My husband is taking one month of paternity leave this summer and we are travelling from Ontario to BC at a leisurly pace with our seven month old. We are looking for any ideas for sights to see along the way in Canada. Mostly cheap!!
you're going to have sooo much fun! we did the loop (victoria-montreal) when our son was 4-6 months in a vw camper (grr.. moneypit). i especially loved (sorry these will be vague)<br><br>
-the saline lake near saskatoon in Watrous (i think) - nearly impossible to dive into!!<br>
-winnipeg folk festival<br>
-the smaller of the touristy amethyst mines just east of thunderbay. it's family run, you can scrape about in the heat for your own stones, pay by weight. all our house plants now have pale purple crystals at their base!<br>
-the yellowhead highway, so mellow<br>
-swimming in every lake<br>
-camping in provincial parks<br>
-the prairie at sunrise & sunset<br>
-the highway down the thomson/fraser river to hope, bc<br>
-all the fruit everywhere!<br>
oye i warned you i was vague! we just took all the smaller roads, never drove more than 4 hours a day, ohh i wanna do it again soon. canada is so beautiful!!
Grouse Mountain: you can take the tram up the mountain and have dinner at one of the many restaurants. The view is amazing.<br><br>
Stanley Park: has the Aquarium, lots of sandy beaches, and many kids parks and water parks. It's the perfect place for a picnic.<br><br>
Granville Island: A huge market with kids stores and food stores and lots of neat little nicknaks. Street performers everywhere.<br><br>
Robson Street: A great place to shop and check out the locals. It can get loud at night so might not be ideal for a little one.<br><br>
Those are all the "major" tourist spots. There are lots more little touristy things to do if you have enough time. Let me know and i'll give you some more ideas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
we took 2 months, but spent a good amount of time in ottawa and winnipeg visiting family. ... i'm really missing winnipeg right now!<br><br>
i'm a travelling lounger more than a sight-seer, but hanging around south main in vancouver is fun - lots of cafes & vintage shops. commercial drive is interesting, there are lots of botanical gardens worth visiting, plus all the sites jom's mom listed. we lived there for three years, so if you want more specifics i could email you. the sunshine coast is very pretty, but i would kick over to the island and tour here. victoria is really beautiful with so many parks and beaches and farms, up island is fabulous too. again, email me if you'd like more info on things you're interested in. the smaller islands are a rather unique canadian cultural experience, you might just not want to go home! we lived on cortes island before moving to vancouver & it's intoxicatingly gorgeous - full of stars and cougars and warm ocean water.<br><br>
if you're taking the #3 highway through the kooteneys & your van's engine was anything like ours detour the worst summit via the ferry near nelson!<br><br>
where are you starting from and when do you leave?
We are starting from southwestern Ontario and leave around the beginning of July. We would love some info on a campground on the coast as well- where we can kinda base and spend time on the ocean. Any pick your own fruit??. Please do give us non- tourist stuff to do- we always have the best time that way.<br>
Oh yah- CHEAP- we are praying for money to fall from the sky to pay for this trip- but it is really the only time that we can do it.
If you drive down the highway in the Okanagan on the way to Vancouver, there is plenty of pick-your-own-fruit. Also, in kelowna there is the fruit packer's co-op store, where apples are 50-60c/lb.<br>
As for cheap, usually the provincial camp grounds are less than commercial ones. Some of them with fewer amenities are even free.<br>
Here is the link to the park finder: <a href="http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/explore.htm" target="_blank">http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/explore.htm</a><br>
If you do go through the Okanagan and the North Thompson, remember that some of the parks are closed due to fires last year.<br>
Around the Okanagan, locals do the same thing as tourists. Swim in the lakes, hike the trails and drink a lot of wine.<br>
If you get a chance, by all means go though the southern part of the province via highway 3. It is a twisty, bumpy road but there is a lot of beautiful scenery and neat stuff to do. Think about camping at Christina lake, it is gorgeous.<br><br>
Are you planning on spending time on Vancouver Island? If so, I'd recommend the Parksville area (2 hours north of Victoria or 30 minutes from Nanaimo). They have a great beach for young kids -- the water is very shallow, very still (no big waves) and warm. My 2.5 year old DD had a blast making sandcastles. They have camping at Rathtrevor Park -- it's absolutely beautiful.
It is awesome in Parksville. The beach has a huge play area and water park for the kids too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
lots of u-pick fruit here all around victoria and up the island i'm sure, lots of organic. farmers markets are all over, usually on saturdays. the smaller islands are nice for settling down for a water vacation with mellow atmosphere. salt spring, gabriola and quadra islands are probably the busiest of them, but even they could be cheap and quiet.<br><br>
be forewarned that it takes a very long time for the parental checks to start coming - like 6 weeks sometimes! you'll get back pay but ouch.