- By John
- On Oct 19, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
Since it's the best time to visit Banff nowdays, to book the Banff tours to look around with discount price on the site. Banff is a two hour drive from Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway (we don’t usually gush about highways but this one really is remarkably well maintained). As the snow melts, summer months bring a crush of day-trippers, who come for the explosion of wildflowers, meandering hikes, warmer lake temperatures, and wildlife—wolves, elk, moose, black bears, you name it.
Best areas to explore in Banff
I highly recommend a trip to Johnstone Canyon, about 25 minutes away – any time of the year. It’s an easy 1.1 or 2.7 kilometer hike one way, depending on if you want to see the lower or upper falls. In winter I’d recommend wearing crampons or Yactrax for grip on the ice.
Check out the stuffed animal specimens of moose, bears, foxes and birds at the Banff Park Museum. It’s Canada’s oldest natural history museum. Built in 1903, it uses decorative log construction and makes use of natural light.
Go hiking and biking in Banff. There are so many trails to choose from that it’s worthwhile to have a chat with a Park Ranger and see what they recommend based on your ability and time frame. Their office is on Banff Avenue in the heart of downtown. Recently a bike and hike shuttle has started up that will drop you off and pick you up from some of the nearby trailheads. You can rent a bike in town from Bactrax.
In winter there are two ski hills almost within spitting distance of Banff – Sunshine Village (fantastic when sunny) and Mount Norquay (steep) and both have shuttle buses running to them. Lake Louise is another thirty minutes up the highway.
Where to eat in Banff
For breakfast and lunch try Wild Flour Bakery Cafe, Jump Start or Timbers Food Company; all are within about three blocks of each other.
Loads of dinner choices. Probably the most upmarket choice would be Saltlik Restaurant, a place that specializes in beef though there are plenty of other choices.
Other places to try are the Eddie Burger Bar – for burgers but also poutine and deep fried pickles. You can’t go wrong with Earl’s for reasonably priced food and a great atmosphere.