By Afton Aikens & John Strugnell
This summer, check spotting wildlife in the Canadian Rockies off your bucket list on these guided tours. (If you’re wildlife watching on your own, just make sure it’s from a safe distance!)
Photo: Courtesy of Discover Banff Tours
Grab your camera and join Discover Banff Tours’ Evening Wildlife Safari—their most popular excursion. This two-hour small group experience visits multiple Banff National Park locations; over 95% of trips spot wildlife. You’ll learn lots too, like how bighorn sheep horns are formed. (Spoiler alert: tiny hairs grow tightly together).
Where Canadian Rockies social media fan and Spruce Grove, Alberta based photographer Tegan Thompson (blownawayphoto.com) shares why she loves Jasper National Park.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag your experiences and photos with #whererockies for a chance to be featured on our blog!
Photo by Tegan Thompson
By Where Staff
Photo: Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course
Golf: Elevate Your Game
Perched high above the Bow River Valley, Silvertip Golf Resort provides spectacular views of downtown Canmore, the Rundle Range and wildlife corridors where elk and bears roam.
At The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course, architect Stanley Thompson built fairways where shots toward the pin are back dropped by peaks. Looming mountains and bunkers far from greens play with golfers’ sense of distance; be careful your ball does not fall short of its intended mark. On the other hand, being almost a mile above sea level means balls travel far. “Play the lesser of the two clubs being considered for the shot,” suggests Banff Springs pro Steve Young.
By Olivia Grecu
- Baker Creek Bistro (above): This log cabin has a flowered patio with colourful umbrellas. Play lawn volleyball.
- Poppy Brasserie at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: Marvel at Lake Louise and its Victoria Glacier backdrop.
- The Station Restaurant: Savour BBQ patio fare at this 1910 heritage building. Play croquet or bocce on the lawn.
- Whitehorn Terrace at Lake Louise Gondola: Stellar views from 2,042-m. Glass panels shelter from wind.
>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.
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By Afton Aikens
Photo: Maligne Canyon, courtesy of Travel Alberta
Hiking beside a rushing river or toward a thundering waterfall elevates the experience. Here are few of our favourite trails.
By Where Staff
Photo: Courtesy of Brewster Travel Canada
Cruise on Lake Minnewanka’s New Boat
This summer, Canadian-built Daughter of the Peaks II plies the pristine waters of Lake Minnewanka alongside her sister ship Alberta Explorer. 2015 enhancements include flexible seating. The new fiberglass hulled, diesel-driven craft was named for the wood hulled, steam-powered vessel Daughter of the Peaks. Launched by Captain Jack Standly in 1910, it was affectionately called “the boat that Jack built.”
By Olivia Grecu
Weather can change drastically from trailhead to peak. We’ve found a few items to keep you comfy and safe:
Hydration Pack: For quick access to refreshment, Blair Timmins at Edge Control Outdoor Store in Jasper recommends the Platypus Duthie AM 10 with a three-litre reservoir and many convenient pockets.
Photo courtesy of The Bear Street Tavern
By Afton Aikens
“You can’t knock a good pizza,” says Kirk Thomson, executive chef of Banff’s Bear Street Tavern. The restaurant’s ‘Ridiculously Good Pizza’ has been featured on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here.
Their secret? “Our pizzas are made from scratch with the best premium ingredients you can find,” Thomson explains. The dough is made fresh daily with olive oil from Italy, the cheese is shredded daily, and quality plum tomatoes and fresh basil elevate the flavours.
By Karen Ung
It’s tick season, so those of us playing in the great outdoors need to be aware of where ticks hang out, and cover up and do tick checks after hiking. Remember, not all ticks carry Lyme disease, so there’s no need to panic if you find a tick attached to you. Be sure to remove it, though!
By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu
Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre
Inspired Outdoor Shows
Watch artists perform against a mountain backdrop at The Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre, where the Centre’s theatre students help build sets and operate lighting. Must-see Canadian musical acts:
- Art of Time Ensemble’s rendition of the Beatles album Abbey Road (June 27).
- Blue Rodeo’s iconic country-rock (July 5).
- Royal Wood’s folk-pop tunes (July 26).
On Thursday, June 11, the sun was shining during the first Canmore Mountain Market of the season. Vendors from Canmore and the surrounding area came to peddle their wares, drawing crowds of locals and tourists alike.
The Raven and The Fox provided entertainment, filling the market with singer Julie Chang’s melodious voice and acoustic guitarist Sean Isaac’s accompaniment. The duo played a few of their original songs and covered bands including Guns N’ Roses and Damien Rice.
Spring brings an abundance of new seasonal fruits and vegetables, which were out in force. Fresh and colourful produce filled every corner of the market. Favourites like crunchy sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and black kale sat beside baskets of beautiful strawberries, raspberries, cherries and grapes. Interesting additions include garlic scapes and heirloom eggplants.
Red, orange, yellow and green peppers provided a rainbow of healthy snacks. Photo by Ashley Materi
By Where Staff
Jasper has many delicious restaurants (check out our Jasper Dining Guide for more extensive options by category). Here are some of our favourites:
Photo: Courtesy of Cassios
Italian dining delights include:
- Orso Trattoria is the new northern Italian restaurant at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Their Osso Bucco is a standout dish – this tender veal Milanese specialty is marinated for 24 hours, red wine braised and served on saffron risotto. “I’ve never seen a single bite left behind,” says Trattoria manager Virginia Letourneau. Their antipasti selection includes cured meats and cheeses from Italy.
- Cassios Italian Restaurant is the namesake of a family that’s been in the restaurant business for 60+ years, and offers more delicious Italian dining. Tomato sauce, from an old family recipe, incorporates ripe California tomatoes, oregano, garlic and Italian parsley; it’s the staple ingredient in their classic Pomodoro spaghetti and Pescatore linguini. “The secret to great flavours is not to overcook,” advises owner/chef Mike Cassio.