Category Archives: Dream Vacations

Wilderness Vacation Get-Away for B.C. Coast

Explore the city lights of Vancouver, B.C. Canada, float plane over the lush Canadian west coast, explore the bays and inlets amidst B.C.’s rain forest, then tour the resort town of Whistler. Top this off with a first class rail tour back into Vancouver and you have the perfect 4 night/5 day vacation get-away.

The British Columbia coast is a wilderness paradise with lush, intensely green rain forests lining a rugged Pacific coastline teeming with wildlife. Vancouver B.C. is a dynamic, multicultural city set in a spectacular natural environment and Whistler, the ski resort village, was selected for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Highlights of this trip include your first night in Vancouver at the Fairmont, a scenic float-plane flight to the Wilderness Lodge, sightseeing, dining, activities, hiking and a boat tour of Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets. These incredible fjords are renowned for their 7,000 foot towering cliffs, dozens of cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife, ancient petroglyphs and protected waters surrounded by the lush rain forest. The return float-plane trip flies over glaciers and mountain lakes en route to Whistler B.C., where you’ll enjoy the Fairmont Whistler Resort. Your journey back to Vancouver will be on the famous Rocky Mountaineer, a first class scenic train tour through the mountains and valleys of British Columbia.

TMI Tours and Cruises offers great vacation ideas and extended weekend get-aways to unique areas in the Pacific Northwest. Call Rhonda or Linda at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at info@tmitours.com for more information.

Romantic Canadian Rail Travel

Want to experience the romance of luxurious rail travel?  Following  the historic train routes built over 100 years ago through Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies, the Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most spectacular train trips in the world.  These 2 day itineraries travel through breathtaking scenery; glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountain ranges, ferocious rivers, historic bridges and tunnels. There are 3 itineraries through the Canadian Rockies, each offering it’s own unique sights, all daylight travel, overnight hotel accomodations and exceptional onboard service.

  • Kicking Horse Route: Named for the pass over which it crosses the Rockies, the Kicking Horse route takes you between Vancouver, B.C. and either Banff or Calgary, Alberta.  This route traces the historic transcontinental rail line uniting East and West Canada and includes, amongst other hightlights, the legendary Spiral Tunnels.  Route hightlights: The Last Spike, Spiral Tunnels, Stoney Creek Bridge, Fraser and Thompson Canyon and Kicking Horse Pass.
  • Yellowhead Route:  Journey between Vancouver, B.C. and Jasper, Alberta along the Yellowhead route, names for the second pass through the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  This rail route is known for scenic valleys, plentiful wildlife and majestic Mount Robson, highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.  Route highlights: Fraser and Thompson Canyon, Pyramid Falls, Yellowhead Pass, Mount Robson and Jasper National Park.
  • Fraser Discovery Route:  Named for the mighty Fraser River whose length the tracks follow, this route links the resorts of Whistler B.C. and Jasper, Alberta.  Journey through the historic Cariboo Gold Rush region, the lush forests of northern B.C. and the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain Trench past Mount Robson to Jasper.  Route highlights:  Anderson and Seton Lakes, Cariboo Plateau, Fraser River Canyon, Rocky Mountain Trench and  Mount Robson.

To learn more about these and other great rail journeys, contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours & Cruises at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at info@tmitours.com.  Visit our homepage for other great Canadian vacation ideas.

Luxury "Glamping" Eco-Safari at Clayoquot

Nowhere else on earth has the meeting of land and sea created the magnificent beauty of Canada’s Pacific Coast.   The substantial rain forests and amazing marine environment are the back drop for a premier eco-safari destination, offering soft adventure and soft beds.  Clayoquot is the ultimate destination for intimate couples retreats, or adventurous and educational family vacations.

