Canmore, Alberta is the same idea as Banff—a town surrounded by mountains—but it's smaller, quieter, and less touristy. There's basically one main street with all the shops and restaurants, which makes life easier. If I have to choose between staying at Canmore or Banff again, I'd return to Canmore. If you prefer more dining options, nightlife, and want to be around more people, Banff is only a half-hour drive away.
Here's what covered in this Canmore travel guide:
Where to stay in Canmore
My friend and I stayed at Solara Resort and Spa, which participates in the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. One of their main green initiatives is making the guests' stays carbon neutral by supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Our 2-bedroom suite was huge. Each bedroom had its own fireplace and washroom. I'd imagine it to be super cozy in the wintertime. The kitchen was fully equipped, and the whole place was basically move-in ready. There's a pool and hot tub in the resort, which we took advantage of.
I really wanted to have a spa day, so I booked myself in for a massage at the resort's One Wellness Spa. I love spas. I can probably live in one for a month straight. It was pretty quiet that day, so I had the steam room and sauna to myself.
Where to eat in Canmore
The town is really cute, with a good mixture of locals and tourists. It's pretty fun getting ice cream out of a school bus at Old School Ice Cream.
I had to scope out the cafe scene. They have some good ones, but my favourite is Café Books. They combine my two favourite things: books and tea. I sat outside facing the main street and mountains, sipping my tea, eating my homemade scone, reading my book.
Nature and hiking in Canmore
Canmore is famous for the Three Sisters Mountain Range. All the mountains are much more beautiful in real life. You can sit and stare at them all day, which was what I did.
What's interesting about the mountains is how much they change due to sunlight and weather. During sunny days, they project the moving shadows of clouds. I'm sure in the winter, they look quite different.
Do you have recommendations for other things to do in or around Canmore? Let us know in the comments below.
Read part 3 of my trip to the Canadian Rockies: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.