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destinationwest YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

edmontonjournal.com


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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

destinationwest YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

PUBLISHED BY THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, A DIVISION OF POSTMEDIA NETWORK INC., AT THE JOURNAL BUILDING, P.O. BOX 2421, EDMONTON, ALBERTA T5J 2S6

Publisher JOHN CONNOLLY

Advertising Leads RHONDA VICKERS rvickers@edmontonjournal.com

KIM CLAYTON kclayton@edmontonjournal.com

Contributors SARAH PRATT, REBECCA DIKA

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Designer CHRISTINE PEARCE

< on the cover: 1. Hole #7, Silvertip Golf Resort, Canmore

CALGARY

(courtesy Silvertip Golf Resort)

2. Saddlebronc Riding, Ponoka Stampede, Ponoka (courtesy Government of Alberta)

1 2

3

4

5

3. O  rca Breaching, Haro Straight, Vancouver Island (courtesy Tourism Vancouver Island/Boomer Jerritt)

4. K  ayaking, Kananaskis River, Kananaskis Country (courtesy Travel Alberta) 5. R  oyal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller (courtesy Travel Alberta)



7 

A musical town in the heart of central Alberta



Majestic beauty amongst the Rocky Mountains

Of dinosaurs, artisans and wildlife



Everything a traveller could want

CAMROSE

JASPER

 

THOMPSON OKANAGAN 100 

GRANDE PRAIRIE 

40

The best of urban and rural lifestyles

50

CANMORE KANANASKIS 120

60

BANFF 120

70

Alpine beauty at its best

VALEMOUNT

A lush valley perfect for orchards, vineyards and more

90



GET HOOKED FISHING 130 Go fishing with Albertaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first certified freshwater angling guide

ROAD TRIP FOR FOODIES 140

A destination for recreation enthusiasts



5

Take a culinary road trip around the province

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This magazine is also available online at edmontonjournal.com


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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

Calgary:

a true western destination

A

s the largest city in Alberta, nestled along the Rocky Mountain’s foothills, Calgary is a thriving city that offers the best of both urban and rural lifestyles. The big question is, what are you going to do with your time? Day and night, through every season, Calgary and area offers destinations that appeal to every age and interest. If you’re looking for cultural appreciation, check out the Calgary Opera, Fort Calgary and other heritage sites, seasonal festivals, live theatre and concerts. Popular attractions include Calgary Tower, Calgary Olympic Park, Spruce Meadows, the Aerospace Museum, Heritage Park (check out the vintage midway) and the science centre, TELUS Spark, sparkscience. ca. If you’re looking for a day of rides, food, attractions and entertainment, head to Calaway Park, calawaypark.com. Perhaps the best known event in the city is the Calgary Stampede, a 10-day festival that runs every July. The stampede is an energetic blend of a midway, rodeo, concerts, attractions and events. People come from around the world to enjoy the word-famous stampede, and everyone wants to go at least once just for the experience! CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

photo courtesy TYE CARSON / CALGARY STAMPEDE

photo courtesy CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION

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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

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Lively, friendly Camrose in the heart of Alberta

C

amrose may be best known for the Big Valley Jamboree outdoor country music festival that takes place every August, but the city and surrounding county also has so much culture, entertainment, recreation and history to explore and enjoy. This city in the heart of Alberta sits 88 kilometres southeast of Edmonton. The gently rolling parkland offers agricultural bounties, 308 acres of parks and playgrounds in the city, and a variety of things to see and do. The history of Camrose dates back to the early 1900s and self-guided walking tours of downtown are popular with history buffs. Many of the shops and boutiques are in restored historical buildings. Two museums pay homage to the area’s

photos cou rtes y TRAV EL ALB ERTA

heritage: the Camrose Railway Museum and the Camrose and District Centennial Museum. For information on all things rail-related, check out canadiannorthern.ca/Camrose. The area’s long-tended farms and ranches offer seasonal tastes, such as berries, honey, vegetables and meats, that you can enjoy through farm visits, farmers’ markets and gardens. You can also enjoy the country air and smalltown friendliness with events such as a rodeo, parades, Prairie Fun Days, car shows and jamborees. The year-round entertainment you’ll find in Camrose includes performing arts centres, a casino, an art society, the Bailey Theatre, live music, and festivals that celebrate food, history and culture. For all the details on the Big Valley Jamboree, visit bigvalleyjamboree.com.

If you’re looking for recreational opportunities, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Golf, swim, hike, geocache, snowshoe, cross-country ski, go birding and explore the world of the purple martin, and meander through the vast natural areas. Be sure to check out the Camrose County Nature Conservation Centre, with its lake, nature trails and picnic sites. When you stay in Camrose you can take your pick of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, lodges, a full service RV park and campsites. And when you’re hungry, settle down at a grill, café, pub, steakhouse, sports lounge or family restaurant. Camrose offers friendly people, a variety of events and activities and a breath of fresh air in the beautiful countryside. Check out tourismcamrose.com for more information.

