May 2 drive to Banff
Rocky Mountain peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, a picture-perfect mountain town and village, abundant wildlife and scenic drives come together in Banff National Park – Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system. Over three million visitors a year make the pilgrimage to the park for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, skiing and camping in some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery. Banff is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo Courtesy: Iron Goat Pub & Grill
Lunch at Iron Goat Pub & Grill
Canmore is a picturesque mountain village just five minutes from the gates of Banff National Park. Close enough to Banff town to be connected by a bike path, Canmore is a lively, friendly town with a laid back atmosphere and a popular place from which to explore the Canadian Rockies.
A wealth of condo style hotels make Canmore an attractive and affordable place to stay, particularly for families.
Solara 2 bedroom suite https://www.solararesort.ca/
Lake Louise was still Frozen when we got there. So we improvised with snow ball fights and our modest attempt to build a snow man 🙂
The turquoise jewel of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise sits nestled between glaciers, beckoning visitors with its mirror-like waters, serene setting, and plethora of summer and winter activities, from hiking to snowshoeing.
High Tea at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
In addition to natural splendour, Lake Louise boasts a man-made icon, as well—the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Dating back to 1911, the luxury hotel has hosted Hollywood stars and European royalty and is worth a visit for afternoon tea, a fondue dinner, a spa treatment, or a drink with a view of the lake.
Banff Gondola Views of Bow Valley
The Banff Gondola offers outstanding panoramic views of the town of Banff and the Canadian Rockies from 7486ft (2281m). It took us about 8 minutes to the top of the world where there are dining options, hiking trails, and observation decks at the summit of Sulphur Mountain for maximum viewing pleasure.
Fairmont Banff Springs
The Banff Springs Hotel, as it’s commonly known, first opened in 1888 in Alberta, built by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The city of Banff and the hotel were named after the first European settler in this region of Canada, William Davidson, who was born in Banff, Scotland.
It’s a 4-star hotel, now managed by Fairmont, nestled in picturesque valley beside the Banff National Park. It looks more like a giant castle than a hotel; it’s easy to see why royalty, celebrities, and commoners alike choose to stay at such a beautiful place. Since it’s opening, the hotel has welcomed guests from the British Royalty, to Marilyn Monroe, to Winston Churchill.
Lunch at Saltik
Banff Down Town
The town of Banff is a spirited place, alive with adventure and wonder. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains that seem to burst straight out of the ground. The lively streets of downtown are lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as a vibrant range of art galleries and museums. The locals are warm, open, and genuinely connected to the inspiring environment in which they live. https://www.banfflakelouise.com/town-banff
The Bow Falls are located on the Bow River in Alberta’s Banff National Park, within walking distance of the Banff Springs Hotel. The short, wide, cascading falls make for a popular sightseeing stop, likely because of how accessible the natural destination is—the falls can be easily enjoyed by people of all abilities and all ages.
Carved steeply into the limestone bedrock by thousands of years of water erosion, the dramatic Johnston Canyon is a must-visit natural attraction in Banff National Park. Overhanging canyon walls, waterfalls, the deep pools of Johnston Creek, and lush forest are sure to leave a memorable impression. And it can all be experienced via an an easy hike along smooth trails and catwalks, making it ideal for families and people of all fitness levels and ages.
Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in Banff National Park, and for good reason; it is a place of dramatic natural beauty accessible to most. It is particularly popular during the summer and at certain times of the winter. If you seek a more peaceful experience, try visiting Johnston Canyon during the spring and fall, or make the most of the long summer days by going in the early morning or mid evening.
After all the activities, we rewarded ourselves with another steak night. This time, sampling Alberta’s world renowned beef. We just bought slices of Rib Eye Choice Cuts from Safeway, Canmore and grilled it from the comforts of our apartment. Simple gastronomic pleasures to end our lovable experience in Banff.
Alberta Beef on the Grill Tonight
Alberta knows its beef—the province’s deeply rooted ranching history means farmers here take pride in raising cattle in the most sustainable ways. This, combined with Alberta’s wide-open spaces and rich soils that allow for natural grazing and its cold winters that are ideal for layering on fat, all amount to the must-experience taste of Alberta beef.