Month: July 2010

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

A- Overview:
Cape Breton Island is Nova Scotia’s northernmost land mass, and a place of unsurpassed natural beauty. One of its main attractions is wildly scenic Cape Breton Highlands National Park, located at the far north edge of the island’s western tip. Others are the authentically restored fort at Louisbourg and scenic Bras d’Or Lake, the inland saltwater lake that almost bisects the island.
By air, road, rail or sea, Cape Breton Island is easily accessible. The visitor is immediately swept up in the striking beauty of the landscape and the warmth and welcome of the people living there.

Cape Breton Island is linked to mainland Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway, a mile-long road and railway system that is part of the Trans-Canada Highway. Metropolitan Cape Breton is just the right size to make visitors feel at home. Fine hotels, restaurants, museums and attractions make it one of the island’s favorite stopping places. Always popular are the historic villages, world-class golf courses, and Celtic music festivals in the island’s stunning setting.

The history of Cape Breton Island is a multicultural one. Its settlers have included the Mi’kmaq, French, British, and later, predominantly Scottish people. In the early 1800s, as many as 40,000 Gaels from Scotland came to Cape Breton Island. For the next 150 years Gaelic was the predominant language in rural Cape Breton. Songs and stories collected then still delight audiences of today, continuing to reveal a rich cultural heritage.

When Europeans arrived, they found a green land covered in lush forests, streams and rivers full of salmon and trout, the forests home to caribou, cougars, moose and other wildlife. This has not changed. The Southern Gulf of St Lawrence is so rich in sea life that whale cruise operators guarantee sightings. Sea turtles are also present. Whether your preference is for historic sites, cultural events, outdoor adventure or relaxation in a phenomenally beautiful setting, Cape Breton Island is the perfect place to visit. The island features five Scenic Trails. Pack a picnic and travel to the Bras d’Or Lakes to watch a spectacular sunset, or photograph the breathtaking scenery while hiking or bicycle riding along the rugged eastern coast. The beaches on the western “Sunset Side of the Island” are perfect for whale watching, sailing, kayaking and scuba diving.

Residents and visitors join in the old-time dances as bagpipers and fiddlers celebrate Gaelic culture amidst the quiet beauty of the Ceilidh Trail. The Keltic Lodge, Cabot Trail, and the Cape Breton highlands make up Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Uplands. Cape Breton Highlands National Park is located at the north end of the island, where the highest point in the province rises to over 15,000 feet.

Although seasonal hunting continues in this area, tourism and recreational activities predominate because of the impressive scenery and wildlife attractions along the Cabot Trail and in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The Cabot Trail is the official designation for the 185-mile roadway around the northwest part of the island, which encompasses the national park. It’s named after John Cabot, who many believe first set foot on North American soil near Cape North.

The Margaree Valley on the west coast, south of Inverness, is a beautiful farming region. Livestock raising and dairying, the most valuable agricultural activities, are carried out in the farmlands of this area. Sydney, the largest city on the island, is a steel-manufacturing center.

The Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) Trail lines the west coast of Cape Breton Island. The images of blue ocean, green mountains, and jutting capes define the perimeter of Cape Breton Island, but inland there are serene river valleys, placid lakes and waterfalls.

Baddeck, (much like a New England village) offers fine accommodations and restaurants, and is centrally positioned for day excursions to many of the island’s attractions: the national park and the reconstructed historic settlement of Louisbourg. Visitors can tour the Fortress at Louisbourg, wander through centuries-old Acadian villages, and descend to a coal mine beneath the ocean floor.

For a vacation that is never to be forgotten, consider Cape Breton. When you arrive, listen for the words of the Gaelic greeting you are sure to hear: ‘Ciad Mille Failt’ (OneHundred Thousand Welcomes!)

B- City Information:
Population: 158,300

Time Zone: Atlantic Time Zone. When it is noon in New York City, it is 1:00 PM in Cape Breton

Average Temperatures:

Month
High
Low

January
31F
15F

February
32F
15F

March
39F
23F

April
46F
32F

May
57F
40F

June
68F
48F

July
74F
55F

August
74F
56F

September
67F
51F

October
57F
43F

November
48F
32F

December
37F
21F

Holidays

New Year’s Day (January 1)

Good Friday (varies)

Easter Monday (varies)

Victoria Day (closest Monday to May 24)

Canada Day (July 1)

Labour Day (September 4)

Thanksgiving (2nd Monday in October)

Remembrance Day (November 11)

Christmas (December 25)

Boxing Day (December 26).

Getting There

Cape Breton is connected to the mainland via the Canso Causeway, an 80-foot-wide, 217-foot-deep, 4,300-foot-long stone causeway built in 1955 with 10 million tons of rock hewn from an adjoining mountain (half of which remains). The causeway is 163 miles from the New Brunswick border at Amherst and 169 miles from Halifax.

From Canada

Follow the Trans-Canada Highway #2 to the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border, then follow the Trans-Canada Highway #104 to Cape Breton Island.

Follow Interstate 95 north to the US/New Brunswick border. Follow the Trans-Canada Highway #2 to the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border, then follow the Trans-Canada Highway #104 to Cape Breton Island.

From the US to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia:

At Yarmouth, follow Highway #103 to HIghway #102. Follow the #102 to the Trans-Canada Highway #104, which leads to Cape Breton Island.

By Sea

From Bar Harbour, Maine:

For schedules and reservations, contact Bay Ferries Ltd., 1-888-249-7245. Tickets must be picked up one hour before sailing.

From Portland, Maine

Daily service, May through October. Reservations required. In the US or Canada, call Prince of Fundy Cruises, 1-800-341-7540. In Maine only, call 1-800-482-0955

By Air

The Sydney Airport on the island is serviced daily by regular Air Nova flights via Halifax and on to New York, Boston, Montreal, Toronto and St. John’s. During high season, air service is supplemented with direct charter flights from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal to Sydney. Sydney Airport has several car rental kiosks.

By Rail

VIA Rail Canada offers service weekly to and from Cape Breton Island on its Bras d’Or Line. The train departs once a week from Halifax or Sydney. The special luxury train winds through picturesque communities and rolls along the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes. Regional cuisine is served on board. VIA Rail (800/561-3949 in the U.S., or 888/842-7245 in Canada).

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Upper Cape:

Cape Cod Glass Works
845 Sandwich Rd, Sagamore, MA
508-888-9262
Watching the artisans creating glass is sure to entertain the entire family. Open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Yesteryear’s Doll Museum
Main and River, Sandwich, MA
508-888-1711
The museum has a collection of dolls, doll houses and toys from around the world. Open from mid-May to mid-October

Nobska Light
Nobska Rd, Woods Hole, MA
This lighthouse was erected in 1876 and provides spectacular view of Vineyard Sound.

Dexter Grist Mill and Hoxie House
Town Hall Square, Sandwich, MA
508-888-4910
Authentic mid-17th century mill built to grind corn. Take the tour of the mill and then see how the pilgrims really lived – no electricity, plumbing and heat. Ah, the simple life. Open daily the summer

Heritage Plantation
Grove and Pine Streets, Sandwich, MA
(508) 888-3300
76 acres of beautifully maintained grounds feature an antique car collection, a military museum, a folk art museum and a 1912 restored carousel. Open May through mid-October

Mid Cape:

Water Safari
Waterfront Park Rt. 28, West Dennis
508-362-555
Take a river cruise down the Bass River, Grand Cove and Weir Creek on a custom built flat bottom boat. You’ll see all types of wildlife, beautiful waterfront estates, lighthouses and windmills. Group rates available. Call for more information.

Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises
Barnstable Harbor
800-287-0374
The 110-foot vessel seats about 300 people and cruises at 35 mph. Travel across Cape Cod Bay to the Stellwagen Bank area. Naturalists provide the commentary. Whales usually spotted within an hour upon departure.

