Supplier: Rocky Mountaineer
Situated in the heart of Banff National Park in Alberta's Rocky Mountains, Banff is a 1.5-hour drive from Calgary and just a short trip from mountain towns of Lake Louise, Kananaskis Country and Canmore. It's a unique place to visit. A train whistle blows in the distance as a reminder of the area's railway roots while designer shops dot the streetscapes. From a sleepy summer resort town with closed doors in winter months, Banff has grown into a year-round attraction. Lured by wilderness and the variety of outdoor activities, people from all over the world are drawn to Banff National Park each year. They venture into the area looking for their slice of the Banff experience, whether it's in restaurants, shops, museums, cultural activities, or adventures in the wilderness. On Banff's bustling main avenue, virtually every language from German and Japanese to French and Spanish can be heard. Yet only minutes away from all the action, a quiet walk along the banks of the Bow River is a reminder the town is located inside Canada's premier national park and a United Nations World Heritage Site!
Lake Louise is a beautiful yet often-overlooked mountain getaway. Among countless other winter activities, enjoy some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world. In the summer, try trail riding, hiking, whitewater rafting and mountain biking. Lake Louise, with its blue-green water set against the stark backdrop of Victoria Glacier, is probably the most beloved and most photographed scene in the Canadian Rockies.
Located in the heart of Jasper National Park in Alberta's Rocky Mountains, Jasper's friendly alpine hospitality and the promise of adventure will make your visit unforgettable. It is easy to get to Jasper by car from a number of nearby visitor destinations including Edmonton, Hinton and Banff.
Vancouver is a thriving metropolis surrounded by natural beauty. With parks, beaches, gardens, museums, art galleries and the second-largest Chinatown in North America, Vancouver lives up to its promise of offering something for everyone. With modern buildings set against green, rolling hillsides, this city is breathtaking; no location offers a more spectacular view than Stanley Park - with a zoo, aquarium, totem poles and honking geese. A short walk from the park leads to Robson Street, which offers the town's best window-shopping. Stores with European flavor share the avenue with delicatessens and tea rooms ready to serve. As architectural heart of the city, Robson Square features a central plaza with a food fair and an old provincial courthouse, which now houses Vancouver Art Gallery. Be sure to stop at 8 Pender St. - "the narrowest building in the world." Other points of interest include the Museum of Anthropology; Japanese-style Nitobe Memorial Garden; and VanDusen Botanical Garden. Capilano Canyon is site of the world's longest and highest suspension footbridge.
Nestled in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, just 75 miles north of Vancouver, lies Whistler Resort, a charming alpine village, and the Home of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Rising one vertical mile from a village of award-winning West Coast architecture, Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains offer the greatest vertical rise of any ski area in North America, and its massive high-alpine terrain rivals the major ski resorts of Europe. Whistler is also a popular summer destination as well, with many recreational activities for the whole family.
The popular interior city of Kamloops is in the heart of High Country. Visitors to the city can choose to learn more about the intriguing history of the area or take advantage of the abundance of recreational facilities and opportunities in the area. The city itself is located where the South and North Thompson Rivers meet, hence the name "Kahm-o-loops", the Shuswap Indian word for "meeting of the waters". The surrounding countryside is a combination of dry forests, grasslands and desert like hills. While forestry has now surpassed ranching as the primary industry, ranching is still an important component in the makeup of the area. Kamloops can be used as a headquarters for exploring nearby wilderness areas such as Wells Gray Park to the north and the grasslands of the Nicola Valley in the south or the numerous fishing and recreational lakes surrounding the entire area.
Built at the junction of the Fraser and Quesnel rivers, this settlement grew rapidly as a way station on the route to the goldfields. By the early 1860's Quesnel Mouth, as it was known then, had two hotels, two stores, the Hudson's Bay Post, a telegraph office, grist mill and lumber mill. Paddlewheel steamers stopped on their way up the Fraser River from Soda Creek to Fort George (now Prince George). Saddle trains packed goods between Quesnel and Barkerville. As in the past, Quesnel continues to attract adventurers on their way to the goldfields and the restored gold rush town of Barkerville.
Reminders of a colourful past survive. Visitors will enjoy stopping at the original Hudson Bay Store (a log structure built in 1859). Across the street is a Cornish Water Wheel and boilers and iron parts from the first Fraser River riverboat to travel to the city. Then stroll the old Fraser River Bridge to west Quesnel. Built in 1928 the old bridge now serves foot traffic only. Continue through Riverfront Park and the walking trail that winds past historic points of interest and along the banks of the Quesnel River. Flower displays on streets and bridges add a picturesque charm to this modern thriving city.
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