Somewhat an anomaly, British Columbia’s Revelstoke is a top ski destinations with the highest number of mechanized ski operations in one area on the planet. With an average snowfall of 40 to 60 feet per year and easy access to backcountry skiing and snowboarding, it’s a wildly popular spot for snow enthusiasts. Yet on the other hand, it’s a small logging town that’s managed to remain fairly free of commercialization, thanks to its location between the Columbia River and Mt Revelstoke National Park, which has made over-development difficult. Despite being a small town, Revelstoke has plenty going for it beyond the mountains. In fact, there are hotels, restaurants, award-winning brewmasters and more worth exploring.
As Revelstoke latest hotel, the Explorers Society offers a boutique experience with their nine-room, newly converted historic building from 1911. Using all of the buildings assets—like its original boiler as the centerpiece for the speakeasy in the basement—the Explorers Society seamlessly blends old with new. Other unique features include the reuse of the largest tin ceiling in British Columbia and gorgeous exposed brick and beams in the cozy guest rooms. Besides their on-site restaurant, the Quartermaster, the hotel also brings in bagels from the La Baguette which are certainly worth trying. Our favorite spot is next to the open-fire in the roof lounge, which boasts stunning views, plenty of books to flip through and a hot tub—all of which create a classic ski lodge vibe.
Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club
Just a short drive across the river from downtown Revelstoke is the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club. The oldest ski club in British Columbia (dating back to 1891), this charming club features 26km of groomed trail—with five of that open for dogs too. With rental equipment available, the club is open seven days a week, from dusk to 9:30PM for illuminated night skiing and also offers ski touring. We suggest grabbing a lunch at Mountain Meals (they also offer lots of to-go meals) and heading out for a cross-country ski with your pooch.
Made with all local ingredients, Monashee Spirits is one of the few certified organic distilleries in Canada—using natural spring water and sustainable processes. Constantly experimenting with new flavor spirits that tie in with the community, there are some adventurous ones to try—from their garlic vodka for the Revelstoke Garlic Festival or their Bear Aware brandy that uses local fruits from the trees that attract bears in town. (Removing the fruit help the bears stay away.) Monashee Spirits also offers classic year-round products, like the Vulcan Fire, Big Mountain Creamer (made with locally roasted coffee) and most recently, their Ethos Gin (which smells like Revelstoke, made with wildflowers, ponderosa pine and huck berries). All grains used are from less than 100 miles away, and the spent mash is given to local farms for feed and heat-exchanged composting. Open for tastings Thursdays through Sundays, Monashee Spirits offers a laid-back but still lively way to relax and warm up.
Peak Axe Throwing
Dustin Roskam, founder of Peak Axe Throwing, wanted to offer an authentic Revelstoke experience and decided to open an axe-throwing venue. With a lounge, two axe-throwing cages—with benches made from local cedar and spruce trees—the clubhouse also has an axe-throwing league for locals. Each session begins with an introduction regarding safety and techniques, and there are coaches on hand to offer tips and tricks if you have any questions.
Mt Begbie Brewing
Nuclear physicist Bart Larson first started making beer in his dorm room; quickly learning he had a knack for it, he founded Mt Begbie Brewery with his wife Tracey Larson once finishing school. Although the Larsons use plenty of science to create their award-winning brews, it’s believed that the hard water of the area certainly helps to make the beers extra tasty. Voted Canada’s best craft brewery in 2017, Mt Begbie is known for their lagers, but all their brews are worth tasting—especially their Kölsch that won in the World Beer Awards last year. With a tasting space and store, the brewery offers the perfect opportunity to try before you buy.
The Regent Hotel is a Revelstoke institution and is also home to Canadian Mountain Holidays, Revelstoke’s heli-ski operation. The Regent is the oldest family-run business in the town (and one of the oldest hotels in all of Canada) while having all the modern amenities visitors desire. Home to the classic 112 Restaurant and Lounge, with its exposed brick and timber. Perhaps best of all, the Regent is pet-friendly.
Hero and ski club images by Kate Erwin, all others courtesy of respective venues