Eventide
165 Ocean St Dock, Hyannis, MA
508-775-0222
This Cape Cod catboat travels daily out of the Hyannis Harbor. Choose either the harbor cruise, starlight cruise or nature cruise. View the Kennedy compound and local lighthouses.

Cape Cod Scenic Railroad
252 Main Street, Hyannis, MA
508-771-3788
For those who love trains and wish to see the less frequented areas of the Cape, come aboard. Narrated tour.

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
397 Main Street, Hyannis, MA
508-790-3077
Children free
This museum focuses on the years JFK spend on Cape Cod. Photos and a narrated video are some of the features.

Lower Cape:

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Rt 6A, Brewster, MA
800-479-3867
The museum offers four-hour bird-watching trips to North Monomoy Island. The museum also offers overnight cruises to the island. Guest sleep in the Keeper’s Cottage attached to an 1820 lighthouse. Other excursions available so call for more information.

Outermost Harbor Marine
83 Seagull Rd, Chatham
508-945-2030
Seal cruises and shuttles to South Beach.

Schooner Hindu
MacMillan Wharf, Provincetown, MA
508-487-0659
A replica of the seaworthy schooners that sailed during the 19th and 20th century, the Hindu offers four two-hour sails a day during the summer.

Cape Cod Flying Circus
Chatham Municipal Airport
204 George Ryder Rd, Chatham
508-945-2363
Take a 20-minute flight that includes loops, rolls and acrobatics. Or take a more sedate trip sightseeing along the coastline.

Rambling Rose Carriage Company
Commercial Street at Town Hall, Provincetown, MA
508-487-6584
Enjoy a horse and buggy ride through the quaint town of Provincetown.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park

July-Aug daily 9am-6pm; May-June and Sept-Oct daily 9:30am-5pm

Louisbourg, NS

(902)733-2280

Closed Nov 1-Apr 30

You will wander through the impressive gatehouse preparing to be challenged by a costumed guard who may mistake you for an English spy. Visit the exhibits, the farm, and finally the bakery for freshly baked bread out of wood-fired ovens.

Highland Village Museum

Free guided tours by costumed interpreters.

Hours Mid-May to mid-Oct daily 9am-6pm (mid-July to late Aug until 8pm)

Location Rte. 223, Iona

Phone 902/725-2272

Closed mid-Oct to mid-May

The Highland Village is located near Iona, on a grassy hillside with sweeping views over the lake. The living history museum contains a 43 acre village featuring 10 buildings that reflect the region’s Gaelic heritage, including historic structures moved here from locations around the island and exacting replicas. These range from the Black House (ca. 1790), a stone and sod hut of the sort an immigrant would have lived in prior to departing Scotland, to a schoolhouse and general store from the 1920s. Staffers dressed in historical costume will answer any questions you may have about early island life.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Mabou Ceilidh Days
June 27 to July 1
Mabou Ceilidh Days. Mabou. Road race, boat parade, street parade, dances, buffet dinner, Scottish concert, children’s games and crafts, chicken barbeque, outdoor gala, beer garden, and softball tournament.

Early July
Glendale Ceilidh Days Glendale
Outdoor Scottish concert, family square dance held at Glendale Parish Hall & grounds. Adult dances

Inverness Crab Festival
Mid July
Noon – 6pm
Inverness Crab Festival. Inverness Museum. Live entertainment on deck of Museum.

July
Bartown Festival
North Sydney

Judique On The Floor Days
July 11 to 13
Judique On The Floor Days. Judique Recreation Grounds. Outdoor dances, beer gardens, children’s games, games of chance, ball games, junior track meet, variety concert, road race, dinner and teen dance. This event is held out doors except for the teen dance at the Judique Recreation Grounds 20 miles north of the Canso Causeway on route #19 Judique

Mid-July
Whycocomagh Summer Festival
The 30th Anniversary of the Whycocomagh Summer Festival. Situated at the head of the Bras d’Or Lakes, it is ideal for water activities such as canoe racing and boat tours and Ceilidhs On The Waterfront featuring traditional Scottish and Mi’Kmaq talent. There are Maragh suppers, craft shows, dances, kiddie games and a wide variety of sporting events for all ages.

Inverness Gathering
Third week in July
Inverness Gathering. Groups in the area have a day of activities- I.E.: K.C. Senior’s Party. Wednesday-Legion Day-Parade Of Vets, games of chance, bingo, BBQ, harness racing.Friday – Fireman’s Day – pie sale, fire-truck rides, BBQ, flea market, games, Brigade Beauties fashion show, dance. Saturday – arena & minor hockey – games of chance, kiddie parade & main float parade (many changes each year). Sunday – harness racing.

Belle Cote Days on the Cabot Trail
Last weekend each July – Ecumenical Service, outdoor concert. Sunset beach party. Corn & crab boil on Friday, breakfast brunch and adult dance on Saturday, Kid’s Day Saturday pm, Seniors Day Friday pm. Fireman’s chicken barbeque on Sunday.

Chestico Days Summer Festival July 28 to August 3
Port Hood Arena grounds. Week-long summer festival with events such as golf tournament, horse race, road race, dances, concerts, ceilidhs, BBQ, beer gardens, boat and street parades, boat rides, games, fireworks, stepdancing showcase, Celtic music, stepdancing workshops. Children’s parade, teen dances.
Golf tournament;
Horse race
Concerts/ceilidhs
Stepdancing workshops
Road race
Dances

Early August
Festival de l’Escaouette
Festival de l’Escaouette. Annual Acadian Festival featuring 3 days of concerts. Live entertainment, dances, Acadian meals, parade, children’s activities and much more. A chance to relive the Acadian traditions. We invite all our visitors to join in with our community for a festive 3 days in the beautiful Acadian region of Cheticamp. Aug 1–3. Admission charged.

Creignish Ceilidh By The Sea
August 8 to 10
Children’s games, bbq, bicycle parade, concert and family square dance all concentrating on Celtic culture and community. Family fun.

Third week in August
Annual Cape Breton Exhibition
Held in North Sydney

Aug 30–Sep 1
Cabot Trail Bicycle Tour
Cape Breton Highlands. Largest cycling event in Cape Breton. Recreational cycling tour around the Cabot Trail. Admission fee.

Third weekend in August
Annual Kintyre Farm Scottish Outdoor Concert
Kintyre Farm Scottish Concert. Kintyre Farm. 2-7 pm – Outdoor family Scottish concert At Kintyre Farm, Judique featuring Judique’s and Inverness County’s famed fiddlers, singers, dancers, pipers and Celtic guitarists. Canteen, washrooms and fee parking. Pack a blanket or chairs & head for this scenic country farm setting. At the Centre, take in a ceilidh from 7-9 pm and adult square dance 9 pm . Always third Sunday in August..

Banff, Alberta

A- Overview:
Truly one of the most scenic and breathtaking locations on earth, Banff offers a glimpse of what the world was like thousands of years ago. Located within Banff National Park in Western Canada, in the province of Alberta, this small town of 7000 is alive with activity. Each year, millions of visitors come to Banff to marvel at the emerald waters of Lake Louise, walk among the flower-filled havens at Sunshine Meadows, and drive beneath the towering jagged peaks lining the Icefields Parkway. While the park engages its visitors with snow-capped peaks, glistening glaciers and sweeping vistas, visitors can enjoy all the comforts of home in the town of Banff and its neighbor, Lake Louise, or step out into the wilderness to visit the home of some of North America’s wildest creatures, including grizzly bears, caribou and wolves.

Banff is accessible by way of a picturesque 90-minute drive on the all-weather, four lane Trans-Canada Highway 1 from Calgary. There is no need to worry about what to wear when you get there, as casual dress is the norm. In summer, bring a raincoat, warm sweater, hat, sturdy shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses. In spring, summer and fall, a light coat or warm jacket may be required, particularly at higher altitudes. In winter, a heavy coat, winter boots, hat, gloves or mittens and warm clothing are essential. Sunscreen is essential in any season. With four very distinct seasons, there is something to see and do whenever your plans bring you to the area. Daytime high average temperatures range from -7C (19F) in January to +9C (49F) in April and provide generally favorable ski conditions throughout the season. A relatively dry climate is responsible for the unbeatable Rocky Mountain powder snow. Keep in mind, the warm Chinook winds can often bring spring-like temperatures, even in mid-winter.

