorrento, Chase, Sun Peaks, Kelowna, Revelstoke - but none really jumped out at me. I was erring on the side of Revelstoke but I couldn't get a sense of how set up Revelstoke and Sun Peaks were out of the skiing season. Kelowna is perhaps a little too far south.

We'd be travelling late Aug/early Sept and would like a stop-over approximately mid-way. Is there anywhere else perhaps a little different. Perhaps a mountain view, or great for wildlife (bears?). We wouldn't be too worried about venturing away from the main routes for a great place to stay.

It is our first trip to Canada.

Thanks in advance.

Vancouver BC
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1. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

In one direction or the other you should consider highway 3 described in Top Questions on this page. The southern Okanagan is a land of lakes and vineyards with a desert climate. You'd be more likely to see a rattle snake than a bear.

Lethbridge, Canada
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2. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

Emerald Lake Resort. Possibly the most beautiful place I've been to in the Rockies (other than completely uninhabited areas). Of course, that's subjective, but I've been basically everywhere. It's nowhere near halfway, but you can certainly get there from Vancouver in a day's drive.

I suck at doing links in this forum (gonna look that up now), but Google 'emerald lake' and then check out the image results.

Edited: 20 January 2013, 17:30
Oxford, United...
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3. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

Looks like a great suggestion, but really not half-way! Is there anywhere similar that is more in the middle?

Good tip for when we're passing through on the way to Banff though.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

Yeah, Emerald Lake Lodge is only an hour from Banff.

Revelstoke is a town of a few thousand people sitting on the edge of two national parks (Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier). It's a railway town but tourism is also a big part of its economy. Kamloops is well situated as a stop-over point, and is scenic - it's an arid and hilly landscape, quite a contrast to the wet Selkirk Mountains around Revy, or even the drier Rockies, but tends to be somewhat "underappreciated" by the regulars here in the forums.

Burlington, Canada
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5. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

I agree with krp. Kamloops is always getting a very bad rap around here. Personally I really like it. The reason being is that I never expected that this type of landscape existed in Canada. It reminded me of something out of a Clint Eastwood western. It looks like New Mexico! I also found the people to be friendly and thought it was a nice place to stop for the night.

Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

ha, krusty, I was being diplomatic. ;-) I don't care for Kamloops, even though I have friends to visit there, and depending on the circumstances of the trip we are on, we will usually opt to add a couple of extra hours of driving to take a different route and stop somewhere else. (How's that for a recommendation. LOL) However, the OP did mention wanting a variety of scenery, and it does offer a contrast in that regard, as well as being logically situated for driving from Vancouver to Banff.

I last stopped over there last spring - we had car trouble and needed to visit a dealership there; that was the only reason we stopped there. I don't like how spread out it is, and the hotel area up in Aberdeen is most definitely not pedestrian-friendly. We walked from our hotel to a place to eat (we wanted to have a couple of drinks) and some of the route along the way didn't even have sidewalks. The mall there is a joke - so tiny for the size of the town - but seems they have opted to go with spread out shopping instead, with big box stores all over the place.

Burlington, Canada
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7. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

Ha, ok then krp. Well, I didn't actually stay in a hotel in Kamloops. We stayed at Paul Lake Park. But I really did find the scenery to be quite interesting. I also liked how the town had houses going up the hillside. It looked nice at night. Anyhow, I didn't have a bad experience there....but to be clear, I last visited Kamloops in 1996(!!!) so maybe much has changed. I mean, tumbeweeds in Canada? Kamloops had them. Cheers.

Oxford, United...
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8. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

So it sounds like Revelstoke is still coming up as the best option then.

BC, Canada
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9. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

If you're driving from Vancouver to Banff your choice of stopover is dependent on what route you take. Hwy 1-Hwy3-hwy-97-hwy 1 takes you through Keremeos, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, then back onto Hwy 1 through Sicamous,Revelstoke, Golden.

Hwy 1- Hwy 5- hwy 97C-Hwy 97-Hwy 1 takes you through Merritt, Kelowna, Vernon etc. (skips the southern Okanagan)

Hwy 1-Hwy 5-hwy 1 take you through Kamloops then back on hwy 1 thru Sicamous, Revelstoke, etc.

Each community has its pros and cons and topography, sites and activities. The first 2 routes take you through beautiful mountain and valley and even desert scenery, with orchards, wineries, small towns and small cities. IMO, more to offer than the Kamloops route. Depending on your budget and the type of accommodations you want, I'd recommend the following options: The Cove Resort in West Kelowna, The Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, Sparkling Hill in Vernon are all on the higher end. Both West Kelowna & Kelowna have newer hotel chain options such as Best Western, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Sheraton for more mid-range. If you could be more specific in what you would like to see/do and how much time you have, I could give more detailed recommendations.

SE Ontario
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10. Re: Stopover Vancouver - Banff. Somewhere a bit different

krp - in terms of spread out shopping with big box stores all over the place - what makes Kamloops any different from most other western cities with lots of space to grow? You could easily be describing Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and even now Saskatoon.