There’s so much to do on a visit to Vancouver, and so much to explore on a visit to Banff. Here is a checklist of things to do while waiting for the train that you just can’t miss.
Vancouver: Things to do While Waiting for the Train
• Ride the aqua bus to Granville Island Market. Join a culinary tour of the market, dine at Edible Canada’s Canadian inspired bistro and check out their artisanal shop of coast-to-coast culinary products for the perfect gift from Vancouver.
• Drink in Vancouver’s amazing cocktail culture by experiencing the creations of the award winning mixologist at Market in the Shangri-La Hotel.
• Hike the steep Grouse Grind trail. “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” climbs 853m over 2.9km. No matter how slow our pace, our hearts still race as we inch toward the top.
• Cycle around Stanley Park. After a leisurely bike ride, we stop for cocktails and bites at the Cactus Club on the beach by English Bay.
• Afternoon Tea at the Castle at the Fairmont Vancouver. Savoury “petit” sandwiches and sweet pastries on a three-tiered tray, china and an elegant selection of teas are a true traditional break from the day. Its sister property on the waterfront, The Pacific Rim Fairmont, includes a unique Asian selection in their tea service not to be missed.
• Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, 137m long, 70m over the canyon. The canopy walk through the treetops takes you another 30m above the forest floor, and the narrow cliff walk of bridges and platforms will test your fear of heights through rainforest vegetation.
Banff: Things to do While Waiting for the Train
• Relax and soak in the hot mineral pools piped down from Sulphur Mountain to the Willow Stream Spa at the Banff Springs Hotel.
• Ride the Gondola up Sulphur Mountain to a dizzying elevation of 2,281 metres. The 360-degree views of six mountain ranges are simply awe-inspiring.
• Hike the Columbia Icefields above the Athabasca glacier. The drive along Ice-fields Parkway from Banff to Jasper is, itself, a national treasure.
• Paddle Lake Louise. The turquoise water of this iconic alpine lake looks like it should be in the Caribbean, and paddling against the backdrop of snowy peaks is surreal.
• Dine at River Café in Calgary. Stroll Prince’s Island Park to this rustic setting of simple quality ingredients from local, organic farmers and sustainable fisheries for a unique “taste of place” cuisine.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.