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Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

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Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

My husband and I will be staying in Vancouver for a few days in June, after which we are picking up a car at the airport and driving to Calgary, taking about 10 days, where we drop off the car and fly back to the UK. (in picking up the car at Vancouver airport we avoid a one way drop off charge at Calgary).

We've planned a route and booked hotels but the first day's drive seems very long from Vancouver to Kelowna. My particular concern is finding our way from the airport onto Provincial Route 1 which seems very convoluted in the directions given by Mapquest. Will PR1 be well signposted from the airport or will we need to follow Mapquest's directions, or alternatively would a Satnav be a better bet? Many thanks.

Parksville, Canada
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1. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

You're correct, it's not an easy route from the airport to Highway 1. I lived in the Lower Mainland for 16 years, and still needed to ask the same question on TA last year.

Itchyfeet posted this in response to my queery last year, and this route worked like a charm. You will need to follow the signage from the airport to Highway 99 (south) which is fairly straightforward.

Drive down Highway 99 and take the 8th Avenue exit going east; 8th Avenue will take you to Highway 15. (I think that it's also 176th Street.) Turn left and go up to 16th Avenue and then turn right. This will take you out to 264th where you turn can turn left and then entrance Highway 1. (Alternatively, you could turn right and drive south to 8th Avenue again (turning left off 264th). Driving further along 8th Avenue will take you further east to Highway 11, turn left and then entrance Highway 1.)

Once you are heading east on Highway 1 it is a straight run to the turnoff to the Coquihalla and on to Kelowna. Here is the full thread of the discussion (note we were going futher south than Kelowna, to Penticton, thus the disucussion about whether to take Hway 3 or the Coquihalla - you will want to take the Coquihalla (Highway 5)

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154943-i81-k29864…

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

Make life easy. Leave the airport and head to Vancouver over the Art Laing Bridge. Stay in the centre lane and exit Marine Drive East ( City Centre via Cambie street). Follow Marine Drive 10 minutes and turn left onto Boundary Road. Follow Boundary another 10-15 minutes to Highway 1 east (sign is a maple leaf with the number 1) and then off to Kelowna via Highway 1 for 90 minutes and then Highway 5. Total time about 6 hours. (sometimes Highway 1 appears as 401 but it is the same highway.)

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

I like Hwy 99 and 16th Ave in South Surrey as well. (You want Exit 2 on Hwy 99 for the 8th Ave eastbound part.)

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4. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

Thanks for the replies, but since writing my original post my husband has managed to change the car pickup point to downtown Vancouver from where it seems much simpler to get onto highway 1. Please advice me if I'm misinformed!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

IMO it's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. You will save the surcharge from picking up at the airport, but may pay more for the one way drop fee. But getting to the freeway will be easier for you.

From downtown Vancouver, just get to Main and Terminal, head out east on Terminal, which morphs seemlessly into 1st Avenue and Bob's your uncle, 15 minutes and you're on the freeway.

Vancouver
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6. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

The drive is actually really easy from the airport. Plus you do not waste time going downtown to pick up your car. The mentioned routes are all accurate but do add on some time.

I have done the drive many many times and now follow this route:

Leave airport following signs directing you to hwy 99 and Seattle.

Follow this route to hwy 91 and take the exit.

Stay in the right lane and take the very next exit onto hwy 10.

Follow this to 176th st and turn left, this leads you right to the hwy.

This entire route is 4 lanes which many people are not aware of. Very easy and the fastest of the options.

The other choices of 16th ave, etc are good but you end up driving out of your way to get all the way there. Also going back through Vancouver means you have to cross the port mann bridge which is a terrible idea during any sort of rush hour traffic, especially with the construction on the highway. So it really depends on your time of departure.

Have fun on your trip. It should take you approx 5hrs plus or minus 30mins depending on traffic/stops on the way.

Parksville, Canada
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7. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

If you are picking up your car downtown, follow Mufti's advice - take Terminal to 1st - DO NOT take Hastings Street, regardless of what your map program may tell you! You'll be forever getting out of the city!

Rockies BC
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8. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

This may be a bit off topic, but am I the only one who finds it demoralising to drive so far south on Hwy 99, and to have to cope with the Tunnel, & then to have to take Hwy 10 which NOW (now that construction is over) is finally not so slow, until you hit the Langley Bypass when it comes to a crawl, before finally joining Hwy 1 out at 232th/264th? Years ago I started taking the Connector across Lulu Island, the Alex Fraser Bridge, Nordel Way which becomes 88th, and then merge onto Hwy 1 at 200th... took me less than an hour on a Friday noon the last time I did that (in March).

Parksville, Canada
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9. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

That's why the 16th or 8th Street route - Highway 10 is terrible.

When we moved from the west end to Fraser Heights (north Surrey) that was the one big drawback - a complete pain to get from there (just east of the Port Mann) to the airport.

So no, you're not alone!

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10. Re: Route from Vancouver Airport to Kelowna

Thanks for all the trouble you've taken with your reply, but we're staying downtown for a few days before picking up the car, so it's more convenient to collect it downtown.