Camrose alberta

the new west is still a ton of fun and adventure! UpComing events:

CALGARY

CREDIT: Government of Alberta

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

Recreation enthusiasts and adrenalin junkies can find plenty to do on the Bow and Elbow rivers, nearby lakes, rolling hills and grasslands and, of course, the nearby Rocky Mountains. Hiking, skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, mountain biking and so many more activities are available. If you’re looking to spend a day shopping and exploring, there are malls with high-end stores, as well as markets, outlets and walkable shopping districts with antiques, boutiques, cafes and local fare. When it’s time to satisfy your palate, Calgary is a haven for regional cuisine that includes beef, barbecues and breweries. Local

tastes are explored at food and wine festivals, and global flavours are found throughout the city. If you’re looking for a true western experience, then follow the Cowboy Trail, thecowboytrail.com/partners/calgary.html. It’s more than 600 kilometres of trail that takes you through panoramic landscapes and small towns, and past ranches and various historical points of interest. You’ll also find incredible sights in nearby Drumheller, Longview and Bragg Creek. For more information on the sights and sounds of Calgary and the surrounding areas, check out visitcalgary.com.

CREDIT: Travel Alberta

CREDIT: Government of Alberta

Cruiser’s car show Fly-in breakfast Jaywalkers Jamboree Purple Martin Festival Battle of the Bands Big Valley Jamboree Founders Days Festival Prairie Fun Days Tour of Alberta StageOne Finish Festival of Trees

...and much more!

tourismCamrose.com


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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

Where life is

grand Pipestone Creek photos courtesy GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA

Grande Prairie Museum

G

rande Prairie can boast that it’s the largest city between Edmonton and Fairbanks, Alaska. This charming and quickly growing Alberta city is 456 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and is developing a world-class reputation for tourism and especially paleontology. The area is becoming known as one of the densest dinosaur bone beds in the world, and scientists are currently working on three areas (some tours are available): Pipestone Creek Bonebed; Wapiti Bonebed; and Spring Creek Bonebed. In June of 2014 the Phillip J. Currie

Downtown Grande Prairie

Dinosaur Museum is set to open, and the museum team is already involved in education and research. One of the museum’s big fundraisers is the annual Dino Ball, set for June 22 this year. The themed ball features auctions, food and entertainment, and last year some celebrities made the trip to Grande Prairie to celebrate. Check out curriemuseum.ca for photos, stories and details on all things related to the museum. A visit to the Grande Prairie area starts with your accommodations, and you can choose from hotels and motels, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts and more. If you’re looking for a leisurely day of shopping, there are more than 400 stores, including boutiques and art galleries. Local artisans display their talents at farmers’ markets, art shows and quilt shows. Annual events celebrate music, history and entertainment with jamborees, a stampede, a film festival, Heritage Discovery Centre a street performers’ fes-

Grande Prairie Stompede • May 29 - June 2 Wanham Plowing Match • June 14-16 Guitars & Wagons • June 20-24 Bud Country Fever • June 28-30 Rio Grande Rodeo • June 28-July 1 The Annual Rycroft Chuck Wagon Races • July 4-7 97th Annual Teepee Creek Stampede • July 11-14 Pioneer Days • July 20, 21, SPCM Valleyview Fair & Rodeo • August 9-11 Autumn Festival • September 8, SPCM

Horse Trekking Adventures • Awaken your senses & stimulate your spirit on one of

the many diverse trail rides 780-835-4625 email: lkosheiff@gmail.com & Facebook Equine City - Year Round facility - Riding lessons, pony/horse rides, petting zoo, sleigh/wagon rides, group events & more: 1-877-887-6606 www.equinecity.ca

For a full list of events go to

www.gptourism.ca 780-539-7688 • Toll Free 1-866-202-2202

tival, concerts and live theatre. If you’re looking for adventure, there are parks, wildlife, tours and recreation areas nearby. In the winter you can ski, snowboard, snowmobile and test your skill on a natural luge. The warmer months offer golfing, mountain biking, adventure tours, fishing and more. The combination of boreal forest, wetlands, rolling hills and farmland offers a diverse landscape from which to enjoy nature. Take in the northern lights and on clear days enjoy a view of the Rocky Mountain peaks. The trumpeter swan is the official symbol of Grande Prairie, and bird enthusiasts can view the birds as they pass through the area on their migration routes and settle into their summer nesting grounds. If you’re a history or culture buff, visit the local museums, historical sites and the Heritage Discovery Centre, http://gptourism.ca/listing/ heritage-discovery-centre. For more information this thriving city and the surrounding areas, check out the visitor information centre and visit gptourism.ca.

