Accommodations and Food
On average, motel prices in Cranbrook are among the lowest in the province, making it a good spot to rest overnight. The flower-basket-adorned Heritage Estate Motel (362 Van Horne St., 250/426-3862 or 800/670-1001, $60 s, $75 d) is definitely the best value-for-money choice. The rooms are spacious, and each contains complimentary tea and coffee. I’m not the only one who regards this place as a bargain, so you’ll need to book ahead in summer.
Continuing north, in the heart of the commercial strip, Lazy Bear Lodge (621 Cranbrook St., 250/426-6086 or 888/808-6086, www.lazybear-lodge.ca, $70 s, $75–80 d) is an old roadside motel snazzed up with log trim, beds of bright flowers, and a colorful coat of paint. The rooms remain basic but each has a coffeemaker and wireless Internet, and some have a fridge and microwave. Out front is a small swimming pool for guest use.
One of the area’s most attractive campgrounds is in Jimsmith Lake Provincial Park (May–Sept., $15), four kilometers (2.5 miles) off the main highway at the southern outskirts of the city. Downtown, Mt. Baker RV Park (14th Ave. and 1st St. S, 250/489-0056, www.mountbakerrvpark.com, April–Oct., tents $21, hookups $25–) provides decent city camping.
A few commercial facilities surround the main entrance to Fort Steele, north of town. The largest is Fort Steele Resort and RV Park (250/489-4268, www.fortsteele.com, unserviced sites $25, hookups $32–39, log cabin with shared bathroom $79 s or d s or d), which offers a heated outdoor pool, showers, laundry, and a barbecue and cooking facility.
Cranbrook’s finest restaurant is Allegra (1225 Cranbrook St. N, 250/426-8812, Wed.–Sun. 5–9 p.m., $13.50–27), a friendly little place with casual yet classic European dishes, such as seafood fettuccini and red snapper poached in tomatoes and white wine.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition