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Banff, Canmore & Area

Drawn to Nature: Night at the Banff Park Museum

By Keili Bartlett

Although all of the museums in Banff National Park feature interesting exhibits, one of my favourites is the Banff Park Museum. Yes, the one filled with taxidermy. But before you write off the specimen as “creepy,” consider this: the collection housed here offers an invaluable look at the past.

The Banff Park Museum is one of the oldest in Photo by: Ian Holmes @irrationalcarny

The Banff Park Museum is the oldest natural history museum in western Canada. Photo by: Ian Holmes @irrationalcarny

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Food and Fun in the Canadian Rockies

By Keili Bartlett

You probably grew up hearing, “Don’t play with your food!” But in the Canadian Rockies, we recommend it! Satisfy your appetite for food served with a side of fun at these hot spots.

 

Let the good times roll at High Rollers.

A new addition to Banff Ave, High Rollers has stepped up the (bowling) game.

Let the Good Times Roll

Swap your ski boots for bowling shoes at High Rollers. Once the site of Aurora nightclub, co-manager Mai Yamagishi says: “It’s a completely different vibe. We’re family-friendly, but after 10 pm we have a DJ and nighttime crowd.”

Pizza, Pins and Pints

Serving up a good time, High Rollers offers weekly drink and dinner deals.

High Rollers has daily food and drink deals and a constant flow of free popcorn. The perfect piece of pizza hits the spot while you hit the pins. “Try the Canadian pizza,” suggests Yamagishi. “Drizzle maple syrup on top; it’s lovely.” Pair your pizza with beer; there are 48 varieties on tap.

Banff entertainment, Banff nightlife

You’re in for a wild ride at Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon!

When in the West

Find fun at Banff’s saloon, live music venue and smokehouse. Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon is the place to be Tuesday nights for karaoke and mechanical bull rides. Half the delight is watching others try to hold on!

After building your appetite, delve into a Cow Puncher’s Platter with ribs, brisket and sausage. Cocktails bring a taste of the south to the north, while Wild Bill’s all-Canadian Caesar is served with a strip of bacon.

Bands play often and DJs take to the stage Sunday nights. Two-step routines are honed to perfection at country performances.

Sidelines at Stoney Nakoda Casino

Put your money (and some chicken wings) where your mouth is!

Place Your Bets

Saddle up and ride to Sidelines Lounge; then put your money where your mouth is. The bar at Stoney Nakoda Casino has 12 big screens that stream live horse races from around the world. “It’s just like being at a track,” says events manager Chris Grimes. “You can bet on multiple races at the same time.”

With your wins (or remaining cash) invest in nightly food and drink specials every night; 35¢ wings on Wednesdays are the most popular. Or, continue to try your luck on the video lottery terminals. A 100-inch projection screen that shows live sports means you don’t have to leave your seat (or your wings) to get the score.

While the Sidelines Lounge is a smoker-friendly venue for ages 18+, the resort’s Ridge Buffet is non-smoking, open to all ages, and popular for Friday and Saturday rib and lobster buffets. The casino floor features 250 slot machines and classic games such as blackjack, roulette and poker.

Wet Your Whistle

Live like a local at the Whistle Stop Pub in Jasper. “It’s a great hangout with a laidback vibe,” says the bar’s Jeff Smith.

At The Stop you don’t have to blow the budget. Find $4.75 pints and $7 cheeseburgers anytime, free pool on Tuesdays and daily happy hours 4:30 to 7 pm. Catch the game on nine big TVs. Add live acoustic jams Saturdays from 3:30 pm to 6 pm, and it’s no wonder this is amongst Jasper’s favourite watering holes.

See more Banff, Canmore and Jasper restaurants.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

The Canadian Rockies From Above: A Helicopter Tour

By Naomi Witherick

Nursing half a cup of coffee in a heliport felt weird. Here I was doing something I did every day, minutes before a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

My stomach was full of butterflies and complimentary coffee as I boarded a helicopter for the first time. Photo by: Naomi Witherick

My stomach was full of butterflies and complimentary coffee as I boarded a helicopter for the first time. Photo by: Naomi Witherick

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Classy Keepsakes from Banff

By Where Writers

From the local crafts to the world renown coats, we’ve written your shopping list for souvenirs from Banff.

