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Cranbrook Travel Guide, British Columbia

Cranbrook first began as a rail division point and has become the largest city in the south east of British Columbia with a population of about 18,500 people.

Its strategic position on Highways 3, 93 and 95 helped it develop as it had easy connection to all the major markets in the area: the Pacific Rim market, Alberta market and US market to the south. The city’s economy is based mainly on agriculture and logging being a centre of natural supply as well as natural gas, hydro and fully serviced industrial land supply. But the diversity of the city’s economy does not stop here there is also forestry, mining, manufacturing and transportation with Canadian Pacific Railway being its mainstay. All these have made many businesses flourish here.

Last but not least tourism is part of the city’s life and being well developed it has attracted many visitors to the area making them say it was worth coming and seeing heritage brick storefronts, a pleasant downtown area, the broad, tree-lined streets, heritage buildings, museums and much more.

One of the most pleasant ways to discover the city is by walking on its streets and getting a real feel of the place. The beautiful buildings make you stop and marvel, especially the impressive 1909 turreted Imperial Bank building at Baker and Eighth streets. If you happen to get some unpleasant weather the city jumps at you and offers plenty of indoor activities. You can choose between watching a movie at one of the five-plex movie theatre, watch a play at one of the two live performance theatres; games, aquatic activities and other performances are held at Replex arena; playing bowling or some games at a casino can be the cherry on the cake.

It is still true though that the city is mostly renowned for its outdoor activities the town itself having few tourist sights. The outdoors instead offer endless opportunities for golfing, skiing, boating, hiking, hunting and fishing mainly due to the city being central to a number of historic and recreational areas. There is the Canadian Rockies, the broad forested valley and the U.S. Glacier National Park. They make a beautiful setting for a city whose citizens are used to a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

In this lovely natural setting some of Canada's finest ski resorts came alive. During the winter season lots of skiers come to ski at Kimberley, Banff, Panorama, Snow Valley and Lake Louise and which is only a short way from the city. I have mentioned Fernie Alpine Resort last as it is worth giving more information on, being the most popular one. You may not have heard about it because of low publicity. Publicity is made mainly by word of mouth and once you have came here you will surely boast about it to the others as snowboarding and skiing is excellent with 97 trails in five alpine bowls, a vertical drop of 843m, a handle tow with the capacity to handle 12,300 skiers per hour and average snowfall of about 9m. It is a year round resort featuring a great number of lodging and restaurants in summer the tracks turn into hiking, mountain biking or horse riding trails.

Fishing in one of the eighteen rivers in the area is also a favourite among those who fancy fly-fishing. You can enjoy this sport even if you are not an experienced fisherman as you can get instruction on sight. To find out about all the options you have head to the visitor centre which is west of Cranbrook on the shores of Elizabeth Lake, a true touristy spot perfect for bird watching.

You will be pleased to visit a city with both indoor and outdoor attractions, the Fort Steele Heritage Town nearby, a beautiful natural setting, and four seasons resort destinations.

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