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What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

Perth, Australia
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What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

Hi

We are returning to Vancouver after 10days in Whistler on 13 Jan 12. We have 5nights and would be interested in suggestions for things to do, or whether 5 nights in Vancouver is too much and to plan another mini trip during this period.

We are concious of the weather and are unsure what attractions are ruled out/not worth a visist in winter.

We are concious of the travel times via road and would like to avoid this

We would like to visit Lake Louise however are unsure what the quickest way/ best way to get there.

We have family in Calgary that we would like to see however are unsure if a visit to Calgary is worth it/ better things to do there instead of vancouver. Unsure if Banff or Rockies is also a worthwhile trip?

Any suggestions would be wonderful. Budget isn't too much of an issue if it is worthwhile adventure before returing home to Australia via Hong Kong!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

Hi holiday2211 ~ welcome to the forums.

Five nights in Vancouver would be about right to see the various attractions and sights we have here.

Getting to Lake Louise in the winter would be best done by flying the 1.5 hours to Calgary, then perhaps renting a car from there to Banff and Lake Louise. About 2 hours drive.

"Worth it" questions are really difficult to address. Only you will know if something is worth it or not.

What I can tell you is that it will be wet and cold in Vancouver in January with daylight being in short supply. I haven't looked up the stat on sunset on Jan 13, but it will be around 5:30 pm or so. There is lots to do here, even in the wet and cold. Almost everything on the Things to Do list (left sidebar) will be open and available.

I can also tell you that the Rockies in January will be a snow only proposition. Winter sports would be the focus with 99% of the tourist season sights and activities closed for the winter. The Icefields Parkway is the highway between Lake Louise and Jasper but may be quite difficult to travel if the weather is not in your favour.

I would suggest you browse the Canadian Rockies Forum on to perhaps page 3 for topics that have been asked and answers given to see more about winter in the Rockies.

Driving to the Rockies from Vancouver would entail about 850 km, up and over about 5 mountain ranges with mountain passes at pretty high elevations. So flying would be much more practical. Here is an article from the Canada Forum about driving in winter:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-c55003/Canada…

You could certainly look into the 4 hour one way ride/ferry to Victoria for a visit, perhaps for one overnight. It is a quieter city than Vancouver and many of the tourist season attractions and activities will be closed for the winter. But the city itself is great to visit any time of the year.

I like to post this list of the highlights of things to do here in Vancouver.

VANCOUVER DOWNTOWN:

Stanley Park, including the Aquarium

Gastown - for a self guided walking tour: http://www.gastown.org/history/index.html --> take a self guided walking tour. Otherwise this historic birthplace of Vancouver will just be brick and stone to you.

Chinatown

Robson Street

Bill Reid Gallery at 639 Hornby St. between Dunsmuir and Georgia

Vancouver Art Gallery, with its great Gallery Café

The Marine Building at 355 Burrard St. for the exterior, facade, entrance, foyer and the inside of the brass-doored elevators. Notice the marine and ship themes. Office hours only.

NORTH SHORE:

Grouse Mountain

Lynn Canyon Susp Bridge (free) or Capilano Susp Bridge ($$$)

*************

SOUTH SIDE OF FALSE CREEK

Granville Island and False Creek

Maritime Museum - www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/page216.htm

Van Dusen Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory

**********

4 Self Guided walks - vancouver.ca/commsvcs/…index.htm

**********

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Nitobe Memorial Gardens at UBC - http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/nitobe

Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Gardens –

www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/canopy-walkway

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

I'l be honest here - I'm quite confused. Why are you skiing at Whistler if your stated destination of interest is Lake Louise and Calgary? Why don't you take your ski holiday in Banff instead? It is a world class ski destination also favoured by the rich and famous, so that just makes more sense to me.

What you've said here is: we're taking a vacation in the Blue Mountains and have five days in Sydney at the end. We would like to see the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Philip Island while we are there. So, do you want to see Sydney or do you want to see Melbourne? Two different places entirely.

Personally, I think nothing - bar NOTHING - beats a bright, crisp winter day in Vancouver. The air virtually sparkles and the mountains are in their glory with their winter coats on. Summer is nice, but for scenery, I like the winter views better.

Because we are quite mild here on the coast, we don't usually have to deal with snow issues on the roads and waterways, so most of the usual attractions are still accessible and enjoyable. You need to be prepared for cold wet weather, but most of our features are accessible year round. Mufti has given you some ideas to start your planning.

Personally, at that time of year, I'd focus on museums and theatre, just because those are predominantly indoors, and then take an outside day if the weather turns favourable. A lifetime in this place isn't enough, IMO. But if 5 days is all you have, then you'll have to work with that.

Here's one outing I'd plan for at that time of year. Something Whistler doesn't have is lights for going out on the mountains at night, and that's just magic. Go for the chocolate fondue tour:

http://cypressmountain.com/snowshoe-tours

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

V67 ~ I wonder if it's a case of the Aussies thinking LL is just down the road and not realizing the distance involved. Maybe it's being thought of as an easy add on to Whistler. In reality it is like asking about also visiting Melbourne from Sydney.

I hope the OP will be back to elaborate on what they are thinking.

Edited: 14 November 2011, 23:09
seattle
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4. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

not to be the voice of doom, however I think 5 days in winter is a bit much for Vancouver. Please don't hate me. I was there last New yrs day and thought it spectacular however the sun was out and I could really enjoy being outside. I drove up to Squamish to see the eagles. Walking around Stanley park is nice but if the weather is cold and gloomy I'd think 5 days would seem like forever. I also like the idea of going to Banff instead.

My only other thought is to do an overnite to Victoria. the Gardens are always nice and you can come back to Vancovuer to catch your flight home

vancouver
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5. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

I disagree

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

How very helpful, vandan.

David - the strength of TA is the different opinions, so I'm happy you voiced yours. It so much depends on the weather around here. If its dreary and rainy, then the locals can't wait to get out, let alone the visitors! Its a real crap shoot at that time of year. I'd agree that Victoria would make a good outtrip at that time of year. If its going to be nice anywhere around here, that's the place to go.

Mufti - exactly, which is why I drew the Melbourne/Sydney comparison. Sorry if I came off snarky, bad week.

7. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

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Removed on: 21 November 2011, 14:17
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

I do respect the differences of opinion. It is one of the key assets of TA.

9. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

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10. Re: What else to do Jan 13-Jan 18 2012

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Removed on: 21 November 2011, 14:18