With four downhill ski resorts nearby (the farthest, Lake Louise, just an hour away), Canmore is a skiers’ paradise. But if slopes aren’t your thing, head to the world-class Canmore Nordic Centre, built for the Winter Olympics of 1988. Strap on a pair of cross-country skis and explore 65 km of trails, or try your hand at winter flying-disc golf on the nine-hole course (trust us, it’s fun). 1988 Olympic Way.
Hearty eats & treats
Locals line up at Harvest Café for tasty baked goods and filling breakfast and lunch fare, like the Miner’s Wrap, stuffed with chorizo, sweet-potato hash and mole sauce. For an après-ski spread, stop by Mountain Mercato, a gourmet market and coffee shop specializing in charcuterie-board staples like cheese, olives and salumi. 718 10th St.; 817 8th St.
Take an afternoon to stroll down lively 8th Street (the town’s main drag) and visit its many boutiques. Load up on peppermint lip butter and lavender chocolate hand cream to soothe your chapped winter skin at the famous Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Next, visit Café Books, a small independent bookstore where you’ll find burnished wood shelves stocked with bestselling titles and second-hand gems. Spend a few hours in the cozy tea room with a gripping read and a good coffee. 820 8th St.; 100 — 826 8th St.
For a happy hour that’s fit for the whole family, stop by Grizzly Paw Brewing Company. This microbrewery bottles six varieties of suds, from Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat to Beaver Tail Raspberry Ale. Not a beer fan (or underage)? Grizzly Paw also brews seven types of pop, including black cherry cola and orange cream soda. 622 8th St.
Reserve a table at celebrated Crazyweed for an upscale meal with a laid-back vibe. Share a few small plates (like Vietnamese pork meatballs), or order a big spread all for yourself. You can’t miss with the Alberta rib-eye smothered in chimichurri sauce or the pan-fried duck breast. 1600 Railway Ave.
Paint the town
After a long day on the slopes, grab a pint and get to know some locals at the Canmore Hotel (a.k.a. the Ho), a landmark that dates back to 1890, when the town was a mining community. This venerable bar always has something going on, from live music to bingo nights. For a mellower vibe, check out Communitea: The café and tea bar by day (featuring healthy dishes like quinoa bowls) transforms into a chilled-out venue at night, hosting touring artists like Royal Wood and the Sadies. 738 8th St.; 1001 6th Ave.