We (wife and kids aged 17 and 14) will be driving from Calgary to Vancouver from the middle of July and I have booked accommodation along the route, although all can be changed. We arrive to see the last day of the Stampede (and have tickets) and then have a week's driving, stopping at
Lake Louise x 2 nights with an icefields trek booked
Golden x 1 night
Revelstoke x 1 night
Kamloops x 2 nights
The stops are currently planned so we don't have too much driving in any one day and we have time for activities en route.
First question is if we should stay only one night in Kamloops and then go via Whistler to Vancouver? I know that will add a couple of hours to the drive, but it will be over two days. Since we are from the UK, we may not get to this part of the world anytime again soon, so it's a chance to see Whistler and it's also my son's 18th birthday that day so there may be nicer places to eat in Whistler than Kamloops. Is Whistler worth this detour?
Other questions are; where along our route would it be best to see bears and is there a tour worth doing? My daughter would love this, although we know there are no guarantees of sightings. We would also like perhaps to do some horseriding and gentle (for my wife) rafting or kayaking - ziplining too. Finally, any recommendations for whale watching in Vancouver, given that we will be staying downtown?