As part of Banff National Park, the city of Banff is rich in historical sites, museums, great food to enjoy and numerous other things to do, but it is the scenery that brings visitors back time and again. Banff National Park is the birthplace of Canada’s national park system and is alive with a landscape rich in wildlife and history. No two views are the same, and each creates its own individual memory.

For a great view of the city, be sure to take a ride on the Banff Gondola. Its motto is: of “see more mountains in a moment than most see in a lifetime”. This 8-minute ride transports visitors to outstanding views from 7,486 feet above sea level.

Another must see attraction is the Columbia Icefield. While only accessible from spring until mid-fall, this massive field of ancient ice covers 125 square miles and reaches depths estimated at 1299 feet. Straddling the Continental Divide, the Icefield feeds three of the continents major river systems: the Columbia, Mackenzie and Saskatchewan. Meltwaters from the Icefield flow to three different oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. Called a hydrological apex, it is one of only two in the world that feeds three oceans. It is truly an unforgettable adventure.

For a little indoor activity, try Canada Place. Located in town, the interactive exhibit on the promenade level captures the attention of everyone.

There you can enjoy touch screens, real birch bark canoes, open secret doors, and experience actual recording studios.

To relax those tired muscles after a hard day of sightseeing, consider a visit to Banff Upper Hot Springs. It has all the amenities of a modern facility, featured in a splendid, historic spa and bath house.

Whatever the reason and whatever the season, this truly remarkable, picturesque, quaint, exhilarating, town has something for everyone. You won’t want to forget your camera for a personal adventure with nature.

B- City Information:
Population: 7,000 but during the peak season its population swells to over 50,000 people.

Elevation: 1,383 m (4,537 feet)

Location: Located in the southwestern part of Canada, approximately 80 miles west of Calgary on Trans-Canada Highway #1

Time Zone: Mountain Time Zone. Daylight Savings Time is in effect from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.

Weather:

Average Temperatures:

High
Low

January
-5.3 C
23 F
-14.9 C
5 F

February
0.1 C
30 F
-11.3 C
12 F

March
3.8 C
38 F
-7.9 C
16 F

April
9.0 C
48 F
-2.8 C
27 F

May
14.2 C
55 F
1.5 C
34 F

June
18.7 C
66 F
5.4 C
41 F

July
22.1 C
71 F
7.4 C
45 F

August
21.6 C
70 F
6.8 C
44 F

September
16.1 C
60 F
2.7 C
38 F

October
10.1 C
50 F
-1.1 C
31 F

November
0.5 C
30 F
-8.2 C
16 F

December
-5.3 C
23 F
-13.8 C
5 F

Average Snowfall:

10 Year Average
240 cm
94 inches

20 Year Average
235 cm
92.5 inches

Local Seasons:

Daytime highs on average range from -7C (19F) in January to +9C (49F) in April providing generally favourable ski conditions throughout the ski season. Keep in mind the warm Chinook winds can often bring spring-like temperatures, even in mid-winter. The climate is relatively dry and is responsible for the unbeatable Rocky Mountain powder snow.

What to Wear:

Casual dress is the norm in Banff. In summer, bring a raincoat, warm sweater, hat, sturdy shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses. In spring, summer and fall, a light coat or warm jacket may be required, particularly at higher altitudes. In winter, a heavy coat, winter boots, hat, gloves or mittens and warm clothing are essential.

Currency:

Visitors to Banff/Lake Louise are advised to use Canadian currency. For best rates, exchange money at Canadian Chartered Banks, Credit Unions, or currency exchange outlets situated throughout Banff and Lake Louise. Cash machines (ATM) are available for direct withdrawal of funds from your bank account. Major credit cards including VISA, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted by most establishments.

Getting There:

By Air:

Calgary International Airport

2000 Calgary Airport Road NE
Calgary, Alberta, T2E 6W5
403-735-1200

Located approximately 125km/75 miles from Banff

The airport is served by most of the major airlines as well as certain regional and charter services.

By Car:

Banff town site is 120 km (75 mi.) west of Calgary city limits and 16 km (10 mi.) west of Banff Park gate. To reach Banff follow the, all-weather, four lane Trans-Canada Highway 1 from Calgary to Banff. Driving time is under 90 minutes. Lake Louise is 58 km (35 mi.) west of Banff.

Airport Shuttles and Charters

Scheduled and charter van and motorcoach services connect Banff and Lake Louise with Calgary Airport and downtown Calgary throughout the day.

Contact:

Banff Airporter
403-762-3330

Brewster Airport Service
403-762-6767

Rocky Mountain Sky Shuttle
403-762-5200

Rental cars are available within Calgary, at the airport and other locations. The following car rental companies are located in Banff:

Getting Around:

Many activities and attractions in Banff are within easy walking distance (within 20 minutes) from the centre of town. The following public transportation is also available:

Traveling Between Banff and Lake Louise
The most direct route between Banff and Lake Louise is the Trans-Canada Highway 1, a distance of 54 km (32 miles). Visitors also have the option of traveling between Banff and Lake Louise via the scenic Bow Valley Parkway Highway 1A, the Highway 1A turn-off is approximately ten minutes west of Banff on Hwy 1.

Banff Transit (a/k/a the Happy Bus):

Daily bus service between the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, town centre, Tunnel Mountain hotels (to the campground in summer) and along Banff Avenue.

Hours: Vary seasonally

Fee Charged

During the summer (May 1 to September 30) visitors can avoid busy parking areas in the centre of Banff by leaving their vehicles at the RV parking at the north end of Banff Avenue and catching the Happy Bus into town.

Taxicabs:

A number of taxi companies service the Banff area 24 hours a day. Taxis may be found at numerous taxi stands along main avenues or hailed on the street.

Banff Gondola & Upper Hot Springs

The Banff Gondola and the Upper Hot Springs are approximately 4.2 km (2.5 miles) uphill from the center of town, about an hour’s walk.

Ski Shuttles

Throughout the winter numerous ski shuttles are available for transportation between most Banff hotels and the three ski areas Ski Banff @ Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.

National Holidays:

New Years Day January 1

Good Friday Varies

Easter Monday Varies

Victoria Day Monday preceding May 25

Canada Day July 1 The Holidays Act provides that July 2 is Canada Day

when July 1 is a Sunday.

Labour Day First Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day Second Monday of October

Remembrance Day November 11

Christmas Day December 25

Boxing Day December 26

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Banff Upper Hot Springs

101 Mountain Avenue

Banff, AB T1L 1K2

403-762-1515

Hours: Open year round, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

All the amenities of a modern facility are featured in this splendid, historic spa and bath house. It features an outdoor hot pool, day spa, and email kiosk. Swimsuits, towels and locker rentals are available.

Cave & Basin Hot Springs

311 Cave Avenue

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

403-762-4900

Hours: Center open year round, swimming pool open mid-June to Labour Day

Historic and geological displays reveal the effects of the warm sulphur water on the flora and fauna of the area. Interpretative displays and self-guiding trails.

Cave & Basin National Historic Site

311 Cave Ave.

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

Hours: Summer, 9am – 6pm, otherwise: Mon. – Fri., 11am – 4pm, Sat. – Sun., 9:30am – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Cave & Basin National Historic Site is the birthplace of Canada’s national park system. Exhibits, guided tours and the film Steam, Schemes & National Dreams recount how the discovery of the Cave and Basin springs led to the creation of Banff National Park, Canada’s first. See the Cave & Basin springs, replica 1887 bathhouse and grand bathing pavilion.

