Canmore Accommodation Packages, Tours, Dining & Weather
As you gently ascend through the foothills into the rugged eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, the first major town you'll encounter is Canmore. Nestled in the Bow River Valley, first-time visitors are struck by the majesty of the mountain landscape encapsulating the former mining community.
Just east of the Banff National Park gates and only fifteen minutes from the Banff townsite along the TransCanada highway, Canmore is a charming mountain town that has evolved considerably over the past decade due in large part to its introduction to the world during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. What began as a modest coal-mining town in the late 19th century, Canmore has become an increasingly popular tour vacation destination due to a surge in recreational real estate and the town's close proximity to the Canadian Rockies' best outdoor activities and attractions. The fact that Canmore sits just outside of Banff National Park also shelters it from the restrictive regulations imposed on land development and tourist activities within park townsites like Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Canmore accomodations.
Touring Canmore AlbertaHistorically, tourists rushing towards Canmore's better-known neighbour often bypassed the quiet alpine community. Today, Canmore no longer plays second fiddle to Banff. Boasting more than 1,700 hotels rooms, dozens of bed and breakfast inns, the Alberta Rockies' only private vacation rentals (condos and homes), a diversity of shops and restaurants, and endless outdoor recreational opportunities, Canmore stands as a world-class destination on its own. In fact, Canmore and the adjacent Kananaskis Country has become a popular tour location for Hollywood movie sets and some of its biggest superstars. Since the 1980's, some of the numerous big budget Hollywood productions filmed in the area include Death Hunt (Charles Bronson), Dead Bang (Don Johnson), Unforegiven (Clint Eastwood), Legends of the Fall (Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt), Mystery Alaska (Russel Crowe and Burt Reynolds), The Edge (Anthony Hopkins) and other movies involving stars like Cuba Gooding Jr, Kevin Costner, and Robert Duvall.
For mountain enthusiasts, Canmore sits at the perfect crossroads. To the south, the rugged unspoiled landscape of Kananaskis Country attracts millions of visitors each year, and to the west, Banff National Park (Canada's first National Park and most visited) is just a few short kilometres down the TransCanada Highway.
Late June through mid-September is high season in Canmore with tourists from around the world setting up base to explore the natural wonders of the Canadian Rockies during the region's most forgiving weather. Just some of the activities that draw visitors to Canmore in summer include hiking, mountain climbing, white water rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, cycling, horseback riding, fly and spin-cast fishing, sightseeing, and best golf. (For information on organizing any of these activities, be sure to call best Rockies.)
Golf enthusiasts that have come to experience the “best mountain golf vacation” will find that Canmore is the ideal location to base their vacation. Just a few minutes from Main Street, golfers can experience two highly rated resort courses in the form of Stewart Creek Golf Club and SilverTip Golf Resort. While not inexpensive, both SilverTip and Stewart Creek are two of the finest additions to the Canadian golfing landscape and will leave you awestruck. The venerable Canmore Golf Club, a semi-private course available to non-members, is an old fashioned gem that features a stark contrast to the challenge and price of its relatively new neighbours. Fifteen minutes west of Canmore underneath the shadows of Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain and the magnificent Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, is the world famous Banff Springs Golf Course designed by Canadian legend Stanley Thompson. Elk are commonplace amongst the Banff Springs fairways and even the odd bear has been known to roam the course. Thirty minutes southeast of Canmore, golfers flock to experience 36-holes of world-class golf at Kananaskis Counry Golf Course, a Robert Trent Jones design consistently rated as one of the best golf resorts in North America in terms of quality and value. For travelers that want to experience the best golf the Alberta Rockies have to offer, there is no more convenient or affordable location than Canmore.
Winter offers visitors equally compelling reasons to vacation in Canmore. Already the premier destination for cross-country skiers, Canmore is also becoming a popular tour home base for downhill skiers and snowboarders that prefer the comforts and value of private condos and vacation homes over the less spacious and economic hotels / lodges found within Banff and Lake Louise. While not at the base of a ski hill, Canmore is encompassed by five world-class ski resorts within a 15-45 minute drive (Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Nakiska and Fortress Mountain). Another two world-class ski resorts are within a 2-hour drive (Panorama and Kickinghorse). Mountain Norquay, the closest ski resort to both Canmore and Banff, is a short fifteen-minute drive from Canmore and is ideal for beginners or for those that want to experience the Canadian Rockies' only night skiing. Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort, just a 20 and 45 minute drive from Canmore respectively, are two of the larger and more spectacular hills in North America and provide more than enough terrain for any level of skier. Other popular tour winter activities near Canmore include snowshoeing, ice fishing, dogsledding, ice climbing and snowmobiling.
