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Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

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posts: 54
reviews: 11
Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Hello fellow advisors!

Im attending a medical convention in downtown Vancouver from Sept 29-OCT 2. Were planning a side trip to Whistler as I have heard a lot of great reviews about this place. Im excited to see Canada for the first time. We plan to also have day tours to Victoria and the surrounding tourist spots in Vancouver since I have about 1.5 days free before our convention starts. After our 4 day convention, we plan to travel to Whistler for a 2 or 3 night stay. I want to ask a few questions:

1. Whats the weather like on the first week of October? Pardon my ignorance, but is the presence of snow all year round in Whistler? Whats sort of sports (recreational) and relaxing activities can be done at this time?

2. Is 3 nights too much for a stay in whistler? I have an option of either choosing a 2 or 3 night stay, and my itinerary for the rest of my Canada holiday will change if we book 3 nights. Actually, after Whistler, I fly to Edmonton to visit my sister who plans to book short vacations (1 or 2 nights) for us in Banff, Mt Jasper and Kelowna (prob only 2 of these 3 choices). Im planning 2 nights stay but if a lot of people recommend a 3 night stay, then Im willing to bend (Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside is offering a 3rd night free during this time----THAT'S WHY!)

3. Ive also been introduced to LANDSEA tours, an operator specializing in BC guided tours. Do you recommend that I take their day tour to Whistler originating in Vancouver, asked to be dropped in my hotel in Whistler for my first night, then take the return trip back to Vancouver on our check-out day? Or is it least complicated to just take on a bus for the round trip to Whistler? Are there nice tour operators emanating from Whistler itself?

I believe I will enjoy this Canadian holiday. My fellow advisors can help me have the best preparation by helping me with my questions. Cheers and a good day to all!!!


Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 14,908
reviews: 83
1. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

I use Landsea tours all the time and did their Whistler excursion last week. Wonderful but do splurge for the Peak 2 Peak. We saw 5 bears on the trip and had a great guide. The views are nice. I'd think 2 nites would be enough. If anything I'd add a nite in Victoria. Landsea gives you more downtown then goes to the gardens when its less crowded so its very well run.


Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,283
reviews: 24
2. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Be careful--the Peak to Peak and the other gondolas are closed much of October. That will prevent access to actually going UP the mountain, where all the views are, unless you are willing to hike 5000' up. Check your dates against the closure, which is listed on the website.

I can't see any reason why you'd need to take a tour to Whistler. Is there something that they do that you can't set up yourself? You can take the bus up yourself, it's a compact pedestrian village, so you don't need anyone to bus transport around; it's easy to book any activities you might want to do via the official website...I just can't think of why you'd pay the extra to join a tour.

I'd plan on cool and wet weather in October, though it's possible it could be really nice, brisk, sunny fall weather.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,239
reviews: 54
3. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

I would suggest you consider using that 1.5 days before your conference to go to Whistler. You can do so right from the airport on Pacific Coach Lines in about 2 hours. Spend one night to give you perhaps 2 halves of a full day. It's definitely between "seasons" so may not be completely up and running. Then you could return to Vancouver on the ubiquitous Greyhound coach. www.greyhound.ca

From Sept 23rd, the Peak2Peak will be open weekends only.


The journey to Victoria takes 4 hours by car and ferry from downtown Van to downtown Vic. A day trip on Landsea will take about 12-13(?) hours. I think that alone lends itself to one overnight at least out of your post-conference time.

But ultimately, the division of time/nights will come down to the weight you place on those two locations.

posts: 54
reviews: 11
4. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Hello everyone and thanks for the prompt response

When I read the threads in the forum after I posted this question, I realize that I can actually plan on a continuous tour from the time my convention ends on Oct. 2 . Here's my general itinerary:

I. See BC particularly Vancouver (my home base for 5.5 days), Victoria and Whistler mountain resorts. Ive allotted Sept 27 (arr from MNL-INC-YVR) to Oct 6 for BC.

***** FLY YVR-YEG on Oct 6*****

II. See Alberta and as suggested by my sister, travel to Banff, Mt Jasper and Kelowna in a span of 7-8 days. My base is Edmonton where she has been living for 10 years.

******Fly YEG-YVR on Oct 13*****

III. Travel back to Vancouver since our return flight emanates from VANcouver (YVR-INC-MNL)

In consideration of the season (start of FALL), would our expert advisors recommend that we take an adventurous land trip by rented car from Vancouver to Whistler- stay 2 or 3 nights- then head on to the general direction of Alberta and pass through Mt Jasper- for a few nights of stay and meeting up with my sister, then continue on the other recommended stop-overs for a few more days/nights?We will eventually settle down to rest in Edmonton where we stay until our return journey to Vancouver for our flight at 2 pm on Oct 14- a sort of winding down. What are the pros-and-cons of having a land trip at this time of the year as compared to a RT WestJet travel (YVR-YEG-YVR) on my specified dates? Does having a long road travel (with identified stops at those absolutely gorgeous places!) at this time of the year pose a problem to unseasoned drivers like me, who havent tasted a slippery road coated with ice?

