Can you believe it’s August already? I used to think August was the cruellest month of the year. (Here’s why.) In an attempt to be more glass half full, I now view this month as an opportunity to hurry up and do all the summer things I fantasized about. With the August long weekend looming, here are some suggestions close to Calgary. Don’t wanna read? Catch me on Calgary’s Global Morning News at 7:45 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug 2) for a recap.
Forget camping, think B&B
You don’t need me to tell you most campgrounds are already jam packed. But here’s a little tip: Alberta Parks has a 72-hour cancellation policy. Now is the time to snag last minute availability. There are actually quite a few spots available north and east of Edmonton, if you don’t mind the trek.
Or forget camping all together and bed down at a B&B. Windflower in Turner Valley had availability when I called a few days ago. Lakeshore, on Lake Newell just outside of Brooks also had room and they offer spa services.
Hit up ski resorts near Calgary August long weekend
Ski resorts in summer are untapped gems. Panorama Resort in the Kootenay Rockies region of B.C. has loads of amenities and activities. Think diverse options from jewelry making to mountain top yoga classes. Of course there’s plenty of on-mountain hiking and biking, plus slope-side hot tubs and pools. Just off mountain there’s golf, ATV tours, paddle boarding, kayaking and the hot springs!
Your transportation costs are but a tank of gas, and I found rooms at Pine Inn starting at $144/night. Get a two bedroom condo in the lower village from $412/night. These are long weekend rates. Expect them to be lower mid-week.
Indie music fest in Oregon
Pickaothon is the Pacific Northwest’s premier independent music festival, and takes place over the August long weekend. It’s located at Pendarvis Farms, about a thirty minute drive from Portland. Air Canada flies direct from Calgary to Portland, but you could also drive it.
What’s particularly rad about this festival is that your tickets include a camping spot. Bringing your brood? There’s a family camping zone and a whole activity schedule for kids who aren’t into live music. What I love is the full on food and beverage offerings for those who don’t want to bring their own. And we all know how awesome Portland’s food trucks and Oregon’s craft breweries and wineries are, don’t we? Besides music, they have all these stations for massage, acupuncture and yoga. Apparently Pickathon is considered the pioneer in sustainability at a festival, so you’re apt to feel virtuous just for attending.
Use search engines to find out where to go
When you’re in a time crunch or have a designated budget, you’ll want to take advantage of all the tech tools at your disposal. I did a quick search on KAYAK for flight and hotel combos from Calgary. Three Las Vegas properties came up sub $700. That’s for three nights accommodation, plus your return flights. Then I tried their Explore tool. You simply enter your budget and travel dates, then KAYAK shoots you back options of everywhere you can go for that price. Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver, Regina and Saskatoon seemed like the most affordable options for city breaks from Calgary over the August long weekend.
In Calgary August long weekend
Can’t get away? Every time I go to Avec Bistro I pretend I’m in France. It’s easy enough to do in this bijoux space. They’re celebrating their fifth anniversary this month, and dinner guests can get things off to a smashing start with a $5 glass of bubbly. For mains, I recommend the spinach and ricotta agnolotti (such tender pillows!) or the duck confit with a glass of Tannant. Bon appétit, mes amies.
Do you have plans for the August long weekend?