Road trips are my favourite kind – especially those where you can drive yourself. The freedom of stopping where you wish, when you wish, changing your plans last-minute and making impromptu detours makes it absolutely amazing.
After a quick trip to Toronto to see the famed Niagara Falls (an absolutely amazing sight – do the journey behind the falls if you get a chance, its breath-taking) and ticking off the major sights in downtown including CN Tower, Lake Ontario harbour front, walking around downtown and a quick stop at Eaton Centre for shopping (though not really recommended as its quite expensive or perhaps I just went to Canada expecting USA prices ), we flew to Calgary to start our drive to Vancouver.
This famous drive across the Rockies is very popular and once you are on the road, you quickly realise why. It’s simply gorgeous.
- On Day 1 – we drove from Calgary to Lake Louise and stopped off for a coffee at Fairmount Chateau
- We retraced our drive back to Banff as our hotel was booked in Banff for the night. Things to do in Banff:
- Banff Gondola
- Banff Avenue
- Bow Falls
- On Day 2 – we drove via Bow Valley Parkway (with the hopes of seeing some animals but unfortunately we were not so lucky) toward Columbia icefields with a stop at Bow Lake. From Columbia icefield, we stopped off at Athabasca Falls, Pyramid and Patricia Lakes on the way to Jasper for the Sky Tram and a look around the town before heading back to Golden – where our hotel was booked for the night.
- On Day 3 – we started off from Golden stopping at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Grizzly Bear Refuge and the plan was to head to Vancouver, where our hotel was booked for 3 nights. This was the longest drive of our trip as there were so many places we just had to stop at. We made several pit stops at the view points along the road and for coffee so that we arrived at Vancouver close to mid-night. The major stops were at:
- Revelstoke Lake
- We left the highway and drove into Canoe to Salmon Arms along the Shuswap Lake and joined the highway back again
- Kamloops Lake
- Fountain Valley
- Cache Creek for a coffee and to fill up the tank
- Lost Lake
- Whistler – now the drive from Cache Creek to Whistler is beautiful – its through the mountains so curvy roads and right along the cliff so be prepared
- On Day 4 – we discovered Vancouver’s Stanley Park, English Bay, Canada Place/Flyover, Vancouver lookout, Lion’s Gate Bridge, Gastown, Steam Clock, Robson Street, Downtown and spent time at Capilano Suspension Bridge. We even found time to shop a little!
- On Day 5 – we took the ferry to Victoria. Now, we hadn’t known that we needed to book the ferry in advance until we reached our hotel in Vancouver so had done it the day before and the only ferry that was available was for 7am so waking up at 4am and driving from 5am since our hotel was an hour away, it was a very early start. (so Tip here is: book your ferry in advance). Once in Victoria, our list included Butchart Gardens, Craigdarroch Castle, Parliament Building, Miniature World, Ogden Point the sundial and a quick stop for coffee, after which we had to rush to catch the 3pm ferry back (the only one we got a place in! so again plan in advance). Once back in Vancouver, we stopped off at Tsawwassen Mills outlet mall for shopping and headed back for dinner at Vij’s 3106 Cambie Street, a renowned Indian restaurant
It felt great ticking off this bucket item list and now I know, why it should be on everyone’s bucket list – it’s beauty beyond words. You can see more pictures on my instagram feed (@palaktewary), if you wish to see for yourself how beautiful it is.
Happy roadtrippin :=)