Last summer was an opportunity to create our own fun in the city and stay close to home. Relaxed travel restrictions mean that this summer, there are lots of new experiences in the mountains worth venturing out for, including new restaurants, attractions, hikes and adventures.
Before hitting the open road, please note the latest provincial restrictions due to COVID-19 at alberta.ca. For information about interprovincial travel restrictions due to COVID-19, visit hellobc.com.
Did someone say there’s a new sushi, Japanese barbecue and karaoke joint opening in the heart of Banff? We’ll meet you there, as soon as the opening date is officially announced. In the meantime, check the Hello Sunshine Instagram page or website for the latest information and details on pop-ups.
A new culinary experience is opening at Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ Buffalo Mountain Lodge this July. Chef de cuisine Lance Monteiro and the team at The Prow will be highlighting local cuisine such as game meats and luxurious pastas in a space designed by Amanda Hamilton Interior Design.
700 Tunnel Mountain Rd., Banff, 403-762-2400, crmr.com
The Bear Street revitalization project is scheduled to be completed this summer and that means it’s easier than ever to take a stroll or bike ride through Banff Village. The reconstruction of Bear Street means that motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to more equally share Bear Street and visit some of the great local businesses nearby such as the new Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant. The project also includes a call-to-artists for submissions of public art to be displayed on the new street later this summer.
Park your car and take a ride on the first jump-on/jump-off, double decker tour bus through Banff National Park. The Wow Banff guided tours come in multiple languages and stop at hot spots like the Fairmont Banff Springs, Mount Norquay, Lake Minnewanka and more. See the website for tour times and prices from June 1 to September 30.
Canmore and Kananaskis
Bar Deja Vu is Canmore’s first speakeasy bar and it’s open for the summer. While part of the experience of visiting a speakeasy is to find it, the general location of this bar is inside of 4296 restaurant. The speakeasy bills itself as an “immersive cocktail experience” courtesy of chef Blake Flann.
5, 626 8 St., Canmore, 403-688-4296, instagram.com
Snowy Owl Tours has been hosting popular winter dog sledding tours for years in Canmore, but now we can get active with our furry friends in the summer too. The adventure dog cart tours run for 1.5 hours and are non-motorized and family-friendly. Book one to explore Boundary Ranch in Kananaskis until late October.
109, 829 10 St., Canmore, 403-678-4369, snowyowltours.com
Buffalo Stone Woman is a new guided tour company launching a series of “Indigescapes” in and around the rockies. The authentic, Indigenous-led hikes are suitable for all levels and can be customized for everyone from families to corporate, team-building groups. There are a variety of hikes ranging from easy to difficult such as Troll Falls, the Blackshale Suspension Bridge or Prairie View Trail. More details on bookings and prices can be found online.
There aren’t many details available just yet, but there will soon be a new bubble tea spot to check out during future visits to Lake Louise. Keep checking O2 Bubble Tea Obento’s Instagram page for updates.
New this year to Warrior Women, an Indigenous-led tourism company, is the addition of daily, fireside chats that include drumming and songs. Warrior Women provides drumming performances, workshops and programs year-round for all ages that focus on Indigenous peoples, themes and cultures. The fireside chats are held at the Sawridge Inns Jasper outdoor fire pit and can be booked online, year-round.
If you’re looking for an activity that gets you on your feet, Warrior Women also offers Wapakwanis Plant walks in Jasper National Park. These interactive, plant medicine experiences include a guided tour and explanation of flora and fauna that is of importance to certain Indigenous peoples, as well as the chance for participants to make their own salves, lotions and more. To book a fireside chat or plant walk, visit the website for available dates and times.
After the devastating Kenow wildfire of 2017 shut down parts of Waterton National Park, this summer, the park is officially fully open to visitors with a host of new activities for your day or weekend trip. Rent canoes, kayaks, rowboats, stand-up paddle boards or pedal boats from Cameron Lake Boat Rentals and spend the day on the water of this hidden gem in Waterton National Park, located at the end of the Akamina Parkway. You can also get your fishing license from this operator.
The newly opened Dark Sky Planetarium is the only planetarium in Waterton. The indoor dome planetarium offers 360 degree views of the night sky and solar system. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children.
10 Rocking Heart Ranch Road, Cardston, darkskyguides.ca
As restrictions start to ease up for interprovincial travel, you may want to make a drive out to Golden, B.C. to visit the newly opened Golden Skybridge. At this new suspension bridge, you can take in incredible views of both the Rocky and Purcell mountain ranges, a 200-foot waterfall and the Columbia Valley. And for the daredevils, note that further excursions, like a 1,500-foot zip-line attraction and a giant canyon swing, will also open up at the Skybridge later this summer. Be sure to check the latest rules around interprovincial travel restrictions before your visit.
503 Golden Donald Upper Road, Golden, B.C., 1-800-278-1238, banffjaspercollection.com