Learn about Vancouver’s history on a tour of Gastown, from which the city grew. Tour Guys’ Gastown & Granville guided walks offer stories, tips and colourful characters (90-min tours free; Weds & Sat; tourguys.ca/ vancouver-tours).
Inside the recently refurbished, century-old St Regis Hotel, original art lines the walls and elegant rooms with marble bathrooms purvey a restrained sense of luxury (from $150; 602 Dunsmuir St; stregishotel.com).
Vancouver to Banff is two days by Rocky Mountaineer – stop overnight at the Plaza Heritage Hotel in Kamloops (from $110; 405 Victoria St; plazaheritagehotel.com). On the train, choose SilverLeaf Service or above to sit in a glass-roofed carriage.
After collecting a hire car in Banff, explore the vast Banff National Park, home to the Big Five of deer, elk, moose, wolves and bears (from $120 a day; avis.com). Look out for them with Banff Tours, who offer hiking, horseriding and wildlife viewing (half-day hikes from $75; banfftours.com).