June - August • Every Wednesday, Free BBQ, 4-6 pm Free Rotary Bus Tour - Mon.,Tues.,Thurs. 7-8:30 pm Both events at the Visitor Information Centre Reel Shorts Film Festival • May 1-5 Chautauqua Day Fair, Sexsmith • June 1 Highland Games • June 8 Mud Fest - Evergreen Park • June 14-16 Canada Day Celebrations • July 1 Street Performers Festival • July 19-21 East Coast Garden Party • July 19-20 Canadian Native Fastball Championships • August 2-4 Heritage Day Festival • August 5


destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

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T

Alpine

offerings in the

majestic Rocky Mountains

he vast open spaces and natural wonders in Jasper are havens for intrepid travellers and adventure seekers of all kinds. No matter what the season, Jasper offers an endless supply of things to see, do, taste and experience. You can see Jasper by train, bus, car, motorcycle, bicycle, helicopter or boat. And when you decide where you are going to settle for the duration of your stay, you can choose from hotels, motels, inns, lodges, bungalows, cabins, campsites, resorts, chalets and more. For a list of accommodations, check out jasper. travel/where-to-stay. If you’re looking to spend time on the land, try a relaxing horseback ride, bike along a winding trail, hike an alpine meadow or steep valley, go rock climbing, take a motorcycle tour, golf a few rounds or exercise your camera with the breath-taking views at every turn. On water there’s rafting, fishing, boating, diving and more, and the lakes in the area are sparkling, clean and inviting. Take to the air with a helicopter tour or ride up a mountain on the Jasper Tramway.

In winter, test out your legs with an ice walk, skating, sledding, snowshoeing, dogsledding or world-class downhill skiing. Official tours range from rafting and backcountry adventures to walking and hiking. Jasper is home to some of the most picturesque natural wonders in the world. Explore canyons such as Maligne Canyon, visit hot springs, waterfalls, the Columbia Icefield, glaciers, caves, Pyramid and Patricia Lakes and so, so much more (pc.gc.ca/eng/ pn-np/ab/jasper/index.aspx). CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

JASPER OFFERS ENDLESS OPTIONS FOR TRAVELLERS s was Becker’s Bungalow 1940’s. established in the rs of yea 50 n tha re mo After r’s cke Be the , development a first Chalets of today is that class family operation fort com r you to ted ica is ded ent em anc enh and to the untain of your Rocky Mo experience.

photos courtesy TRAVEL ALBERTA

ABOVE: Jasper Tramway TOP RIGHT: Golfing at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club LEFT: Canoeing on Lac Beauvert, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

abasca River at, Babysitting Service • Wooded setting by Ath , Playground, Laundrom TV le, Cab lor Co s, ace Firepl • Kitchens, Fi uest units available upon req • Wheelchair accessible ping award winning • Housekeepi urmet Restaurant u Go ’s ker • Bec bsite

nformation please For more iinf

visit our we

beckerschalets.com www..b Phone

780-852-3779

South Jasper, Parkway Highway 93 lds fie fi ce Ice I he the t on d ted te Loca 0 Alberta, Canada T0E 1E


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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

JASPER

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

If you are a wildlife lover, alpine meadows offer glimpses of Rocky Mountain goats, big horn sheep and hoary marmots, while forests are home to moose, deer, grey wolves, caribou, lynx, bears and more. Birdwatchers can search the skies for various species of woodpeckers, ptarmigans, jays and bluebirds, and golden eagles are not only watched, but also counted and photographed by eager scientists. There is never a shortage of things to do in and around Jasper and Jasper National Park. Try your hand at geocaching, take in a culinary festival, spend a day at the spa, meander through galleries and museums, browse through boutiques and enjoy locally inspired food and drink. Sip on a fresh espresso, indulge in fresh pastry and sit down for a gourmet meal, all while soaking in the breathtaking views from every window and patio.

One of the most popular attractions in Jasper is the Dark Sky Festival in October, celebrating the area’s 11,000 Elk , Jasper square kilometres that have National Park earned the honour of being the largest dark sky preserve. The festival’s focus is to protect and promote the night environment and the clarity of dark skies. Check out http:// jasperdarksky.org for more information. Black bea r, Jasper N When you combine ational Pa rk the natural beauty and spirit of Jasper with its historical relevancy and sense of community, you have a special destination. For a lot more information on Jasper and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Jasper National Park (http://whc.unesco. org/en/ list/304), Jasper townsite visit jasper.travel.

