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Driving from Alberta to Vancouver ( Sept/Oct)

Driving from Alberta to Vancouver ( Sept/Oct)

Old Sep 15th, 2022, 03:12 PM
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Driving from Alberta to Vancouver ( Sept/Oct)

I am planning to drive from Alberta to Vancouver, and want to stop at a halfway point about 4 to 5 hours in. Which city would be at this halfway point, and a good place to stop and sleep for the night?

I appreciate any recommendations.

Thank you!
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Old Sep 16th, 2022, 07:38 PM
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It depends on where in Alberta you're beginning. Generally Kamloops is the half-way point.
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 11:17 AM
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I'm starting from Calgary, Alberta.
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 05:36 PM
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Thank you so much for the information. Do you know the best place to stay for one night on our way to Vancouver? We're flying in to Calgary from Toronto and flying out of Vancouver, it's our first time for both places. we're hoping to see and enjoy the best of both places.

We appreciate any information. Thanks ☺️
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 05:33 PM
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Oh gosh, it really depends, honestly. There is no universal best. Where are you from? Can you elaborate by what you mean by best? Like, best as in the most convenient place to stay along the way that's precisely 5 hours halfway, like at an inexpensive 3-star chain hotel along the highway? Or the best as in the fanciest place, the most scenic place, an exclusive 5-star resort that's a detour away from the fastest route? Or best as in, a place located in a really cool town where you can stroll to independent restaurants and breweries and wineries? Or are you content to stay somewhere where the local restaurants are the McDonald's and Burger King? I guess what I'm asking is, are you after convenience or something more interesting?

There are so many different routes you can take to get to Vancouver from Calgary, and the fastest route is just that - it's the fastest, but it's not necessarily the most interesting in my opinion. The fastest route from Calgary to Banff to Revelstoke to Kamloops to Merritt to Hope to Vancouver bypasses so many more interesting areas that are worth more time, like the winery/vineyard/lakeside resort district of the Okanagan Valley, or the picturesque historic mountain town area of the Kootenays. But if you're not building in the time to explore them, then it's almost a cruel tease to venture there.

As I said, Kamloops is the half way mark. It's a major train hub, a highway hub where major highways intersect, and a forestry/mill town in an arid valley, so has a real blue collar feel to it. They have a small downtown next to the river and it's quite pleasant on the river there, but everything is generally utilitarian 3-star hotels for people just driving through, with typical chain restaurants and a few independent places and breweries downtown. Kamloops really caters to tourists just driving through to somewhere else, with hotel chains on the highways next to the fast food outlets, shopping malls, and gas stations.

If you want a quirky mountain town full of unique independent shops, restaurants, cafes, and breweries with a mountain biker/hiker/ski bum community, Revelstoke could be nice. It's a little bit closer to Calgary than Vancouver, but more of a "we're on holiday" ambiance. It's still on the fast route, but means you've got a slightly longer drive to Vancouver the next morning.

If you're not in a rush, you could also consider an overnight in the Okanagan Valley, at a lakeside resort in Kelowna or Penticton. This is a dry, semi-arid valley with vineyards, 150+ wineries or so, fruit orchards, and long snaking lakes dotted with beaches. Kelowna is a popular summer holiday destination for food/wine lovers and families from both Vancouver and Calgary seeking sunshine and beach time. Fancy hotels, generic hotels, small family lakeside retreats, and so on. So many excellent wineries nearby and people flock to the beach to go swimming or boating. Ideally you come here for several nights to enjoy it. It's a 7-hour drive from Calgary. Vancouver is just over a 4-hour drive the following day. If you're into food and wine, it's worth its own separate trip another time.

Then one of my favourite places is the small city of Nelson, about a 6.5 hour drive from Nelson, arguably one of the most picturesque mountain towns in BC. It's located in the mountainous Kootenay region and is located on Kootenay Lake. The downtown is historic with beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings going up a steep hill. The downtown is quite sophisicated with a diversity of restaurants, excellent cafes, breweries, and unique shops and galleries. The area has a unique mix of artsy hippie back-to-the-Earth culture and hardcore outdoorsy ski bum/mountain bike culture. I've driven there straight from Vancouver before but it's quite the drive. But definitely one of the more interesting places between Calgary and Vancouver, though definitely worthy of more time. Driving from Nelson to Vancouver takes 7.5 hours without stopping, so probably not the ideal place. And yet, I feel it's one of the most interesting places between Calgary and Vancouver, but save it for a separate trip.

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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 11:05 PM
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Oops, I meant to edit a few things but lost the ability to edit. Let me correct what I meant to earlier:

I meant to say, the fastest route from Calgary to Vancouver is from Calgary to Banff to Revelstoke to Kamloops to Merritt to Hope to Vancouver. Kamloops is the halfway point.

I also meant to say Nelson is a 6.5 hour drive from Calgary.

Anyway, I know it's a lot of info, but hopefully this helps somewhat.
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 11:19 AM
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Thank you SO much for all the detailed information. I will find it very useful during my travels in the next weeks. I will most likely take the highway route.

Sorry, by best I just meant I need a good night rest in between the drive to Vancouver from Calgary. The hotel does not need to be high class, just a nice clean hotel for one night.

You have given me a ton of information, thank you again!
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 11:48 PM
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Hello, what is the best route to drive from Calgary to Vancouver and stop in Kamloops for a night. I would also love to stop in Jasper. Thanks for any info.
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