Where to stay: The Malcolm Hotel, Canmore’s only four star hotel. which has an outdoor swimming pool with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
The town of Waterton is minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park, where you can explore both the plains of the plains and the craggy peaks of the Rockies. For experienced hikers, the Crypt Lake Trail begins with a 15 minute boat ride to the trailhead where switchbacks wind past four waterfalls, a steel ladder, a rock wall tunnel, and around a cliff that requires the help of steel mounted cables. For a more tranquil (and scenic) experience, the Bear’s Hump hike offers stunning views of the village. Or, explore the area on foot on a lake excursion with Waterton Shoreline Cruise. Head to Thirsty Bear Kitchen + Bar after any adventure for a casual dinner. At night, relax with stargazing, as Waterton is a provisional international dark sky park that creates dazzling constellations.
Where to stay: Prince of Wales Hotel
Dawson City serves as a living monument to the days of the Klondike Gold Rush, when prospectors searched the whitewater for treasure. It has a colorful border-era downtown, with a boardwalk and preserved vintage saloons. While there is still gold in the Yukon, the territory is now known for its wildlife and unspoiled wilderness, not to mention a vibrant culinary scene and First Nations Indigenous culture that visitors can experience at the Dänojà Zho cultural center. Located on the shores of the Yukon River, it tells the story of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people who have lived on these lands for thousands of years. Savor local, seasonal dishes at the Bonton & Company general store style coffee shop.
Where to stay: The new Dawson Lodge or Midnight Sun Hotel (reopening fall 2021)
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan
Maple Creek is a charming prairie town centered around a heritage district where visitors can shop, eat, and cool off from the prairie sun with a drink from Rafter R Brewing Co or Daily Grind Coffee. For the best views of the area, ascend to Bald Butte and Lookout Point, the highest point in the Center Block of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Or explore family highlights in the area with the Alpacas at Grotto Gardens Family Fun Farm, the T. rex Discovery Center (home to the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton) and Fort Walsh NHS, where police at Northwest horse started. Then, relax at Rockin ‘Horse Cookout and Market with bar fare and live music.
Where to stay: Cobble Creek Pavilion
The small resort town of Gimli celebrates its Icelandic heritage with reenactments of Viking battles at an Icelandic festival each August. Located on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg, Gimli is perfect for a weekend beach getaway and is just an hour’s drive from the capital Winnipeg.
Where to stay: The Lakeview Gimli Resort by the water (and dinner at the property’s Seagulls Restaurant & Lounge)
Visit the picturesque town of Elora to spot its waterfalls on a hike through the Elora Gorge Conservation Area. The 19th-century village buildings lining its main streets are home to cafes, restaurants and a collection of artisan shops. The city also attracts several arts and cultural festivals and seasonal farmer’s markets during the warmer months. Dine at the Evelyn for lunch or dinner with a French ambiance.