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

Published Date
Jul 27, 2021|
Shopping, Food & Drink, Wellness, Culture & Art
People walk on the new Bear Street in Banff with Cascade Mountain in the background.

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.

This row of delights is a pedestrian-first space with lots of options for outdoor seating, picture ops, shopping or grabbing a bite.

Blue chairs around a gas firepit on the new Bear Street in Banff, Alberta.Blue chairs around a gas firepit on the new Bear Street in Banff, Alberta.Blue chairs around a gas firepit on the new Bear Street in Banff, Alberta.

Mountain-Made Coffee & Tea

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, or freshly-baked focaccia of the day at Wild Flour Bakery.

Looking for a different sort of pick-me-up? Head into Bear Street's historic log cabin and indulge in locally-made and inspired teas from Jolene's Tea House.

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 surprises you might find at The Last Temptation Vintage. You can even surprise your sweetheart with flowers from Forget-Me-Not-Flowers or Banff Mountaintop Flowers.

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 Banff Wellness Practice, Body Concepts Esthetics & Massage or Cedar & Sage Co. for bodily benefits that are the perfect complement to the fresh mountain air.

Cedar & Sage, Bear Street, BanffCedar & Sage, Bear Street, BanffCedar & Sage, Bear Street, Banff

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 e-bike tour with White Mountain Adventures or go further afield with a bicycle rental from Banff Adventures, Bear Street Outfitters, 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. You could belt out your favourite songs at sushi and karaoke at Hello Sunshine.

Or, spend your afternoon relaxing on a patio at Magpie & Stump, or Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant. If you’re winding down your day, choose from a number of Banff’s favourite dinner spots: handmade Italian at Lupo, or the inspired flavours of 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 Paper Den and right beside it 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 Townhouse Groceteria, or Townhouse Liquor. You’ll find two staples of the Banff community here - the long-standing Gourlay’s Banff Pharmacy and the classic Standish Home Hardware.

Still haven't gotten your fill of beautiful Bear Street? Brewster's Mountain Lodge is located in the heart of downtown with easy access to all of the exciting offerings along Bear Street. This is the perfect accommodation choice if you're searching for something cozy and convenient.

Shops on the newly renovated Bear Street in Banff, Alberta, Canada.Shops on the newly renovated Bear Street in Banff, Alberta, Canada.Shops on the newly renovated Bear Street in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Real Banff is an inside look at the events and activities around the park, brought to you by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism. Our mission is to have a post on pretty much everything that is available for you to do in Banff, Lake Louise and beyond.