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Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Brisbane, Australia
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Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Is it possible to visit Vancouver, Whistler and Lake Louise in March 2013, 10 days total.

Our son is working in Whistler so we'd love to go there, but believe the rockies and Banff, Lake Louise are exceptional

It's a lot of backwards and forwards I think.

Or would Vancouver Island be a better 3rd destination.

Thanks, Denise

Holland
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567 posts
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1. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Hi Denise,

Whistler is a great resort and if you are skiing you won't get bored in 10 days. Yes the Rockies are an icon and absolutely beautiful, for me in winter even better then in summer. However having 10 days to do 3 destinations is quite a tight schedule.

I have put it into a schedule to let you see why.

day 1) fly into Vancouver, depending on arrival time you might be able to go to Whistler directly from the airport, as I assume you want to visit your son first

day 2) stay in Whistler

day 3) stay in Whistler (3 night whistler)

day 4) back to Vancouver + sightseeing

day 5) Vancouver sightseeing (2 nights vancouver)

day 6) morning flight to Calgary, some sightseeing Calgary and drive to Banff

day 7) visit Banff (2 nights Banff)

day 8) drive Banff - Lake Louise, overnight LL or back to hotel in Banff (so 1 night LL or 3 nights Banff)

day 9) Lake Louise and evening drive back to Calgary (1 night Calgary airport)

day 10) fly out Calgary - Vancouver - Australia

As Whistler - Lake Louise is a 750 km and at least 10 hour drive,

and Banff - Vancouver a 850 km, 10 hour drive, it won't make sense to drive back and forth, so that is why I have put in a flight Vancouver - Calgary.

I assumed you also wanted see Vancouver, so I put in 2 days of sightseeing Vancouver, which you can squeeze into 1 day if you want to, allowing 1 more day in Whistler or Banff/Lake Louise.

It is doable, but very tight to me and just a short visit to your son.

Your other option to do VI as a 3rd destination would work out better, although VI is quite large (north to south about 500 km).

By renting a car you could make it a nice round trip and get an impression of VI, like this itinerary:

day 1) fly into Vancouver, depending on arrival time you might be able to go to Whistler directly from the airport, as I assume you want to visit your son first

day 2) stay in Whistler

day 3) stay in Whistler

day 4 stay in Whistler (4 nights Whistler)

day 5) drive Whistler to Horseshoe Bay on your leisure, allowing time for waterfalls and viewpoints, take ferry to Nanaimo, drive south and stay overnight in Chemainus (1 night Chemainus)

day 6) drive Chemainus to Victoria at your leisure, visit Duncan + some sighseeing Victoria

day 7) Victoria (2 nights Victoria)

day 8) Victoria ferry to Vancouver Tsawassen to hotel Vancouver + some sightseeing Vancouver

day 9) Vancouver (2 nights Vancouver)

day 10) fly out Vancouver

Google maps wil give you a good impression on distances and driving times.

The above schedule allows you 1 more day in Whistler and gives you still an impression of VI and leaves time to sightsee Vancouver.

If you decide to spend more time in Whistler, which I can imagine, I would suggest skipping the roadtrip to VI and make it a day trip or overnight trip from Vancouver to Victoria. But keep in mind Vancouver - Victoria is still a 4 hour trip by bus or car. A seaplane flight from Vancouver to Victoria is another option and makes it possible to hop over to Victoria in just 1 day.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

In March, I'd have to say that Vancouver Island is your better choice. Driving across BC a distance similar to Brisbane-Sydney but over several mountain passes in what is definitely still winter storm season is not a wise way to go, IMO.

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Would this work as our son is now saying he can have the 10 days off with us.

Arrive Van, Thursday , stay in Van 3 days, ice hockey game on the Saturday night.

Depart Sunday for Calgary and drive direct to Banff for 2 nights, 1 night Lake Louise, then back to Calgary for midday departure to Van. So missing seeing Calgary

Arrive Van airport and transfer direct to Whistler for 3 nights then direct back to the airport for flight back.

Very tight schedule...not much skiing but we're keen to see a bit of Canada, tiny bit I know, and great distance to cover, and weather to deal with.

I did heaps of work last night, on trying to fit all of this in. Is it do-able?

Also can you tell me which is the most glorious hotel to stay in Fairmont Banff Springs or Fairmont Lake Louise. Might as well splurge if we're doing it.

Thanks, Denise

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
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4. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Your plan sounds completely doable, except for the hockey tickets. For those I wish you luck and deep pockets :)

Haven't stayed at either hotel but have been to both many, many times. I would think that if you got a great room with a fantastic view of Lake Louise that that would be the better splurge.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Yes very expensive for the Hockey tickets. Our son is working on that. Another Once in a Lifetime thing if it comes off

Thanks so much for your help and advice.

I haven't used the forum before and it is so nice to have someone reviewing my plan. I usually do all our trips myself, and often get nervous that I've done the right thing.

Are we better to hire a car in Calgary or take a bus to Banff, Lake Louise and back to Calgary?

I've got a days work ahead starting my bookings.

Thanks again. Denise

Holland
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567 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Yes your plan sounds quite the same to my 1st itenary, just other way around, so yes it is still tight, but if you realise that and be happy with it, why not ?

I have stayed at LL Chateau many many years ago and loved it (have to admit was first time at such an expensive hotel so was easy to impress me) , can't compare to the Banff one.

Holland
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567 posts
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7. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Oh, forgot: I would rent a car at Calgary airport.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

Sounds like a great trip!

I would splurge on the Chateau Lake Louise, with a lake view room. Spectacular! The common areas in the Banff Springs are very nice, and you should check it out while in town, but it's not really conveniently located near shops and restaurants in town, and the rooms are nothing special.

Definitely rent a car. With such a quick trip, I think you'd waste a lot of time waiting for busses etc.

9. Re: Vancouver, Whistler Lake louise

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