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Vancouver Itinerary

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Madison, NJ
posts: 64
Vancouver Itinerary

Hello All,

I would appreciate your thoughts on our plans!

Fly into SeaTac on Aug 17, rent a car, then,

Drive to Vancouver for 3 nights,

Drive to Whistler for 2 nights

Complete the Kamloops circle, staying 1 night along the way

Last night at SeaTac for an early flight back to beautiful New Jersey.

Specifically,

Since we have a car, and to save some money, would it make sense to stay outside the city and take a bus in to tour? If so, suggestions as to where?

Is that enough time to drive the loop? Where should we stop for the night? We can drive 4 hours or so per day.

Anything else?

Thank you for your help!

Kathleen

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 13,840
reviews: 37
1. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

Trying to figure out what you mean by the "Kamloops circle". There are two options - the Fraser Canyon or the Okanagan Valley:

Fraser Canyon - http://goo.gl/maps/xMMC4 (~ 6 hrs of driving)

Okanagan Valley - http://goo.gl/maps/PuACZ (~12.5 hrs of driving)

There's the highway 5 route, but that's just a fast highway for people moving between the coast and the interior. Personally, with your request to keep to 4 hours of driving and only one night on the way, I'd go with the Fraser Canyon (which is beautiful) and look at Harrison Hot Springs for your overnight. HHS back to Vancouver is only 1.5 hrs via the main highway, but if you go back along Highway 7, you could take all day over that route if you chose, or just spend the day at the resort.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,073
reviews: 37
2. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

Hi 2wtjs ~

I'm scratching my head trying to think what the Kamloops Circle could be. Do you have a link to it?

You might consider one more enjoyable element to your trip. Look into taking Amtrak Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver. 2 trains each day, 4 hours, scenic, no hassle/delays at the border and no destroyed Skagit River Bridge near Burlington WA to detour around. Then rent the car out of Vancouver.

However, with a rental car from Seattle you would not have to circle back to Vancouver, unless you wanted to. You could head south from Kelowna - Osoyoos - and down Wenatchee way then west to Seattle.

Without more explanation of the Kamloops Circle, I would say there's a night missing? You say complete the Kamloops circle, staying 1 night on the way. Then 1 more night in Vancouver? Then the last night near SeaTac?

If you try to drive from that 1 night on the way (say Kelowna or Osoyoos) to Seattle, you're looking at about 5.5 hour drive. In this case, your itinerary would work okay.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,539
reviews: 41
3. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

I am at a complete loss as to what the "Kamloops Circle" might be as well.

Nanaimo, Canada
posts: 9,554
reviews: 25
4. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

From Whistler, head north to Pemberton, continue on the Duffie Lake road, come just past Marble Canyon onto Highway 97 just north of Cache Creek, then east to Kamloops, then get on the Coke to Merritt and Vancouver???? That is my wild guess...

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,073
reviews: 37
5. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

The Coke to Merritt and Vancouver? Bleh. Hope the OP clarifies.

Madison, NJ
posts: 64
6. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

Sorry to be confusing.

I saw an article on NatGeo called Drives of a Lifetime. Here is the link:

…nationalgeographic.com/travel/…

I call it a circle because you start and end in the same place; the farthest point to me seemed to be Kamloops. Joan got it right.

Wondering where to spend the night along the way.

Thank you all for your help!

Nanaimo, Canada
posts: 9,554
reviews: 25
7. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

Yippeee!!!! I win!!! What do I get??? How about a Portuguese tart ;o)

Okay, kidding aside, I am amazed that drive made the list. And quite the magazine... I must find that one, would love to have that in my magazine rack to peruse. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is really beautiful, and the Duffie Lake road is nice too. From Cache Creek to Kamloops is dry, and very different, but I wouldn't rank it that great. Even the Fraser Canyon is nicer than that, and you get 7 tunnels to travel through. Lots of fun if you have kids with you. Get them to hold their breath until you drive out the other end!

If you stick with the circle route, Kamloops seems to make the most sense for an overnight. There are more choices there, and lots of amenities for eating out and shopping. Nothing spectacular mind you...

Kamloops to Vancouver is just over three hours driving time. The Whistler to Kamloops day will be longer, and there are some interesting stops to make along the way. Hat Creek Ranch is one stop that might interest you. It's before you get to highway 97.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,073
reviews: 37
8. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

For NatGeog to include that in their Drives of a Lifetime is an overstatement. The most logical place for you to stay is dry and plane jane Kamloops, about 4 hours drive from Whistler via Lillooet. Then it is about 3.5 hours down the functional Coquihalla to Vancouver. The Coke, which is almost half your drive, is a fast functional route to the Lower Mainland, with almost no amenities and few scenic viewpoint pullouts.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 13,840
reviews: 37
9. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

Well, I stick with my suggestion in Post 1. Don't go all the way to Kamloops. Stick with the Fraser Canyon and end at Harrison Hot Springs.

Madison, NJ
posts: 64
10. Re: Vancouver Itinerary

It sounds as thought this is not a "Drive of a Lifetime", so we are changing our itinerary:

2 nights Vancouver

2 nights Whistler

2 nights Vancouver Island

Last night in Northern WA

Now I need to figure the order, and where to stay on VI. We think we will skip Victoria and stay mid-island. I think I will start a new thread.

Thank you all for your kind help!