This will be my first very long land travel after traveling from San Diego- Las Vegas just this summer. Its also my first in Canada and the second/third for my spouse, who hates to drive but basically has no choice!

Your inputs are indeed most welcome!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,239
reviews: 54
5. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Will your sister travel with you in the Rockies?

Here's an idea for getting from Vancouver to Edmonton by car over 6 nights. And yes, the weather in the mountain passes across BC and the Rockies is changeable and cold = ice, black ice, snowfall to some extent. Average high temperatures in Jasper would be approx 6C and lows of -4C

Oct 6, leave Vancouver

2 nights Whistler

1 night Revelstoke

2 nights Banff

drive the Icefields Parkway

1 night Jasper

Drive to Edmonton for the night of Oct 12th.

Just an idea. Here's the map: http://goo.gl/maps/qXxCv

The pros:

You would see the province. It's off season so there would be very few tourists on the road.

The cons:

Everything would be closed or closing for the season. You would risk snowfall and freezing temperatures to drive in and to dress for. Our roads are not the place to be learning how to drive in the mountains in cold, slippery or snowy weather.

If you fly to Edmonton, would you then turn around and spend 6 nights in the Rockies? I think the approach to the Rockies from the east (4 hours to Jasper from Edmonton) would be kinder and gentler than driving across 4-5 mountain ranges in BC.

Edited: 10:46 pm, June 27, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,019
reviews: 46
6. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Its a long drive across BC, and I'm not sure its really worth it if you don't have time to stop and enjoy it. The best part is Jasper and Banff and I would personally choose to spend more time in that area rather than race across BC.

I should add that Banff and the Rockies are much, much better than Whistler.

Edited: 1:02 am, June 28, 2013
Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
posts: 6,924
reviews: 90
7. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

So if your convention ends Oct 2 and you have till the 14 I'd consider doing a road trip . It's very early fall and can be a lovely time in the Rockies. Would you be on your own or will someone else be with you to share the driving? I'd skip Whistler in favour of more time in Banff and Jasper. Visit Victoria before your conventioon then spend one day in Vancouver. Leave on Oct 4 and drive to Kelowna One night here then Revelstoke for one night .Banff for 2nights. Ice fields parkway drive full day to Jasper. 3 nights Jasper then to Edmonton for last 2 nights. Drop rental car on arrival in Edmonton fly back to Vancouver. Just something to consider

posts: 54
reviews: 11
8. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Thank you Traveller47, Vancouverite and MultiMixandMatch! You have given valuable inputs. Now I will attach this conversation thread for my sister/bother-in-law to comment so we can finalize the logistics for this trip.

I wont stop reading your opinions. Thanks and more inputs are welcome!

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,019
reviews: 46
9. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

T47 has given you a very good plan to consider. You'll have to sort through your options and figure out what makes the most sense to you with your limited time.

posts: 54
reviews: 11
10. Re: Sidetrip to Whistler during medical convention in Vancouver.

Hello again my fellow advisors!

I've taken note of your inputs. They were very important datas that I need in preparing my road trip with my spouse and my sister's family in AB and BC in Canada.

I've already talked to my sister and both of us agree that a one way flight from Vancouver to Edmonton is in order. When we reach Edmonton, we spend 2 days exploring the city. Then we head off to our "adventour" road trip from Edmonton to the Canadian Rockies. My sister has identified a few places that , for her, is worth visiting. She has identified the following places: Bannf National Park, in particular Lake Louise and other places, Jasper National Park, Kelowna in Okanagan, and a place she called "Falcon crest" in Canmore. we have about 6-7 days to do this. From the last destination that we are supposed to be together as an extended family traveling , my sister will head on back to Edmonton while I continue with my road trip driving back to Vancouver. My objective is to check in to an airport hotel on the afternoon or evening of Oct 13 then relax and stay overnight in preparation for our for our 2 pm flight back to Manila.

I would therefore ask our revered tripadvisors what they can suggest as the best road map to take in order to make the identified travel destinations reachable, enjoyable and fulfilling. This will include days of stay (in a decent village type Inn or lodge), places where to stay and places to tour in these cities and villages. The intended inclusive dates for the road trip is from Oct 6 to 13, Oct 13 being the day when we arrive on Vancouver near the airport. Pls note that my sister has a Nissan Quest van. We may number between 6-7 traveling together. It's better to travel in one vehicle esp if the van can fit us all in. From our last destination where we are in one van, we separate ways and we ride a rented car back to Vancouver airport environs.

I'm excited to hear your suggestions. I have so much faith in our advisors.

Thanks in advance!