360-degree views of snow-capped mountains, resident wildlife and a laid-back vibe—Jasper, Alberta, caters to more than just ski bunnies.
do: Lace up your hikers and head to Maligne Canyon for some one-on-one time with Mother Nature. This two-to-three-hour trek winds through and around towering trees, pristine rivers, foaming waterfalls, wooden bridges and moss-filled caverns. Stop along the way to scramble up a rock and listen to the songbirds. http://hikejasper.com
dine: Reserve early if you want to dine at Oka Sushi in the lower level of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. With only a dozen seats, this hidden gem offers a truly intimate experience and a chance to chat with kindred travellers over Japanese sake. Feast your eyes on sushi chef Tatsuhiko Okaki, who will masterly craft your meal and share cheeky stories in-between precision slices. Oka Sushi, 1 Old Lodge Rd., lower level, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, 780-852-1114, www.fairmont.com
stay: The Fairmont Jasper Park offers several lodging options, including a number of quaint cedar cabins hugging serene Lac Beauvert. Kick back on your private porch to enjoy a postcard-perfect view of the Rockies, complete with darling deer stopping by to snack on your front lawn. Submerge yourself in the main lodge’s steamy, heated, outdoor pool before cosying up, spirits in hand, by one of the towering stone fireplaces inside the hotel’s Emerald Lounge. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, 1 Old Lodge Rd., Jasper, 1-800-257-7544, www.fairmont.com
All that and we didn’t lift a ski pole. —Janis Galloway