Invermere is a popular destination near the Purcell Mountain Range and Kootenays. There are plenty of things to do in Invermere in both the summer and winter for visitors of all ages. Whether it’s snowboarding at Panorama Mountain Resort or tubing on Lake Windermere it will be hard to get bored here!
Where is Invermere?
Invermere is most well known for being a base to explore Windermere Lake. It’s a popular summer destination to go boating on and also a popular ice skating spot in the winter.
Best Things to do in Invermere
1. Ice Skate Along Lake Windermere Whiteway
One of the absolute best things to do in Invermere is enjoy Lake Windermere. The 21-mile-long Lake Windermere Whiteway is the world’s longest naturally frozen skating trail. In the cold winter months, the water freezes solid, providing terrific skating opportunities.
Sitting in the shadow of the Purcell Mountains, the trail runs all around the lake and links Invermere and Windermere. There’s one large loop, as well as several shorter loops if you don’t want to spend so long skating. There are also areas for cross-country skiing, Nordic walking/snowshoeing, and playing ice hockey.
2. Unwind in Fairmont Hot Springs
Soothe your senses and warm up on cold days with a relaxing soak in the delightful Fairmont Hot Springs. Hop into the deep tub and admire the glorious views as you feel any stresses and strains simply melting away. There’s also a large heated pool next to the springs if you want to be a bit more active.
3. Sample Flavored Vodka at Taynton Bay Spirits
Taynton Bay Spirits is the only distillery in Invermere. While you can find their products on sale all around Canada, why not see where they are actually made and taste the delicious drinks at their place of origin?
The wheat used to produce the liquor is grown within miles of the distillery. Lots of care goes into producing incredibly drinkable spirits—you’re sure to be thirsty for more! See what goes into creating tasty drinks and learn more about distilling processes. Before sampling locally made drinks.
The distillery is especially known for its wide variety of flavored vodkas, with cool flavors like raspberry, orange turmeric, and ginger matcha tea. The pickled vodka is perhaps one of the more unique drinks created here.
4. Time Travel at Windermere Valley Museum and Archives
A fabulous place to discover what Invermere and surrounding areas were like in the past, Windermere Valley Museum and Archives is home to a number of interesting historic buildings. You’re sure to feel like you’ve been transported back in time as you stroll around the site.
The main building is an old railway station that was damaged in the past by a runaway train. Other interesting buildings include the original Brisco schoolhouse, a 1942 pioneer cabin from the Crook homestead, the Miner Cabin, the Notary Building, and the Ice House. The Legion Building, now owned by the museum, was originally constructed as a WW1 veterans’ memorial.
Each building contains a variety of fascinating exhibits and artifacts, with collections relating to mining, farming, transportation, daily life, construction, trade, and various crafts. The museum also has many documents, maps, and photos, and you can make an appointment if you wish to peruse the archives.
5. Ski/Snowboard at Panorama
Towering as high as 4,000 feet, Panorama Mountain Resort has one of the biggest verticals in all of North America. There are runs suitable for all levels of skier/snowboarder, from beginner up to expert. Instruction is available, while advanced skiers can enjoy the soft powders that were once only accessible to heli-skiers. The resort has four chairlifts and it’s one of the most beautiful skiing areas around.
Fans of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing won’t be disappointed either. There are many tracks in the locale, including The Panorama Nordic Trail and Lake Lillian. There are lots of other winter sports available in the valley too, including fat biking, snowmobiling, and dog sledding.
6. Glide through the Skies at Invermere Soaring Centre
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the majestic landscapes with a glider experience at Invermere Soaring Centre. Summer is the best time for long flights and sublime views over The Rockies. The area boasts a terrific combination of thermal currents, waves, and soaring conditions.
7. Relax at James Chabot Provincial Park
An ideal destination on a warm summer’s day, James Chabot Provincial Park sits right on the edge of Lake Windermere. There’s a pleasant sandy beach where you can soak up some rays, play, and paddle in the water, as well as a grassy area where you can sit in the shade.
Take to the water for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and windsurfing, or just cool down with a swim. Kids can cut loose at the play area and people of all ages can burn off excess energy with a game of volleyball.
8. Uncover Local Culture at Pynelogs Cultural Centre and Art Gallery
The main cultural center in the Lake Windermere area, Pynelogs Cultural Centre and Art Gallery is housed in a charming historic log building. Constructed in 1914 by a Scottish developer, the log home was built as a gift for his wife. Sadly, the wife died shortly after arriving at the property, and a monument marks her burial site within the grounds.
The beautiful grounds also feature a heritage garden with flowers and vegetables that were common in the past, along with native plants in lovely landscape areas and a high-shooting fountain in the picturesque Dorothy Lake.
Inside the center you’ll find a great selection of art depicting various subjects and themes. From painting and prints to sculptures and ceramics, the art here is very diverse. Various events are hosted here too, including comedy shows, music concerts, plays, and dramas.
9. Play a Game of Golf
Invermere is home to a number of top-class golf courses, each beckoning to enthusiasts who want to spend days outdoors working on their swing. Golfing is certainly a popular summertime activity in Invermere.
The 18-hole course at Eagle Ranch Resort is a winner when it comes to spectacular views. Combining sweeping fairways with small canyons, right in the sunbelt of The Rockies, the par-72 course offers a great game.
The family-owned nine-hole Setetkwa Golf Course also has an RV park, and The Ridge at Copper Point is an 18-hole course with par 62, making it a great option for a quick round if time is short. Greywolf Golf Course has been voted one of the top five courses in Canada. Surrounded by soaring mountains, each of its 18 holes are picturesque and challenging.