Lac Beauvert, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Mountain Park Lodges

Pyramid Lake Resort REFRESH IN THE ROCKIES Nestled on a terraced hillside overlooking Pyramid Lake and surrounded by the splendor of the Canadian Rockies, Pyramid Lake Resort provides a great setting for a getaway. Choose from a wide variety of accommodation including lofts and guest rooms with kitchenettes. The resort also features fitness facilities, a 10-person outdoor hot tub, boat rentals, bike rentals, a picnic area and dining in the Pines Restaurant.

STARTING AT

189

$ 6 km north of Jasper on Pyramid Lake Road

1-888-852-7737 www.mpljasper.com

PACKAGE INCLUDES • •

One night accommodation with complimentary room uprade when available Choice of the following: - One hour boat rental - One hour bike rental for two - Breakfast for two - In-room welcome gift

Valid May 1-Oct 31, 2013. Per night, plus taxes, based on availability, based on single or double occupancy.


destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

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VALEMOUNT: a year-round destination in the heart of the mountains photos courtesy TOURISM VALEMOUNT

J

ust over an hour west of Jasper is the village of Valemount, perhaps best known as a snowmobiler’s paradise. The village is home to just over 1,000 residents and sits off the Yellowhead Highway 5 and at the foot of Canoe Mountain. And speaking of mountains, life in Valemount revolves around the three surrounding mountain rages: Cariboo, Monashee and Rocky. It is a place of glacial drifts and volcanic rock, and is home to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

Valemount is indeed a destination for snowmobilers and recreation enthusiasts. In the cool, dry winters you can find incredible snowmobile trails and go heli-skiing and Cat-skiing, cross-country skiing, skating, dogsledding and more. During the warm summer months you can head out of the McLennan and Fraser Rivers to enjoy all the water has to offer. The Chinook salmon run is a natural phenomenon that culminates in the area, and viewing points for spawning include George Hicks Regional Park and Rearguard Falls Provincial Park (env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/rearguard). A number of lakes in the area offer opportunities for boating, fishing, canoeing and swimming, and the mountains have perfect spots for hiking, mountain biking, geocaching, birding and photography. Spend relaxing days at a campsite, horseback riding or golfing.

n u S & Soak PACKAGE INCLUDES: • • • •

One night’s accommodation - cabins with a mountain view Two fr Tw free tickets tto Miette Hot Springs, S in just a short hort dri drive ffrom your cabin door Full breakfast for two All the sun you can soak up in our outdoor hot tub

1 888 852 7737 1-888-852-7737

www.mpljasper.com

109

$

STARTING AT

R E S TA U R A N T • O U T D O O R P O O L • G I F T S H O P Valid May 11-31, 2013 starting at $109. $ 159 from June 1 - Sept 30, 2013 . Based on a Settler’s Cabin, double occupancy. Other cabin types and prices are available. Cannot be combined with any other discount offer. Price does not include taxes. Additional costs for extra persons. Limited availability. This package is available beginning May 11, pending the projected opening day of Miette Hot Springs. Some restrictions apply.

The village plans year-round activities, such as snowmobile poker runs and drag races, a winter festival, a rodeo, mud racing and fishing derbies. A list of events is available at visitvalemount.ca/events. After an exhilarating day outdoors, replenish yourself with food from a variety of locally owned cafés, grills, pubs and restaurants and enjoy a good night’s sleep at a hotel, bed and breakfast, cabin or campsite. The village has grown from when it was settled in the early 1900s and through its years as a rail and forestry centre. Now, as a popular tourism destination, it boasts more than 500 hotel rooms and year-round visitors who enjoy the fresh air, friendly locals and numerous activities. For further information on Valemount, check out visitvalemount.ca and visit the community page at valemount.org.


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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

Thompson Okanagan

offers unparalleled

T

he Thompson Okanagan area of B.C. extends from the Alberta border near Valemount to the U.S. border past Osoyoos and Grand Forks, and includes some of the most awe-inspiring natural beauty in western Canada. The communities nestled in this area are divided into 10 districts: North and South Thompson; North, Central and South Okanagan; Shuswap; Boundary; Similkameen; Gold Country; and Nicola Valley. The topography ranges from mountains

and valleys to deserts, marshes and grassland. Each turn of the road offers a new panoramic view. Thompson Okanagan is home to Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, as well as waterfalls, pristine lakes, orchards and vineyards and an interesting history. The First Nations people, collectively known in this area as Interior Salish, were the first to settle this land. Then came Europeans explorers and in 1885 the Canadian

