Canadian Rockies (Part 3) – Banff, Revelstoke, and Kelowna

Posted on: July 23, 2014

DAY 4 – Banff Downtown and Revelstoke


This was the much less hectic day for us as we woke up a bit later and spent a day exploring other side of Banff. After we checked out from the hotel, we went to Banff Centre. My husband recommended it since he went there years ago. When we arrived there, it looked like a ghost town. It reminded me of a university campus with lots of big arts building. We decided to leave after only spending 10 minutes there hahaha… Maybe if there was an event, we would love to stay longer and explore more.

On the way back, we decided to stop at a viewing area. It overlooked The Fairmont Banff Spring hotel. It really looked like a castle in the middle of an enchanted forest! So pretty! We decided to went to Fairmont Banff to check out the hotel like we did in Lake Louise hehehe… Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel has a castle themed inside and outside. The exterior of the hotel is made of big brick like European castle. The lobby is decorated with shield and beautiful chandeliers! There is a display of knight armor as well as gothic wooden chair. I really love the atmosphere there!

22 Fairmont Banff

The Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel

Our next destination was Banff Indian Trading Post (it was recommended by the hotel clerk). I thought this is an Indian museum but it is actually a shop where you can buy crafts made by Indian people, such as moccasins, leather bags, hats from real fox and rabbit fur, etc. They have a display of a mermaid skeleton believed to live in Lake Minnewanka. I curiously asked the lady on the cashier if the mermaid is real and she said that nobody knows but she believed so. I guess it’s part of the mystery of Lake Minnewanka. There is also a display of fake trout fish that was claimed to be the biggest trout (38 lbs!) to be caught in Lake Minnewanka. After browsing for a while, my husband picked up a dream-catcher and I bought a real rabbit fur that reminded me of my last rabbit, Honey.

23 Indian trading post

Banff Indian Trading Post

Next to Banff Indian Trading Post, there is the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. We took a peak of the exhibit from the shop and it contains a lot of artifacts from First Nations People of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies, such as their traditional costume, hunting equipment, arts & crafts, etc. We didn’t go into the museum and browsed the shop a little bit. The most interesting part about this museum was the animal head hung on the wall around the museum shop. There are buffalo, bison, deer, and moose – all in various sizes.

24 Buffalo Museum

Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum

Now, it’s time to continue our trip back home. As me and my hubby are not a big fan of long drive, we decided to spend a night at Kelowna. We drove from Banff to Kelowna via Trans-Canada Highway and highway 97A. About halfway driving, we stopped at Revelstoke to have a lunch. This little quaint town was pretty quiet. Originally, we were going to have sushi at Kawakubo since it has a good rating from Trip Advisor but unfortunately, it was closed. We walked a bit and finally decided to dine at Hong Kong restaurant since we were starving. The food was okay, not an authentic Chinese food but good enough to fill our stomach.

25 Revelstoke

Revelstoke downtown

We drove about 3 more hours and finally arrived at Kelowna at around 5 pm. We immediately checked in to Days Inn Kelowna. The room was decent for the price and we got a free breakfast the next day! The better thing compared to Banff’s hotel was the AC in the room! Hallelujahhh…. We went to Bluetail Sushi Bistro across the street for a light dinner and quickly sank into bed afterward hahaha…


DAY 5- Kelowna


Vacation made me lost count of the date and day. I set my weekday alarm for morning call but I forgot that the following day was Saturday! No wonder that we woke up pretty late the next day hahah… Luckily, we didn’t have to rush since we were planning to explore Kelowna a bit. It is my 3rd time visiting Kelowna. The first one was in 2009 with my family and my second one was in 2011 with my co-worker to attend company’s function. I must say, Kelowna has developed a lot in 5 years! There are lots of tall apartment building around and the downtown is now a vibrant area with lots of shops, cafe, and restaurants. The marina on Okanagan Lake got a serious upgrade with beautiful wooden docks and seating area. I was very impressed! For every visit to Kelowna, taking a picture in front of Spirit of Sail and Ogopogo statue near Kerry Park is a must. Ogopogo is a legendary monster and believed to live in Okanagan Lake – it’s similar to Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. Under a scorching hot day, we had a fried chicken poutine at Sliderz Community House and after that, we had 2 scoops of delicious ice cream at Moo-Lix Ice Cream Shop next door.

26 Kelowna Marina

Kelowna and the beautiful marina on Okanagan Lake

As we drove to Calona Vineyard to spend my gift card from work, we passed Okanagan Military Museum. We stopped to take a peak. This little museum is located at a small corner of an ice rink. When we were there, there was a hockey game and we could hear the goal siren. The museum admission is by donation and there was a nice veteran lady who patiently helped us wearing the war props for pictures. The small museum tells the story of Canadian involvement during World War I, World War II, Korean War, and other wars. If you have spare time, it is a good museum to visit.

27 Kelowna Military Museum

Okanagan Military Museum

Our next destination was Mission Hill Winery. We visited this winery back in 2009 and it was a memorable moment for me and my hubby. The winery is as stunning as in 2009 but there were more tourists to explore around nowadays. The outdoor amphitheatre is now used as concert space as I saw a sold-out poster of Tonny Bennet and Gypsy King for summer 2014. The little shop was packed with tourists inside and we just browsed through the wine – me and my hubby are not a big wine drinker. After taking picture, we continued our trip home to Vancouver. Ah… it marked the end of my nice holiday 🙂

28 Mission Hill Winery

Mission Hill Winery


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