Situated at the mouth of the Bedwell River, where it spills into a nine-mile-long fjord, an enclave of 20 great white canvas guest tents, massage and treatment tents, dining tents, lounge tents and a massive timber cookhouse peek out from the dense bush. This safari-style resort offers a discreet paradox of individual pampering and untamed wilderness.  Specializing in remote experiences, guest may choose to learn to surf on a pristine, secluded beach or have a First Nations guide escort them on a day hike to the “Wildside” Interpretive trail and tour the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Village.  Whether you prefer whale watching or viewing black bears fishing for salmon, wildlife abounds just outside the perimiter of camp. 

 

The resort is open mid-May through the end of September for 3, 4 or 7 night all inclusive stays with airfare from Vancouver to the Resort, deluxe accommodation, all meals, snacks and beverages (including alcohol), massage treatments and guided activities including fishing.  Contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours for rates and ask us about the great discounts for children.

River Voyage of Discovery Cruises: Apr 3-May 1 and Sept 18-Oct 16

This 8 day journey along the Columbia and Snake Rivers combines scenic river history and unexpected cultural expeditions. Learn about the proud Nez Perce tribe and their way of life, past and present, along the Snake River. Combine that with an exhilarating jet-boat ride deep into Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.

Your small ship will navigate 8 sets of locks and dams, changing a total of 738 feet of elevation within 470 miles. Pioneer history will come alive as you visit the Ft. Walla Walla Museum which houses over 35,000 artifacts, dioramas, and a real-life pioneer village. See the personal effects of the Queen of Romania as well as European paintings and Native arts at the unusual Maryhill Museum. Visit Ft. Clatsop and experience what life must have been like for the famous Lewis & Clark expedition during the winter of 1806. Learn about this region’s geographical and navigational history at the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Cruise in the wake of history and enjoy stories of courage and discovery that await you around every scenic bend.

Northwest Passage Cruises: May 15-Sept 11 2009

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is characterized by long, warm days with clear blue skies and gentle breezes. Nowhere is more beautiful this time of year than the Columbia River Gorge. This “Summer Celebration” cruise will celebrate the traditions of the past along with the fantastic wineries of the present while exploring the indigenous culture and history of the Columbia River Basin.

Beginning with your visit to the Bonneville Dam Visitors Center, you will transfer through 8 locks and dams on your way to the northwest “seaport” of Clarkston, Washington. An exhilarating jet-boat ride up the famous Hells Canyon on the Snake River will reveal elk, bighorn sheep, and 7,000 year old petroglyphs. An underground tour at Pendleton explores tunnels built in the late 1800’s by Chinese immigrants for illicit purposes and a visit to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute will immerse you in a living, cultural Native American village. In Walla Walla, you will be treated to tasting and touring at two unique Columbia River wineries.

Join a special sailing, June 19th, with the chairman of the cruise line and his family. Guests will be treated to exclusive amenities at the chairman’s reception, an exciting raptor exhibition, guest speakers discussing the Lewis & Clark expedition, and the chairman’s farewell dinner. Come enjoy a cruise on the Columbia River at a time of year when the temperatures are pleasant, the wildlife is abundant, and the scenery dramatic.

Lake Coeur d’Alene Vacation Rentals

TMI Tours has a wide variety of accommodations in and around the Coeur d’Alene area. Our luxury home and cabin rentals come with all the amenities you could want in a summer vacation on Lake Coeur d’Alene—private homes complete with beautiful lake views, open air decks, sandy beaches, dock space for boats, jet skis, and more.

Personal watercraft rentals are a great way to see the lake and a sure fire way to add some excitement to your day. We can arrange jet skis or wave runners for you to enjoy for the day, or park them at your dock and use them anytime during your stay.

If you have never experienced the thrill of sailing your own boat, this is the perfect place to try it. Lake Coeur d’Alene always has gentle breezes on the water and we can arrange for you to learn with one of our sailing experts. The perfect ending to a day of sailing is refreshments on the deck at Silver Beach, where all the local sailors meet!

Water sports are a huge part of lakefront living on Coeur d’Alene Lake. Water skiing, boogie boarding, wakeboarding, and tubing can all be available right from your own dock and we’ll be happy to arrange instruction for beginners.