Banff Soap

Be transported back to Banff with the scents of organic soaps from Tanglewood.

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Treat Yourself at the Spas in Banff

By Where Writers

Originally founded for it’s healing hot springs, there’s no better place to escape the cold and pamper yourself after a day on the slopes than in Banff’s renown spas.

Swedish Inspiration Spa

Meadow Spa is Banff’s newest spa, and features a view of Cascade Mountain.

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Indoor Activities in the Canadian Rockies

By Where Writers

Too cold outside? Need a break from skiing? There’s another frontier to discover in the Canadian Rockies: the great indoors. Wind down or rope up with these favourite indoor activities in Canmore, Banff and Jasper.

indoor activities in the Canadian Rockies, things to do in the Canadian Rockies

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Beginner’s Luck: Ice Fishing in the Canadian Rockies

By Keili Bartlett

It’s Saturday morning, but we’re up before the sun. It’s tempting to sleep in, but a weekend spent outside in the Canadian Rockies is nearly impossible to pass up, so I find myself bundling up for cold winter weather.

My roommate Devaan has been raving for weeks about his newest hobby, and his excitement is contagious. Last summer it was fly fishing. This winter, it’s evolved to keep up with the change of seasons: we’re going ice fishing.

Fishing huts are set up on an early morning in Spray Lakes. Photo by: Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Fishing huts are set up on an early morning in Spray Lakes. Photo by: Banff Lake Louise Tourism

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Bow Valley’s Best Après Ski Entertainment

By Naomi Witherick & Keili Bartlett

There’s nothing better than ending a perfect day on the hill with some après ski antics. Start with live music at Bow Valley ski resorts, then catch indie film screenings or hang out with the locals at themed pub nights.

Banff Entertainment

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Canmore Souvenirs for Everyone on Your List

By Where Writers

The Canadian Rockies are known for their unparalleled beauty. Take a token home with you to share your trip with your friends and family (or keep for yourself!). We’ve checked out local keepsakes so you can spend less time shopping, and more time in the mountains!

While we were researching this list, our editor bought this postcard to send to her family back home. There are plenty more at Sunny Ravens Gallery!

While we were researching this list, our editor bought this postcard to send to her family back home. There are plenty more at Sunny Raven Gallery!

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Fun February Festivals in Banff and Canmore

By Keili Bartlett

Be wowed by winter in the Bow Valley! February continues the fun festivities at Banff’s annual SnowDays (until Feb 5), and the Canmore Winter Carnival hosts two back-to-back weekends Feb 4 – 12. Check out what spectacles are in store for you with our mini-guide to the season’s must-sees. 

February in Canmore and Banff means fun for everyone. Photo by Pam Doyle.

February in Canmore and Banff means fun for everyone. Photo by Pam Doyle.

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Let it Snow! January Festivals in the Canadian Rockies

By Keili Bartlett

Winter is well underway, but the fun is just getting started! January weather in the Canadian Rockies creates the perfect conditions for winter festivals. Here’s a round-up of all the snow-packed fun at Jasper in January, Jan 12-29 and Banff’s SnowDays, Jan 13 – Feb 5.

Frozen fun is on the agenda at Lake Louise's Ice Magic. Photo by Kelly MacDonald.

Frozen fun is on the agenda at Lake Louise’s Ice Magic. Photo by Kelly MacDonald.

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Where to Eat in Banff this Winter

By Where Writers

From mountain-top venues with epic snowy views, to cozy patios downtown, Banff is packed with great places to eat. Here’s our round-up of the bars and restaurants to visit this winter.

Mountain-top Meals
Want a meal with a view? Sky Bistro won’t disappoint. Ride the Banff Gondola to the restaurant on Sulphur Mountain’s 2,281-m high ridge for snowy views Banff and delicious tastes of Canada. Choose from regional dishes with upscale twists, including bison burger (Alberta), duck poutine (Quebec), and lobster roll (Nova Scotia). And from the bar, sip locally crafted beers and spirits.

Banff Dining, best Banff restaurants, where to eat in Banff (more…)