Take the Queen Elizabeth II Highway south to the quaint Town of Nanton. With the Foothills to the west, rising up to the majestic Rocky Mountains, enjoy the open road on your journey south. Once in Nanton, you will be treated to more antiques and unique finds than you could ever cart home in a day. Nanton is home to a multitude of shops specializing in all things vintage and you can get happily lost searching and browsing for the perfect piece.

Start your day at NotSo Fine Antiques, also home to the Nanton Candy Store. The perfect place to find gifts for all ages, the antique side of the shop boasts cute cookie jars, vintage kitchen ware and bric-a-brac from a bygone era. The candy side is a glorious display of sweet treats that will make anyone, no matter their age, want to sample a bit of everything. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Salt Water Taffy, candy bars from across the globe or 5¢ bonbons, which unfortunately have gone up in price over the decades.

Walk the block east to 20th Avenue, aka highway 2 northbound and find three more antique outposts, each catering to a different era. Mid Century antiques holds all the best from the Art Deco period. Up the block heading north you will find Nostalgia Antiques, home to a colossal collection of uniquities.

Your last stop is Sentimental Journey Antiques, a three story mega-mall of the past housed in the 1909 Keeley Building. Once operated as a hardware store by Charles Marshall, the upper storey served Nanton as a meeting and social hall for local lodges and other groups. In 1935 the building changed hands and new owner William S. Keeley expanded the store's range of goods and converted the top floor into apartments. The newly-renamed Keeley Building soon found itself pressed into wartime service as a residence for officers assigned to the nearby aircrew training base. Rich in history, the building has been home to Sentimental Journey since the year 2000 and is home to more than 9,000 sq. ft. of prairie antiques and collectibles.

It's probably now lunchtime and a stop in at The Hive/Stuthornes for a bit more shopping and a home-cooked meal. The Hive is showcases the work of more than 115 local businesses all under one roof. If a more extensive menu would better suit you, check out the Wild Thyme Café on the northbound highway.

With your morning complete, head back on the highway north to the lovely Town of Okotoks. Also steeped in history, downtown Okotoks is a shoppers and walkers dream. Check out our walking tour of Olde Towne Okotoks here. You can spend the entire afternoon perusing the shops and stocking up on Christmas favourites like Speculaas and other Dutch treats at the Dit N Dat and German goodies at the Sweetgrass Deli. If one stop shopping is heaven for you, stop in at Mainstreet Market and More for hundreds of locally made art and gifts for everyone one your list. For the babes in you life, Sweet Threads on Main and Loop Kids Boutique are almost right next door.

Downtown Okotoks is also home to many ladies' boutiques. Dressing for the occasion is important, even if you're staying in this year. Rhoda's Elegance Again, Florence Fashions, Ginger Laurier and A Very Delightful Boutique are all excellent shops to find that perfect piece to compliment your Christmas cheer.

Truth be told, you will be hard pressed to fit all the shops in downtown Okotoks in one afternoon. Perhaps a second look is in order to capture all there is to see. If art is on your list, please don't miss stopping by the Okotoks Art Gallery and Lineham House Galleries. Both are perfect places to catch your breath and recharge in a serene and artful setting before you hit the highway on your journey back to the city.

Last stop is the Saskatoon Farm. Open 9-5 daily, the Saskatoon Farm is also hosting a Christmas Market November 27-29, December 4-6 and 11-13 from 9am-8pm. Go for the baking, both savoury and sweet and stay for the local artists, crafters and makers. Pre-purchased tickets are required so do plan ahead. 

Congratulations, you've seen half of the glorious Foothills on this whirlwind tour. Hopefully you've stocked up for Christmas, found some unique gifts and made some fabulous memories.

This tour stops at

The Nanton Candy Store has attracted visitors from all over, as we boast 1000`s of nostalgic and popular candies imported from around the world. Attached to the Candy Store, you will find NotSoFine An..

Sentimental Journey Antiques is Southern Alberta's antique hub, based in Nanton. Antiques and treasures fill the show room. The main floor showcases furniture, fine china and books while upstairs, you..

30 years ago Paul and Karen Hamer planted Saskatoon Berry seedlings on a piece of property at the convergence of the Sheep and Highwood River, just outside of Okotoks. With horticulture backgrounds an..