Hi! In about three weeks, I'll be taking the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Lake Louise with an overnight stop in Kamloops, and then flying out the next day from Calgary. I'm looking for any suggestions in any of these cities: restaurants, sights to see, ways to get around, other insider tips... My budget is pretty flexible, so I'll take any and all suggestions!
In Kamloops it depends greatly on where you are staying. A lot of the hotels are located outside the city core and transit isn't so convenient in the evening. So if you are in the main hotel area and want to go downtown, taxi is probably your best bet.
That being said, there are some really nice restaurants all throughout Kamloops, it all depends what you are looking for. The Noble Pig downtown is a great little place for food and beer. Red Collar Brewing just opened a year ago (I haven't been there yet), and there are other places.
There are also restaurants up near the hotels too. And most are open late.
As for evening activities, shopping is limited. Most stores close by 5:30/6p. There is music in the park from 7pm and goes to 8:30pm. Might not work out for the train.
One tip, Kamloops is a semi-desert. So expect hot, dry temperatures. Our average summer temperature is about 36-38°C (96.8 to 100.4°F). So pack accordingly. Weather can change quickly and we are know to get intense thunderstorms/showers.
Vancouver has lots to do although if you're from Seattle, the ocean setting and seafood restaurants won't be unique. I recommend going to Stanley Park for a walk around the seawall and the great views, and if you're interested in Native culture, the Museum of Anthropology on the The University of British Columbia campus is worth the trip to that area of the city. You can take a city bus or the sky train if you are staying near the harbour. Yaletown has lots of interesting places to eat if you want to get out of the downtown area.
In Calgary, your train will stop right under the Calgary Tower. Take a ride to the observation platform for a view of the city sprawl. You might want to eat in the revolving restaurant there as well. It serves good Alberta beef. Walk along the downtown Stephen Ave. When the weather is warm, the street is busy with people and sights. There's lots of restaurants. You might also be interested in visiting the Glenbow Museum which is near the east end of the mall. It has a variety of exhibitions mostly relating to Calgary and western Canada.
Mentioned in this answer: