Travel Stories: Canada Road Trip

We decided that we would take a fall trip to Canada, up to Whistler, for a long weekend. Since we live in the Portland, Oregon area it was a straight shot up to Whistler, about an 8 hour drive including a couple of pit stops. We don’t ski or snowboard, but we love the fall and the changing colors of the season, so this was the perfect time for us to go. It was Canada’s Thanksgiving weekend and the last weekend before the really slow season started, which is only a couple of months long until all the winter sports start.

The first day we woke up and hit the road by 5am. We were up before the sun, so that meant I could catch a beautiful sunrise as we drove the freeway. I also happened to see a shooting star out the window, this was going to be a great trip! We made it to the border about 10:30 and it only took 5 minutes to get through. Our plan was to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge a recommendation from some friends of ours. It is exactly what it says it is, a suspension bridge that goes across the Capilano River. 😉 After you cross the bridge you go on a Tree Tops Adventure. There are bridges and stairs that wind through the canopy of Douglas-firs. If you are on a family vacation, there is a guide for children along the way with different facts for them to learn about, it can be just as fun for adults too.

After we were done at the bridge we headed out to Whistler, it was about an hour and half drive. We checked into our hotel, The Nita Lake Lodge, at about 3pm. The Nita Lake Lodge is about 15 minutes from Whistler Village. This is a beautiful lodge that is on Nita Lake. I can’t say enough great things about it, we had a wonderful stay. The room was comfortable, the food in the bar was delicious, the spa was relaxing, the staff was friendly, and the café where you could get breakfast and lunch items homemade was great for something quick. At Nita Lake Lodge you can rent bikes, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards free of charge. We saw fish jumping and a gentleman out every evening fishing. If you like to bring your furry friend, it’s dog friendly.

That evening we headed to Whistler Village and grabbed a bite to eat at a brew house. We were so tired, that we just chose a place on hunger. We had fish and chips and they were great. After dinner we decided to go back to the lodge and check out the bar. It was chilly outside but we were bundled up and they lit the outside gas fire place. It was a great way to end the day.

The next day after we got a great nights rest, we headed back into the Whistler Village and had breakfast at Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub. We had our Irish coffee and breakfast, I had the Grilled Ham & Poached Eggs, basically eggs benedict, and Josh had the Smoked Ham Hash and the ham was out of this world good. We walked around the bottom of Whistler and watched the mountain bikers come off the mountain. If you don’t ski or snowboard, but you mountain bike, this is the place to come in the summer with your mountain bike. If you stick around long enough to watch you would see some gnarly crashes. One guy we talked to said he was getting out of mountain biking and into golf. Good choice! Less dangerous!

We had a tee time at Big Sky Golf course in Pemberton, about a half hour away from Whistler Village. The drive was beautiful, it was along the Sea-to-Sky Highway with the blue glacier water river on the side and sky high mountains on both sides of the highway. We pulled up to the golf course and dropped our golf clubs off at the bag drop. The young man that helped with our clubs walked over to our car and welcomed us and told us all about the course, what holes the restrooms were on, where to start, when the refreshment cart would be around. I felt like we were getting the superstar treatment, he was so friendly. We checked in and then warmed up our swings.

It was a beautiful day for golf. It was about 75 degrees, the sun was shining, the only thing that could have been better was our golf games. 😉 It was a difficult course to play, but it was fun. It was hard to keep your head down to hit the ball when all you wanted to do was take in all the views. We were bummed though, we had read and seen pictures that sometimes Black Bears are on the course, we didn’t see any that day. Maybe that was a good thing! The one thing that did happen was I had a bloody nose, but I pushed through. I have a hard time adjusting to elevation or climate changes when I’m traveling and get a bloody nose, so if you are like me, I have some tips I can pass along to you. I just wish I would have remembered to use my tips on this trip.

After our game of golf we were tired and hungry so we just decided to head back to the lodge and eat dinner in the bar. The burger we had was huge, but delicious. We noticed that almost everywhere we ate, everything was organic or free range.

On Friday morning we got up and went down to the cafe at the lodge. They had fresh baked breads for breakfast and yummy coffees. Then we headed to the Scandinave Spa for a relaxing day. If you want a relaxing day, go here either by yourself or with your partner. They have spa services or you can choose to just to the Scandinavian baths. You basically soak in the hot baths for 10 to 20 minutes and then you dip in the cold water for at least 10 seconds and then back to the hot baths for another 10 to 20 minutes. While you are in the baths, there is no talking allowed, it’s blissful peace and quiet. If you know me, then it’s hard for me to stay quiet. 😉 There are serenity relaxation rooms that are heated with cozy chairs and quiet music. I saw people napping and reading books in these rooms. Next time I’ll bring a book to read. No phones or cameras were allowed, but I did take a picture as we were leaving from a bridge. They have a little cafe that you can take a break in to have lunch.

For dinner that evening we celebrated an early anniversary and treated ourselves to an Italian dinner at Trattoria. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the food until it was too late. It was delicious and we highly recommend making dinner reservations here. The staff is so attentive and the food tasted just like we were back in Italy.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at Elements, which came recommended by several locals. By the way, talk to the locals and get suggestions when you travel, they know all the best places. We sat at the bar top and watched them cook. The special, that at least one person in your party needs to order, is the Chocolate Banana stuffed French Toast. Josh ordered this. I ordered something that was sweet and savory, the Maple Frittata, which was delicious as well.

After breakfast we headed to Whistler Mountain to do the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. This was the last weekend it was open and only open Saturday and Sunday until snow season. It was a cloudy day, so we couldn’t see all the views from the top, but it was still magnificent. It takes about 30 minutes (we had some fun doing selfies to kill time) to ride up to Whistler Mountain in a ski lift (thank goodness the ski lift was enclosed) and then once you are up there it’s about a 12 minute ride in the Peak 2 Peak gondola over to Blackcomb. It’s fun to look around on both sides, they have a restaurant on both sides also. Be sure to dress warm, I don’t know how it is in the summer, but it was freezing at the top and I forgot my gloves. 🙁 We saw a few snowflakes so that was cool.

That afternoon we went back to the lodge and tried out the canoe. Josh paddled me around so I could take pictures. If we came back in the summer, I can see us spending more time at the lodge riding bikes and playing on the lake. 

That evening we went back to the village to do a little souvenir shopping and we grabbed a bite to eat somewhere. We had an early morning to hit the road and head back home.

We loved our road trip and are itching to go back to Canada. We would love to go back to Whistler, but there are so many other places in Canada that we want to visit too.

I hope you enjoyed our trip and I hope this wasn’t too long to read. If you have any questions or suggestions for Canada, send me an email:  🙂