Travelers that haven't been to Canmore for a few years aren't likely to recognize it (or the real estate prices). Numerous condo, recreational housing and retail developments have given Canmore a major facelift and have attracted sizeable investment from US, European and regional residents. The two major developments in Canmore are SilverTip, located at the foot of the Lady MacDonald mountain on the north side of Hwy 1, and Three Sisters, a massive development in the shadows of the famous mountains bearing the same name.
SilverTip Resort, which winds its way around the community's spectacular (and challenging) golf course, is a 500+ acre upscale development featuring lavish homes on best view lots and other high-end multi-family properties.
Though relatively early in its development, the Three Sisters Mountain Village is an unparalleled 2,300 acre architecturally controlled resort development that is shaping the Canmore landscape of the future and will undoubtedly transform it into one of the great mountain playgrounds on the planet. Plans include an alpine village with 200,000+ square feet of retail, two more world-class golf courses, several boutique hotels and lodges, and several thousand new homes and condos with full or partial ownership opportunities. Unlike SilverTip, Three Sisters is a resort community with a central village and housing targeted at a cross-section of incomes.
Canmore's food and entertainment have also come a long way in the past few years. Recent additions like the upscale Murrietta's West Coast Grill, Renzo's Ristorante and Copper Door now offer visitors and residents alike first-rate dining that has long been a part of Banff but absent in Canmore. Other worthwhile local favourites include the Crazyweed Café, Canmore's most popular tour and unique lunch spot; Zona's Bistro, a quaint restaurant offering an eclectic menu in a cozy cabin tucked away on a downtown side street; Patrino's Steak House & Pub, a local favourite for Italian, Greek and North American dishes; Musashi, the source for traditional Japanese sushi in Canmore; French Quarter Café will satisfy your Cajun or Creole craving; for French, try Chez Francois Restaurant in the Best Western; Des Alpes Restaurant provides a nice Swiss twist; and for big eaters, the Gasthaus Alphorn Restaurant features an all you can eat breakfast buffet. While still not on par with the depth of selection in Banff, Canmore is catching up quickly and is easily the 2nd best dining destination in the Canadian Rockies.
The nightlife in Canmore has also become more vibrant with the Drake Pub on the corner of Main St and Railway Ave featuring live bands and limited elbow room from Thursday to Saturday. Naturally, good pub fare and Canadian brews are available any day of the week. The Canmore Hotel and Rose and Crown Pub are also popular tour nightspots amongst locals.
Finding something to do in Canmore other than endless outdoor pursuits is rarely an issue. Canmore is known for its thriving arts community. A number of shops and galleries feature the paintings, ceramics, jewelry and sculptures of local artisans, many of whose creations are on display at one of the town's biggest events, the Canmore Folk Festival held the first weekend of every August. Canmore is a town full of annual events and festivals that attract visitors from around the world – be sure to check out the best Rockies event calendar to see what's happening in the vibrant mountain community.
Like most of the towns in the Canadian Rockies, Canmore's roots are tied to the cross-country railway that linked eastern Canada with western Canada in the late 1800s and the arrival of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the “Mounties”). For visitors that want more insight into Canmore's history and prosperity, they can be witness archival photos and numerous artifacts on display at the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre.
Whether searching for a relaxed vacation tour in a spectacular mountain setting or longing for adventure in the Canadian Rocky wilderness, be sure to give Canmore consideration.
| Banff, AB|
| Canmore, AB|
| Kananaskis Country, AB|
| Lake Louise, AB|
| Waterton, AB|
| Jasper, AB|
| Radium, BC|
| Invermere, BC|
| Fairmont Hot Springs, BC|
| Panorama, BC|
| Kimberley, BC|
| Fernie, BC|
| Golden, BC|
| Special Collection|
| Accom Index|
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