Nearing the end of our Cross Canada road trip Candice and I scheduled in a two day stop over in Banff, Alberta to rest up before we are engulfed in the craziness that is TBEX this coming weekend. We checked into our rooms at the Fox Hotel and I instantly fell in love with this place and apparently so have hundreds of Australians. I swear they were everywhere! I definitely met more Aussies than Canadians during my time in Banff.
We had a little less than two full days in this lovely little town smack dab in the middle of an amazing national park but with help from our friends the Banff Squirrel and the Big Bear (just to name a few) we definitely made the most of the little time we had. Below you will find out my tips for exploring Banff if you only have a couple days.
1. Just move here.
You may be thinking that that is the craziest tip that I could give you but honestly its the truth. You like many others before you may think that you will just visit Banff for a few days, love it, but leave and maybe plan to come back again sometime in your life. However if you were to think this then sorry my friend you are wrong. Most of the people I met in Banff had those exact same ideas, but years later they are still there because they love it so much. I am even now contemplating moving there for a couple of months myself! No word of lie you will want to too so forget about all of this “visiting” business and just pack up all your things and move here, you won’t regret it and you will quickly see how I was right. However I do like to think that I am often always right… hmmm.
2. Take a tour
Ok, fine. If you don’t believe that you will want to automatically move there at least have your relatives on standby to pack up all of your things to be shipped to Banff once you arrive and never want to leave.
Whenever I go to a new place I like taking a tour to familiarize myself with the place, learn a little history and take note of things I want to do and places I want to visit in more detail later. While in Banff Candice and I took a half day bus tour with Brewster Canada that took us all around Banff, to the Gondola at Sulphur Mountain and then taking us to a boat cruise on Lake Minnewanka. “The mountains are so beautiful!” is what Candice probably screamed a hundred times that day, and you will as well. We learned some history and interesting facts about the place on the tour and also made some new friends. Bus tours are also a great place to meet new friends that will also soon be moving to Banff like yourself.
3. Try the Beer
While in Banff we met up with our friend Pam from www.SpunkyGirlMonologues.com and she took us to the Banff Ave,
Brewing Co. Where we got our private tour of the micro brewery from the Brewmaster himself and we drank someamazing beer! My favourite was the Blonde (which I hear sometime soon they may no longer make, boo). Not only can you order this beer in the normal pint sized glass but you can also get it served to you in a milk quart bottle! A quart of beer! You might think this is extreme or that it would get warm while you tried to drink all of that but once again you would be wrong, its so delicious that it doesn’t even have time to think about getting warm. We also tried the Donald Trump Poutine. Just like your regular poutine it was made of French fries and gravy with cheese curds but then they also threw on some frites, a little camembert and goat cheese.
4. Drink a trash can
Another favourite place of our friend Pam was the Eddie Burger Bar. At the Eddie Burger Bar you can make your own burger, selecting everything possible for it from the different types of bread or bun that it came on to the type of meat, sauces you name it. At Eddie Burger Bar you can also have deep fried pickles and if you are up for it try a pickle back. A pickle back is a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice. At first I thought I might throw up but then…. I think I kind of liked it! However my favourite thing at EBB was the Eddie Trashcan. Copious amounts of vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, blue curoco, lime juice and a can of red bull. However the trashcan part of the drink comes when they don’t just pour the red bull in they smush the can up like trash and put it right in the middle of your drink so it looks like trash… oh and the drink also gets you pretty trashed. It was yummy!
5. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
If this isn’t where you are staying then this hotel is definitely a place to visit. Built in 1888 and considered a National Historic site the hotel was said to be the birthplace of tourism in the Canadian Rockies. Stop in for lunch, enjoy the spa or take a picture of this beautiful building from afar as it can be seen from many points throughout the park. Click here for more ideas on where to stay in Banff.
6. Visit the lakes
On our second day in Banff Candice and I drove less than an hour from the “downtown” of Banff to Lake Moraine and the famous Lake Louise. Located near to each other these gorgeous lakes have a very similar glow. Lake Moraine which is less heard about sits at the very bottom of a couple of the parks mountains and because of this is glacially fed. It was still slightly frozen from the winter when we visited (on June 8th) however later in the summer when all the ice is gone the color of this lake is a gorgeous blue similar to Lake Louise. Home to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise one of Canada’s Grand Railway hotels, Lake Louise is larger than Lake Moraine, however it seems to be a bit more open. When we visited Lake Louise was free of most of the ice and beckoned us to jump in…. but I think it was still a little to cold for that.
These are just a few things that you can do while in Banff and there are hundreds of more things possible, like you could actually go hiking in the park, ride a bike through town, eat dinner at the to of Sulphur Mountain, hunt for the Banff Squirrel you name it! Visit Banff right now and I will see you soon neighbor!