It’s incredible what you can discover only an hour outside of most cities. I guess that’s quite the statement if you live in the desert, or the rain forest, or Saskatchewan for that matter. But for Calgarians, there is a realm of incredible sites to see and things to do mere miles away from the hustle and bustle.
My thoughtful husband recently planned a romantic weekend getaway to Banff for my 25th birthday. We’ve been to Banff several times before and although we are far from a granola couple, every time we head to the mountains we comment that we need to get out of the city more often. This trip, we discovered a few new gems to add to our list of Banff and Canmore favs.
Stayed:The Fox Hotel & Suites
Rustic appeal with clean and comfy, well-appointed suites. It’s conveniently located minutes from the town’s main strip. Now who can dispute easy access to shopping and eating amongst the mountains?
Notable: wildlife motif wallpaper, Rocky Mountain Soap amenities and a giant cave-like spa tub (aka. oversized public bathtub with fake rocks and waterfalls).
Alive since the 60s, this infamous fondue restaurant attracts a lively crowd, boasts friendly service and puts a retro spin on interactive dinning.
Notable: four course fondue dinner option (the steak and lobster was divine), generous wine selection and knowledgeable, sociable staff.
Some might call this more of a walk than a hike. But if like me, you and nature don’t exactly get along, this little adventure will do. It’s a picturesque stroll through a wooded area with a great view of the Rocky Mountains and waterfalls.
Notable: plenty of scenic photo opps, a quick drive from the town and killer bugs (see swollen finger below).
Tucked away in an unsuspecting strip mall in Canmore, this quiet antique store is a vintage lovers dream come true. Unlike most vintage shops, Antique Junction is well organized, huge and visually appealing.
Notable: the darling shop owner who was pretty vintage herself, the 1920s Birks diamond ring that I’ll never own and the massive 1930s red milk tin that I now do own.
A spinoff of Calgary’s posh gourmet Italian eatery in Mission, Mountain Mercato is a smaller scale mini-market and coffee bar.
Notable: generous bouquet of dried French lavender purchased for cooking and crafting, handcrafted Illy iced lattes and a sunny front patio.
I wish to brighten your day with a little inspiration. Inspiration to try something new. Inspiration to find joy in cooking and crafting, entertaining and styling, writing and sharing. I’m Alexandra Joy and I have many joys to share.