Canada Place

101 Mountain Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

In Park Administration Building at the end of Banff Avenue

403-760-1338

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Free, Admission Charged for CN IMAX Theatre

Canada Place, a mixed-use commercial facility, is home to the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Pan Pacific Hotel, Cruise Ship Terminal, The CN IMAX Theatre, World Trade Centre Office Complex and Citipark parking facility. The CN IMAX Theatre offers spectacular films featuring themes such as outer space, Canadian wildlife and other natural wonders using a giant 5-story high screen. Explore the “Promenade Into History”, a self guided tour of forty-four educational and interesting plaques describing in detail historical moments that take you back in time while you watch the harbour activities and views.

Banff Park Museum National Historic Site

91 Banff Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

Hours: Open May 15 – Sept 30 10am – 6pm; Oct – mid May 1 – 5pm

Admission Charged

One of Western Canada’s oldest natural history museums is the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site. The elegant 1903 building is a showpiece of architecture and natural history interpretation. Banff’s mammals, birds and insects are preserved in authentic Victorian style—displays date back to 1860. There are knowledgeable interpreters, a reading room and hands-on discovery room.

Buffalo Nations Museum

1 Birch Ave
Banff, AB T0L 0C0

403-762-2388

Hours: Open Summer: 9am – 6pm, Winter: 1 – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Buffalo Nations Museum recalls when Native people followed the buffalo herds into the Bow Valley, hauling their belongings by travois. Displays interpret clothing, hunting techniques, legends and myths, and historical Banff Indian Days. The museum displays a wealth of native arts and a slice of daily life including richly ornamented costumes, a beautifully decorated teepee, colourful quill work and historical hunting equipment. It is a cultural display that celebrates the richness, diversity, continuity and, above all the resilience of the First Nations people. Life-sized scenes depict daily living and ceremonies.

Canadian Ski Museum West

317 Banff Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

403-762-8484

Hours: Summer, 7am – 10pm, Winter, 8am – 10pm

Admission Free

Canadian Ski Museum West explores Banff’s ski heritage and Canada’s great skiers. There are displays of Swiss mountain guides, equipment evolution, historic backcountry ski lodges and alpine resort development. Memorabilia from Olympic skiers trained on local slopes is displayed.

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

111 Bear St

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

403-762-2291

Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies houses one of the world’s largest collections of Canadian Rockies art, photography and literature.

Natural History Museum

112 Banff Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

403-762-4747

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Displays show the cave system of the area, including Castlegar Cave located under the Columbia Icefields. Four dinosaur skulls are included among the numerous fossil specimens. Two slide shows illustrate the formation of the Rockies.

Banff National Park

Banff, AB T1L 1K2

403-762-1550

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Banff National Park is the birthplace of Canada’s national park system and part of the Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. Discover a landscape rich in wildlife and history.

The Banff Centre

107 Tunnel Mountain Drive

Banff, AB T1L 1H5

403-762-6157

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged for Certain Events

The Banff Centre is Canada’s only learning centre dedicated to the arts, leadership development, and mountain culture. Serving the needs of accomplished artists, business and community leaders, and members of the global mountain community through year-round programs designed to enrich professional practice beyond the realm of traditional education.

Sulphur Mountain Gondola

Located 3.2 km (2 mi) from Banff town on Mountain Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1B2

403-762-2523

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain in a glass-enclosed, four-passenger gondola car and enjoy a 360-degree view of Banff and the surrounding area. This 8-minute ride transports visitors to outstanding views 2,281 m (7,486 ft) above sea level. While on the mountain, take in a self-guided walk leading to Sanson’s Peak. The original 1903 stone observatory is located here.

Ski Banff @ Norquay

#2 Mt. Norquay Rd
Banff, AB T0L 0C0

403-762-4421

Hours: Open seasonally, call for additional information

Admission Charged

From gentle beginner runs, to heart pounding double black diamond runs, to a full featured snowboard park, Norquay now has everything you need for a great day of skiing or riding no matter what your ability.

Crowfoot Glacier

197 km (123 mi) S of Jasper/33 km (20.6 mi) N of Lake Louise

Crowfoot is one of over a hundred glaciers that can be seen along the Icefields Parkway. Years ago, this glacier resembled a crow’s foot, with three large toe-like extensions. The lower “toe” of this foot has receded so much that only two toes remain.

Hector Lake

214 km (133.75 mi) S of Jasper/16 km (10 mi) N of Lake Louise.

The beautiful green waters of Hector Lake spread below a fresh carpet of lush forest. While the southern part of the lake is forest-enclosed, the northern end is set hard against rugged mountains, which is typical of a lake formed in a glacial basin. One can view Mt. Balfour and the Waputik Range to the SW.

Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks

12 km (7.5 mi) E from Lake Louise access road

Formerly pictured on the back of the Canadian $20 bill, this emerald green lake is set before a backdrop of sharp peaks. To the N is Mount Temple, the highest mountain in the Bow Range and third highest in Banff National Park. The valley is a good area for hiking.

Peyto Lake

190 km (118.75 mi) S of Jasper/40 km (25 mi) N of Lake Louise

The highest point on the Icefields Parkway is Bow Summit, 2088 m above sea level. Here the road crosses alpine meadows near the source of the Bow River before dropping into the Mistaya Valley. From the lower parking area at Bow Summit, a short trail takes you uphill to the Peyto Lake lookout.

Columbia Icefield

Icefields Parkway, AB

Ice-walk tours are available April 10th until October 20th.

The Columbia Icefield is located on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks. One of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, it covers an area of nearly 325 sq km. The continuous accumulation of snow feeds eight major glaciers including the Athabasca, Dome, and Stutfield Glaciers, all visible from the Icefields Parkway. The Columbia Icefield is a true “continental divide,” for its meltwater feeds streams and rivers that pour into the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. Markers at the icefield indicate the rate at which the toe of the Athabasca Glacier has receded this century. Caution – The glacier is dangerous! People have been killed falling into deep, hidden cracks called crevasses in the glacier. For your safety do not cross the barriers.

Johnston Canyon

26 km (16.25 mi) W of Banff on Hwy 1A

Follow the self-guided interpretative trail along Johnston Creek for views of water erosion in action. A 5.6 km (3.5 mi) walk will take you to the Ink Pots. Six cool springs bubble out of the ground year-round. The glacial sediments in the springs create beautiful aqua colours.

Vermilion Lakes

Located off Mt. Norquay just before the Banff/Norquay overpass

This 4.5 km (2.8 mi) drive branches off Mt. Norquay just before the Banff/Norquay overpass and takes you along the three Vermilion Lakes. This drive provides an opportunity to see a variety of flora and fauna common to marshland areas and is popular for bird watchers, nature enthusiasts, photographers and cyclists.

Bow Falls

The falls are just a short walk from the Banff Centre at Tunnel Mountain

Admission Free

The Bow River drops approximately 30 feet near its divergence with the Spray River.

Bow Lake

Located93 km (58 mi) N of Banff just off Hwy 93 N (Icefields Parkway)

Admission Free

The lake is the source of the Bow River. Across the lake is part of a very large icefield covering an area of the Great Divide. The Bow Glacier extends from this field over the cliffs.

Bow Valley Parkway

Access the parkway 7 km (4.3 mi) west of Banff and from the Lake Louise overpass

Also known as Hwy 1A, this 51 km (30.6 mi) route is a scenic alternative to the TransCanada Hwy between Banff and Lake Louise. There are peaceful picnic areas interspersed between the many points of interest along the highway. At Johnston Canyon, a self-guided tour takes you along Johnston Creek to two impressive waterfalls. It’s a 5.6 km (3.5 mi) hike to the Ink Pots (clear greenish pools formed by artesian springs whose water temperature remains at a constant I degree C), which has six cool springs bubbling out of the ground.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Cave & Basin Hot Springs

311 Cave Avenue

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

403-762-4900

Hours: Center open year round, swimming pool open mid-June to Labour Day

Historic and geological displays reveal the effects of the warm sulphur water on the flora and fauna of the area. There are interpretative displays and self-guiding trails.

