Cranbrook is a small city of approximately 29,000 located in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. It is the main administrative and retail centre for the Kootenay region of the province, and serves over 82,000 people around the area.
Many visitors may visit Cranbrook by accident, as it is located along Highway 3, which is a major highway that traverses the southern portion of the province. Cranbrook is easily within a 4 hour drive of Calgary, and about a 10 hour drive from Vancouver.
Cranbrook is also served by the Canadian Rockies International Airport  located approximately 15 km north of the city on Highway 95A. The airport is served by Air Canada Jazz and Pacific Coastal airlines which provide daily flights from Vancouver and Calgary, Delta Air Lines also has a seasonal 3 day a week service to Salt Lake City.
Being a small city, getting around Cranbrook is best done by automobile. Some roads in Cranbrook are in poor shape, especially side streets. Main arterial roads, however, have been given some much needed attention in the past couple of years and are generally in good condition.
Most restaurants and hotels are located on Highway 3/95, which is also known as Van Horne Street in the south end of the city and Cranbrook Street in the north end. The whole Hwy 3/95 going through Cranbrook is usually called "The Strip". Downtown is located along Baker Street.
Cranbrook is also served by a nascent transit system consisting of seven routes connecting residential areas of the city to the downtown area as well as shopping centres. The Cranbrook transit system is geared more towards residents and is not of much use to tourists.
Taxi service is readily available as an alternative to car rental and public transit.
Much of Cranbrook is pretty flat so biking around town would also be a reasonable option.
Cranbrook has as its backdrop the Rocky Mountains. Any visitor equipped with a camera will find no shortage of locations to photograph nature. Elizabeth Lake, located at the south end of Cranbrook, is a wildlife sanctuary and home to many different birds and animals, ripe for the photographing. Cranbrook also dates back to the late 1800's and has lot's of history to check out around downtown. Or you could go to the Fort Steel Heritage Town, it's just 17km NE of the city.
- Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. No train buff's trip to Cranbrook would be complete without a trip here.
- Fort Steele Heritage Town is well worth the ten minute drive north of the city.
- Cranbrook Golf Club. They call themselves the "Hidden Gem of the Kootenays". Good golf at a good price.
- Kootenay Ice. The Kootenay Ice is a WHL (Western Hockey League) hockey team and part of the CHL (Canada Hockey League). Catch a good, fast and exciting game of hockey at the Cranbrook Rec Plex and cheer on the ICE!
Baker Street has an interesting mix of clothing stores and specialty shops. As with many growing cities, the downtown seems to be suffering as more and more people shop at the malls and big box stores located at the north end of the city along the strip.
With its growing collection of big box stores, Cranbrook is a good place to stock up on supplies before you head into the wilderness. Wal-Mart and Home Depot, the Real Canadian Superstore and Canadian Tire are among the stores located at the north end of the city.
The Tamarack Centre, located along the north end of the strip has a number of shops and fast food outlets: Target at the south end and Winners at the north end with the Columbia Theatre and Staples between.
Canadian dollars are the official currency here, but given Cranbrook's proximity to Idaho and Montana, US dollars may be accepted too. Just ask.
Cranbrook is crammed with every imaginable fast food restaurant with most of the major chains represented, including 2 McDonalds, 1 Burger King, 1 Arbys, 2 Subway's, 1 Dairy Queen, 1 KFC, 2 Tim Hortons, 1 Wendy's, and 1 A&W. Casual dining is somewhat limited and includes chain restaurants like East Side Marios, Pizza Hut, Denny's, Panago Pizza, Smitty's, Boston Pizza(currently being built), Mr. Mikes as well as the exotic K's Amazon Eatery. You will find that fine dining is severely limited.
Some local favourites include:
- Max's Place on Victoria, 301-535 Victoria Avenue N., 250-489-3538. Trendy coffee shop. A good place for lunch with fresh sandwiches, salads and desserts.
- Pita Wrapbit, with locations on the Strip and at the College of the Rockies, Pita Wrapbit specializes in wraps, pitas, juices, soups and smoothies.
- Rockwater Steakhouse, 300 Cranbrook Street N.,
- East Side Marios, 1201 Cranbrook Street N., 250-489-2822. East Side Mario's is everything you like about Italian. The warm welcome, the relaxed, fun and friendly atmosphere - this is the essence of Little Italy.
- Frank's Place North end of Cranbrook, near Walmart. Good quality steak and prime rib.
- The Sports Grill, 408 Cranbrook Street N (south end of strip near petro-can), ☎ 250-4893525, . In business for 23 years, Perry makes the best homemade pizza and burgers in the area. Pizza, burgers, steaks and the coldest pints of draft you'll find. Fully liscensed and newly renovated, don't miss out on this little gem of a place. All ages welcomed with a smile!! $5 - $25. edit
Cranbrook has its share of bars, most of which are located in the downtown core, off Baker Street. The closest thing to a night club, The Monarch Bar Co., is located in the Heritage Inn.
- Elizabeth Lake Lodge, 590 Van Horne Street S., 250-426-6114.
- Sandman Hotel, 405 Cranbrook Street N., 250-426-4236.
- Super 8 Motel, 2370 Cranbrook Street N., 250-489-8028.
- Heritage Inn, 803 Cranbrook Street N., 250-489-4301.
- Lazy Bear Lodge, 621 Cranbrook Street N., 1-888-808-6086.
- Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort, 209 Van Horne Street S., 250-417-0444, .
- St. Eugene Mission Resort, 7731 Mission Road, 250-420-2000.
- Flamingo Motel, 432 Van Horne Street S., 250-426-7073.
- Heritage Estate Motel, 362 Van Horne Street S., 250-426-3862.
- Almo Court Motel, 316 2nd Street S., 250-426-3213.
- Best Western, 1019 Cranbrook St N., 250 417-4002.
- Days Inn, 600 Cranbrook Street N., 250-426-6683.
- Mount Baker Heritage Hotel, 1017 Baker Street N., 250-489-3070.
A new (as of spring 2010) paved biking trail has been completed, connecting Cranbrook with Marysville, just south of Kimberley. This is a "rails to trails" conversion, running mostly parallel to the highway through pine forests and fields, about 25 km.