You’re thinking about traveling to Canada? Gee, that’s a great idea! Let me tell you why Banff should be the travel destination you set at the top of your list!
First off, Banff is a cute, bavarian-influenced town in the middle of a giant national park within the Alberta province of Canada. There’s taverns and pubs and shopping and majestic hotels that overlook the Canadian rockies, what more could you ask for? I only spent five days in Banff, but it was enough to convince me that it is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
I stayed in Canmore, a small town about 15 minutes away from downtown Banff, at the Stoneridge Mountain Resort. This hotel was amazing! It was small, but elite. It wasn’t noisy, except for maybe me and my 6 travel mates in the evenings, and the pool is centered in the middle of the resort with hot tubs and lounge chairs for everyone. I would 100% recommend this place for anyone traveling to Banff, but doesn’t want to be in the center of everything or just wants to save a couple bucks on hotel expenses.
While in Banff, here are some of my top recommended activities:
- Banff Upper Hot Springs – such a fun activity to do in the morning, afternoon, evening, or all day if you choose! The pool stairs straight up at Sulphur Mountain and the view is quite incredible to say the least. Enjoy relaxing in the mineral waters for a while and then head down to the main street and peruse the shops! There are so many delicious places to grab lunch too. We went to the Banff Ave. Brewing Company and shared drinks along with yummy burgers and fish and chips. Then we walked along the road and did some souvenir shopping for friends and ourselves, definitely a must if in town! There’s also a ton of pubs and taverns to visit so if you’re looking for some night life I would check out Hoodoo and the Dancing Sasquatch for you late-nighters out there! Hint: Sunday is the night to go out.
- Johnston Canyon Trail – this hike was the entire reason I wanted to go to Banff, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! It’s an easy trail, so anyone could do it, and the entire time you walk along this crystal clear river glistening with glacier water. It’s unbelievably pretty! You have the choice to the Upper Falls or the Lower Falls, but I would recommend both! It took us about 2 hours to do both so if time is a question, make the time! Trust me. We even saw a baby black bear and some ram on the road along the way!
- Lake Louise – now this one is a bit of a drive outside of the main area of Banff, but the views are breath-taking! You can totally go swimming in the lake, however, the water is freezing since it comes from the melting glaciers around. But if you’re up for it, then go for it! There’s a canoe rental place that you can take around for the day as well which looks fun! If you decide to step inside the Fairmont Chateau for a quick minute and you like furry animals then ask to see Marcus.
- Canmore Caves – I never actually got to do this during my trip to Banff, but I hear it is great for the adventurous at heart! The Canmore Caves offer two kinds of tours, a regular four hour tour that explores the insides of the cave, and an adventure tour that explores the depths of the caverns in a six hour tour that repels you over 18 meters below the cave entrance! If you’re up for the challenge, I’m sure it’s more than worth it!
Banff is definitely a travel destination worth looking into. If you’re up for adventure and some time in nature than this is the place for you! I can’t wait to make it back here again someday and explore some more of this beautiful place 🙂