Canmore, Alberta

I would use this to get around: Mountain bike. There are so many trails and paths to get you from one place to another, it’s really the way to go. You can even bike all the way from Canmore to Banff. You will need a vehicle at some point, however, as the best hiking/skiing spots are between 30 mins to an hour’s drive away. 

I would stay here: Blackstone Lodge. Their rates are reasonable and rooms very nice, as you’d expect, but the things setting Blackstone apart from other chains in the vicinity are all the little extras that make a big difference – things like high quality Henckels knives in their kitchen suites and a car wash station in the underground parking lot to get the mud and gunk off your vehicle after heading up Spray Lake Road in the spring.

I would eat here: Sage Bistro is a favourite for fine wining and dining. It’s a bit ooh-la-la, but in all the right ways. Gaucho is totally unique and really popular among carnivores, as the Brazilian BBQ style basically consists of large skewers being delivered to your table on a constant, rotating basis to which you give the yea or nay until the meat sweats kick in.

I would drink here: Impossible to spend a night in Canmore without having at least one beer at local brewing company, the Grizzly Paw. They’re the cat’s meow and have a fantastic patio, if weather permits. The Canmore Hotel is also a must. It’s a bit seedy, I’ll admit, but it’s the local watering hole and definitely iconic. They usually have live music and always have cold beer and/or drink specials to make up for the gum on the bottom of your chair. 

I would do this: Spend some time in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park – Chester Lake is a fantastic spot for ski touring, snowshoeing and hiking, with relatively easy access to some truly phenomenal alpine vistas. The Canmore Nordic Centre is also fantastic for, well, nordic skiing in winter but also mountain biking in summer, as well as disc golf year-round. Essentially, If I were you, I would get up, have breakfast, pack a lunch, go outside, and not come in again until hot tub and cold beer o’clock. 

I wouldn’t do this: Walk my dog off-leash. A couple of years ago we were ski touring in one of the parks and got a truly astronomical fine as well as a finger wagging lecture from a ranger who either LOVED her job or HATED it, I couldn’t quite decide. Regardless, it spoiled my day and I’d hate to see that happen to any one of you because you seem really nice.

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