June 2017: Canada

I rarely have the ability to be gone for more than a few days. So when it worked out that I was going to be kid-free for 11 days, I knew we had to to drive somewhere. I love road trips, but I don’t do them much anymore for reasons of convenience.

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View of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Everything was up in the air until the day we left. We didn’t even know where we were going until we finally made the call as we were packing the car. But I had dreamed of Banff since I was younger and saw images of the turquoise water and snow-capped peaks. Luckily for me, David was just as intrigued.

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Cocktail hour at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

We decided to hit Winnipeg for Canada’s 150th birthday, then drive over to Calgary, into Banff, up to Jasper, through Edmonton, then home. We got to have city days, prairie days, and mountain days. Kind of a dream vacation.

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Moraine Lake just as the sun sets

At-a-glance

  • Day 1: Itasca State Park
  • Day 2: Winnipeg
  • Day 3: Winnipeg
  • Day 4: Medicine Hat
  • Day 5: Calgary
  • Day 6: Banff
  • Day 7: Jasper
  • Day 8: Jasper
  • Day 9: Edmonton
  • Day 10: Saskatoon, Regina
  • Day 11: Fargo
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Our roadtrip route

Travel steal

In Winnipeg, Medicine Hat, Calgary, and Edmonton, I used Hotwire or Priceline to blind book a room, and because it was last minute, we got really cheap rooms.

Travel splurge

Canoe rentals at Lake Louise are $100. That’s absurd, but definitely do it. Spending a couple hours out on that lake was a highlight of the whole trip. Better yet, bring your own boat and paddle for free!

Don’t miss

Hike up the Plain of Six Glaciers (moderate) from Lake Louise, to the Lake Agnes tea house. Enjoy one of over 100 teas, dessert, breathtaking views, and the occasional avalanche in the distance before you trek back down.

Good to know

If you visit Banff and Jasper during high season, it’s best to have a campsite reservation as even the overflow sites get full.

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On the glass-bottom floor of the Calgary Tower- eek!

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