The aesthetic town of Banff, Canada – must see, eat and do
January 1, 1970
by KELSEY HELLYER
Banff is such a vibrant town and every traveler making their way to Alberta, Canada should make sure that they experience the best parts of it. You know you’re in a special place when all the buildings match and work perfectly with the beautiful mountains at every view point. This town is a tribute to the beautiful Canadian landscapes and the people living here definitely show that with their respect for the town. Even the public toilets have a log cabin look to them, are immaculate and play continuous smooth jazz, what gets better than that? The town of Banff truly is a united community where everyone is welcome.
Things to do in Banff
This experience was my favorite in Banff so far, the Gondola allows you to see the breathtaking views of Banff in a unique way. I can’t begin to explain how beautiful it is at the top, bring your camera, you’ll need it. The Gondola ride costs an adult $64 for a round trip, although, if you book online in advance you can save 10% bringing the price down to $58. In winter there is also the option to hike up Sulphur mountain and get the gondola down for free!
Ice skating at The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre
If you’re heading to Banff this ice skating rink is perfect all year round. If you’re in Banff in the winter and after something with a better view the Waldhaus Rink is located just behind the Banff Springs Hotel.
Banff hot springs
In the cold town of Banff to the perfect way to warm up is a trip to the Banff Upper Hot Springs. An adult admission will cost $8.30 and you can rent towels and bathing suits there if needed. One thing to be aware of is that this place is busy, if you want to beat the rush then I suggest getting there for opening time for this 40-degree swimming pool.
Last Temptation thrift shop has an amazing set up, if you’re looking for some cheap snow or hiking gear this is the place to go. Banff is a traveller’s paradise and often travellers here will give away their stuff because they don’t have room to take it on the rest of their travels. There is a little bit of everything in this shop including a costume section and plenty of winter clothing. The united church is another thrift shop, but I was unable to shop there because of it’s weird, short store hours.
Best Spots to Eat in Banff
This place has an almost all vegan menu with lots and lots of tasty options, gluten free choices too. I had the Socca tacos and they were delicious! I also tried the Bear St burger that my boyfriend ordered, and it was amazing, hard to believe something that tastes so good could be entirely vegan.
The vibe here was one of a kind, a breathtaking view while you eat your meal at the top of the Banff Gondola. This place made me feel overly fancy and the service was incredible. A bottle of wine and a cheese platter went perfectly with the scenery, this is one place that I would visit again.
Mary’s Popcorn Shop
You’ll know when you’re getting close because this popcorn shop has the most unreal smell, you can’t resist going in for a look. The original caramel flavor is a favorite of mine.
Bruno’s Bar and Grill
On Saturdays Bruno’s has a lunch burger special where you can get any of their burgers for $13. I had their veggie burger which was amazing! Hard to find a vegetarian burger that isn’t made to be spicy, it was a great combination different vegetables and cheeses.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
This restaurant is very affordable for what you get with your meal, a pasta dish cost me $14.50 and came with the ‘it’s all included’ deal. With this you get bread with garlic butter and a soup or salad included in your meal, this will guarantee that you are packed full when you leave.
Explore Rockies Café
When I did my work training at the Elk and Avenue Hotel this little coffee place was conveniently located in the same building, I got an almond milk flat white each day. Evelyn’s coffee world is another great place to get your coffee fix in Banff!
Breathtaking Hikes and Good Views in Banff
Tunnel mountain is an easy hike if you’re a beginner, anyone can do it and it is a relatively safe hike all year round. In the winter I would suggest bringing snowshoes and, in the spring, crampons would be ideal. When I did this hike in spring all I had on were boots and the way down wasn’t very pleasant, a lot of slips and falls on the melting ice.
Gondola Summit Boardwalk
If you make your way up to the Gondola in Banff there is a lovely hike to a higher point of Sulphur Mountain. This hike will take you about 30 minutes to the summit and back, this walk is fine to do all year round because it is well maintained and has appropriate railing.
Banff Surprise Corner
This location has a breathtaking view of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Sulphur Mountain and Bow River. It is a must-see view in the Banff area. A walk across the Bow River bridge is also a pleasant stroll.
If you’re looking for more specialized things to do in the town there are always posters about events that are coming up in most places around the town. In the Cascade shops just off the main street and right next to the food court they have a large pin up board with lots of events that are happening in the town. These events have things from yoga and snow sports to specialty nights at the local’s pubs and clubs. Go down and check out what is happening in the town, there might be something just right for you!