Other exciting options include Creekside, Edgewater Hill, Mountainside, and The Spring Course. Howling Wolf Mini Golf at Panorama Resort is perfect for families.
10. Walk around Downtown Invermere
Downtown Invermere is well worth a couple of hours of exploration. There are many shops and art galleries to beckon you, and you’ll find a good selection of artisan shops along 7th Avenue in particular.
There’s no shortage of eateries, with an array of typical North American cuisine and a selection of global favorites like Indian and Italian. You’ll also find a decent selection of bars for when evening falls.
11. Visit the Charming Pothole Park
Pothole Park takes its name from the fact it is sunken into the ground below street level. Previously an overgrown patch of trees, it became a community park in 2005. A path leads around the park’s edges and you can cross the cute bridge. Not only a good place to relax, read, and for kids to run and play, the park also hosts numerous events throughout the year.
12. Go Boating on Lake Windermere
Popular in the summer months, Lake Windermere is an excellent place for exploring by boat. You’ll find a number of ramps and boat launches throughout the area if you have your own. Many visitors, however, opt to rent a boat from Pete’s Marina for a fun time on the water.
Pack a picnic to really make the most of your time, and set off for your own private lake cruise. Pause to plunge into the blue waters before continuing on your adventure. It’s definitely a great way to appreciate the views from a different perspective.
13. Sip Craft Beers at Arrowhead Brewing Company
Open since 2012, Arrowhead Brewing Company is a great place for beer aficionados. Creating quality craft beers that range from traditional to experimental, the brewery always has six permanent brews alongside several seasonal types.
Take a seat in the welcoming tap room or unwind on the large patio for a glass of your favorite beer. Or, why stop at one? Order a tasting flight to really appreciate the different delicious beers made on-site. Local beers include Blonde Bombshell—a German-like pale ale—a dry Irish stout called Black Jack, and the crisp Likeabull Lager.
14. Support the Local Hockey Team
Invermere’s ice hockey team is the Columbia Valley Rockies. Join the locals in supporting the team when they play; home games are played at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.
15. Soak Up Some Sun at Kinsmen Park
Popular with locals and visitors alike, Kinsmen Park is a lakeside beach and park close to downtown. The park is home to an old CPR Lodge, which once housed workers but has now been restored and relocated. You can also wander through the attractive Columbia Valley Botanical Gardens (AKA the Community Garden) within the park.
The park affords splendid views of The Rockies and the Purcell Mountains, and there are plenty of towering trees for shade. Concession stands sell drinks and snacks in the summer months and there’s a children’s play area, picnic tables, washrooms, and beach volleyball courts.
16. Warm Up with a Hot Cup of Coffee
There are several cafes and coffee shops around Invermere, but Stolen Church Coffee is a top choice for a great cup of coffee. The family-run micro roastery prides itself on quality and freshness for the perfect sip every time. Roasts include Peruvian, Columbian, Costa Rican, and Sumatran, as well as tasty blends. They also serve tasty gelatos.
Kicking Horse Coffee is another great option and one of the best coffee shops in the area. The famous chain has been roasting coffee for some 25 years, and their flagship store is in Invermere. You can almost taste the magic of The Rockies in the organic, Fairtrade Arabica beans.
17. Admire the Pieces in Artym Gallery
The award-winning Artym Gallery contains a large collection of art created by more than 65 Canadian artists. The displays are constantly changing, and you can admire striking paintings, handsome sculptures, and exquisite jewelry.
18. Take the Kids to Invermere Rotary Splash and Spray Park
Located on the northern shore of Lake Windermere, Invermere Rotary Splash and Spray Park is a huge hit with little ones on a hot summer’s day. Watch as your kids have fun in the colorful sprays and jets, and cool off with a paddle and a splash.
19. Discover Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park is just a short drive from Invermere downtown. The gorgeous national park sees relatively few visitors compared to Banff, meaning you can often enjoy the spectacular sights in (relative) peace and quiet.
You can drive along scenic roads and soak up the beauty all around, stopping to visit waterfalls and canyons that are easily accessed from the roadside. Marble Canyon is a particularly special spot.
Follow hiking trails to immerse yourself in the diverse terrain and spot wildlife, and join a guided hike to marvel at some of the oldest fossils in the world. The UNESCO-listed Burgess Shale fossils are more than five hundred million years old!
Skiing, fishing, cycling, and climbing are just a few more adventures to enjoy in the national park.
20. Drift Peacefully at Do Nothing Floatation Centre
Relax your senses in a calming flotation tank at Do Nothing Floatation Centre, and rejuvenate your body as you lie still on the Epsom salt -laden water. Float in total darkness or in the glow of dim lights, and opt for silence or a soothing sound of your choice. The center also offers blissful massages.
21. Ride the Chairlift at Panorama Resort
Another one of the best things to do in Invermere is soak in the views from the top of the Panorama chairlift. Admire stunning views from above with a fabulous sightseeing ride on the chairlift at Panorama Resort. The chairlift takes you up to 5,300 feet for a truly breathtaking experience. Don’t forget your camera! You can also use the opportunity to explore several hiking trails up the mountains.
22. Attend the Annual MusicFest
Invermere MusicFest is held each year in August. The festival lasts for an entire weekend and showcases both Canadian and international talent. Held next to the lake, the lively festival draws large crowds from near and far.
Best Restaurants in Invermere
- Birchwood Restaurant: Relaxed place to eat with seasonal dishes like meatballs and lamb. Sit on the patio in the summer!
- Huckleberry’s Family Restaurant: Awesome comfortable family restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Peppi’s Italian Fuel: Pizza point with awesome thin crust pizza, salads, and appetizers.