At a party in Revelstoke this summer, there’s a “IYKYK” (if you know, you know) scenario. We’re all the better off now that my family is aware of it. The little town, known to the locals as “Revy,” is renowned for its thrilling winters, when thrill-seeking skiers and snowboarders descend to Revelstoke Mountain Resort to experience 5,620 vertical feet of steep and deep terrain along with an abundance of featherlight snow. I am a fair-weather skier who appreciates a terrific après-scene and cruisy blues, and even I have heard the hoopla surrounding the resort’s severe double-black diamond lines, such as “Kill the Banker.” But it seems like only the cool kids are aware of Revy’s sizzling summer vibe. We had not thought about Revelstoke as a potential holiday destination since we are afraid of the great outdoors and many of its attractions (think bears, mosquitoes, and remoteness). You don’t know what you don’t know, or “YDKWYDK,” as it were. Revy provides all we need and more for a fantastic family vacation, as we have gladly found out.
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Remarkably lovely, downtown Revelstoke boasts a robust local, independent shop scene. The picture-perfect boutiques along the streets of the old center are home to locally owned and frequently Revy-made items, ranging from adventure gear to art galleries, kitchenware to kids’ apparel and toys. It should come as no surprise that my daughter Brooklyn’s favorite places to visit were Begbie Kids, which had clothes, books, and toys, and Sugar Shack, which had waffle cones and shelves full of candy. We went on a Saturday morning to see the street stalls that host Revy’s weekly Farmers’ Market. Freshly picked vegetables, handmade jams, jellies, bread, candles, soaps, beadwork, and a variety of crafts, giftware, and baked products are all colorfully displayed at this lively, well-attended event. Our French bulldog Lulu was among the about fifty dogs that were wagging joyfully as we strolled through the outdoor market, so we decided to bring her along for the adventure—apparently the right thing to do. After reading, we strolled down the Columbia River Greenbelt Pathway and picked up lattes and a vanilla steamer for Brooklyn from Dose, the hippest coffee shop in town. The scenic paved route is well-liked by bikers and pedestrians, but considering how few people we saw, it feels like a hidden gem. It offers expansive views of the mountains and sea.
Revelstoke’s downtown eating scene is on par with its retail offerings and maintains brand consistency with a surprisingly wide selection of regional and distinctive eateries. Although a weekend vacation isn’t long enough to see all of the town’s highly recommended restaurants, we made the most of it. For those who love tacos and margaritas, like myself, the Taco Club is a must. The menu’s inventive side dishes, option for corn or wheat tortillas, and encouragement of mixing and matching tacos were other things I enjoyed. The mango habanero margarita and the smoky ancho chile refried bean dip, together with the grilled Passilla Pork, Garlic Shrimp, and Beef Birria tacos, were amazing. Brooklyn was just as happy with her homemade strawberry lemonade and traditional cheese quesadilla. Our second delectable find was the long-standing Woolsey Creek Bistro in Revelstoke. The charming eatery’s summer cuisine, which includes succulent braised beef shank and fragrant curry mussels, is definitely worth the ten-minute stroll from the town center. The several unique animal paintings adorning the inside are equally striking; our aspiring artist, Brooklyn, was as enthralled with them as her dinner.
Revy’s Live Outside, which featured 58 nights of live music performances by regional, national, and worldwide performers, was a pleasure for us after supper. Whoa, this is such a great effort, and we’re so proud of Tourism Revelstoke and the whole mountain community for supporting it. Every night throughout the summer, Grizzly Plaza attracts a lively throng that turns the old downtown into an open-air patio party where people of all ages, including residents and well-informed tourists, dance in the street. A great place to enjoy the celebrations is Chubby Funsters, a Revelstoke institution known for its inventive gastro-pub food and delicious traditional margaritas. After enjoying a brief drink on the garden terrace, we joined the Revy revelers on the street for their spectacular summer dance celebration.
Sally Robertson, principal of Revelstoke Select Vacation Properties and a lifelong resident, attributes the town’s strong sense of community to its complex and varied past. She says, “Revelstoke offers much more than just a place to stop for gas on a summer road trip; it’s a friendly, welcoming, and compassionate place to live.” The greatest place to find summertime activities and outdoor adventure is our downtown tourism center, which offers hiking trails, canoeing, fly fishing, rafting, mountain biking, golfing, and more.
After all of Revy’s excitement and fresh air, our family needs to enjoy relaxation, and for Brooklyn, that means swimming. Bonus points if the pool is outside and serves lunch because that’s where she would spend half of her time. The Sutton Place Hotel at Revelstoke Mountain Resort scores highly in every category related to convenience. First off, there’s an ample-sized outdoor pool and hot tub for summer use, and I was able to score a cozy two-person chaise couch. We also had room service delivered to our poolside dining area by the on-site Rockford Grill. While gorging on his double smash patties topped with grilled pineapple, applewood smoked cheddar, and jalapeño, my husband insisted that his Maui Wowie burger was among the “top three of all time.” I agree that it was quite (very) excellent after giving in to a taste. The pet-friendly Sutton Place is a condo-style building with roomy, three-bedroom units that can house big families and are fully furnished with all the appliances one could possibly need for cooking and laundry. Every day, we spent time making breakfast, which led to beautiful and relaxed mornings. The hotel is not in the town, but we were still able to get there fast—less than ten minutes by vehicle.