Three cool things to do in Tofino, Niagara and central Alberta

Tofino’s 1909 Kitchen serves up freshly caught seafood every day. Credit: Tofino Marina + Resort

Lisa MonfortonFeast in Tofino with
Canada’s newest Top Chef

If you happen to be heading to Tofino soon, be sure to eat at 1909 Kitchen, one of two restaurants at the Tofino Marina + Resort. You’ll be spoiled with the sublime flavours from the Tofino-meets-the-world palate and skills of Chef Paul Moran – who won the Top Chef Canada competition in May.

Way to go, chef!

Chef Paul Moran
Chef Paul Moran puts the finishing touches on a dish. He recently one the Top Chef Canada competition. Credit: Tofino Marina + Resort

Tofino Marina and Resort has a couple of offers for guests. If you book before June 30, you can save 10 per cent in high season at the resort, smack in the middle of town and situated on the beautiful waterfront. It’s the perfect basecamp for checking out the shops on main street as well as booking a variety of west coast activities, like whale-watching, crabbing, kayaking, hot springs, hiking and fishing. You can bring back your catch to the chefs at TMR who are happy to prepare and cook it for you in 1909 Kitchen, which is named in honour of the village’s first post office.

There’s a contest on Instagram – @tofinomarina – where you could win a two-night, all-inclusive package, including a six-course West Coast meal prepared by Moran, and a choose-your-own adventure. The contest runs until June 3.

When we visited 1909 recently, we were wowed with the Local Catch pizza as a starter – a delicious alder-wood fired pizza topped with fresh succulent shrimp, bacon sausage and fresh mozzarella, made in the 1,000-degree F oven. We went on to sample more local seafood, including the black cod and fresh platter of crab, mussels, oysters and clams. It’s seafood heaven.

 

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, about an hour from Calgary, is introducing new activities this summer including learn to powwow dance experiences and virtual reality. Credit: Travel Alberta

Blackfoot Crossing reinvents itself
with hands-on cultural experiences

Alberta’s Indigenous culture stretches back thousands of years to the time of nomadic tribes on the prairies following the massive buffalo herds and living their day-to-day lives off the land. Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, which opened in 2007 brings to life inside and outside the sacred traditions and culture of the Blackfoot and their ally nations in the massive complex.

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
You can camp in the tipi village overnight and hear stories from Indigenous elders. Credit Travel Alberta

This summer, the park is reinventing itself with a few new offerings. New general manager, Stephen Yellow Old Woman, has big plans. Rising out of the rolling prairies as far as the eye can see, the architecturally striking exhibit building is on traditional Blackfoot land along the Bow River about an hour southeast of Calgary.

Yellow Old Woman says beginning in July visitors can take part in a number of new offerings. Among them:

  • Experience Days, with visitors getting a chance to take part in a powwow and trying on the regalia
  • Virtual reality experience inside the museum, where guests can feel like they are taking part in a buffalo hunt, seeing life in a tipi village, or examining artifacts like a buffalo skull
  • Sampling Indigenous cuisine made in the boiling pit. Yellow Old Women likens this to a Blackfoot microwave, used to cook meat and vegetables long before pots and pans came along
  • Spruced up walking trails (after suffering some damage in the 2013 flood). The new trails provide more detail on the history of the Blackfoot people
  • A chance to sleep in a tipi with a stove and a choice of a cot, buffalo robes or foam mattress and hear stories from elders.

Blackfoot Crossing is also working with England’s Exeter Museum which has some of Chief Crowfoot’s regalia, including a buckskin shirt and leggings. The items were given to delegates after the signing of Treaty 7 with Chief Crowfoot in 1877.

Learn more about what’s happening at BCHP this summer.

Two Sisters Vineyards
Spend the night in a luxury camping dome right in the middle of a vineyard to celebrate all things rosé at the Two Sisters Vineyards on June 8. Credit: Two Sisters Vineyards.

Revel in rosé for 24 hours,
glamping in a vineyard

Rosé wine is having more than just a moment; it’s got serious staying power. In fact, since 2014, it’s had its very own day.

This year, International Rosé Day is June 8. To raise a glass to the day, booking.com has partnered with Tourism Niagara offering a listing that includes an ultra-luxury sleepover for two in a glamping dome, along with a vineyard tour and tasting, dining and a concert at Two Sisters Vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., June 8.

If you are the first to snag the booking at 9 a.m. on June 3, you’ll be revelling in rosé for 24 hours for just $8 (that is not a typo). This is an exclusive one-night only booking and won’t be available otherwise. Here’s what’s included in the package:

  • Travel costs from any major airport in Canada plus transportation to the vineyard
  • A one-night stay for two in a luxury glamping dome at Two Sisters Vineyards, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
  • Exclusive wine tour and tasting
  • A vineyard picnic, equipped with a basket of charcuterie snacks and wine
  • A rosé cocktail creation class with a sommelier, plus a guided tour of the rosé making process
  • A private three-course dinner experience, courtesy of Two Sisters Vineyards’ Kitchen 76
  • An intimate concert under the stars from Niagara’s Sandy Vine And The Midnights
  • Private breakfast served within the vineyard.

Here are the details.

Two Sisters Vineyard
The elegant Two Sisters Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Two Sisters Vineyards.

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tofino, central alberta, niagara

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