Your vacation won’t be complete until you’ve spent the day exploring the 130 miles of shoreline on a private lake tour. Armed with sun tan lotion, cool drinks, and a gourmet lunch, we can show you the most beautiful, secluded lake homes, wildlife drinking at the water’s edge, or the world’s only floating golf green. Enjoy lunch and swim at an un-crowded beach or go ashore to enjoy one of the lake crowd’s favorite watering holes. Learn about the rich and lively history of this lake and the small towns that still thrive on its shores. Let us take you up the “Shadowy St. Joe River” where the water is so clear, you’ll be able to spot fish swimming beneath the boat.

A vacation home in or around Lake Coeur d’Alene gives you the ability to enjoy a multitude of activities. To learn more about the many benefits of vacationing in our beautiful resort town, please call Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775.

The Ultimate Coeur dAlene Lake Vacation

 

 

 

Coeur dAlene Lake

Coeur dAlene Lake

Coeur d’Alene is all about the lake; clean, cool water with over 100 miles of scenic shoreline, thickly forested mountains and abundant wildlife.  Considered one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, Idaho’s Lake Coeur d’Alene provides the perfect backdrop for the ultimate luxury houseboat vacation.

 This world-class custom houseboat yacht comes supplied with every amenity and comfort you could want, including her own captain and crew.  With sleeping accomodations for up to 12 guests, it is a  fabulous family vacation or corporate retreat idea.  Image spending your days, soaking up the sun on your private deck as you cruise the secluded bays of Lake Coeur dAlene. For a change of scenery, take a cruise up the Shadowy St. Joe River or down the Spokane River to Post Falls, Idaho.  If you feel the need for land under your feet, come ashore for a challenging round of golf, a hike around Tubb’s Hill or  day of shopping in downtown Coeur d’Alene’s quaint shops and restaurants. 

Chartering a boat is easy with help from TMI Tours & Cruises.  Let us help you with all the details from groceries to optional excursions.  All you will need to do is come onboard and relax.

Our Top Picks for Outdoor Activities in North Idaho

  • Iron Man 2009 really kicks off our summer season. This huge event draws elite athletes from all walks of life, as they compete in a 2.4 mile swimming event, 112 miles of bicycling, and 26.2 mile run. If you are planning to attend Iron Man this summer, you need to call TMI Tours to secure accommodations as they will sell out in advance. This event begins June 21st and draws large crowds, as well as participants, so be prepared for downtown Coeur d’Alene to really come alive.
  • Kayaking and canoeing: we have so many miles of shoreline between Coeur d’Alene Lake, Hayden Lake, the Spokane River, Twin Lakes, Spirit Lake, and the beautiful marshlands of the 11 chain lakes. Rentals and guided trips are available with reservations. Whether you want whitewater or a quiet sightseeing trip through a nature preserve, TMI Tours can deliver the adventure you are looking for.
  • ATV riding and rentals: we have miles and miles of old logging trails literally criss-crossing our backwoods. Rentals are available for all ages and there are several riding clubs locally that would love to have you join them for a day. Many of our small communities are ATV friendly and you can ride from your door to your destination, stopping at a local sandwich shop for lunch.
  • Rock climbing: Tubbs Hill is surrounded by huge boulders and rock cliffs dropping right into the lake. Favorite local spots are Q’emilin Park in Post Falls or Castle Rock on the Coeur d’Alene River.
  • Biking trails: the Centennial Trail, 37 miles of paved trail, shadows the banks of the Spokane River from Washington into Idaho. The Route of the Hiawatha follows the old railroad lines through 10 rock tunnels and 7 high train trestles. It covers 15 miles through the Bitteroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. Bicycle rentals are available for a small fee, as well as shuttle transportation. Take your bicycle up the high-speed chair at Schweitzer or the gondola at Silver Mountain and ride along the top of the mountains.
  • Horseback riding: Whether you are looking for a real Dude Ranch experience or just a day with the kids, TMI Tours can arrange a great Wild West vacation for you. With several ranches to choose from, you can enjoy a real campfire cookout, backcountry pack-in for hunting or fishing or guided trail rides over miles of mountains and streams.
  • Golf in Coeur d’Alene: We have it all; public courses, private country clubs, and beautiful mountain courses overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene. TMI Tours has an exclusive golf package featuring several private golf courses. With 13 courses to choose from, a golf vacation to Coeur d’Alene will keep you busy.
  • Hiking trails will immerse you into the pristine scenery that makes North Idaho such a great destination. There isn’t a better way to observe wildlife and learn about local history. There are interpretive trails as well as miles of logging roads and back country lakes and streams to hike into and explore. Several local clubs have hosted hikes to some of our most popular attractions and they welcome everyone.
  • Fishing, whether it be lake or stream, is one of our most popular sports, and with good reason. Our lakes and streams provide the kind of fishing most anglers dream about. With over 10 world class, blue ribbon wild trout streams and 1,500 high mountain lakes, Idaho offers a challenge for every class of fisherman. TMI Tours can arrange your vacation to include guides, fishing lodges, back country camp outs or just a day on the lake.

