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Shopping in Alberta's Rocky Mountains

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Alberta's Rockies, Alberta.
Whether visitors are exploring the Alberta Rockies wilderness or looking to get away for a little lavish rest and relaxation, they will find a plethora of stores in village centres that offer everything from food and toiletries to sporting goods and clothing to luxury fashions and household items. While visiting any Rocky Mountain town, it would be nearly inconceivable to not find a souvenir or gift shop sporting the area's name or an image of local wildlife. Despite the abundance and uniformity of these souvenir-filled shops, many carry one-of-a-kind keepsakes and exquisite local and First Nations art.

BANFF & LAKE LOUISE

Both locals and visitors will find all the basic necessities when shopping in Banff, although, shopping in Banff is not about the basics or necessities. It is the town's many luxury and specialized retailers such as the Spirit of Christmas that make shopping in this town truly exceptional. What better reminder of a shopping trip to Banff than a special piece of memorabilia discovered in one of the numerous gift shops. The town's plentiful souvenir shops offer everything from postcards with images of the area's natural beauty to t-shirts and hats displaying the town's logo to original works created by First Nations artists and artisans.

Surrounded by endless sporting and outdoor opportunities, there is a definite niche for sporting goods stores in Banff. Visitors will have no trouble locating shops that offer everything from high-tech outerwear to the latest sporting equipment, including several specialized ski and snowboard shops like Rude Boys and Rude Girls.


Whether searching for that stylish new snowboarding outfit or formal attire fit for a grand event, visitors will discover a number of fine men's, women's and children's clothiers, including brand-name stores like the Helly Hansen Store and specialized stores such as Snowflake, which sells leather and furs. Shoppers can also find exclusive fashion accessories such as handbags, shoes and jewellery at Louis Vuitton Banff. And what visit to the area would be complete without stopping at one of the tantalizing candy shops such as the Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut? Most of Banff's stores and a few shopping malls can be found downtown along or near Banff Avenue. There are also a number of posh, luxury retailers based in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Just 60 km (37 mi) west of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) is the community of Lake Louise. The majority of shopping in this community can be found in two locations—at the Samson Mall and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The Samson Mall is an open-air-style shopping centre, which includes a bank, post office, car rental and several eateries as well as sports, gift, camera, clothing, art, grocery and liquor stores. Offering a variety of local and general outdoor guides and maps as well as bestsellers, CDs and posters, Woodruff and Blum Booksellers is an example of the quality shopping available at the mall. Upscale shops such as Stones Jewellery, as well as clothing and sporting goods stores, await at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

NORTHERN ROCKIES

While sightseeing in and around the town of Jasper, tourists will find a number of excellent opportunities to do some shopping. One such stop is the Jasper Marketplace, located on Patricia Street and Hazel Avenue. This shopping centre has various stores as well as a bakery, coffee shop and postal outlet. Visitors can also wander along Connaught Drive for a diverse retail selection, from ski and snowboard stores to gift and book shops to clothing boutiques. The unique Tea Leaf Boutique on Connaught Drive offers over 50 loose leaf teas and original clothing and accessories. Shoppers will also find a number of trendy stores located in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

On the way to Jasper along the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) from Edmonton, travellers will pass through the town of Hinton. Just 15 minutes from the Jasper National Park gates, Hinton is an excellent place to shop for essentials before heading into the park. For a one-stop shopping experience, visitors can stop at the Parks West Mall located just off the highway on Carmichael Lane. This shopping mall has several popular chain stores, including a grocery store, dollar store, department store, music store, electronics store, sporting goods store and clothing store. Tourists will also find hardware, children's wear and gift stores located in town, including the Tickle Trunk, which offers handmade crafts and memorabilia.

CANMORE & KANANASKIS COUNTRY

This quiet, little town offers an eclectic mix of stores and shops, mostly located along Main Street and its side streets. Shoppers will find an assortment of businesses dedicated to decorating the home, including kitchen, furniture and antique stores as well as a number of art galleries. Whether living in the area or just visiting, the town's unique clothing, accessory and footwear stores will have consumers looking their best for all occasions. Glacier's Edge, one of the town's trendy children's wear stores, is well known for having an excellent selection of funky, quality kids' clothes and shoes. Canmore will not disappoint travellers as it offers a number of gift and keepsake, candy, book and sports stores. With several food stores in town, Canmore is also an excellent place to buy supplies before heading deeper into the mountains. While in the area, visitors can also stop in Kananaskis Village. This remote, peaceful little village offers a sports, ski and snowboard, gift and food store.

WATERTON

Set in the pristine Waterton Lakes National Park, the town of Waterton is an excellent place to gather provisions such as food before heading out on an adventure. Visitors to the region will be delighted to find plenty of exceptional treasures while perusing local gift and souvenir stores. Shoppers will find a variety of stores in Waterton's shopping centre, Tamarack Village Square, including Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters, which offers outerwear, footwear and hiking gear as well as services such as currency exchange, shuttle services and guides.

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