Nestled next to Canada’s westernmost province, and within the Northern Rockies, Banff National Park is a popular tourist destination for the adventurous traveler. Filled with endless trails to hike and ski, along with the famous turquoise waters, there’s no wonder that this area ranks high on many travelers’ bucket list. Below is a list of the top ten things to do in and surrounding Banff, Alberta!
1. Visit Lake Louise
Located roughly an hour west of Banff, Lake Louise is situated in the Rocky Mountains and is home to the famous hotel, Chateau Fairmont. In the summertime, this mountain lake is known for its vibrant turquoise waters. In the winter, it can be used for ice skating. In April, which is Banff’s and surrounding resort towns’ shoulder season, you will still see this mountain lake partially iced over. During this time of the year, it’s best to be cautious when stepping onto the lake, as temperatures are rather unpredictable. The spectacular view of the mountains alone is definitely worth the visit.
2. Explore downtown Banff
Banff, Alberta is home to many shops, resorts, and the famous Banff National Park. Banff is a great city to explore and offers plenty of activities for all age groups. Consider making this a stop-off point when traveling across the Alberta province.
3. Visit and hike among the many trails that are in and around Banff National Park.
Banff National Park is a wonder of its own. Nestled in the Northern Rockies. The park is surrounded by picturesque mountains and lakes. There’s plenty of hikes available for the adventurous and spots to camp out during the summer months.
4. Try a beavertail.
The beavertail is a famous Canadian pastry. Served hot, it is fried dough with toppings of your choosing. You can find a beavertail at multiple locations in downtown Banff.
5. Visit a hot spring.
Alberta houses many natural hot springs and some not so natural but equally enjoyable ones scattered around the province. At an average of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the spas can attract tourists and locals year-round. Radium and Banff Upper Hot Springs are popular choices among visitors.
6. Hike Sulphur Mountain.
Located in Banff National Park, this is the perfect hike that will enable some pretty spectacular views. There’s multiple stop-off points for this one trail alone. If hiking isn’t your thing and you want to get those top-of-the-mountain views, consider taking the gondola up to the summit. You’ll get a breathtaking view of Banff and surrounding areas. In April, be cautious of avalanches as snow begins to melt.
7. Visit the Yamnuska Wolf Sanctuary about a half an hour out of Calgary.
This sanctuary houses over 30 varieties of hybrid wolves. Take an interactive tour and feed and mingle with the wolves. This alone is a truly unforgettable experience and the sanctuary is a non-profit organization.
8. Visit Calgary.
Calgary is a very beautiful city that is a central hub to the rest of the province.
9. Drive through Icefields Parkway.
The Icefields Parkway is rated as one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the world. A beautiful view of the mountains; glimpses of wildlife; and the natural land bridges, make this route worth driving.
10. Experience Bow Falls
Nestled right next to Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Bow Falls is a scenic view and is just a hop and skip from Banff city center.
So when looking to book your next getaway, consider traveling to beautiful Alberta, or take a look at our other recommended top locations in Canada. Canada hosts a lot of beautiful and natural wonders!
Written by: Sophie Corderre