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Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

Charlotte, North...
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Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

I am traveling with my sister and mother and would like some suggestions of best driving routes from Calgary to vancouver through Kelowna. Suggestions for driving routes, hotels and attractions would be great. We will visit Banff for 2 nights and Lake Louise for 1/2 day. We have three days to travel to Vamcouver.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

Welcome to the forums sarastroup ~

Your travel question is really about territory in British Columbia, not the Canadian Rockies.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c120076/Briti…

The above link is a good article from the BC forums (Top questions to the upper right of the page) that outlines some routes to the coast.

When are you doing this trip? Advice will differ depending on that.

I think you could drive from Banff/Lake Louise as far as Kelowna in one day and then to Vancouver in one more day. I would strongly suggest you spend that third day in the Rockies. I'm afraid you will regret not doing so. In fact I would suggest you extend your time in the Rockies to at least 2 nights Banff, 2 nights Jasper, 1 night Lake Louise before driving to the coast. The Icefields Parkway is one of the top drives in the world and it doesn't sound as though you are even going near it. It has so much to see that it takes a full day to do the attractions justice.

www.icefieldsparkway.ca

It wouldn't be too much use to suggest things without knowing what your interests are. So I will suggest that you use TA to check out attractions and choose according to what appeals to you. Each and every forum has "Things to Do" in the left sidebar. And to the upper right, you will find Top Questions where information for the most common questions are collected. I would recommend you look on the Revelstoke Forum (type these words in the search field above the green navigation bar to go to that forum fairly quickly), the Okanagan Valley Forum, and the Kelowna Forum.

For hotels, I would suggest you start with the same idea. Once you have narrowed down where you want to stay, look in the left sidebar for the location's hotels and sort out a few according to your requirements. When you have a short list of 3 or 4 for your overnight stops, post them for comment.

You may find our online tourism website helpful. You can search by region or by city. Then you can find information about accommodation and things to do.

www.hellobc.com

sydney
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2. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

Hi there sarastroup,

I agree that you should spend more time and visit the Icefields Parkway. We did the trip from Banff to Vancouver last year and really enjoyed the drive but there are so many ways you can drive. Ours took us down through Radium Hot Springs, Cranbrook, Nelson (overnight) then across through Naskup to Kelowna. From Kelowna we then travelled through Kamloops across to Lillooet and down through Whistler into Vancouver. A great drive but there are many others to choose from. However, we gave ourselves plenty of travel time for sightseeing. As already said, you could drive across two days. I believe many Canadians do the drive without a stopover via HIghway 1 ( I think). Get yourself a good old fashioned highway map and take a look then refer back to the websites above. Enjoy - its a fantastic trip

Charlotte, North...
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3. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

Thank you for your suggestions, I will look at all your suggestions and then repost my questions. At present we are allowing 2 full days in Banff/Lake Louise and surrounding area, suggestions for hotels in Banff/Canmore would be great..we are on a budget. Then three days, 2 nights driving through the Okanagan Valley arriving in Vancouver Friday night. Any suggestions for lodging. Our plan right now is to drive from Lake Louise to Revelstoke, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton way. Where would be the best place to stay for two nights and use this location as our base. Our mother is 89 and thought it would be easier to stay at the same hotel both nights.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

For your Banff specific hotel questions, you would be better to post on the Banff Forum:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g154911-i221-Banff…

You could browse through the Banff hotels from the topic in the left sidebar on that forum as well. You can set filters for price and amenities.

In Kelowna, I understand the Travelodge on Abbott St is a good choice.

In Vancouver, what * rating, price range, style (boutique, chain, suites) and amenities are you looking for? How many nights do you plan to stay in Vancouver?

Edit: I just noticed this post is on the Canadian Rockies Forum. :-) (I get around!) But there are several posters who focus on the Banff Forum so I still think it would be a good idea to post there.

--------------------------

Edited: 21 February 2012, 10:04
Penticton, Canada
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5. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

Hi

for the better location to stay in the okanagan for 2 days I would suggest West Kelowna - (formerly Westbank) there is a 3 year old Best Western and a Holiday Inn in your mid level budget or look at the Cove Resort if you want to spurge. This will get you on the "correct" side of the floating bridge if you want to visit the southern part of the Okanagan on your second day and it is convenient to the turn off to the Coquihalla 97C/5 freeway when you leave for Vancouver.

http://g.co/maps/pmqtw is the okanagan map

http://g.co/maps/knajc is the map for the first part of the route to Vancouver 97C which is also called the Coquihalla Connector.

Banff, Canada
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6. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

Stay in Banff, at the Bow View Lodge. Get a Riverview Room. It's a very wonderful location, with the Bow River out your front door and the main street of downtown Banff only 5 minutes away. It's a lovely, yet simple budget property.

Have you thought of renting a wheelchair for 2 days? It would make your visit much smoother with your 89 year old mother. You can rent them in Banff and it's quite affordable for 2 days. You could push her along the pathway in Banff and along the shoreline of Lake Louise.

OR - if you wanted to go one price range, stay at the Banff Aspen Lodge in a wheelchair accessible ground level room. It includes a lovely breakfast.

OR - the Red Carpet Lodge, Irwin's Mountain Inn or the High Country Lodge have budget friendly ground level rooms. The High Country includes breakfast.

You can browse room rates at all of these properties and more at:

www.banfflakelouise.com

With only 2 days, you will have one day to enjoy Banff and one day to enjoy Lake Louise.

In Banff, take your 89 year old mom up the Banff Gondola! It's perfect for seniors - and more importantly, when was the last time you got to go on the TOP of a mountain in a National Park? Attractions like these are brilliant for all, but especially for those with limit mobility. Cost - $30 each.

For the other half of your day - go for a drive. Hit the famous viewpoints of Banff, the Hoodoos Viewpoint, the Mount Norquay Viewpoint, the Bow Falls Viewpoint. Take a drive on the scenic Lake Minnewanka Road. I would also encourage you to do the Boat Cruise - again - it's a great attraction for seniors.

In Lake Louise - drive the Bow Valley Parkway and go enjoy some time in Lake Louise. Lake Louise can be challenging for seniors to walk from the car park to the Lake. You might want to rent a wheelchair, so you can better enjoy your day. Spend some time enjoying Lake Louise. Drive to Moraine Lake for a visit as well.

On Day 3, if you are departing early in the morning it would make sense to spend a few hours in Yoho National Park. The highlights of Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake are easily accessible off of the TransCanada Highway and you will be driving through this region. Make a stop at the Info Centre in Field if you need directions or a bathroom stop. :) It's exactly one hour from Banff.

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7. Re: Scenic drive from Calgary through Rockies to Vancouver

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