Hotel at a Glance: Grande Rockies Resort
The charming alpine town of Canmore is a gateway into Canada's first national park: Banff National Park, just four miles (7 km) outside of town. The area's scenery, with its snow-capped mountains, sparkling glaciers, and pristine lakes, has served as a backdrop for movies such as Brokeback Mountain and Legends of the Fall. At the Grande Rockies Resort, you'll have the Canadian Rockies practically in the backyard.
- Go for a swim in the resort's indoor pool, outfitted with a water slide and a hot tub
- Enjoy upscale dining at the on-site Habitat restaurant, where entrees range from pan-roasted chicken to lobster risotto; all deals include a $25 dining credit for food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Stay in the boutique building, adjacent to the resort, which includes a Vera Wang bed, marble bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TV
- Distance to Lake Louise in Banff National Park: 50 miles (80 km)
Canmore, Alberta: Charming Rocky Mountain Town near Banff National Park
Canmore sits along the banks of the Bow River in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. At one time a modest coal-mining village, the town attracted international attention when it was chosen as the site of the nordic ski events for the 1988 Winter Olympics. You can also explore Canmore Nordic Center, a remnant of the 2008 Winter Olympics, where people ice skate and cross-country ski in the winter, or mountain bike in warmer weather. Meanwhile, nearby Kananaskis is great for downhill skiing.
Canada's first national park is also just 4 miles (7 km) away. Banff National Park encompasses more than 4,100 square miles (6,600 square km) of mountains, glacier-fed lakes, and limestone canyons. The park is home to a menagerie of wildlife including wolves, grizzly bears, elk, and caribou.
Downtown Canmore, situated just a few blocks from the hotel, centers on Main Street, a three-block shopping boulevard lined with brewpubs, art galleries, and boutiques. Monthly events such as art festivals and mountain-bike races keep the town buzzing during the day; an eclectic live-music scene entertains crowds late into the night. Though Canmore has come a long way since its coal-mining days—more than 30 eateries in town now serve international cuisine—there are mining museums and commemorative statues to keep the past alive.