There’s so much to explore right in our backyard. The trick is to know where to look.
When thinking about taking a weekend trip, Cranbrook may not be the very first place that comes to mind — and that’s exactly what makes it so great. If you feel like getting out of the city, but still want to travel somewhere where there’s lots to do, add this Kootenays destination to your list.
It may be a smaller town, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend an epic 72 hours in Cranbrook and its surrounding areas in the beautiful Kootenays. Here’s how.
First, you have to get there. The 12 or more hour drive to Cranbrook from Victoria isn't realistic for everyone, but you can cut this travel time down to a quick hour and a half by opting to fly instead. Enjoy beautiful, bird's-eye view mountain scenery as you venture to this quaint B.C. town.
Pacific Coastal Airlines offers regular flights from Victoria to Cranbrook — hop on a late afternoon flight on Friday, and catch a return flight on Monday afternoon. The best part is that they price match, so you know you’re getting the best deal.
Spending less time travelling means more time for exploring and memory-making!
When you land on Friday, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is head to your hotel, drop off your bags and freshen up a bit. There are several hotels in Cranbrook, but Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort is a great option. If you're looking to get off the beaten path a bit, St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino is another excellent choice.
You may also want to consider renting a car for the weekend as there’s lots of adventuring to do.
Once you’ve settled in, head to dinner at The Heidout Restaurant & Brewhouse, just a 15 minute walk away from your hotel. The Cranbrook hotspot offers high-quality pub fare and Fisher Peak beers, which are all brewed on site.
The Heidout is open until midnight on weekends, but if you aren’t ready for the night to end yet and feel like doing some partying, take a short stroll over to Shotgun Willy’s. Dance the night away to local DJs, or have a drink and play some pool.
First thing’s first — it’s time to fuel up for a day of exploring! Hot Shots Cafe is the perfect place to start the day with delicious breakfast options, a menu full of unique coffees and teas and a quaint atmosphere.
Now, it’s time for a little adventuring. Head to Just Liquid Sports for kayak, paddleboard and canoe rentals and enjoy an hour or two on one of Cranbrook’s beautiful lakes, such as Moyie Lake or Mineral Lake.
You can even book lessons if you want to learn from the pros. Make sure you call ahead to secure your rental or lesson.
On your way back, make a pit stop at Moyie Falls and take a dip in the waterfall-fed pool.
All of that paddling will work up an appetite, so head back into town and grab lunch at The Cottage. This eclectic, little restaurant serves traditional comfort food like soup and sandwiches made with fresh bread. It’s a busy place (so you know the food is good), but the portions are big, the prices are reasonable and the service is still fast.
Next, make a visit to the Cranbrook History Centre to learn about the city’s history.
Make sure to check out the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, where visitors can tour railway cars from the early 1900’s.
Treat yourself to a nice dinner at Allegra, a popular Mediterranean restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and tasty dishes. You can watch as the chef creates your food in the open kitchen, enjoy meals crafted with locally-sourced ingredients and wash it down with something from their extensive beverage menu.
After dinner, check and see if there are any shows or concerts happening at Key City Theatre for some entertainment.
It simply wouldn’t be a proper trip to the Kootenays without time spent relaxing in a hot springs. Grab a quick bite to eat and head to Lussier Hot Springs, which is about an hour drive away from Cranbrook. The drive is well worth experiencing the natural beauty of the small hot springs, which sit right beside a rushing river.
Try to get to the hot springs as early as possible as they can get a bit busy and crowded during the day. Also, make sure not to bring in any garbage or disturb the natural habitat. Leave only footprints, take only photographs and enjoy taking a moment to relax in the midst of a natural wonder.
Once you’ve had your fill of the hot springs and feel nice and rejuvenated, head back to Cranbrook for lunch at Soulfood, a healthy farm-to-table restaurant with a menu that changes with the seasons but always remains wholesome and delicious.
Next, take a quick trip to Fort Steele Heritage Town for a taste of what it was like to live during the gold rush.
Explore over 60 heritage buildings, stroll through the gardens, meet historical characters in the streets and grab an old fashioned treat at one of the stores. If you want a souvenir, dress up in a costume and have a fun portrait taken.
For dinner, head to Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap for gourmet burgers and pub fare, B.C. craft beer on tap and lots of good times. If it’s nice out, take a seat on the rooftop patio.
Oh yeah, and they have six different kinds of poutine — just sayin’.
Rise and shine! Start your last day off on the right foot today with a cold pressed juice and smoothie bowl from The Raw House. The nourishing juices are made from 100% organic fruits and vegetables.
If time permits, hike some of the trails in the Cranbrook Community Forest to get your fill of beautiful Kootenay views before heading home.
It’s always sad when a fun adventure comes to an end, but there’s also some comfort in heading home, especially when the trip back is quick and easy. As you enjoy your PCA flight home, you can think back on all the great memories you’ve created in this small B.C. town.
If you’re looking to explore a new destination in B.C., book with Pacific Coastal Airlines. With 65+ destinations in British Columbia, they offer a regular airline schedule, charter and cargo to 16 airports all over B.C. Booking with PCA is easy, affordable and the friendly staff are dedicated to working hard every day to make your experience the best it can be.
Want to experience what Cranbrook and the Kootenays have to offer and build your own 72 epic hours? Come September, Pacific Coastal Airlines will be offering daily flights to Cranbrook.
Use Promo Code: NowYXC for 25% off the base fare on all Pacific Coastal flights between Cranbrook (YXC) and Victoria (YYJ). Book by August 17th, 2018 for travel anytime between August 9th and October 31st, 2018 (blackout dates from October 5th - October 8th). *
Don't forget to drop by the Pacific Coastal Airlines booth at Denim on the Diamond on September 1st to enter to win a Kootenay getaway adventure package!
A privately owned, British Columbia based regional airline operating from Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal (YVR), Pacific Coastal is now the sixth-largest airline operating at YVR, based on outbound seats, and third largest in takeoffs and landings. It flies to 16 airports and with its affiliate airline Wilderness Seaplanes located in Port Hardy on north Vancouver Island, connects to more than 50 additional destinations in the province from as far east as Cranbrook in the Rocky Mountains, as far north as Prince George, or Masset on the legendary island of Haida Gwaii and now as far west as Tofino. Its network encompasses major ski destinations, a multitude of fishing lodges, outdoor and wildlife adventure tours, and authentic First Nations experiences.
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