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Home Adventure Travel Ideas Destinations Canada Travelin' Grandma in Alaska & Canada

Travelin' Grandma in Alaska & Canada

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Travelin' Grandma's favorites in Alaska and Canada

Scenic Horseshoe Bay on the Sea-to-Sky route from Vancouver to Whistler.You'd like to plan a trip with the grandchildren and you want to explore Southeastern Alaska and Western British Columbia regions? Not to worry, here are a number of web sites to help with your planning and your travel itineraries.

Southeastern Alaska

This region is especially hospitable during the early summer months although you might encounter rainy days from time to time. Check these web sites for Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, and environs:

Browse (800-770-3300) for lodgings, eateries, and things to see and do in the Ketchikan area; don't miss the splendid Totem Heritage Center with its hand-carved totems and Alaskan history (907-225-5900), ( The friendly communities of Wrangell ( and Petersburg ( are north of Ketchikan and reached by water.

Browse (907-747-5940) for lodgings and things to see and do in the area and check out Sitka National Historical Park (, 907-747-0110) and ask about its Totem Loop Trail.

Browse, (800-587-2201) for lodgings and things to see and do in Alaska's capital city. Ask about the Historic Downtown Juneau Guide available from the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. From Juneau you can access by air or by water the community of Gustavus and nearby Glacier Bay National Park, and join guided tours to see whales, wildlife, and Mendenhall Glacier in the Glacier Bay area.

Southwestern British Columbia

Vancouver on the bay offers lots of fun for the whole family.This region is lush with -islands, forests, gardens, and small towns as well as offering the splendid cosmopolitan city of Vancouver on the mainland and the cozy and wonderfully British city of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

The splendid city of Vancouver ( and, 800-435-5622) on the mainland, nestled along the salty waters of Burrard Inlet and close to the Strait of Georgia and Canadian Gulf islands, offers fabulous family-friendly Stanley Park as well as a host of kid-friendly gardens. Don't miss Queen Elizabeth Gardens with its strolling gardens and grassy areas along with its enormous geodesic domed Bloedel Conservatory and its outdoor kid-friendly strolling water gardens. Van Dusen Gardens offers several garden areas recycled from a large golf course plus a friendly restaurant. The University of British Columbia offers a Native Garden, a large test Vegetable Garden, a Medicinal Garden, and an enchanting strolling Asian Garden.

For the ultimate suspension bridge experience head about 10 minutes north of downtown Vancouver to access Capilano Suspension Bridge (604-985-7474). Guaranteed to awe any traveler, it spans the Capilano River at 230 feet above the rushing waters. The span of steel cables reaches some 450 feet across and you'll feel the way as you walk on the cedar planks. The surprise? Once across the canyon you and the -kids can negotiate atTelus World of Science housed in the geodesic dome, a favorite in Vancouver. least seven more suspension bridges through the rain forest canopy ($7 for kids, $23 adults).

You're not into swaying suspension bridges? Well, not to worry, you can plan a cable car ride up to the top of nearby Grouse Mountain. You and the grandkids could also drive north about 70 miles along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway 99 to the Four Season Resort and tourist community of Whistler Village. You'll find enough fun there for several days for kids and grandkids of all ages. The ski season generally lasts through June (see and the Whistler Village article in this issue for more details).

Victoria and Vancouver Island

Browse for lodgings, eateries, and a host of other things to see and do on Vancouver Island. Do the Inner Harbour area in Victoria with its gaggle of pleasure boats and ferries as well as the Empress Hotel, Parliament buildings, and the splendid Royal Provincial Museum. The Inner Harbour is especially stunning at night with the Parliament building twinkling with lights.

You could also head north up island to the pleasant seaside community of Sydney, stay overnight, and from there drive aboard the international ferry sailing on one of the Washington State Ferries ( to enjoy a splendid trip through the San Juan Islands. You and the kids could drive off the ferry at Friday Harbor ( and, explore busy and fun San Juan Island and spend the night there before heading on via the ferry to Anacortesand mainland Washington State.

Note: U.S. and Canadian customs require a minimum of two pieces of identification, including picture ID and voter's registration card, passport, or birth certificate. Passports will be mandatory for all border crossings between the U.S. and Canada by 2008. Be sure to get the latest passport information at

Until next time... travels in Oregon and Washington State.

– Myrna Oakley is editor of Have Children Will Travel and she authors two travel guides to the northwest, Off the Beaten Path WASHINGTON (7th edition) and Off the Beaten Path OREGON (8th edition).


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Traveling with our Children

"I’ve been traveling with my son since he was 13 weeks old and I love it!  Actually, I discovered that traveling with my child was easy for I was already committed to including him.  I find it a challenge to plan ahead and anticipate his needs... and well rewarded with fun, family adventures." -- Publisher/Editor Deb Cornick 

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