We spent the last week of August soaking up the end of summer in Western Canada. We've both skied out west before, but never experienced the Rockies in the summer. 10 travel days later and I can confidently say that I've been seriously missing out on some jaw-dropping landscapes by living on the east coast.
We kicked off the week with 2 wonderful days in Vancouver, surrounded by great friends who we hadn't seen in far too long. Saturday was spent biking the sea-wall, hanging on the beach in Stanley Park, and chowing down on phenomenal tacos and margaritas in Gastown. On Sunday, we ventured out of town to Deep Dove - a charming waterfront town just a short jaunt from the City. We had planned on renting stand up paddle boards, but the threatening weather held us back. Instead, we indulged in local donuts, drank the local beer, and lounged on the grass listening to live bands (thanks to the unexpected Deep Cove Daze Festival).
On Monday we headed north, bound for the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. The hike proved to be both stunning (all the turquoise lakes!) and incredibly satisfying (grueling at times, but well worth it). We then took the scenic drive down to the Okanagan Valley, pulling over repeatedly to gawk at the scenery. Our day in the Okanagan was filled with wine tasting, local fruit stands, and tasty winery eats, starting in the south in Osoyoos, and making our way north to Kelowna (with stops in Oliver, Penticton, Naramata, Summerland and Peachland).
Mid-week we headed to Revelstoke, to visit a dear friend and her husband. Revelstoke may be small, but gosh is it mighty. We were treated to a beautiful lakeside campfire dinner, spent a day in the mountains high above the tree line, and got to indulge in all the local bounty with a delicious home cooked meal. Spending 24 hours with these two was pure gold.
The last leg of the trip was set aside for the Lake Louise/Banff area. We gawked at the colour of the Emerald Lake, took in the grandeur of the mountains at Lake Minnewanka, strolled around Banff and ate honey on our pizza, watched the sunset over the Vermillion Lakes, recovered in our hotel hot tub while gazing at the Banff Springs Hotel, woke up early to beat the crowds at Lake Moraine, and hiked to two teahouses while overlooking Lake Louise. It was busy, but it was so, so great.