Canada Place

101 Mountain Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1A1

In Park Administration Building at the end of Banff Avenue

403-760-1338

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Free, Admission Charged for CN IMAX Theatre

The CN IMAX Theatre offers spectacular films featuring themes such as outer space, Canadian wildlife and other natural wonders using a giant 5-storey high screen. Explore the “Promenade Into History”, a self guided tour of forty-four educational and interesting plaques describing in detail historical moments that take you back in time while you watch the harbour activities and views.

Sulpher Mountain Gondola

Located 3.2 km (2 mi) from Banff town on Mountain Ave

Banff, AB T1L 1B2

403-762-2523

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Ride to the top of Sulpher Mountain in a glass-enclosed, four-passenger gondola car and enjoy a 360-degree view of Banff and the surrounding area. This 8-minute ride transports visitors to outstanding views 2,281 m (7,486 ft) above sea level. While on the mountain, take in a self-guided walk leading to Sanson’s Peak. The original 1903 stone observatory is located here.

Ski Banff @ Norquay

#2 Mt. Norquay Rd
Banff, AB T0L 0C0

403-762-4421

Hours: Open seasonally, call for additional information

Admission Charged

From gentle beginner runs, to heart pounding double black diamond runs, to a full featured snowboard park, Norquay now has everything you need for a great day of skiing or riding no matter what your ability.

Crowfoot Glacier

197 km (123 mi) S of Jasper/33 km (20.6 mi) N of Lake Louise

Crowfoot is one of over a hundred glaciers that can be seen along the Icefields Parkway. Years ago, this glacier resembled a crow’s foot, with three large toe-like extensions. The lower “toe” of this foot has receded so much that only two toes remain.

Columbia Icefield

Icefields Parkway, AB

Ice-walk tours are available April 10th until October 20th.

The Columbia Icefield is located on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks. One of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, it covers an area of nearly 325 sq km. The continuous accumulation of snow feeds eight major glaciers including the Athabasca, Dome, and Stutfield Glaciers, all visible from the Icefields Parkway. The Columbia Icefield is a true “continental divide,” for its meltwater feeds streams and rivers that pour into the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. Markers at the icefield indicate the rate at which the toe of the Athabasca Glacier has receded this century. Caution – The glacier is dangerous! People have been killed falling into deep, hidden cracks called crevasses in the glacier. For your safety do not cross the barriers.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

“Ice Magic” International Ice Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

Usually held in mid-January thru mid-March

403-762-8421

Admission Free

Held in various locations in Lake Louise, this is an unusual and delightful exhibition to see. Ice carvers from around the world compete to create sculptures that will appeal to all ages.

Banff/Lake Louise Winter Festival

Usually held around the last week of January

403-762-8421

Admission Charged for some events
This event is fun for everyone and includes an art walk and cultural events, the Town Party, a Family Winter Carnival, silly and serious winter athletic contests, and nightly bar and social activities. The Winter Festival has been a tradition in Banff since 1917.

Winterfest – Canmore
Held in mid-January

403-678-1878

On the Pond from 9am to 4pm

Admission Free
“Grab a Slab!” Everyone is invited to participate in the annual ice sculpture event on the 10th Street Pond. Bring your own files and chisels, and any other equipment you may need to satisfy your creative side.

February

The Kananaskis Ski Marathon – Canmore

Usually held near the end of February

Location: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, start/finish at Pocaterra Parking Lot. To get there, drive south on Hwy #40 from the junction with Hwy #1 for 56 km.
This is a “loppet”, a cross-country ski race open to the public, emphasizing participation, personal challenge, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and fun. The competition takes place in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, one of Alberta’s finest cross-country ski trail systems, about a ninety-minute drive west of Calgary in Kananaskis Country. All competitors — over 400 of them –are treated to beverages, hot soup, and plenty of home-made cookies — that’s why the loppet is called “the Cookie Race”!

March

Arc’teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival

Usually held in early March

403-609-0480
Admission Charged

Ice Climbing enthusiasts look forward to a little ice time in Canmore, AB during the “Arc’teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival”. The event brings together beginner and skilled ice climbers to enjoy the sport of ice climbing in a fun, festive atmosphere. People new to the sport have the opportunity to try ice climbing on an artificial ice wall, try out the latest equipment from core manufacturers, and watch and learn from some of the top climbers in the sport.

May

Slush Cup – Banff

Held during the entire month of May

Skiers and snowboarders seek fame and fortune by attempting to sail over a precipitous pool of ice water. The Slush Cup has been a Sunshine tradition for several years and a not-to-be-missed show. This event marks the last ski event of the season.

Festival of Music and Wine – Jasper

Usually held over a weekend in May

Jasper will be bringing the music to the mountains during the annual “Jasper Festival of Music and Wine”. Internationally renowned artists move from the concert halls to the mountaintops to perform in unique venues around Jasper. The performances are followed by informative wine tasting.

Banff/Calgary Road Race

403- 294-7440
This annual road race features over 1,500 athletes running in a team relay format from Banff to Fort Calgary.

Wildlife Festival of Birds & Bears – Golden B.C.
Several days of events of high quality which offer interpretive, educational, entertaining and interactive activities including trips in the lushest part of the renowned Columbia River Wetlands, where many bird species are found and where bears thrive in the generous surrounding wilderness.

Canmore Children’s Festival

403-678-1878

This 2-day event is a celebration of children. It’s an opportunity to unleash your inner child for two days of fun, laughter and merriment. Storytellers, theatre, comedy, magic, puppets, crafts and games await discovery.

June

ArtSPeak

Usually held in mid-June

This exciting weekend festival will celebrates artistic spirit by featuring performing artists, artists and artisans, an art walk, a literary festival, film screenings, and street performers.

Quilt Festival

Usually held in mid-June

403-678-9603

Hours: 10am – 7pm on Saturday and 10am – 5pm on Sunday.

Admission Charged

This exhibition celebrates the Mountain Cabin Quilters’ Guild of Canmore. The quilts are displayed at the Seniors’ Association Drop-In Centre.

Race the Rockies 18 Hour Challenge

Looking for a perfect springboard into longer multi-day races or just 18 hours of adrenalin? Teams of 3 (mixed gender) and solo categories paddle, trek, orienteer, and mountain bike a spectacular 100 km course through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Race the Rockies 18 Hour Challenge is one of the few adventure races in the world that allows solo athletes to race throughout the night.

July

Canada Day Parade and Celebration

Held on Canada Day, July 1

One thing you can count on for fun is Canada Day, with festivities celebrating the special joy of being Canadian. Locals line up early for the pancake breakfast that starts at 7:30 AM. Main Street is jammed with people who come from all over southern Alberta to view the parade. There are spectacular fireworks at nightfall.

Race the Rockies

Held early July – early August
Get ready for “Race the Rockies 30 Day Challenge”. Solo athletes and teams of two will paddle, trek and mountain bike a challenging 3340 km race course through one of the most beautiful and remote places on earth.

Banff Arts Festival

Usually held mid–July through mid–August

Don’t miss the Banff Arts Festival, a four week period of intensive programming during the summer season. From the new Canadian Opera FILUMENA to the genius of great masters such as Shakespeare and Mozart, to extraordinary break-troughs by young artists on the verge of discovery, this sizzling summer festival is filled with more than 60 events that will make you fall head over heels in love with the arts!

August

Canmore Folk Music Festival

403-678-2524
Alberta’s oldest folk music festival offers a weekend filled with afternoon workshops, craft and food booths, an extensive family area and a stellar line-up of evening concerts all taking place in Canmore’s Centennial Park.

