Updated Summer 2023
Off-the-beaten-path locations you won’t want to miss
We pride ourselves on providing casual, chic accommodations where weary travelers can rest and rejuvenate. Our guest services team is eager to share knowledge about where to eat, drink and visit within Calgary – but no trip to Alberta would be complete without a jaunt out to our renowned Rocky Mountains.
While loads of travel guides laud Banff’s and surrounding areas’ most popular destinations, it’s the hidden gems located off the beaten path that can truly make your trip memorable. If you are an unconventional adventure seeker, read on.
Bragg Creek is an outdoor adventurer’s wonderland. The town is closer to Calgary than Banff and still offers plenty of hiking, biking and snowshoeing trails to keep you busy year ‘round. The best part? Making a pit stop in Bragg Creek’s historic downtown for an ice cream or treat before heading back into the city.
Speaking of Bragg Creek, “Cheech” Marin of the duo “Cheech and Chong” was a Bragg Creek local! After dodging the Vietnam war draft by coming to Canada, he settled in Bragg Creek for a time and worked with the Drahanchucks at their famous pottery studio. Visit the Bragg Creek Historical Society website for more information and ideas about famed places to visit and special events to attend.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Located in the very southwestern corner of Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park offers all the jaw-dropping scenery you can count on in Banff, but without the crowds. Waterton also extends state-side into Montana where it is called Glacier National Park. Sights and scenery are spread out in Waterton, which means you get a bit more room to stretch your legs and take in the quiet stillness.
Kananaskis Country is a provincial park in Alberta that runs alongside the Banff National Park. Known as “K-Country” to locals, the park may contain fewer amenities than its national big sister, but this is a selling point for true nature lovers, as it keeps crowds at bay.
Looking for something to offset all that hiking and biking? Book a full- or half-day horseback riding adventure instead. K-Country’s guided tours are family friendly, and the views are picture-postcard worthy. Explore Banff and nearby Canmore via horseback as well. The experience will give you a taste of traditional cowboy life here in Alberta.
Banff National Park
Finally, when you do visit Banff (and you absolutely must), we suggest seeking out something a little more unconventional than a hike up Sulphur Mountain (although that’s pretty great too). Troll Falls and Grotto Canyon are the perfect trails for all hiking levels, and both are dotted with impressive waterfalls and other natural attractions. These hikes might be well-visited, but their unique scenery makes them well worth the visit.
A trip to Calgary and surrounding areas ticks off every box on an adventure seeker’s list – enthusiastic locals, a lively nightlife in downtown Calgary and epic, epic Rocky Mountain views. Hotels in Calgary’s inner core welcome visitors from around the globe who are looking for the best of both city excitement and natural wonder. Call us up anytime for tips and advice before booking your trip to Alberta.