There is no better place in all the Foothills to take in the magic of the season than Bragg Creek. With its snow capped spruce trees and multitude of quaint shops, Bragg Creek epitomizes the look and spirit of Christmas, so much so that if you listen very closely, you can almost hear the sleigh bells coming from Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures.

In the heart of the hamlet, stroll the boardwalks and pop into the many shops and eateries. That Old West feel is alive and well and friendly shopkeepers, artists and small-town hospitality rule the day in Bragg Creek.

Visit Bragg Creek includes all the best haunts, eats and tips for your visit. Foothills favourites are Preserved, a made-from-scratch kitchen that boasts the most incredible local jam – the Gin Jam and The Best Little Wordhouse in the West, filled with second-hand books and homewares you won't likely find anywhere else.

If the artfully unexpected is on your list two must-stops are Suncatchers Design Studio & The River Dragonfly, where you can discover the living art of stained glass, as well as The Painted Moose, owned and operated by a collective of 16 local artists.

After you've explored Bragg Creek to you liking, it's now time to see the beauty of the Foothills via secondary highway 762. As you head south, notice the scenery change before your eyes. The dense spruce forest gives way to rolling hills and sweeping vistas of the Eastern edge of the Rockies. In summer, this highway is a favourite of bikers and cyclists, but in winter it's magnificent to drive by car.

Carry on south and find the Spirit Hills Flower Winery where you will be treated to a tour and tasting of a European-inspired winery. Check out the amazing architecture and leave a little wiser about all the science and care that goes into their outstanding product.

Back on highway 22, head south a short while and find the Town of Turner Valley. Once overflowing with oil, Turner Valley is now building a new industry in art and artisanal products. The best example is Eau Claire Distillery, and their award-winning spirits, including gin, vodka and whisky which are made using farm-to-glass, traditional methods. Try a sample flight paired with some incredible appetizers, and choose your favourite spirit(s) to take home.

Back in the car, follow the Sheep River to the neighbouring town of Black Diamond. Enjoy a stroll down the main drag with its Boomtown feel. Shopping-wise you can't go wrong stepping into the two galleries – Bluerock Gallery and the Black Diamond Gallery. Missing either would be a mistake as they carry completely different wares. Another must for shoppers is Bertie's General Store, a straight out of the past mercantile experience filled with vintage finds and locally foraged teas, salves notions and potions.

Last on the tour is the Village of Longview; drive in for the view and stay for the shopping. Pay a visit to Garside Art Gallery where creativity, conservation and community intersect. Famed for their work photographing the wild horses of Sable Island, Garside Art Gallery is a worthwhile stop. For the meat lover on your list, head to the Longview Jerky Shop. Known far and wide for their outstanding products, the Longview Jerky Shop has more flavours than you can easily sample in one sitting, and they are all good.

As a special treat for you, check out the Little Apple Café and Bakery right next door to the Longview Jerky Shop. Their baking is superb and you deserve a sweet treat after all that shopping.

Filled with Christmastime good cheer, you are now all set to take your purchases and fond memories of the Foothills back on the road as you head for home.

This tour stops at

#228, 7 Balsam Avenue, Bragg Creek Sustainable, local, delicious

A bookworm’s haven with nearly 40,000 titles, and that's just the start...

The Painted Moose Artist Collective is owned and operated by 16 amazing artists. Inside you will fine hand crafted works of art ranging from fine art paintings, stone sculpture, wood crafts, jewelry, ..

Spirit Hills Winery is a true family-run local success story. Beginning in December of 2012, it is owned and operated by Ilse and Hugo Bonjean and their family.

See first-hand how it’s all made at Alberta's original distillery and then stay around for tastings and a delicious locally-sourced menu!

Bluerock Gallery is a unique destination art gallery based in Black Diamond, Alberta specializing in local fine arts and craft including pottery, gift cards, jewelry and inspiring books. Their vision ..

In the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Black Diamond Gallery opens the doors to exotic treasures and tribal art from around the world!

Along the famed Cowboy Trail, the Garside Gallery is an art gallery featuring the photography and bronze art of Debra Garside. Often featuring guest artists, photography workshops and presentations, y..

That aroma you smell as you’re walking down Longview’s main street can only mean one thing.