Trans-Rockies Challenge

Usually held in mid–August

877-622-7343

The wheels are set to roll for one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world. 350 two-person teams grind their way over the Continental Divide through almost 600 kilometers of wilderness trails.

Jasper Heritage Rodeo

303 Pyramid Ave
(Jasper Activity Centre)
Jasper, AL T0E 1E0
780-852-4622; 780- 852-3858

Admission Charged

Performances are held nightly at 7pm. A dance Saturday night features a top Canadian Country entertainer.

This professionally sanctioned event attracts top cowboys and stock from around the world. Events include bull riding, bareback and saddle-bronco riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing and the local favorite pack horse race.

September

Melissa’s Mini-Marathon

403-762-5511
Over 2,000 runners compete in 3 km, 10 km, or 22 km races.

Highland Games – Canmore

403-678-9454
The Celtic spirit prevails in Canmore when hundreds of participants of Highland Dance, Piping, Drumming, Running and Heavy Sports give their best performances in their quest for excellence.

Celtic merchants from across Canada offer their wares, and clan tents provide family history and genealogy information. Highland cattle and sheep dog demonstrations can be seen and the Massed Bands will stir the soul. The Beer Garden features non-stop entertainment such as Scottish Country Dancing and Irish Stepping. The evening Ceilidh is where the Celts let loose with lively entertainment and dancing. The Provincial Piping & Drumming Champions for the year are announced here.

Canada Canadian Rocky Mountain Half Marathon and 8K Race

888-552-2873
Take part in the 8K or half marathon, or cheer on the over 1,000 racers. This is one of the most scenic courses in Canada and it’s a pleasure to run on the trails and roadways of Canmore.

7-Minute Film Festival
This innovative event provides a free opportunity for filmmakers to experiment publicly with film and video in an environment fully conducive to concept-driven creative expression. For viewers, it’s a free opportunity to enjoy some wonderful short films. Includes drama, animation, comedy, underground, cutting edge, and has entries that make you laugh, make you cry, make you question. What more could you ask from a film festival?

October

The Banff Centre Mountain Ekiden Relay

403-762-6153

Ekiden: a Japanese word meaning running from post to post; an early Japanese form of courier. Ekidens are traditionally shorter than most relay runs, totaling only 43 km. Runners pass off a Japanese-style sash at the exchange area. The original Ekiden was staged as an all-women’s event in Yokohama, Japan. The Banff Centre Mountain Ekiden Run includes up to 75 – 5 person teams and is a fund raiser for the Centre’s artist scholarship fund.

Pan Canadian Wordfest

Usually held in mid – October

403-762-6670

The PanCanadian Wordfest brings together national, international and local writers for a series of readings, panel discussions, performances, workshops and book signings.

Festival of the Eagles

403-678-6125

Become enraptured! Join professional birdwatchers and amateur bird lovers in this October celebration of the ancient annual migration of the Golden Eagle along the high crests of the Canadian Rockies. Share in the spirit of the eagle as you listen to interpreters explain the phenomenon on a guided hike, or simply gaze upward at the birds soaring above the peaks in the perfect autumn sky.

October – November

Banff Mountain Book Festival

403-762-6125
This annual mountain book festival offers outdoor enthusiasts the chance to enjoy the best of mountain literary views from publishers and writers from all over the world. This festival is held in conjunction with the Banff Festival of Mountain Films.

November

“Light Up Canmore” Christmas Season Kick-off

403-678-4094

Celebrate the holidays in Canmore, starting with a light-up ceremony at the Northwest Mounted Police Barracks. Enjoy choirs and hot chocolate, horse-drawn wagon rides, and special shopping promotions.

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Early November

403-762-6125
One of the largest and most prestigious film festivals of it’s kind, this annual event previews and honors the top mountaineering/adventure films taken from around the world.

Banff Winterstart 5 miler night run

Mid November, race starts at 7pm

403-762-6125
Start at the Banff Caribou Lodge and run on a scenic, winding course along Banff Avenue and Tunnel Mountain Road.

Santa Claus Parade

Usually held in late November

403-762-8421
Join the Town of Banff as they welcome the arrival of Santa Claus. Watch Saturday’s noontime parade make its way down Banff Avenue and meet Santa for a photo in Central Park.

December

Annual Torchlight Parade

403-762-1229

December 31, begins at 7pm and is best viewed from Banff.

Town of Banff First Night Celebration
December 31

Hours: 7:30pm – midnight

Enjoy a family-orientated, alcohol-free celebration of the arts, which takes place in a variety of downtown Banff locations.

Community Party on the Pond

10th Street Pond, Canmore

403-678-1878

December 31

Hours: Children’s events are from 6 to 9 pm with fireworks at 9:30 pm for the little ones.

This is an alcohol-free event for the whole family, featuring music and entertainment, hot dogs and hot chocolate, skating, wandering performers, an all-night bonfire, and horse and wagon rides. The festivities (music and bonfire) will continue until midnight when the Fireworks Grand Finale takes place at Millennium Park to welcome the New Year.

Arts

Banff Center for the Arts

104 St. Julian Rd
Banff, AB, T1L 1H5

403-762-6301

Located on Tunnel Mountain, The Banff Centre provides educational opportunities in arts, leadership development, and Mountain Culture. As well, the centre hosts public performances and events year round featuring dance, music, theatre, opera, films, books, new media, and visual arts.

Whistler, British Columbia

A- Overview:
Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, both part of the Whistler Resort, are the two largest ski mountains in North America and are consistently ranked as the No. 1 or 2 ski destinations on the continent. They offer winter and summer glacier skiing, the longest vertical drop in North America, and one of the most advanced lift systems in the world. Some 32 high speed lifts, 200 trails, and 12 alpine bowls cover more than 7,000 acres. Whistler has also grown in popularity as a summer destination, with a range of family oriented outdoor activities and events.

At the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are Whistler Village, Village North (also called Marketplace), and Upper Village, a rapidly expanding, interconnected community of lodgings, restaurants, pubs, gift shops, art galleries, and boutiques. Local residents refer to the entire area as Whistler Village. With dozens of hotels and condos within a five-minute walk of the mountains, the site is filled with activity. Culinary options in the resort range from burgers to French food; Japanese fare to deli cuisine.

Whistler Village is a pedestrian only community. Anywhere you want to go within the resort is at most five minutes away, and parking lots are just outside the village. The bases of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are also just at the village edge. In fact, you can ski right into the lower level of the Chateau Whistler Hotel.

In winter, the village is populated with skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. In summer, the pace is more relaxed, as the focus shifts to cycling, hiking, and boating at various spots around the Whistler Valley. The Valley Trail is available for roller blading, cycling, and walking. There are ample opportunities for golf, tennis, and horseback riding, and the Whistler River is known for its excellent white-water rafting.

The marvels of Whistler are just ninety miles from Vancouver. Narrow, winding Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, passes Shannon Falls and the Tantalus Range glaciers enroute to the Whistler resorts.

When planning a trip to Whistler, consider extending it to include the Coast Mountain Circle, which links Vancouver to the Cariboo Region. This 435-mile route takes in spectacular Howe Sound, the deep-water port of Squamish, Whistler Resort, and the Pemberton Valley before heading back to Vancouver through scenic Fraser Canyon and Harrison Hot Springs. This loop can be comfortably completed in two to three days, with time to stop and enjoy points of interest along the way.
B- City Information:
Population: 8,896

Area: 7,000 acres

Elevation: 2,009 feet

Time Zone: Whistler is in the Pacific Time Zone. When it is noon in New York City, it is 9:00 AM in Whistler.

Average Temperatures by Month

High, Low
January 23, 3
February 31, 6
March 42, 18
April 54, 27
May 64, 34
June 69, 42
July 74, 44
August 73, 43
September 65, 36
October 52, 30
November 38, 21
December 25, 8

Packing

In winter, dress warmly in “layers.” A hat, scarf, gloves and sturdy shoes are essential. For summer travel, select loose-fitting natural-fiber clothes; pack a wool sweater and light jacket. If you plan on camping or hiking in the deep woods in summer, carry insect repellent, especially in June, which is blackfly season.

