(Heads up: it is a long post)

Some months ago, Carmelo and I talked about making a road trip to Vancouver, and recently we had the chance and took it.

I searched for information on several websites, and there was one that answered all my questions: http://blog.buzzbishop.com.

His post «More Than 25 Places To Stop Between Calgary And Vancouver» was fantastic.

In our case, we had available four days, from Friday to Monday, so I had to plan accordingly.

Here is my Route to Enjoy Four Days From Calgary to Vancouver:

Stops along the way:

  • The trip on the highway is about 11 hours, and we didn’t want it to be a race. Therefore, we estimated a couple of stops and decided that we would stay to sleep halfway.
  • What would we do with Archie?

Part of the trip charm for my children was that our dog Archie was with us. At the same time, I didn’t want the stress of not knowing where to leave him once in Vancouver. Fortunately, I got it! (Below the details.)

  • Hotel, please? I don’t know if you know, but hotels in Vancouver are expensive. Truly expensive. I spent a couple of days finding the best option for our budget.
  • What to do on this first trip? We knew that in four days we wouldn’t cover all the attractions, so we chose what to do in family consensus.

Resolved the previous thing, Isabella prepared some delicious meatball paninis, Diego and I got the snack up for the road, and with Carmelo at the wheel and my Spotify list, our trip began.

Is Archie kissing Diego?

We left at 8:00 am from Calgary, and our first stop was at the majestic Lake Louise. There we enjoyed the scenery, stretched our legs, talked with other tourists, and took some photos.

We should’ve taken the Bow Valley Parkway from Banff to Lake Louise to enjoy the scenery, but we got confused and went straight through the TransCanada highway.

Our next stop was a couple of hours later at the edge of the road, where we saw a picnic table and a pleasant shade of trees. There we enjoyed the paninis, and we continued our journey.

A while later, we arrived at Sicamous and went straight to D-Dutchmen Dairy. Their ice creams (made by them) were delicious. Right there we went to the barn and saw some beautiful cows and their calves. It was a special moment for everyone.

Then we went next door, to Kelly’s Go Karts. Isabella and Diego competed and enjoyed a lot!

Part of the charm was the simplicity of the place. It is not a franchise; it is not pompous; only one person was attending it. And yet, it was more than enough. It was fun; it was an excellent experience!

Two minutes from there we found the hotel I booked: Best Western Sicamous. Service was fantastic, with breakfast included, which is always a must for us.

I chose that hotel for some reasons:

  • Buzz Bishop’s mention
  • Their rate was reasonable and breakfast included
  • It was pet-friendly.

I liked the latter but it terrified me as well. We had never stayed at a pet-friendly hotel. What if the rooms smelled like dogs, what if there were fleas? Fortunately, none of that happened, although I would have preferred that rooms had hard floor instead of carpet, to avoid any bad thinking about hygiene.

The next day we took Archie to the Shuswap Pet Resort, the pet boarding I found on the internet. As soon as we got there, I knew I had made a great choice.

Teresa and her adorable grandson Brody greeted us and showed us the facilities.
We loved the place. Impeccably clean, each kennel had space to the outside and another to the inside, to allow the pets to enjoy the outdoors and shelter when they would want it.

After hugs, kisses, and promises of a prompt comeback, we left Archie and went to the hotel for breakfast.

We arrived just in time. We enjoyed a good breakfast, with excellent attention from the staff in charge, and we set out to continue our trip, but not before taking a walk around the town.

Sicamous is simply beautiful. Beyond words.

Surrounded by mountains, it has beaches and Lake Shuswap to delight anyone. It is considered the city of the home boats of Canada.
Hopefully one day we will go back and rent one! The four of us were left sighing!

We continued our journey, and, I don’t know if it was because I set Kelowna on Google Maps as a destination, but the GPS took us through the Vernon Highway 97A, and it was a walk beyond description. Stunning! The landscape all the way was extraordinary.

One hour and 20 minutes later, we arrived in Kelowna. Another great destination. There we went straight to City Park Beach. I wanted to surprise the kids and hubby with the water obstacle course park on the beach, but I was the one who got surprised because there was no water park in the place. I guess it was not the season yet.
But it didn’t matter, because we enjoyed a lot. Big trees, the beach, Isabella enjoying under the sun, and my two little men flying Diego’s drone was all I could ask for there.

Photo by Diego with his drone

We enjoyed it so much that we stayed an hour longer than scheduled.

Next, we continued our way to Vancouver and stopped at the famous Othello Tunnels in the provincial park of Coquihalla. That tunnels trail entertained us for a while!

An hour and a half later we arrived in Surrey, our Vancouver travel destination. We chose Surrey because the hotel’s rate difference was considerable, and the distance between Surrey and downtown Vancouver is only 30 minutes.

We stayed at the Surrey Holiday Inn Express, which was very good, although it wouldn’t hurt if their bedrooms have some update anytime soon. Nevertheless, front desk hosts were unbelievably charming.

That night we had dinner near the hotel. We went to Famoso Pizzeria at Guilford Town Centre. Food was delicious.

On Sunday, our tour consisted of Downtown Vancouver, Gastown Steam Clock, and Granville Island. There, we found a superb place to eat: Tony’s Fish & Oyster Cafe. (Not expensive, large portions, and homestyle. Check, check, check.)

Granville Island Public Market

Then we went to the Amusement Park PNE / Playland, and finished our tour with the cherry on top, by visiting the Capilano suspension bridge.


The next day, after breakfast, we checked out and went down the TransCanada highway to Sicamous. There we looked for Archie, we stayed talking with Teresa for a while, and we continued our way back home.

The Enchanted Forest

We stopped at Revelstoke’s The Enchanted Forest, then we stopped once again two hours later on the road to grab a bite, and we continued without stopping until arriving at our home in Calgary at 12 midnight sharp. Weird right?!

And so that was our road trip from Calgary to Vancouver!