Top 10 Things to Do in Banff
Top 10 Things to Do in Banff
Banff, Alberta, Canada is easily one of the most beautiful places on earth. We have many places left on our WDA Travel Bucket List, but we are biased Canadians and will always have Banff listed high on our favourites regardless of where we travel. From the stunning turquoise waters to the glimmering snowy mountain peaks, Banff is the perfect getaway to appreciate the beauty of nature and get a breath of fresh air (did you know that you can purchase bottled Banff air!? Trust us, the real life thing is better).
Although there are many things to do in Banff, we will share our favourites. Because we are students, we guarantee that this is one of your most cost effective lists to take in the beauty and wonders of Banff. If you are visiting in the summer, try camping at one of the many campgrounds to save a few dollars and to get more of the in-to-nature experience.
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Without further ado, here are our current Top 10 Favourite Things in Banff:
10. The Fairmont Banff Springs
You cannot go to Banff without stopping at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. It’s a National Historic Site of Canada and was built during the 19th century as one of Canada’s Grand Railway hotels. The stunning, castle-like hotel can be seen from trails all around Banff. If you are like us and cannot fork out the extra cash to actually stay at The Fairmont Banff Springs, park your vehicle, saunter into the main doors and walk around the hotel like the royalty you are. It is definitely worth checking out at least once.
9. Bow Falls
Bow Falls is located near The Banff Springs Hotel and golf course. It is a wide and short waterfall with only one drop. It is a great place to stop and check out if you are visiting The Banff Springs Hotel.
8. Johnston Canyon
Johnston Canyon is about a 30 minute drive from Banff. It is open all year and offers ice walk tours during the winter months.
7. Downtown Banff
Whether it is winter or summer, walking Banff Avenue in Downtown Banff always feels like walking inside of a movie. There are candy and chocolate shops on every other corner and the smell of caramel popcorn fills the sidewalks. There are fantastic restaurants in abundance and you are sure to find some interesting souvenirs or new adventure gear. Whether you are in Banff for the food or for outdoor adventure, you will feel the need to buy a North Face, Patagonia or Helly Hansen jacket to fit in with the crowds.
6. Beaver Tails
Take the best day of your life, turn it into a pastry and top it with the likings of Nutella, Reese’s Pieces and other mouth watering, life changing toppings. Beaver Tails also offers ice cream, gelato, hot drinks and smoothies.
5. Lake Louise
When most people think of Lake Louise, they think of Chateau Lake Louise and the lake. The Chateau is beautiful, but it is truly Lake Louise itself that deserves all of the applause. Most people stop, take photos with their selfie sticks and have had enough. However, if you walk along the lake to the opposite side, you will get an even more stunning view. If you continue on hiking, you will get to another one of our favourite places, the Six Glaciers Tea House! If you decide to continue on the trek, find a washroom first or be prepared to walk for multiple kilometres with running streams and waterfalls alongside…
4. Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House
The Six Glaciers Tea House takes a little bit more work to get to than the more commonly visited Lake Agnes Tea House. Although it takes longer, the hike to the Six Glaciers Tea House is worth it. You will get stunning views of Lake Louise and the Chateau and you will run into adorable chipmunks and maybe spot a mountain goat or a grizzly bear.
3. Nourish Vegetarian Bistro
Nourish Vegetarian Bistro is one of our favourite restaurants - ever. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, Nourish is a must stop if you love nachos and macaroni and cheese. If you don’t love either of those, are you truly living? The famous Num Num Nachos and Mac and Squeeze are our personal favourites on the Nourish Menu, but it’s hard to go wrong with anything you choose.
2. Moraine Lake
It’s hard to imagine that Moraine Lake can be more beautiful in real life than in photos, but it’s true. This is the paradise of the mountains. Although we have never done it, you can canoe on Moraine Lake (you can also canoe on Lake Louise). You mostly just paddle around the lake and don’t really get anywhere, but it seems like a cool experience. The Lake itself is magnificent and is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Moraine Lake is so beautiful that it was one of the backgrounds available on the Blackberry Pearl, one of the Windows 7’s backgrounds, appeared as one of National Geographic Travel 365’s Photo of the Day and made it as the Bing homepage a handful of times(facts courtesy of Wiki). We would argue that like our people, Moraine Lake is one of the things that makes Canada so special.
Peyto Lake is the kind of place that you can fall in love. When you hike up the trails and catch your first glimpse of the turquoise Lake, you will be left speechless. The lake cuts perfectly into the trees and seems to rest at the foot of the mountains like a beautiful uncut gemstone
Despite rumours that you may hear amongst tourists, the blue color of the waters in Banff is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited into the lakes on a continual basis and NOT because they drain the lakes yearly and paint the bottom (yes, some believe this to be true).
What's #1 on your Banff list? Tell us below!
If you visit Banff wearing your Watered Down Apparel, don’t forget to tag us @watereddownapparel and use the hashtags #watereddownapparel and #wdaBanff
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