Holidays

New Year’s Day, January 1
Good Friday March, April (varies)
Easter Monday (varies)
Victoria Day May 22
Canada Day July 1
British Columbia celebrates British Columbia Day August 7
Labour Day first Monday in September
Thanksgiving second Monday in October
Remembrance Day November 11
Christmas, and Boxing Day December 25, 26

Business Hours

Most banks in Canada are open Monday-Thursday 10-3 and Friday 10-5 or 6. Some banks are open longer hours and also on Saturday morning. All banks are closed on national holidays.

Telus Guest Communications Centre, in the Roundhouse Lodge at the top of Whistler Mountain, is a business communication center where skiers can check their stocks, answer their e-mail, and recharge their cell phones between getting off the lift and skiing down the mountain. The center has constant global stock updates on a Bloomberg stock exchange monitor, a small meeting room, fax machines, a photocopier, card swipe phones, wall clocks showing the time in major cities, and instant Internet links. The services are free. Open 9-3 daily, Nov.-June. 604/905-2380; FAX: 604/932-1095.

Shops

Stores, shops, and supermarkets are usually open Monday-Saturday 9-6, although in major cities supermarkets are often open from 7:30 AM to 9 PM. Blue laws are in effect in much of Canada, but a growing number of provinces have stores with limited Sunday hours, usually noon-5 (shops in areas highly frequented by tourists are usually open on Sunday). Retail stores are generally open on Thursday and Friday evenings, most shopping malls until 9 PM. Drugstores in major cities are often open until 11 PM, and convenience stores are often open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Customs & Duties

Arriving in Canada

Cats and dogs must have a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian that clearly identifies the animal and certifies that it has been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36 months. Seeing-eye dogs are allowed into Canada without restriction. Plant material must be declared and inspected. There may be restrictions on some live plants, bulbs, and seeds. With certain restrictions or prohibitions on some fruits and vegetables, visitors may bring food with them for their own use, providing the quantity is consistent with the duration of the visit.

Canada’s firearms laws are strict. No handguns or semiautomatic or fully automatic weapons may be brought into the country. Sporting rifles and shotguns may be imported provided they are to be used for sporting, hunting, or competition while in Canada. All firearms must be declared to Canada Customs at the first point of entry.

Emergencies dial 911.

Mail
Following are postal abbreviations for provinces and territories: Alberta, AB; British Columbia, BC; Manitoba, MB; New Brunswick, NB; Newfoundland and Labrador, NF; Northwest Territories and Nunavut, NT; Nova Scotia, NS; Ontario, ON; Prince Edward Island, PE; Québec, PQ; Saskatchewan, SK; Yukon, YT.

Money

ATMs are conveniently located throughout Canada in banks, large hotels, and shopping centers.

Currency

The units of currency in Canada are the Canadian dollar (C$) and the cent, in almost the same denominations as U.S. currency ($5, $10, $20, 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, etc.). The $1 and $2 bill are no longer used; they have been replaced by $1 and $2 coins (known as a “loonie,” because of the loon that appears on the coin, and a “toonie,” respectively).

Taxes

Most purchases in British Columbia are subject to a Canada-wide 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST). If you are not a resident of Canada, you can reclaim the GST on goods you take out of the country.

Electricity

Canada, like the United States, uses 110-volt, 60-cycle electric power.

Passports & Visas
Entering Canada

Citizens and legal residents of the United States do not need a passport or a visa to enter Canada, but proof of citizenship (a birth certificate or valid passport) and some form of photo identification will be requested. Naturalized U.S. residents should carry their naturalization certificate. Permanent residents who are not citizens should carry their “green card.” U.S. residents entering Canada from a third country must have a valid passport, naturalization certificate, or “green card.”

Getting Around

Compact and pedestrian-oriented, Whistler Village has signed trails and paths linking together all shops and restaurants. If you’re staying in the Village, you can park your car and leave it for the duration of your stay. The walk between the Whistler Mountain (Whistler Village) and Blackcomb Mountain (Upper Village) resorts takes about 5 minutes.

Sightseeing Tours

Blackcomb Helicopters (604/938-1700 or 800/330-4354) is one of several local operators that fly year-round flightseeing tours over Whistler’s stunning mountains and glaciers. In summer, the company offers heli-hiking, heli-fishing, heli-picnics, and even heli-weddings.

Several companies, including Outdoor Adventures@Whistler (604/932-0647) and Whistler ATV Tours (604/932-6681), organize guided rides through the backcountry in all-terrain vehicles.

Telephones

The country code for Canada (as for the United States) is 1. The area code for Whistler is 604. You do not need to dial the three-digit area code when making a call from within the same code.

Directory & Operator Information

For operator assistance, dial “0.” For directory assistance in Canada, dial the area code followed by 555-1212; dial 1 before the area code if the area code is not the same as the one you are calling from.

International Calls

International calls can be direct-dialed from most phones. If you’re dialing Canada from the United States, dial 1 plus the area code and telephone number. If you’re dialing the United States from Canada, dial 1 plus the area code and telephone number.

Tipping

Tips and service charges are not usually added to a bill in Canada. In general, tip 15% of the total bill. This goes for waiters, waitresses, barbers and hairdressers, and taxi drivers. Porters and doormen should get about $1 a bag (or more in a luxury hotel). For maid service, $1 a day is sufficient ($2 in luxury hotels).

When to Go

The slopes are open from mid-November through April, and in this season the village buzzes with skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. In summer the pace is more relaxed, as the focus shifts to cycling, hiking, and boating around the Whistler Valley.

Arriving & Departing
By Air

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Grant McConachie Way,
604/276-6101),

the airport closest to Whistler, is south of Vancouver, which is 120 km 74 mi south of Whistler. An airport improvement fee is assessed on all flight departures: $5 for flights within British Columbia, $10 for flights within North America, and $15 for international flights.

Carriers

Air Canada (888/247-2262). American (800/433-7300). Air New Zealand (800 663-5494). Alaska Airlines (800/252-7522). Continental Airlines (800/231-0856). Horizon Air (800/547-9308). United/United Express (800/241-6522).

Transfers Between the Airport and Town
By Shuttle

Perimeter Whistler Express (604/266-5386 in Vancouver; 604/905-0041 in Whistler) has daily service from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler. Perimeter has a ticket booth at domestic arrivals Level 2 and one at the airport’s international receiving lounge. The fare is about $47 one-way; reservations are recommended.

By Bus

Greyhound Lines of Canada
Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp.
200-1150 Station Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6A 4C7
1-604-482-8747 Fax: 1-604-683-0144
Toll Free: 1-800-661-8747
email: schedules@whistlerbus.com

Buses leave frequently throughout the day for Whistler Village from the depot in downtown Vancouver (1150 Station St.). En route to Whistler the bus makes momentary stops along the Sea to Sky (Highway 99) at:

Horseshoe Bay
Lions Bay
Brittania Beach
Squamish
Whistler Creekside

The final destination is the Whistler Village bus loop at the Village Gate and Northlands Boulevard.

Return Trips

Return trips to Vancouver stop in the same places. The bus also makes stops in downtown Vancouver at prominent intersections before its final destination at the main bus depot at Main and Terminal Streets.

West Coast City and Nature Sightseeing (604/451-1600 in Vancouver) offers a sightseeing tour to Whistler that allows passengers to stay overnight and return to Vancouver on their date of choice. The tours run year-round and cost about $57.

By Car

Whistler is 74 miles or 2 1/2 hours, north of Vancouver on Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway.

By Train

There is no longer rail service to and from Whistler.

Getting Around

By Bus

Streets in Whistler Village, Village North, and Upper Village are all pedestrian-only; pay parking is readily available on the village outskirts. A free public transit system loops throughout the village, and paid public transit serves the whole valley. Call 604/932-4020 for information and schedules.

