Last summer was my first visit to the magic spot that is Banff. It was truly beautiful, and there are tons of things to do. People visit from around the world to see the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Louise, but there is so much more to explore!
My mom and I went together for a few days as my graduation gift. I think an experience like this is very meaningful and since I love travelling so much, this was so perfect right after I graduated. Keep reading for some quick tips on places to visit, activities to do and where to eat!
Two Jack Lake + Lake Minnewanka: We drove right up to this spot, took a few photos and stared at the stunning turquoise water.
Johnston Canyon: There are 2 hike options here – you can walk about half way, but honestly, walking all the way to the top is so worth it.
Morraine Lake: A must do! We checked out this lake for more than an hour I’d say – again, the turquoise of the water was unbelievable.
Lake Louise: This is the lake that Banff is mostly known for. It was almost melted when we visited in May.
Lake Louise Ski Lift: If you take this airy ski lift up to the top, the view of the surrounding area is stunning.
Sulphur Mountain Gondola: Hope you’re not afraid of heights! Even if you are (like me), the view at the top was so worth it. Grab a coffee and walk the boardwalk. Full 360 views from up there!
Cave and Basin National Historic Site: A little history lesson – definitely worth learning about the spots you visit.
Banff town to shop: Collect some souvenirs or just people watch.
We ate out pretty much every day (minus visiting some friends for dinner one night) and found some cute, cozy spots. Continue reading to see them.
- Block Kitchen + Bar – We went here for a quick lunch and had really good caesars!
- Fairmont Springs Lake Louise – Can be pricey. We got drinks and a light snack.
- Fairmont Springs Banff – Since we stayed at this hotel, it was fun to explore the many restaurants inside.
- Banff Ave. Brewing Co. – Cute spot with an awesome view of the street! And good beer.
- Lake Louise Ski Lodge – We ate breakfast here before going up the ski lift – was only $5 more!
- We rented a car for our trip, but it is definitely possible to enjoy Banff without one.
- Buy a park pass and remember to display it in your window at all times! We went up the Sulphur Mountain Gondola and left our park pass in the car window by accident. When we came back, everyone without a park pass displayed had been ticketed!
- We travelled to Banff in May – it was slightly chilly during the night, but this weather was perfect for the hikes we did.
- #ShareTheChair – look out for red chairs at the best photo op areas in Banff. Post them online using the hashtag #ShareTheChair!
- Remember to take it slow and enjoy the views!