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Old 07-10-2008, 03:21 AM
 
Location: Birmingham, UK
2 posts, read 5,595 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone,

I've only just registered so apologies if this type of post is not what is expected from these threads, however I'm just looking for some tips and ideas for my forthcoming honeymoon to Canada in October.

We've booked the flights, flying into and out of Calgary (3rd/17th Oct) and are now looking at putting a plan together of where to go and what to see. So far, this is how the two weeks are looking:

Calgary - 3 nights (Zoo, Dinosaur Park nr Drumheller)
Banff - 3 nights (walking and tour)
Lake Louise - 2 nights (walking)
Jasper - 2 nights (Icefields Parkway, walking)
Edmonton - 2 nights (West Edmonton Mall)
Saskatoon - 2 nights (only to go over to Saskatchewan, with possible day out to Prince Albert National Park)

I realise that most of the driving is taking place towards the end of the holiday, however we're not too fussed about that. I'm interested in seeing the various environments and landscapes and how it changes from being in the Rockies to heading East and it becoming flatter - is going to Saskatoon going to achieve that? If not, where would you suggest we go for 2 nights after Edmonton?

Also, if you've any advice on where to stay in these places, then it would be most welcome!!

Thank you!!

Nic
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Western Canada
39 posts, read 287,994 times
Reputation: 45
Looks like a great itinerary! I think you'll definitely see the flattening-to-the-prairie effect between Edmonton and Saskatoon (which is about 5 hours). As far as where to stay, we go to Jasper occasionally and have found that a lot of the more generic places have really gone downhill over time (eg, Mountain Park Lodges, etc) - think musty carpets, dingy bathrooms, dark hallways. Just on the outskirts of Jasper are the Patricia Lake cabins - I've never been, but people who have love it, Patricia Lake Bungalows: Vacation Rentals in Jasper, Alberta (depends on what you're looking for and your budget).

Hope you have a great trip!
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,019 posts, read 14,286,399 times
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Depending on your budget, you could have a tour of all the great Railway Hotels of the Canadian West.

Palliser Hotel in Calgary
Banff Springs in Banff
Chateau Lake Louise in Lake Louise
Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper
Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton

The Zoo in Calgary is a must see. Catch a Flames game if you can. Visit Stephen avenue and Canada Olympic Park. Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell are fantastic, and that trip alone will give you some perspective on the Canadian plains if you don't wish to go to Saskatchewan. Drumheller is 90 minutes away, and the museum is closed on Mondays.

I would take a day out and stay in the Kananaskis for a night, just for a different feel. October will start getting cold, but the colours should be fantastic with the leaves turning.

Banff - Banff Springs or Rimrock should be your hotels of choice. For an evening of food porn and amazing service try Eden in the Rimrock. Choose a tasting menu with wine paring and be prepared to set aside about 3 hours for dinner as you overlook the Bow Valley. Banff avenue is required, and don't forget to hit Welch's Candy Shop for the sugar fix. You can do the Sulphur Mt Gondola and the Springs pools. Check out the Cave and Basin, which was the thing that caused the development of Banff. Take a drive up to Minniwanka to see the lake, and likely run into some wildlife. The loop road to the lake I have seen everything from bighorn sheep and mountain goats to grizzly bears.

Drive to Lake Louise, but take Johnson's Canyon 1A, not highway 1. Much more scenic, and the leaves should be amazing.

Lake Louise - See the lake, and Moraine Lake for sure if the road is still open. Moraine was the back of the old Canadian $20 bill. From Louise, take a trip further down Highway 1 and see the spiral tunnels and the freight trains turning back on themselves.

Icefields Parkway/Jasper - Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, Athabasca Glacier/Columbia Icefields. Take the glacier bus up, it's an amazing ride. Jasper is like Banff lite. Depending on the weather take a trip over to see Mt. Robson - highest point in the Canadian Rockies. Only visible if it's really clear.

