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Family Itinerary Question

Washington, DC
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Family Itinerary Question

We are a family of 5 with 3 kids ages 11,8,2. We have 13 nights in total for our August trip. Lodging for the first 8 nights is as follows:

1 night at Calgary airport

2 nights Lake Louise - Emerald Lake Lodge

2 nights Jasper - Grove Suites at Patricia Lake

3 nights Banff - Banff Springs

My main question is how to fill out the rest of the trip (5 nights). Should we go to Glacier NP in Montana? Should we fly to Vancouver for some city time? Should we do something else in Alberta? Also, any comments on the above plan and lodging choices is appreciated.

Newtown, PA
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1. Re: Family Itinerary Question

I received some great advice on this forum for our 2 weeks this summer. Aside from Banff, LL and Jasper, we're going to branch out into British Columbia and spend some time in Revelstoke and Nelson. Both look like neat towns with great scenery and lots to do.

Glacier is another excellent idea, we were there for 6 nights 2 years ago and loved it. Getting lodging could be an issue though as it fills up fast.

Our itinerary looks like this:

1 night Calgary (late flight)

3 nights Jasper

1 night Lake Louise

2 nights Revelstoke

2 nights Nelson

1 night Kimberley

4 nights Banff

1 night Calgary.

Greater Sydney...
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2. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Would the kids be interested in the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology at Drumheller?

http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/

Washington, DC
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3. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Thanks. Those are great ideas. I saw in another post that someone recommended going to Tofino on Vancouver Island. Would this make a good combination?

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Driving from Banff to Tofino would involve ~16-17 hours driving one way, stops extra. It's about 1100 km, or the equivalent of driving Washington DC to Miami.

You could fly WestJet, 1+ hours, non stop from Calgary to Comox, on Vancouver Island though. Rent a car there, visit the Tofino area which would be about 4 hours one way, stops extra. It's a great wilderness area that might need 3 nights/2 full days.

From there, not sure from where you are planning to fly home. It would be possible to fly out of Victoria, but that would involve a one way drop fee for the rental car. Of course you could return to Calgary from Comox. You could fly out of Vancouver as well.

There are some excellent kid friendly places near Parksville: Coombs and the goats on the roof, North Island Wildlife Recovery Center at Errington, with its orphan black bear sanctuary among many other animals and an educational focus for kids. Parksville has a great wide sand beach at low tide. They also have an impressive sand sculpture building competition that goes into August:

http://www.niwra.org/

www.parksvillebeachfest.ca/cms.asp?wpID=2

tofinotime.com/activities/tofinohiking.htm

Edited: 02 May 2012, 06:29
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5. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Thanks, Mufti. What about Whistler? Is that redundant with our Rockies itinerary? Do you have a view on Whistler versus Tofino? Much appreciated.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Hi travjks ~

Who is everyone here? hitemstraight and travjks - are you the same poster?

Whistler is a resort town, small, pedestrian oriented, has outdoors activities, has the Peak2Peak 4 km, 11 minute gondola ride across the valley from Whistler mtn to Blackcomb mtn. Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Center.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htt9g51SMRI

www.whistlerblackcomb.com

Tofino is the Pacific Rim National Park, which comprises the middle two quarters of the distance between Ucluelet and Tofino:

http://g.co/maps/zytpt

It is wilderness, forest, trails, ocean activities, whale watching, kayaking, beach walking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ0TP3uieO4

tofinotime.com/activities/tofinohiking.htm

And yes, I would vote for giving Whistler a miss if someone is including the Rockies in their trip.

Calgary
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7. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Relayer,

That's an awesome itinerary. Central BC is often overlooked by tourists rushing from Banff to Vancouver or visa versa. I did almost the same trip just a few years ago with my 3 kids.

Lots to see between Golden and Nelson. You can easily tun this area into 4-5 days by traveling less each day and stopping a lot.

-Glacier Nat'l Park (Canada)

-Rogers pass

-Hemlock Grove

-Mt Revelstoke Nat'l Park

-Giant cedars Boardwalk

-Summit Drive and hike

-Revelstoke

-Railway Museum

-Revelstoke Dam

-Enchanted Forest (for kids) and other cheesy but fun roadside attractions just west of Revelstoke

-Shelter Bay Ferry

-Nakusp

-Nakusp Hot Springs

-Japanese gardens in Nakusp

-New Denver Japanese Internment Camp Historic Site

-Sandon Ghost Town

-SS Moyie Paddlewheeler in Kaslo

-Ainsworth Hot springs (the one with the cave!)

-Kokanee Creek Park to see the salmon spawning if you're lucky

-Nelson BC

-Kootenay Lake Ferry

-Glass House at Boswell

Calgary
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8. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Hitemstraight,

How much driving do you want to do? Adding in the west coast adds a lot of driving unless you fly of course - but then you'll still use up most of a day backtracking to Calgary, at the airport, flying etc... Adding in Waterton in southern Alberta and/or Glacier Park in Montana is doable if you want. Central BC is another option to use those 5 extra days.

By the way - Emerald lake Lodge is not in lake Louise. It's in Yoho Park 45 minutes past Lake Louise. I would consider adding a day in Jasper. There is lots to see there.

If you like dinosaurs then add a day to go to Drumheller at the end of the trip. Or add two days and also go to Brooks, Alberta and Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Calgary
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9. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Since you're already planning lots of mountain exploration I would also suggest checking out Drumheller. It is about 2 hours east of Calgary and the scenery there is a totally different world than the mountains. You'll drive through prairies before dropping down into the badlands of the Red Deer river valley.

Newtown, PA
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10. Re: Family Itinerary Question

Rautakallio, thanks for all the great suggestions. Here's a thread I posted on the Nelson forum back in January. I'm sure you can relate. Were you aware of the road up to Idaho Peaks? It will just be the two of us on this trip.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g181780-i3408-k510…