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Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

Bedfodshire
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Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

My husband and I are from the UK and want to go on holiday this year to Canada for two weeks. One area we definitley want to visit is Vancouver (possible Vancouver island) and we really want to see wildlife, especially bears. Any ideas on key places we should be going?

Thanks

Al

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

2 weeks around here is doable. Wildlife is mainly found at the north end of Vancouver Island. See Telegraph Cove. You could plan 3 nights in Vancouver, 2 nights in Victoria.

Have a read through some of the "Things to Do" on the Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver Island Forums. On each forum, at the top right, you will find Top Questions. Each forum will have its own TQ. As well have a browse on www.hellobc.com. See if you can get started by doing that. Then ask some more specific questions for us, as this request is very broadly worded for us to be of much help at the moment. As well, include your interests (aside from bears) for better quality responses. Will you rent a car? Look forward to hearing back from you.

Edited: 02 January 2011, 20:55
Vancouver
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2. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

and most importantly...when are you planning on travelling to here? that may decide what wildlife you get to see.

Canmore, Alberta
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3. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

Not to totally throw you in a different direction, but many people who come to Canada have the Rocky Mountain area as a must see on their list. You can find tons of information on here in the Alberta forum for the areas of Banff and Jasper and in the B.C. forum for Yoho National Park.

There is no guarantee anywhere for seeing bears, but we certainly have our fair share of them in the Rocky Mountains, both black bears and grizzlies. Of course to see them you would have to be coming when they are out of hibernation. It depends on how the winter temperatures and weather go but generally in the Rockies they could be seen from April to October.

In 2 weeks you would have enough time to consider seeing Vancouver and the Rocky Mountains.

Cheers:)

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

Although I may take flack for this, my suggestion would be to get a guidebook from Amazon.co.uk or go to Stamfords on Long Acre and read a bit about Western Canada. Then with a bit of research done, come back here and ask for fine tuning,

Canmore, Alberta
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5. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

I don't think you should get flack at all Buccaneer Dave, it sounds like a good suggestion. It is a vague posting and difficult to know where to start helping at this point :)

Vancouver
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6. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

Al - I agree a good guidebook would be a great start and probably get you really excited about trip planning. Another tip: I've been lucky 3 out of 4 times taking visitors to Whistler in the summer and spotting black bears. It's barely a 2 hour drive from Vancouver.

Enjoy your trip planning!

Abbotsford, Canada
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7. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

Hello princess,

Something that you should keep in mind that hasn't been mentioned is that it sounds from your original post that you want to see as much of Canada as possible. If that is the case it will not happen. Canada is just much to big to see in two weeks.

I tend to break Canada down into three main travel regions that you can do in two weeks

1) BC and the Rockies to Calgary.

2) Ontario and Quebec (Niagara Falls to Quebec City. Which includes Montreal Toronto and Ottawa)

3) Atlantic Canada.

In my opinion BC and the Rockies sound like your best option based on the fact you want to see wildlife and Vancouver.

Vancouver might be your best starting point as you can take a bus tour to Victoria and Whistler from Vancouver on Pacific Coach Busses and save money on car rental, ferries and parking fees.

You should take the bus to Victoria from Vancouver airport for two days(visit Butchart Gardens and have high tea at The Empress). Follow that with Vancouver and Whistler for 5 days. From there I would suggest Kelowna for two to three days visiting wine country down through Oliver and Osoyoos. End your trip with a visit to Banff or Jasper and Calgary.

Air Transat flies to and from England from Vancouver and Calgary.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Chris

Vancouver, B.C.
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8. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

Agree with everything above except Victoria, since the OP is from the UK no point having high tea at the Empress and Victoria is too "British like". I would only go to Butchart gardens if you have a interest in gardening and flowers. I would cut Victoria and use those days for either Banff or Jasper (my choice).

I could be wrong though so the OP should research Victoria and decide for themselves if it's going over. I would suggest you definitely drive the Icefield Parkway.

Vancouver
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9. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

you could do 4 nights in Vancouver, 1 night in Victoria, 2 nights in Tofino, 4-5 nights in Banff/Jasper to check out all the beauty that way, glaciers etc. Then you could spend a couple more days in and around Vancouver. Maybe check out Whistler etc.

There are great wildlife tours from Tofino (and from all areas really).

In Two weeks you will get a great tour of the West Coast!

Jasper, Canada
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10. Re: Help...want to go to Canada but clueless!!

With two weeks, I would suggest *either* Vancouver and the Rockies (possibly with a stop-over in the Okanagan?), or Vancouver and Vancouver Island, but not both... unless you are wanting the kind of holiday where you drive by a lot of scenery and get a quick overview.

Two nights in Tofino is really only one day there, and for the amount of driving to get there, hardly worth it, in my opinion. I'd suggest a minimum of three nights there. Four of five nights will give you an overview of the Rockies (3 nts Banff/Lake Louise, 2 nts Jasper?) but it's probably best to do the drive from the coast over two days each way, unless you don't mind a marathon stint in the car (it's 8 - 12 hours of driving time each way, depending on route). One popular solution is to fly in to Vancouver and out of Calgary (or vice versa) and thereby only have to do the drive once (it is very scenic); however, although such "open jaw" flights are not usually much more expensive, a one-way car rental can be, because of the "drop fee".