See our website for North Idaho adventure ideas, or contact us at info@tmitours.com for information on these or other vacations plans.

Wild West River Experiences

The Snake River is a major tributary of the Columbia, traveling 1,040 miles from its source in Yellowstone National Park through Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It joins up with the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities area in Eastern Washington (near Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland). People have been living along the Snake River for thousands of years. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806 explored the lower portion of the river. Portions of the Snake River flow through some of the most unspoiled wilderness areas in the continental United States (Hells Canyon National Recreation Area). The river also forms a major portion of Idaho’s western border between it and the state of Oregon.

The Snake and Columbia Rivers are much wilder rivers than most others cruised by riverboats today. Cruises along them are well suited to adventurous clientele. Most Columbia and Snake River cruises operate between Lewiston, Idaho and Astoria, Oregon (near Portland). Itineraries on both rivers generally include visits to Washington wineries, exploration of the region’s spectacular scenery and wildlife and usually offer optional jetboat rides to see the dramatic vertical cliffs of Hells Canyon (a highly recommended excursion). Cruising through locks and canyons, these luxurious river cruise ships generally anchor in strategic spots. These areas are easily explored by kayak which allows people to get up close to the beauty and wonder of the area. Other attractions include shopping, microbreweries, visiting the world’s windsurfing capital (Hood River, Oregon), and seeing the unforgettable Columbia Gorge and the Bonneville Lock and Dam. Local historians, Native American storytellers, local musicians, and artists come on board or entertain on shore as well. Continue reading

The Mighty Columbia River

The Columbia River (known as Wimahl or Big River to the Chinook-speaking natives who live on its lowermost reaches) is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It is named after the Columbia Rediviva, the first ship from the western world known to have traveled up the river. It stretches from British Columbia through Washington state, forming much of the border between Washington and Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles long, and its drainage basin is 258,000 square miles. Source: Wikipedia

The mighty Columbia originates in two lakes that lie between the Continental Divide and Selkirk mountain ranges in British Columbia. The river takes a convoluted path as it flows north for 200 or more miles, then it turns south and runs across the US/Canada border. Within the United States, the river courses southwest and skirts across one of the Columbia Plateau’s massive lava flows where it turns to the southeast and cuts a dramatic gorge in the earth’s layers to its junction with the westward flowing Snake River. After its confluence with the Snake, the Columbia runs virtually due west all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Columbia River Gorge near George, Washington

Columbia River Gorge near George, Washington

The Columbia has ten major tributaries: the Kootenay, Okanagan, Wenatchee, Spokane, Yakima, Snake, Deschutes, Willamette, Cowlitz, and Lewis rivers. The most important tributary, the Snake, flows for over 1,100 miles across a semi-arid plain and runs through the deepest gorge in North America, Hell’s Canyon — 7,900 feet deep. The Deschutes and Willamette rivers drain south of the Columbia, while the Yakima, Lewis, and Cowlitz rivers drain to the north. Continue reading