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Shopping Downtown Banff Winter
The Real Banff / Published: Wed, 08/05/2020 - 15:10

The Bear Street Beat: Exploring one of Banff’s Most Vibrant Streets

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Adventures big and small in Banff National Park carry their own moments of exploration and discovery. You might expect this from the hiking trails around Banff, but the same spirit is alive and well in the heart of town. Find it on Bear Street, a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. The studios, shops and cafes that line the street are quintessentially Banff and should be included on every stroll through town.

In summer 2020 this row of delights is undergoing construction and beautification (watch this space!), but the businesses below are open and as enticing as ever.

Mountain-Made Coffee 

Wrapping your hands around a velvety latte is a guaranteed way to slow down the pace and transition to mountain time. Pair your artisan coffee with a breakfast sandwich at Banff National Perk, freshly-baked focaccia of the day at Wild Flour Bakery or a signature slice of German strudel at JK Bakery

Boutique Fashions & Salon Happenings 

The shops and salons you’ll find along Bear Street are bursting with character. Shop for authentic activewear at Lole Banff or trendy accessories at House of Angelica. Don’t miss the cozy apparel on offer at Rocky Mountain Flannel Company, and the unexpected surprises you might find at The Last Temptation Vintage. If you’re looking for more than retail therapy, the talented stylists at B-Towne Salon or Botega Salon & Gallery will look after you well. 

Wellness & Wonder 

Get your mountain legs moving at Summit RX, then you’ll have a well-deserved opportunity to ground yourself with a visit to one of Banff’s expert massage therapists or estheticians. Check out Remedy, Body Concepts Esthetics & Massage or Cedar & Sage Co. for bodily benefits that are the perfect complement to fresh mountain air. 

Guides to Adventure 

You might not be ready to stray from Bear Street yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about what’s around the corner. Sign up for a locally-led walking tour with Banff Walk or go further afield with a bicycle rental from Banff Adventures, Banff Soul Ski & Bike or Snowtips Bactrax. And if you’re ready for next-level adventure, stop by CMH to learn more about their heli-skiing and heli-hiking trips. 

Eat on Bear Street 

Fuel up for exploration with a taste of Montreal at Banff Poutine, locally-famous pizza at the Bear Street Tavern or vegetarian cuisine at plant-based eatery Nourish Bistro. If you’re winding down your day, choose from two of Banff’s top restaurants for dinner: Saltlik or The Bison

Indoor Entertainment 

Visit Eureka Banff Escape Room Adventures for a mountain twist on escape room antics and learn something about the Canadian Rockies while you’re at it. Catch a film at the Lux Cinema for a trip down memory lane, where the plush red seats will take you back in time to the childhood magic of movie theatres. 

Alpine Artisans 

The art galleries of Bear Street are deeply rooted in mountain culture and worthy of their own tour. Start on the corner at Canada House Gallery, wind your way over to Willock & Sax Gallery and back across the street to Brandon T. Brown, and finish at Carter-Ryan Gallery

All the Essentials 

In case you haven’t found what you’re looking for yet, chances are you still won’t have to go beyond Bear Street. Stock up at Spiritleaf, Fire & Flower, Townhouse Groceteria or Townhouse Liquor. You’ll even find two staples of the Banff community here - the long-standing Gourlay’s Banff Pharmacy and the classic Standish Home Hardware.  

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