“Everyone comes back to Golden”… is something you may hear and possibly even dismiss at first – but given the chance, you will more than likely begin to understand why this phrase is commonly uttered in reference to this small yet memorable highway town in the Kootenays.
Surrounded by three different mountain ranges (Canadian Rockies, Selkirk, and Purcell) and located at the point where the Columbia River and Kicking Horse River Meet, Golden is ripe with adventure for the outdoor enthusiast and nature lovers. Hiking, biking, fishing, white-water rafting, paragliding, and even sky-diving are a few of the more common activities in Golden. And because Golden sits in the very heart of six National Parks (Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Revelstoke, and Yoho) – there’s no shortage of fresh air and awe-inspiring landscapes to explore.
Golden also has an interesting history, intertwined with Swiss culture. Aware of the opportunities that lay within the surrounding challenging mountain peaks, the Canadian Pacific Railway solicited a team of Swiss mountain guides and their families to help launch Golden’s mountain tourism industry in the late 1800s. Many descendants of the original Swiss guides still live in the area and their cultural influence can still be felt to this day.
With mountains, valleys, rivers, wildlife, culture, and excitement all at your fingertips, the Prestige Inn Golden is an ideal haven, parked in the centre of it all! To help get you started with planning before you come to visit, here are a few of our favorite things to do while in Golden, BC.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Known for unparalleled skiing, heli-skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in the winter, and exceptional hiking, biking, river-rafting, and mountain climbing in the warmer months, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a mecca for anyone interested in mild to extreme outdoor fun.
Take an epic gondola ride up the mountain, and stop in to visit Boo the Grizzly Bear, who was rescued as a cub and now lives in a 3-acre enclosure. While at the summit, be sure to take in the 360-degree views at Canada’s highest eatery, the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. You’ll have no problem finding an adventure on Kicking Horse Mountain, regardless of age or skill level.
Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre
Idolized, yet misunderstood, wolves have been a part of human history and mythology for centuries. Here’s your chance to photograph and walk with wolves in their natural habitat! You’ll have the opportunity to be introduced to the resident wolfpack and see these majestic creatures up close. This is a truly fascinating opportunity to learn from an expert about what makes wolves a valuable addition to a healthy environment.
Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge
While in downtown Golden, head over to 8th Ave. North and check out Canada’s longest freestanding timber frame bridge, crossing the Kicking Horse River. Built in 2001, the bridge was funded, designed and constructed by local volunteers, using local Douglas Fir timber.
A local favourite, this microbrewery produces several unique Belgian-inspired and West Coast-influenced beers to please any palette. Located in the rejuvenated north side of downtown, Whitetooth Brewing features flights, growlers, snacks, and a large patio perfect for sipping on those warm afternoons or after a day of adventure. Our favourite is the Speed Metal Stout!
Known for their gourmet coffee and freshly baked goods, Bluebird Café is the ideal place to grab some delicious, expertly prepared food on the way to or from your day of playing outside. Ready-made meals or bagged lunches offer convenience when on-the-go. Daily freshly-baked muffins and desserts will have your mouth watering, and the gourmet coffee is amazing – give the Matcha Maple Latte a try! Oh, and you’ll receive 10% off any food and beverage purchases if you’re a Prestige Rewards Member (It’s free, so if you’re not already a member, sign up here to get even more great discounts and collect points for free nights at Prestige locations across BC!).
For dinner, we recommend The Island Restaurant. It really is on an island in the heart of downtown Golden! A short distance from the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, the restaurant is in a rustic, eclectic bi-level log-cabin, perched on an island within the river. Featuring pizzas, pasta, steak, burgers, and incredible water views!
Whether you’re a hard-core outdoor enthusiast or someone who simply appreciates the raw, majestic beauty of the outdoors, Golden is sure to impress with activity, nature, culinary delights, and culture. Afterward, we think you’ll find a new appreciation for the phrase “Everyone comes back to Golden.”