Banff, the perfect little town surrounded by endless possibilities. If you can name it you can probably do it in or around Banff. My favourite memories as a kid were taking our French exchange students camping up in Banff yearly. Having BBQ’s in the parks and strolling through the town to get ice-cream before driving home. Not much has changed over the years in Banff thanks to it’s national park status. Very little building has happened in the town and we’re grateful for it. However, I’ve replaced indulging in ice cream for indulging in lavish massages and martinis. Check these ten things out while you’re there!
- The Christmas store! My mom’s favourite store. Especially in the dead of summer it feels so absurd!
- Camping, some of the best in the world just out your back door, don’t forget the bear spray! See if you can camp near Bow Falls or Johnston Canyon. They are great day hikes.
- Upper hot springs! A fun relaxing afternoon best enjoyed on a winter day.
- Gondola rides aren’t just for kids! See the beautiful view from the top.
- Fondue. Make a reso and step back into the 70’s. This restaurant still has their retro table phones. Call you neighbour and have some fun! Great place to dress up and go out for apples and cocktails.
- Canmore! Just 15 minutes north of Banff you have a nice unassuming town with cheaper amenities and some great local beer!
- Lake Louise! Do NOT leave Canada without checking out this kool-aid blue lake. Try canoeing or skating depending on the time of year.
- Fairmont Banff Springs hotel: One word, castle. Check this place out, wander around for an afternoon. Their outdoor heated pool is amazing in the winter. If you’re feeling like a splurge, their massages are amazing here. You’ll get access to the spa ritual pools so spend the entire day relaxing and indulging. I hear their golf course is stunning as well.
- Shopping. Banff has the cutest shopping streets. Spend the entire first day walking and exploring the shops. Deals may not be had but I’m sure you won’t leave without a handful of candy from the old fashion candy store at the very least.
- Ready to get wild? Head to the Rose and crown or the Dancing Sasquatch and get loose Canadian style. Make sure to chase those shots of whiskey with a shot of maple syrup!
Now a visit to the Rockies won’t be complete without mentioning skiing. Try Sunshine or Lake Louise. Ski hills open as early as the snow starts falling. Sometimes as early as September so keep an ear out. My favourite time to ski is March. Spring skiing is warm, no jacket required only sunscreen. Have an amazing time in Banff and say hi to all the Aussie holiday workers up there for me!