Lively après-ski in Jasper kicks off in the 'downtown' area as soon as the lifts close and skiers and boarders head down the mountain en masse. As with all things in Jasper, the scene is largely laid-back with more variety than visitors might expect, with several dozen bars and nightspots from which to choose.
Champs Sports Lounge in the Sawridge Inn (tel: +1 888 729 7343; www.sawridgejasper.com) features over 50 types of martinis – there's also karaoke here every Wednesday night. The Whistle Stop Pub (tel: +1 780 852 3361; www.whistlersinn.com) has a nice fireplace, pool tables, a video jukebox and big-screen satellite TVs.
Jasper has a great range of more than 40 dining establishments to choose from downtown, and double that number in the wider area.
There's an eclectic mix of styles – but most with a general onus on friendly, honest service and quality food. Options include Chinese, French, Mexican Italian, Korean and Japanese alongside local specialties.
Evil Dave's Grill (tel: +1 780 852 3323; www.evildavesgrill.com) serves up copious quantities of quality North American favourites. Olive Bistro and Lounge (tel: +1 780 852 5222) offers more continental cuisine with tapas as well as French, Greek and Mediterranean inspired dishes.
Among the best of the small cafés in Jasper is the Bear's Paw Bakery (tel: +1 780 852 3233; www.bearspawbakery.com). Vegetarians should check out Coco's Café (tel: +1 780 852 4550; www.cocoscafe.ca), which has a daily vegan special whilst serious carnivores will prefer the De'd Dog Bar & Grill in the Astoria Hotel (tel: +1 780 852 3351; www.astoriahotel.com), where the specials include grilled Alberta steaks, signature game burgers and blackened wild salmon.
Beyond the slopes
There are a lot of things to do in Jasper and the surrounding area.
The main indoor sports facilities are the Jasper Activity Centre (tel: +1 780 852 3381) and its adjacent Aquatic Centre, which are home to squash courts, an ice rink, climbing wall, weight room and swimming pool with a water slide.
A visit to the Jasper Yellowhead Museum (tel: +1 780 852 3013; www.jaspermuseum.org) will provide some background on David Thompson, the explorer who mapped out Canada's fur trade route through the area.
Outdoors, visitors can try ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, horse-sleigh rides or climbing a frozen waterfall. The adventurous can even have a go at a canyon ice walk through Maligne Canyon's suspended frozen waterfalls.
Those who visit in the last two weeks of January can enjoy the added fun of the annual Jasper in January Festival (www.jasperinjanuary.travel), when the town comes alive with events and activities such as snow sculpting, wine tasting and the famous annual chili cook-off.
On the slopes, Marmot Basin has a strong family atmosphere and a ski area design that allows families to ski apart and then get back together quickly, easily and safely.
The Little Rascals Nursery (tel: +1 866 952 3816) provides supervised day care for children aged from 19 months up to five years. A ski school is available from age four, with the full-day Kids Kamp being an option for six to 12 year-olds.
Jasper itself is also very family friendly, and children will have fun in the Aquatic Centre (tel: +1 780 852 3381; www.jasper-alberta.com), which houses a swimming pool with water slide, and the Jasper Activity Centre with its indoor ice skating rinks.
Lovers of quirky stores and independent boutiques will take delight in Jasper, where there are around 50 shops – mostly concentrated around a couple of blocks in the town centre. In general, expect plenty of character-filled shops in Jasper and very few chain stores.
Those looking for retail therapy will enjoy the delights of Tea Leaf boutique (tel: +1 780 852 5552; www.tealeafboutique.com) and Mountain Air (tel: +1 780 852 3760; www.mountainairclothing.com). While lovers of all things adventure and outdoors should visit Source for Sports (tel: +1 780 852 3654; www.jaspersports.com).
The Spa at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (tel: +1 780 852 6014; www.fairmont.com/jasper) offers a range of luxury treatments, as well as 'Just for Men' pampering packages and options for couples.
Jasper offers a variety of accommodation choices to suit all tastes and budgets, from well-proportioned rooms located 'downtown' to family-style units complete with full-service kitchens and private lakeshore cabins. Most hotels in Jasper are located within walking distance to the town's attractions, restaurants and shops.
Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre
The Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre has 150 well-appointed rooms, an indoor pool and spa, restaurant, lounge and ski storage facilities.Address: , 76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, T0E 1E0
Telephone: +1 780 852 5111
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
The Jasper Park Lodge is made up of small lodges spread over a 364 hectare (900 acre) area surrounding frozen Lac Beauvert. The hotel has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.Address: , Old Lodge Road, Jasper, T0E 1E0
Telephone: +1 780 852 3301
The Crimson is one of Jasper's newer hotels, featuring 99 rooms and suites with kitchenettes. The hotel is located a short walk away from the resort centre. Facilities here include an indoor pool, gym, restaurant and high speed Wi-Fi as well as specially adapted rooms for disabled guests.Address: , 200 Connaught Dr, Jasper, T0E 1E0
Telephone: +1 780 852 3394
Located in the town of Jasper, Lobstick Lodge is within comfortable walking distance of the 'downtown' area's numerous amenities.Address: , 94 Geikie Street, Jasper, T0E 1E0
Telephone: +1 888 852 7737
This small, quaint and affordable inn is located in the centre of the town. It features the friendly Whistle Stop Pub that's popular with locals, and a very nice restaurant, Cassios' Trattoria.Address: , 105 Miette Avenue, Jasper, T0E 1E0
Telephone: +1 780 852 3361
Best Western Jasper Inn and Suites
This well located Best Western chain motel benefits from clean, spacious rooms and also houses an indoor pool and sauna.Address: , 205 West Gibson, Jasper, T0E 1E0
Telephone: +1 800 568 8520
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