This self-driving adventure takes in the best of the Canadian Rockies and British Columbia. Beginning in Calgary and ending in Vancouver, you’ll also make stops at Banff, Jasper, Sun Peaks, Whistler, Tofino, and Victoria. Guided city tours ensure you make the most of each urban stay, while in the mountains and parks, you’ll discover wildlife and explore pristine wilderness on organized hikes, sea kayaking excursions, whale watching tours and more. Unscheduled time in most destinations lets you pick between literally dozens of activities, including river rafting, golfing, Heli-hiking, fishing, zip-lining, and sightseeing by floatplane or helicopter.
Upon your arrival at Calgary International Airport, you’ll pick up your rental car and enjoy a scenic two and a half hour drive west to Banff through the Kananaskis Region. If your schedule allows, explore the Banff townsite, relax at the hotel, or soak in the nearby hot springs. Accommodations are at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in a Premium Room.
Today you’ll take the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for an unobstructed bird’s eye view of six scenic mountain ranges. Witness breathtaking views in every direction from one of several observation decks, and enjoy the self-guided interpretive walk along the Banff Skywalk to Sanson’s Peak. Keep your eyes peeled for Banff Bighorn Sheep or Hoary Marmots – though not likely to be sharing a meal together, they co-exist peacefully! Accommodations are at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in a Premium Room.
Today you travel north to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Winding your way through Canada’s Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, you’ll be in the heart of the awe-inspiring Icefields Parkway. The scenic views of pristine lakes, ancient glaciers, and lush old-growth forests all provide gorgeous photo opportunities. Accommodations are at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in a Lakefront Suite.
Today you’ll set out to explore Jasper National Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Traversing alpine meadows on your private guided tour, you’ll discover the park from inside your custom photo vehicle. You’re in ‘Bear Country’, so don’t be surprised if you see a Black Bear mother tending to her playful cubs. Accommodations are at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in a Lakefront Suite.
Consider taking a final hike in Jasper before departing on your five and a half hour drive to Sun Peaks, a charming Alpine village in the picturesque Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia’s interior. Stroll the pedestrian-only village or take the Sunburst chairlift to the summit to start your exploration from six thousand feet above. Accommodations are at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel in a Deluxe Room.
Today enjoy a self-guided drive from Sun Peaks to Whistler, taking approximately five hours. Prior to dinner, you may want to stroll the village, teeming with trendy boutiques. If you prefer adrenaline to accessories, watch the mountain bikers landing jumps at the base of Whistler Mountain (and take notes – you may want to give it a whirl tomorrow!). Accommodations are at The Westin Resort in a Studio Junior Suite.
Take the Peak 2 Peak gondola today between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and experience the highest and longest lift in the world. Enjoy the world-class views, exceptional mountain-top dining, and alpine hiking. Additional options for your afternoon include golf, flightseeing tours, and mountain biking. Accommodations are at the Westin Resort in a Studio Junior Suite.
Today is yours to explore Whistler at your leisure. Options include backcountry ATV tours, bear viewing and ecology walks, Heli-hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, or mountain biking at Whistler Blackcomb Bike Park. If you prefer a day of utter rest and relaxation, soak up the sun while lounging beside the outdoor pool and hot tub. Accommodations are at the Westin Resort in a Studio Junior Suite.
Today you’ll make the journey (via rental car and ferry) from Whistler to Tofino, situated on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast. Nestled among old-growth forests and right on sandy Cox Bay beach, you’ll find yourself in a perfect setting for beachcombing and bear-watching. Accommodations are at Long Beach Lodge in a Deluxe Beachfront Room.
Today you’ll set out on a full-day zodiac excursion in and around the Clayoquot Sound. A designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this temperate rain forest is home to a number of land and marine mammals, including but not limited to: wolves, black bears, cougars, gray whales, orcas, porpoises, seals, otters, bald eagles, and Roosevelt elk. Stop at a sea cave and enjoy a dip at Hot Springs Cove, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Accommodations are at Long Beach Lodge in a Deluxe Beachfront Room.
Today enjoy a day at leisure in Tofino. Options include guided walks with an expert naturalist, beachcombing, or surfing (don’t worry – you’re provided with a wetsuit to guard you from the chill of the Pacific!). If you’re looking for a taste of local culture, head into town and sample the catch of the day at the timber-built Shelter Restaurant. Accommodations are at Long Beach Lodge in a Deluxe Beachfront Room.
Today you’ll drive approximately five hours from Tofino to Victoria, winding along the scenic Pacific Rim highway. If there’s time, start exploring Victoria on your own. One of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, you won’t be able to miss the two oldest landmarks – the Legislative buildings and the Empress Hotel. Close to the city centre, Victoria’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America and its narrow Fan Tan Alley (the narrowest street in Canada at 35 inches wide!) is a must-see – if you can fit. Accommodations are at the Inn at Laurel Point in a Studio Suite.
Enjoy the exhilaration of racing through the seas in an open-air zodiac on a half-day whale watching tour. The Juan de Fuca and Haro Straits are home to three orca (killer whale) pods, with nearly 100 orcas among them—which means that sightings are all but guaranteed. The ride itself is exciting and sometimes quite adventurous—be prepared to get a little wet! In the afternoon, continue exploring historic Victoria. Accommodations are at the Inn at Laurel Point in a Studio Suite.
Between the drive and ferry, it will take you approximately three hours to make your way from Victoria to Vancouver. From your hotel, take a walk along chic Robson Street, or head to nearby historic Gastown. Vancouver is known as “Hollywood North” for good reason, you may just stumble across one of many movies being filmed on the cobbled streets. Accommodations are at the Four Seasons Hotel in a Deluxe City View Room.
Today enjoy an expertly guided tour of Vancouver, famous for its cultural diversity and spectacular parks. Explore the historic cobbled streets of Gastown to the warehouse conversions of Yaletown today. Visiting bustling Chinatown, filled with herbal pharmacies selling cures for just about every ailment. Accommodations are at the Four Seasons Hotel in a Deluxe City View Room.
Schedule depending, you may want to revisit a favorite destination from yesterday’s tour today prior to leaving the city centre. Today you will drive out of downtown to the Vancouver International Airport and drop off your rental car in advance of your flight. Safe travels!