Pacific Railway was completed through Kamloops and expanded from there. In 1910, the Kettle Valley Railway began, and the line route is now a beautiful recreational trail. The Okanagan Valley is a lush, fertile area that extends for 200 kilometres and is surrounded by mountains. The land is well known for its impressive selection of fruit and vineyards. Many of the restaurants partner with local producers to offer fresh, seasonal tastes that reflect the abundance and selection that are natural to the area. You can also enjoy the local flavours with dinner cruises and wine pairings at restaurants and wineries. For a directory of wineries and vineyards, check out thompsonokanagan.com/travel_guide/ things-to-do/sample-our-local-flavour/ wineries-and-vineyards-directory. And for details on winery tours through the renowned Thompson Okanagan Corridor, visit

thompsonokanagan.com/travel_guide/ routes-and-corridors/thompson-okanagan-corridor. No matter what you like to do with your time, you are certain find more than enough activities here. From zip-lining, caving and bungee-jumping, to horseback riding along a desert trail, golfing, Cat-skiing through fresh powder and hiking meandering mountainside trails, you can spend a lot of your time in fresh air and warm, dry summers and moderate winters. There are worldclass golf courses in the area, and you can find a list of courses, along with maps and more, at bcgolfguide.com. There are four major ski resorts in the areas: Big White in Kelowna, bigwhite.com, Sun Peaks Resort, 45 minutes north of Kamloops, sunpeaksresorts.com; Silver Star Mountain Resort, 25 kilometres northeast of Vernon, skisilverstar.com; and Apex Mountain Resort,

SOMEONE TOLD US TO “TAKE A HIKE” ••• GOOD ADVICE

250-498-8330

74K of Vines in Each Bottle


destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

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natural beauty west of Penticton, apexresort.com. Besides winter sports, there are beautiful alpine meadows and festivals to enjoy on the mountains during the warmer months. The list of water activities on the area’s stunning blue-green lakes is a long one and includes fishing, paddling, waterskiing, whitewater rafting and sailing. If you’re an animal lover, there are wildlife tours that take you in search of whales, bears, birds, salmon and more. There are other tours that highlight ecotourism and culinary tourism. Year-round festivals celebrate food, history, culture and the arts, and museums, heritage sites, casinos, theatres and nightlife will keep you busy. Accommodations in the Thompson Okanagan are varied, and you have your choice of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, campgrounds, cottages, houseboats and more. And your mode of transportation

can range from vehicle, motorcycle and bicycle to train, aircraft, boat. For information on vacation packages, visit thompsonokanagan.com/ travel_guide/packages. For more information on this gem in the heart of British Columbia, visit thompsonokanagan.com.

photos courtesy THOMPSON OKANAGAN TOURISM ASSOCIATION (TOTA)

factfile > THOMPSON OKANAGAN >H  ome to the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies: Mount Robson >M  ore than 50 18-hole golf courses >V  isitors centres are noticeable by their distinct blue and yellow logo > T here are four ways to get to the area: air, rail, bus; and car >M  ore than 120 wineries >M  ore than 1,000 lakes >B  oasts Canada’s fourth highest waterfall, Helmcken Falls on the Murtle River in Wells Grey Provincial Park. The falls measure 463 feet.

>H  ome of Canada’s smallest city, Greenwood, population 625. In 1998, Greenwood was chosen to represent the fictitious town of Amity Harbor in the Oscar-nominated film Snow Falling on Cedars. > F our major ski resorts in the area: Sun Peaks, Big White, Apex, and Silver Star > The area covers 20,829 square kilometres >A  ccommodations include hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, cottages, lodges, campgrounds and houseboats

acceSS actiVitieS

Coasthotels.Com / 1.800.663.1144

Your local Connection to the beSt of phx!


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destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

Canmore and Kananaskis Country:

C

anmore Kananaskis is one of the most charming locations in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. What began as a mining and rail town in the 1800s has become one of the premier destinations for outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Situated on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, Canmore is one hour west of Calgary. With Nordic trails, golf courses, ranches and historic buildings combined with quaint alpine architecture, Canmore offers every opportunity to enjoy stunning views and fresh mountain air. Visitors challenge themselves by hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding and more. The Three Sisters mountains are located near Canmore and offer exceptional climbing. The Canmore Nordic Centre was built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and is a world-class facility and a favourite of cross-country skiiers. Annual recreations events, such as a marathon and mountain bike race, offer the opportunity to test your endurance. A folk music festival and Highland Games are MISS ION two events that add culture and ADIA N TOU RISM COM photo cou rtes y CAN fun for residents and visitors. If you’re interested in wildlife photography or just viewing, you can see

a slice of heaven for adventurers and nature addicts

birds, deer, elk, moose, big horn sheep, mountain goats, bears, cougars, lynx, wolverines and more. A helicopter tour might be just the thing to do some high-altitude spotting. History buffs and rock hounds will want to visit the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre and the Ammonite Factory. You can also meander through shops, galleries and boutiques for art, pottery, sweets, toys, body care products and more. Besides local products, Canmore also offers locally brewed beer and regional cuisine. Refresh yourself at a selection of pubs, patios, cafes, bistros, bakeries, delis and steakhouses. And don’t forget, every window offers a view! Check out tourismcanmore.com for more information. Canmore and Banff National Park border Kananaskis Country, an area that encompasses more than 4,000 square feet and five provincial parks. Mountains, foothills and parkland offer rafting, caving, skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, sledding, golfing and so much more. Visit kananaskis.com for a lot more information.

