British Columbia: Suggested Itinerary

From the Capital Victoria to Largest City Vancouver

Day 1: Take a day to explore Calgary, beginning at the Eau Claire Market and the adjacent Prince's Island Park. The Stephen Avenue area, is a pedestrian area and home to many restaurants, street performers, and nightclubs. The Glenbow Museum, one of Canada's top art and cultural institutions, is also here. If you have kids aboard, consider a visit to the Canada Olympic Park, where some of the competition for the 1988 Winter Olympics took place. In addition to visiting the top of the ski jump platform, you can also take a ride down the luge slope all year-round.

Day 2: Just an hour to the west of Banff, Lake Louise is a worthwhile destination. Explore the lake, with its fantastic château-style hotel going eye-to-eye with a glacier. Hiking trails lead to the toe of the glacier where you can replenish yourself with tea and scones at a wilderness teahouse. In the next valley over, Moraine Lake is perhaps even more dramatic, with 10 spirelike peaks rising above a placid lake. The gondola operates all year round and transports hikers to alpine meadows.

Day 3: The town of Jasper is next, so after strolling through the small town center, head out on a hiking or biking trail to explore the mountains - trails start right in town. Driving to Maligne Lake for a boat tour of the Canadian Rockies' largest glacier lake is another option, as is signing up for a white-water raft trip on one of the area's many rivers. If you're a golfer, the course at Jasper Park Lodge is among the most noted in Canada.

Days 4 & 5: From Calgary, follow Highway 1 west toward the Rockies. Within an hour, you'll pass beneath the soaring peaks at Canmore and enter Banff National Park. Banff Townsite is filled with grand hotels, modern lodges, B&Bs and various eateries. You could easily spend most of a day just exploring the town, particularly if you like to shop. However, you'll also want to spend another day exploring the natural sites around Banff, which include boat tours on Lake Minnewanka, float trips down the Bow River, day-hiking Johnston Canyon and riding the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain.

Day 6: It’ll take a full day to travel the phenomenal Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, which crosses Sunwapta Pass, beneath the massive Columbia Icefields. Stop to view the waterfalls, hike to hidden lakes and have tea at mountain lodges. Explore the Columbia Icefield, at the very crest of the Rockies, aboard specially built Snow coaches, which can safely venture out onto the surface of the icefield.

Day 7: Spend Day 7 in Edmonton, Alberta's capital. Spend the afternoon exploring the city's trendy Old Strathcona neighborhood, the domed legislative building and the art gallery district around High Street. Spend your final evening in Alberta in one of Edmonton's excellent restaurants. In the morning return to Calgary via Highway 2 to catch your flight back home.