How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
As a family
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
While browsing Facebook, I came across a video of the Columbia Icefield Skywalk and Banff and from that moment Banff was listed on my Top Places to Travel. Also, our whole family are such nature lovers. We love the mountains specifically.
What was your itinerary?
Day 1: Arrived at Vancouver.
Day 2: Went to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
Day 1: The first part of our Canada trip is Vancouver. We arrived and checked in at our hotel late in the afternoon. In most of our travel, the usual agenda for our first day is just to rest from the long and tiring flight. We just grabbed some dinner and groceries, then went back to our hotel to rest and gather the energy for the next day’s adventures.
Day 2: For our second day and first official sightseeing day, we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The park offers free shuttle service from selected hotels in downtown Vancouver. It was actually a rainy day, but this is our only full day in Vancouver, so we just get on with our original plans. No regrets though because even though it was raining, we still had so much fun and the park is still very much enjoyable. We spent around 3 hours exploring the park and also ate our lunch there as there are many available dining options. We were supposed to go around and explore Downtown Vancouver after, however, it was already raining very hard by the time we went out of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, so we just went back to our hotel.
Day 3: We went very early in the morning for a morning walk at Stanley Park. We were actually staying at Rosellen Suites which was just outside the park. Stanley Park is very huge and has a lot of points of attraction. One place that you shouldn’t miss out in the park, is the Prospect Point Lookout. It is a great vantage point if you want photos of the Lions Gate Bridges. We were initially planning to challenge ourselves and walked around the perimeter of the whole park back to our hotel, but by the time we arrived at the Prospect Point Lookout, we were so tired and just decided to take a taxi back to our hotel. We checked out of our hotel soon after and went to the airport for our flight to Calgary. After arriving in Calgary, we rented a car (cause we are going on a lot of road trips), checked in at our Airbnb and just had dinner.
Day 4: Our 4th day is our shopping day! For us Filipinos, when you go to America, shopping is one of the things that you must do because of the amazing outlet stores. Prices in America’s outlet stores are just way cheaper than in our country. We went to Cross Iron Mills in Calgary, which is very huge and has a lot of brands to offer.
Day 5: On Day 5, we went for a road trip to Drumheller, a town that is known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World. This town really caught my eye when I was planning for this Canada trip because of its fascinating landscapes and geological formations that we have never seen before. As a guide for our road trip, we followed the so-called Dinosaur Trail. It is a loop around Drumheller that passes by all the must-see tourist attractions in town. I highly recommend following this trail if you also plan to explore Drumheller by yourself. However, if you do not have a vehicle, there are lots of travel companies that offer day tour packages from Calgary. These are the stops that we made for our road trip: 1. Horseshoe Canyon – This is actually a stop you need to make just before arriving at the town of Drumheller from Calgary. 2. World’s Largest Dinosaur 3. Horsethief Canyon 4. Bleriot Ferry 5. Orkney Viewpoint 6. Hoodoo Trail (This is not included in Dinosaur Trail Loop, also slightly out of the way, but a must-see!) Dinosaur Trail Guide: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30567422?lang=en
Day 6: Another day, another road trip for us. We checked out of our hotel in Calgary in the morning and drove off to Banff. This was actually the most anticipated part of our trip. The moment I came across Banff and its tourist attractions was the moment that I decided that we really need to travel and explore Canada. After a 1.5-hour drive from Calgary, we just dropped off our luggage at our hotel (we checked in at Irwin’s Mountain Inn) and drove off again to go to the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. If you are feeling a little adventurous, there is a tour going to the Icefield, however, we did not get to do it because of lack of time and there was a bit of a crowd when we got there. We just did the Columbia Icefield Skywalk but the views and experience are so amazing, it was worth the more than 2-hour drive from Banff. Columbia Icefield Adventure: https://www.banffjaspercollection.com/attractions/columbia-icefield/experience/
Day 7: This was a day dedicated to satisfy the nature lover in all of us. We went around the beautiful lakes around Banff. We first went to the beautiful Lake Louise. We went there quite early to avoid the crowd and get some nice photos. After that, we went to Morraine Lake which is just nearby, then afterward Peyto Lake. We then went back to the town of Banff after lunchtime to experience the Banff Gondola that will take us to the top of Sulphur Mountain. There is a boardwalk at the top and I highly suggest you go all the way to the end of the board because it offers 360 degrees of amazing views. Our day was quite jam-packed because we actually did not pre-book or pre-plan anything for our itinerary in Banff due to the unpredictable weather. When the weather was nice, we really tried to go to as many places that we could to make the most of the good weather.
Day 8: Our last full day in Canada. It was a rainy morning so we just decided to go to a museum. We went to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site which is the birthplace of the national park system in Canada. We also went to the Banff Trading Post which houses the skeleton of the “Banff Merman”. Before lunchtime, the rain had already stopped, so we went to explore some more beautiful natural attractions. We went to Lake Minnewanka and then Bow Falls. We spent the rest of the day exploring the town of Banff and buying souvenirs.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
Definitely Banff National Park. Everything is just beautiful. The mountains, the lakes and even the town of Banff itself is very picturesque.
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
One of our regrets was, because of the bad weather, we did not get to really explore the city of Vancouver. I would have added more days to our trip to explore the Downtown. Also, we should have gotten to Drumheller earlier. We actually did not get to visit the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, which houses the largest collection of fossils in Canada.
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