photo courtesy TRAVEL ALBERTA

Banff’s year-round offerings a treasure for visitors W

ith its four distinct seasons, more than 1,600 kilometres of trails and a thriving spirit of culture and community, Banff is one of western Canada’s most beloved destinations. Located 90 minutes west of Calgary amidst rugged peaks and rolling alpine meadows, Banff National Park covers 6,641 square kilometers and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park, established in 1885, welcomes four million visitors every year, and the town of Banff is in the heart of the park. Year-round activities appeal to all types of visitors. In the winter, enjoy world-class downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village or Lake Louise. You’ll also find adrenalin rushes with heli-skiing, tubing, dogsledding and ice walks. Summer offers panoramic views of stunning glacier-fed lakes, and you can immerse yourself in nature by hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding and boating. photo courtesy YAMNUSKA

Hiking near Mt. Assiniboine, Banff National Park

The community celebrates with seasonal festivals, including a film and book festival, wine and food, pond hockey, bicycling, ice sculpting, skating and more. Banff’s mountain culture is evident in the town’s architecture and style, as well as the shops that line the charming streets. Boutiques sell Canadian favourites such as maple syrup and knitted wool outerwear, and you can find fossil and gemstone treasures, as well as work by local artisans. Art galleries, museums and gardens also show the history and beauty of the area’s culture. History buffs will relish the opportunity to peek into the past at the Bankhead Ghost Town and Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada (pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ab/ caveandbasin/index.aspx). If you’re looking to relax, book time for a spa, massage or hot spring, dig into a picnic on a moutainside, take your camera on a meandering walk, stroll through the farmers’ market, ride up a gondola or enjoy a drink in the sun on a patio.

When it’s time to eat, you just need to decide what you’re in the mood for and you’ll find it in Banff. Italian, Greek or French? How about Mexican, Thai or Indian? Do you want casual or formal? A pub, grill, café, deli or bakery? Hearty barbecue or vegetarian? And don’t forget a freshly made dessert. Finish off an evening with a Rocky Mountain sunset walk, take in a concert or live theatre, go dancing or cuddle up in front of a fireplace. For more information about all that Banff has to offer, check out banfflakelouise.com and banff.ca.

ph oto co urt es y BA NF F LA KE LO UIS E TO UR ISM


destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

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A total fishing experience, right here at home

photo SUPPLIED

F

ishing in western Canada is a science, an art and a lifestyle for many. With winding rivers, vast lakes and secret fishing holes, our land is a true destination for anglers of all ages and skill levels. If you really want to catch “the big one” or finally reel in that elusive species you’ve been searching for, find yourself a qualified, knowledgeable fishing guide. Keith Rae of Get Hooked Fishing Adven-

tures is about as committed and enthusiastic as they come. He and his team offer river and lake trips in the Edmonton area, and location is an important part of the job. “Going on the North Saskatchewan River and the nearby lakes is a true wilderness experience that is close to the comforts of the city,” said Rae. “I always say, it’s fly-in fishing without the flying.” The fishing spots Rae chooses are quiet,

RENT A VACATION HOME IN FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS, BC

beautiful and bountiful. The fish species you could catch include walleye, goldeye, mooneye, northern pike, whitefish, brown trout and more. When Rae took TV fishing host Bob Izumi out for a trip, Izumi was excited to catch his first goldeye in our local waters. Rae also does trips to B.C. to catch the incredible primitive fish, the sturgeon. “We do spin and fly-fishing and we have custom-made jet boats,” he said. “We do half-, full- and multi-day trips for individuals or groups. We also provide a gourmet lunch, chairs and the opportunity to do things like pan for gold and view fossil beds – a lot of value added on these trips.” Get Hooked has welcomed anglers from as far away as Dubai, Greece, Japan and Australia. “We have such an incredible fishery in Alberta,” he said. Besides his experience and knowledge, Rae is unique as a guide for a few reasons.