Car Rentals

Available in Vancouver at all major rental companies.

Insurance

Drivers must carry owner registration and proof of insurance coverage, which is compulsory in Canada. The Canadian Non-Resident Inter-Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card, available from any U.S. insurance company, is accepted as evidence of financial responsibility in Canada. The minimum liability coverage in Canada is $200,000.

Requirements

Driver’s licenses from the U.S., or from other countries, and international driver’s licenses are valid in Canada.

By Taxi

For a cab, call Sea to Sky Taxi (604/932-3333).

Highway Regulations in British Columbia

Highways in British Columbia are safe and modernized. Be aware of some highway regulations:

Speed limits are in metric
Seat belts are mandatory
Use headlights even in daylight
Watch for wildlife and fallen rock
The Sea to Sky Highway speed limit is 80 kph (50 mph)
Roads can be slippery even in the summer months
Infant car seats are required for children weighing up to 20 pounds

Metric Conversions

50 kph = 30 mph
80 kph = 50 mph
1 Kilometre = 5/8 or .621 miles
1 Mile = 1 3/5 or 1.6 kilometres
Gasoline is sold in litres: 1 US Gallon = 3.78 litres
C- Attractions/Things To Do:
The Whistler Explorer
BC Rail 1- 800/339-8752 or 604/984-5246;

If you have only a day to explore the backcountry of southern British Columbia, don’t miss the Whistler Explorer. For centuries, the canyons, mountain meadows, and lakes of the area between Whistler and Kelly Lake were inaccessible to all but the most experienced hikers. The Whistler Explorer, offers a leisurely way to see this remote landscape.

Departing from the Whistler train station on Lake Placid Road at 8am, the Explorer takes an 8 1/2-hour round-trip ramble through the spectacular Pemberton Valley and past Seton Lake and Anderson Lake. After leaving the historic town of Lillooet, the train follows the Fraser River, climbing high above the canyon and offering breathtaking views before arriving at Kelly Lake, which is adjacent to the historic Cariboo Gold Rush Trail. After a 1-hour break, passengers re-board the train, returning to Whistler at 5:30pm.

Whistler/Blackcomb Mountain
Lifts open daily 8:30am-3:30pm (to 4:30pm mid-Mar until closing,
depending on weather and conditions)
4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler

Phone 604/932-3434, Snow report 604/687-7507 in Vancouver,
604/932-4211 in Whistler
Web site www.whistler-blackcomb.com

Prices Winter lift tickets C$61-C$63 (US$40-US$41) adults, C$53-C$55 (US$34-US$36) youths and seniors, C$31-C$32 (US$20-US$21) children

Now that both mountain resorts are jointly operated by Intrawest, one pass gives access to both ski areas. Locals have their preferences, but the both offer great skiing. Whistler Mountain has 5,006 feet of vertical and over 100 marked runs that are serviced by a high-speed gondola and eight high-speed chairlifts, plus four other lifts and tows. Helicopter service from the top of the mountain makes another 100-plus runs on nearby glaciers accessible. There are cafeterias and gift shops on the peak as well as a licensed restaurant.

Blackcomb Mountain has 5,280 feet of vertical and over 100 marked runs that are serviced by nine high-speed chairlifts, plus three other lifts and tows. The cafeteria and gift shop aren’t far from the peak, and the licensed restaurant is worth the gondola trip even if you’re not skiing. The view is spectacular. Both mountains also have bowls and glade skiing, with Blackcomb offering glacier skiing well into August.

Whistler Museum
4329 Main Street
Whistler, BC V0N 1B0
604-932-2019
July and August Daily 10 AM to 4 PM;
September through June
Thursday to Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM

Discover the female pioneer who put Whistler on the map!

Glacier Skiing & Snowboarding
Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman’s Glacier is open long into the summer for sun-filled days of skiing and snowboarding. Two T-bars serve the experienced snowboarders and skiers. Be sure to pack sunscreen for sun protection. Visitors can ski or snowboard in the heat of summer sun, and then return to Whistler Village, and finishing the day with a round of golf or a swim in a warm mountain lake.

Golf

Furry Creek Golf and Country Club
(604) 894-2224

Built on a mountainside that slopes down to Howe Sound. Short course: 6,001 yards from the gold tees, but a welcome challenge for those who love climbing.

Whistler Golf Club
(604) 932-4544

Just under 6, 400 yards with a slope rating of 128. Designed by Arnold Palmer.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club
(604) 938-2095

6.635 yards from the back tees with a slope rating of 142. The clubhouse is architecturally noteworthy.

Blackcomb Horsedrfawn Sleigh Rides
(604) 932-7631
Daily on the hour 5-8 Dec.-March.

Tours depart from the Base II of Blackcomb Mountain at the end of Glacier Drive. Tours of the wooded countryside stop at a warming cabin where musical entertainment is provided. Lunch and Dinner sleigh rides are available by reservation.

Dogsledding
4314 Main Street
Suite 36
Whistler, BC
(604) 932-4086
Call for details.

White-Water Rafting
Whistler River Adventures
4165 Springs Lane
Whistler, BC
(604) 932-3532

At the base of the Whistler Mountain gondola in Whistler Village. Trips depart daily. 8-8 Mid-May- early-September.
D- Family Fun Attractions:
Adventure Zone
The Whistler Adventure Zone is located at the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain. Combination packages are available for families and groups.

Mini Golf
Adult, youth, senior, child, and family rates available. Golf clubs, balls, putters are all provided. Open daily until September 15.

Westcoaster Luge
Zoom past the muddy mountain bikers as you ride down the mountain on your very own sled. Banking curves, screaming straight-aways. Weather permitting. Open weekends until September 15.

Great Wall Climbing Centre
There are nine routes to stretch your capabilities as you climb the 25 foot wall – safely guided by the experts. Ideal for children and novice climbers. Open until September 15.

All-Canadian Trapeze
Swing, fly, and catch your friend. Or not. A completely enclosed safety net is just metres below. Open until September 15.

Kiss the Sky Trampoline
Open weekends until September 15.

Horseback Tours on Blackcomb Mountain
Trot up Whistler in pioneering style for a 45 minute guided scenic trail ride of Blackcomb Mountain. Open daily

E- Events & Entertainment:
Winter
In January and February, skiing competitions take place at most alpine ski resorts in British Columbia.

Summer
From June through September, the Whistler Summer Festivals present street entertainment and a variety of musical events at the resort.

June
During the third week in June, Whistler Summer Solstice World Roots Music Weekend (tel. 604/932-2394) brings the sounds of Celtic, zydeco, bluegrass, Delta blues, Latin, folk, and world-beat music down to the villages and up to the mountains.

August
Whistler Summit Concert Series (tel. 604/932-3434) is held on August weekends, with the mountains providing a stunning backdrop for performers such as the Barenaked Ladies, Amanda Marshall, and Blue Rodeo.

September
The Alpine Wine Festival (tel. 604/932-3434) on the mountaintop during the first weekend in September, features tastings, a winemaker’s dinner, and other events highlighting North America’s finest vintages.

Also in September, mountain bikers compete in the Power Bar Garibaldi Gruel and the Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic Mountain Bike Race.

The second weekend September ushers in the Whistler Jazz & Blues Festival (604) 932-2394, a great opportunity to hear live jazz, gospel, R&B, and blues.

November
Cornucopia – Whistler’s Food and Wine Celebration Wine tastings, food sampling, gourmet dinners, celebrity chefs. Cornucopia brings together the best talent in the Pacific Northwest and over fifty top wineries.

December
Dozens of downhill ski competitions are held December through May. They include the Owens-Corning World Freestyle Competition (Jan), Power Bar Peak to Valley Race (Feb), Kokanee Fantastic Downhill Race (Mar), and Whistler Snowboard World Cup and World Cup Freestyle (Dec)