Edmonton - The mall, well it's a really big mall. And it's big. and it's a mall. that's about it. Edmonton river valley is amazing, there's the Muttart Conservatory, Whyte Ave, Legislature Building, all which IMO are far better than the mall.

Saskatoon/Saskatchewan - Good way to get a the small town feel on the drive. Don't forget to see the giant Psyanka in Vegreville. (you'll know when you see it) Saskatoon is a smaller city that is growing rapidly. Great university, beautiful river valley and flat. You can watch your dog run away for a week flat. Ok, not that bad, but close. PA national park is nice, but will be something of a let down in October and after seeing the rockies.

Sounds like you'll have a wonderful trip, and if you need any more info, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:04 PM
 
1,703 posts, read 5,142,266 times
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Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Sounds like you have a wonderful honeymoon planned!
I totally agree with what mike said about Edmonton. West Ed is just a big mall, there is a fun amusement park in there and the waterpark is fun but expensive. I'd skip the mall and go for the river valley and see the conservatory. The Edmonton river valley is awesome, so beautiful!! Also Fort Edmonton Park is pretty cool.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:09 AM
 
Location: Birmingham, UK
2 posts, read 5,595 times
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Thanks for your ideas, and the suggestions for Edmonton! Because of the driving, we'll be staying 2 nights but only really have the 1 day there but what you've said about the river valley makes me think we should take it in.

We haven't got a huge budget for accommodations so want a mix of cheap and cheerful with splashing out. We've decided on Chateau Lake Louise as a definite but I'll have a look at all your suggestions and will get back to you with what we decide.

Thanks again
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:54 PM
 
8 posts, read 45,045 times
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My adult son says that Drumheller is the coolest place on earth. Hope you enjoy your trip and come on over to BC if you have time.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:04 PM
 
9 posts, read 32,679 times
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congrats on the honeymoon.

I would keep the West Edmonton Mall in your plans, just because then you can say that you have been to it. Don't spend the whole day though. Not that much fun. If you do hit the Mall, go to the Old Spagetti Factory. It is a very reasonable price, good food and service. The sauces and food are all made from scratch, and the spumoni ice cream is made fresh on site every day.
The whole restaurant has been made with old bricks that were salvaged from old churches and buildings. They have salvaged stain glass windows, benches, tables, chairs, well.... you get the point. If the owner guy is there, ask him to tell you about it, he may give you a tour.
The river valley is beautiful, and the walking trails are quite nice
For a great view, you could stay at Coastal Edmonton Hotel, ask for a room right at the top, looking over the river valley. It is an affordable place, and spectacular view. DONT get a view looking at the other tall hotel next door. It sucks.
You could get a "theme room" from Fantasy Land hotel at West Edmonton Mall. It's all online, they look fun.

Drumheller museum is soooooooooo good to see. Definate recommend.

Jasper icefields are GREAT and walking is good, but I would add riding the tram up to the top of the mountain too. I did it a few years back, and it was amazing, when you get to the top you can hike a very short ways to the summit. Spectacular. It costs a bit, if I remember right, but not hundreds of dollars by any means. Like $30 ish when I went I think. When do you get to the top of a mountain for goodness sakes.?? Take your camera. Since you are looking for reasonable places to stay, the Hostel (yes, I said Hostel) has private rooms to book (aka, a room with just you, no other people on bunkbeds beside you) and if you are young and like to meet new people, I would recommend this place. I stayed there for a week once, and it was VERY clean, nice staff, and very comfortable. I don't usually hostel, I'm more of a Days Inn type of girl, but I had lots of fun.

I would personally skip Saskatoon, and go to Moose Jaw if you have enough time. Very old and beautiful town. Lots of history. They have underground tunnels under the town, and they give tours (about $50 for 2 people to go for the 2 tours). One is on the Chinese immigrants that may have used the tunnels, and the other is about illegal bootlegging and the MOB. Very entertaining. The park in the middle of town is beautiful, and a nice walk. By far, my favorite town in Saskatchewan to visit.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by missymarionripper; 07-16-2008 at 12:07 PM.. Reason: added a hotel suggestion
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