He is Alberta’s first certified freshwater angling guide. This is a national certification program that includes CPR, First Aid, liability insurance, a boater’s licence, hours of experience and a written exam. This summer, Rae plans a special something for certain guests on his guided trips. This is the second season Rae will be measuring and recording fish for Sustainable Resources, and some of his clients can participate in the program. “This is a great hand-on experience where people can feel a part of the information gathering,” said Rae. “And new this year, all who participate in the program receive a special pin that we designed.” Rae has seen countless people get hooked on fishing, and he is passionate about exposing rookies to the sport, as well as exploring the water with seasoned anglers. For more information, check out gethookedfishing. com.

“A great getaway is not far away”

Within minutes of golf courses, the hot springs & more! SAVE 20% OFF A MINIMUM 3 NIGHT STAY - QUOTE ‘FCEDM’

Nightly Rentals Featuring:

 Spacious 2 - 5 Bedroom Fully Furnished  Accommodations Sleep up to 12 Guests  In Home Billiards Room*  Large Scenic Decks  Fully Equipped Kitchens  Private BBQs  Central Air Conditioning*  Jacuzzis*

780-963-4279 • www.gethookedfishing.com


14

destinationwest > YOUR 2013 VACATION GUIDE

The Alberta

wheretostay! CALGARY

road trip for

foodies

> Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites • Near Canada Olympic Park and minutes from downtown • CAA/AAA preferred hotel partner • AMA members save up to 15% off standard room rates, based on last room availability • Free upgrades to preferred room when available photo SUPPLIED

Chefs around the province prepare incredible meals, many that include local meat and produce.

P

repare to have all five senses titillated on a road trip that tantalizes. This is a roadtrip for the foodie, starting in the Capital City, from whence all good things come. “Culinary tourism is a growing trend and one of the best ways to have an authentic, down-to-earth experience when travelling,” says Nikola Berube, Director, Marketing and

Book online for the best price

Guaranteed!

On your way to the Rockies? Already there? Book your room online with AMA Travel and you’ll get the Best Price Guaranteed at 14 Rocky Mountain hotels in Banff, Jasper and Canmore! AMATravel.ca/AlbertaHotels

Best Price Guarantee is a member only offer applicable to existing hotel bookings made with AMA Travel. If a lower price is found, AMA Travel will secure this rate once per the original reservation. Proof of the available rate, from a Canadian supplier, for a booking of the same hotel, room type and dates, must be provided to AMA Travel, seven days prior to arrival and does not apply to promotional discounts, special offers, minimum night stays or packages.

Call toll-free 1-888-799-1522

Business Development, AMA Travel. “Be adventurous. Stop at a farmers’ market, u-pick farm, restaurant or specialty food retailer that’s not normally on your radar.” Head out of Edmonton on Hwy 14 east to Tofield. It’s less than an hour’s drive to our first stop, but you’ll want to get an early start. The breakfasts at the Footloose Caboose Lodge are truly unparalleled. Eva and Raymond Loranger bought some old cabooses a few years ago and have had lots of fun since! One is now an exquisite dining car that offers famous king-sized omelettes, a variety of egg benedicts and equally tantalizing crepes with a variety of fillings (footloosecaboose. com). Once your belly is full, find your way back to Hwy 2 on your way to Ma-Me-O Beach at Pigeon Lake. Have a stroll around the lake and drop by the village. By then, you should be ready for lunch at the Ecocafé, which offers Game Pie prepared with duck, pork and elk. The ECO is dedicated to sourcing the products used within a 100-mile radius and offers 17 years of fabulous cuisine. Visit their website at ecocafepigeonlake.ca. It’s about 90 minutes to the next stop on our road trip; enjoy the pastoral scenery south along Hwy 2 until you see the Sylvan Lake exit. There, John Schalkwyk has earned a renowned reputation for his aged Gouda. Sylvan Star Cheese, a 48,000- square-foot production and retail space, offers an array of to-die-for award-winning cheeses. Grizzly Extra Aged Gouda earn lots of press, but there are about a dozen other cheeses to try, including an Edam, aged Gruyères and a cayenne and green-peppercorn spiced Gouda produced from some 14,000 litres of milk per week from Schalkwyk’s herd of alfalfa- and grass-fed Holstein cows (sylvanstarcheesefarm.ca). It’s really only a hop, skip and a jump from there over to Red Deer, where the

>B  est Western Premier Free Point Inn & Suites • Located close to airport and downtown Calgary • CAA/AAA preferred hotel partner • Members save up to 10 % or more on standard room rates • Earn CAA dollars

