My wife and I are planning a trip in early December (6th-13th). We want to go somewhere that will have snow with it being so close to Christmas and our home never getting snow. We would like to hit a metropolitan area that has all the usual trappings of a decent sized city (large variety of restaurants, bars, shopping, sights, etc...) and a mountain town where we can do some fun outdoors stuff (winter sports, enjoy the scenery and relax). I think we're leading towards Vancouver to Whistler but, I'm a little unsure.
I'm thinking we'll probably do 3 nights in the city and 4 nights in the mountains. We are budgeting around $250-$300 a night for hotels. So finding nice accommodations shouldn't be an issue. We also enjoy nice restaurants but, really only go "all out" for dinner once or twice during a trip and I'm sure any of these locations has at least two really good places to eat. What I am worried about is running out of things to do and see.
On previous vacations the things we enjoyed the most were generally the things that you can't see in other places (Golden Gate Bridge, Big Sur, 17 mile drive, Salzbergwerk, Neuschwanstein, scenery of Berchtesgaden, etc...). We're not really museum people but, since it will be quite cold compared to what we are used to we might be more inclined to visit one or two during the city portion of our trip.
Our original plan was to fly to Vancouver and drive to Banff. I think I was gravitating toward Vancouver and Banff because I've been to both albeit almost 20 years ago when I was just 15 and it was summer not winter. However the distance, the aforementioned snow and going across a few mountain passes means I'm not exactly keen on making that trip in a rental car that probably won't have snow tires.
At this point I think our options are:
1.Fly into Calgary and drive the 80+/- miles to Banff easily enough but, I just kind of get the feeling there isn't much in Calgary that would interest us.
2. Fly into Vancouver drive to Whistler. I did a fair amount of research on Whistler and I don't think we'd be disappointed but, Banff/ Lake Louise kind of have a special place in my heart and wanted to make sure.
What's your vote? Thanks in advance for the input.