Ski, Hike, Relax
Banff continues to be my go to weekend getaway. It’s a 4 hour drive from Edmonton and from Calgary just over an hour. Whether it is to just get out of the city life and enjoy the mountains and relax or hitting the slopes for some snowboarding.
Note that Banff is located within Banff National Park and a park pass is required. You can purchase the pass at the park gates when you arrive by car,
Things to Do
Ski / Snowboard
Sunshine Village Located about 20 mins from the town site of Banff. Sunshine Village is a large ski resort. You will need to park at the base and take the gondola up to the village itself. This is more of a skier resort then a mixed ski/snowboard as there is a lot of flat terrain.
Located about 40 mins from Banff, Lake Louise is another large ski resort. The back side of the mountain is normally not that busy. However the runs are a lot longer and it will take some time to get back to base. Just something to keep in mind if you prefer shorter runs.
Be sure to arrive early as the parking lot can fill up quick.
The summer has a wide variety of activities available.
Whitewater Rafting (Adult Weekdays – $85 Weekends – $95)- Located in Kananaskis, there is a shuttle service available from Banff. With rapids ranging from class 2-4. It’s a great day to spend a hot summer day. I recommend the Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour!
Mountain Biking – Plenty of trails to choose from! Trails available for everyone’s skill and fitness level. I have not done any biking myself yet in Banff. However I plan to hopefully this summer (2018)! If you have let me know what is your favorite trail.
Hiking – Ton’s of day trails available. I have not done any hiking myself yet in Banff. However I plan to hopefully this summer (2018)! If you have let me know what is your favorite trail.
Camping – Lot’s of sites and levels of service. Be sure to book with as much notice as possible. All Parks Canada campgrounds fill up quick!
Banff Upper Hot Springs – Open all year
Cost is Adult: $7.30 Youth (3-17): $6.30 Lockers are $1.00 and only take loonies.
Banff only has a hot pool and it is usually around 38°C.
I have stayed at several hotels in Banff. Here is my top picks;
Banff Park Lodge – $$
Located more central and just a few minute walk from Banff Ave. The rooms are nice and clean. Pool is open till midnight with adults only after 11:00PM.
Only downside is having to pay for parking.
Inns of Banff – $
Located right as you drive into Banff. Inns of Banff has rooms you can get for $75-80/night. The hotel does have a outdoor hot pool that is an adventure to get to. The hotel also has a indoor pool and hot tub.
As for downside, you get what you pay for. The rooms are in need of renovations. However overall the hotel is good to stay at if you’re on a budget.
Banff Caribou Lodge – $$
Located right on the main strip of Banff Avenue. Banff Caribou has underground parking and comfortable beds. The Keg is located right in house. The Eggs Benedict is a great choice for the morning room service.
It does have an indoor hot pool for when your muscles need to relax after a day on the mountain. As well as a steam room.
I have no issues with the Caribou Lodge. This is one of my first choices when I plan my Banff trips.
These hotels I have not stayed at yet however I have family and friends that have stayed at them and recommend them;
Fox Hotel / Suites – $$
Also located on Banff Ave. The pool is like a cave and has an open skylight to outside. When it snows it falls inside. Very creative and great atmosphere.
Fairmont Banff Springs – $$$$
The castle! A luxury hotel that is located at the end of Spray Ave. A very upscale hotel with that old railway hotel that was built back in 1888. The hotel has the classy hotel atmosphere. Have never heard a bad experience from anyone I have known to stay here.
Banff is full of plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and have a few drinks. Banff Ave is full of everything. From small lounges to nightclubs. It’s the strip of Banff.
For a night club head over to Aurora located next to the McDonalds.
For a meal that will fill you up, head over to Magpie & Stump Restaurant. One fo the best Mexican restaurants I have been to. The proportion sizes are huge. Located at 203 Caribou St. Just a block away from Banff Ave.