EDMONTON > Sawridge Inn Edmonton South • Great location on Gateway Blvd • AMA Best Price Guarantee hotel partner • Includes hot breakfast each morning > The Westin • Located downtown in the heart of the City • CAA/AAA preferred hotel partner • AMA members save up to 15% off standard room rates, based on last room availability • Free upgrades to preferred room when available Public Market has become the go-to place every Saturday. Hosted in the parking lot of the Red Deer Arena, more than 250 vendors of fruits and vegetables, meat, baked goods and handicrafts sell their delectable wares from May to October (reddeermarket.com). Not too far afield is a great new food market called Big Bend Market, just east of Gasoline Alley on Hwy 2 in Red Deer. Fresh sandwiches a la Edmonton’s Italian Centre are prepared daily; local grown bison—including deli cuts —is available at the store. Take some with you in case you get hungry on the road to Pasu Farms (take the Carstairs exit off Hwy 2). The lamb here is unsurpassed; most items are grown at the farm or locally purchased. There’s South African Barbecues and a buffet lunch on Sundays. If you’re there in time, try afternoon tea with homemade scones (pasu.com). Get back on Hwy 2 and in a little under an hour, you’ll be in Calgary where a world of culinary delights await. But be prepared, this “road” trip just got a whole lot longer. For help planning your own custom road trip, go to AMA TripTik® Travel Planner at AMATravel.ca/TripTik. — with files from the Alberta Motor Association


Stay & Play in Vernon, BC There’s something for the whole family!

Colin Baxter

Visit Okanagan Spirits in downtown Vernon and experience firsthand the processing of locally grown fruit distilled in our copper-pot still. Our internationally acclaimed craft distillery produces award-winning spirits and liqueurs, genuine absinthe, rye whisky, gin and vodka. Enjoy a tour and tasting, then choose your favourites to take home. Open year round.

1-888-292-5270

www.okanaganspirits.com

OPEN ALL YEAR, Planet Bee is a favorite family attraction where you can learn a little more about bees and experience and sample the many delicious and healthy products of the honeybee hive. Now introducing “Honeymoon Mead,” a delightful table wine made from fermented BC honey and water. This ancient “Beverage of Love” was referred to as The Nectar of the Gods and dates back over 20,000 years.

1-877-233-9675

www.planetbee.com

HISTORY COMES ALIVE AT HISTORIC O’KEEFE RANCH…Step back in time and experience our roots and history…See how it used to be; keeping the stories of ranching cowboys, farming and agriculture alive…the turn of the Century General Store with old fashioned candy - Original Okanagan Post Office - Artisans and Farm Animals - Vintage Farm Machinery - Mansion Tours - Special Events - Education Programs - Model Railroad - RV Parking available.

250-542-7868

www.okeeferanch.ca

What would a trip to the Okanagan be without indulging in a wine tour? MJO Wine Tours offers full and half day tours every day of the week – you can indulge yourself with private tasting in stunning Reidel Crystal glasses or simply sip some of our top tier choices in wine. We pick up at all hotels in the region. Call us today to explore all of your options – we specialise in catering to you.

1-877-726-6548

www.mjotours.com

Consider the newly renovated Village Green Hotel as your friendly home away from home. All rooms come equipped with mini-fridges, coffee/tea, hairdryers, 40” TV’s, irons and ironing boards, free WiFi & local calls. On-site amenities include a family-style restaurant, lively pub, liquor store, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness room. 100% non-smoking , ample free parking and the best pet friendly rooms in town!

4801 27 St Vernon, BC

1-800-663-4433

www.villagegreenhotel.com/stay-play

Pick up your coupon book for these fine attractions at the Village Green Hotel.


‘ Best Cruise in Canada’ READER’S DIGEST MAGAZINE

Join us for a 90-minute narrated cruise to world famous Spirit Island in Jasper National Park.

Also at the Lake

two-bedroom chalets · Executive suites· &Afternoon standard rooms · Hiking Onetrails&and picnic sites · View Restaurant tea at the & balconies · Free wireless · Indoor pool, historicKitchens, Malignefireplaces Lake Chalet · Canoe, rowboat andinternet sea kayak rentals whirlpool,Curly saunaPhillips & steamBoathouse room · Convention facilities & business centre at the historic · Shopping · Guided fishing

BOOK NOW! Call 1.866.maligne or visit www.malignelake.com

Featuring B+B, ROMANCE & ACTIVITY PACKAGES

STAY & PLAY One & Two Bedroom Suites · Executive suites & standard rooms · Kitchens, fireplaces & balconies · Free wireless internet · Indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna & steam room · Convention facilities & business centre

BOOK NOW! Call 1.800.661.1933 or visit www.bestwesternjasperinn.com

MALIGNE LAKE TICKET OFFICE

Downtown Jasper, 616 Patricia St. Ph: 780.852.3370 Shuttle Service from hotels and downtown Jasper available.

JASPER’S FAVOURITE ACCOMMODATION FOR

R

Jasper Inn & Suites The Inn Restaurant

GEIKIE & BONHOMME ST., JASPER

reservations@jasperinn.com


Destination West