Vancouver towards Whitehorse in may.. food and other recommendations?
Hello! Me and my boyfriend are driving from Colorado to Alaska starting in April so I'm trying to get good ideas of things and places not to miss. Will probably drive the route through Vancouver, Whistler, Prince George, Smithers, Stewart, Dease Lake...
I'm from Ohio and I like fresh and homemade foods, desserts, and I love Thai and Indian. I don't eat much meat and shun anything not home-made. He's from Hawaii and loves good Japanese, diners, hot dogs, french dip, seafood, Mexican, etc. Any ideas of farmer's markets, homemade diners, international flavors, delicious desserts, and anything we can buy and keep with us?? Also, if anyone has any ideas of specific places that we should explore or things we should do in specific cities, that'd be helpful as well. Thanks!!
I've actually been to Whitehorse...and points north. It has been years though.
I'm thinking that you could stock up for your trip - since there are long stretches where all you see are giant mining trucks and RVs - no civilization to speak of for hours. Maybe some Salumi, Cheeses, Snacks that sort of thing? Granville Island Market will have everything - particularly Oyama (for Salumi).
For restaurant recommendations have a look at the Olympics Thread at the top of this forum
Indian: Vij's or Rangoli next door (cheaper and the food is as good).
Japanese: Guu with Garlic (izakaya
Your partner might enjoy the Japanese scene here...it has a similar fusiony bent to it as Hawaiian Japanese food. (Vancouver also has traditional Japanese, if you are into that).
If you need more info, post again.
We drove from the Houston area to Alaska last summer. North of Prince George, you'd better have some snacks in the car because there isn't much until you get to Whitehorse. While Whistler is a beautiful place and you should not miss it, you should return home through the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks - Jasper, Banff,etc. We picked up two new very special spots we hadn't seen before on our trip - Grand Cache (north of Jasper) and the Crow's Nest Pass area with Frank's Slide. Amazing!!!
I hope you enjoy your adventure. If you have any questions about general things, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to help you.
thanks a lot guys!!!! also, if there's anyone that has done this trip, especially in early may, i'm trying to figure out how long we need to get there. my biggest problem is trying to find out if it's possible/semi-comfortable to camp early in the spring? because if it's not and hotels are expensive, then we'll have to make that part of the trip shorter.
ps-yes i think we are planning to go through jasper and banff on the way back from alaska.. in late september
I haven't done that entire trip. We flew to Whitehorse one summer, then drove East-North to Ross River (5 hrs?), then to Faro (4 hrs?), then we went to Dawson City towards Fairbanks, through a bunch of small towns - maybe 12-14 hrs? (Memory is fuzzy). All of this was on gravel roads in a 4x4.
It is probably campable, but you will need hardcore camping gear to be on the safe side in late spring...there were some motels here and there. You are literally out in the wilderness - towns are hours apart with nothing in between (so pack food).
Agreed on the camping bit. As a geologist with a bunch of friends who work up in camps near Dease Lake and further flung towns/hamlets/intersections, I know it can be pretty cold and miserable up there through June. Climate data for Dease shows that there's an average of about 35 cm of snow for the majority of the month, so expect white stuff. Probably do-able in a good 3 season tent, but a 4 season will help for sure.
When you're driving through Quesnel, the Quesnel Bakery is pretty tasty! The unfortunately named Penisola restaurant wasn't too bad, but we really just went because of the name. Williams Lake was pretty much forgettable in terms of food, though their Save On Foods was stocked as well as a Vancouver grocery store.
Check the provincial parks web site. The pages for individual parks give spring opening dates. Coastal ones tend to be open year around, but inland ones may not open till mid May.
Google maps now has streetviews for most the major Canadian roads, so you can 'drive' the whole route from home. Mileposts is the most widely used guidebook for travelers to Alaska.
Since I am camping when traveling in areas like this, I pay more attention to groceries than dining options. I also keep an eye out for bakeries. The historic roadhouses up north seem to specialize in sourdough pancakes and massive cinnamon buns.
Don't expect a lot in the way of locally grown foods north of Vancouver, especially in May. Small towns in this area are more likely to have a Greek Taverna than a Mexican-American place. Canadian-Chinese is common enough.
Check out the Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse - good, organic bread and produce. Baked Cafe at the foot of Main Street and The Chocolate Claim are good for lunch. There's a Thai restaurant at Marsh Lake about 1/2 hour south of Whitehorse. Can't think of the name of it offhand. Never know what the weather's going to be like from year to year. Could be fine, but taking your chances.