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About Banff

Get the inside scoop on Banff from local experts, travel creators, and tastemakers. Browse genuine trip notes, Banff reviews, photos, travel guides, and itineraries from real travelers and plan your trip with confidence.

What people say

"Venture into the charming town of Banff, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, and discover a delightful blend of natural beauty and vibrant shops. Stroll along Banff Avenue, the town's main thoroughfare, where you'll find an array of boutiques and galleries. For unique souvenirs and local artwork, make sure to visit Mountain Lights Books & Gifts or The Banff Trading Post. Food enthusiasts should explore the charming aisles of Banff Sweet Shoppe for gourmet chocolates and delectable treats. Don't miss the opportunity to wander through the Banff Avenue Square, where you can savor local cuisine at charming cafes, or simply relax and take in the mountain scenery. Whether you're seeking outdoor gear at shops like Patagonia or simply want to soak in the town's cozy ambiance, Banff offers a delightful blend of shopping and stunning mountain views."
"It's about an hour drive from Lake Louise to Banff. Walking down the main street is a must! This will allow you to take in the iconic mountain views and check out the many stores. This is a great place to buy souvenirs if you’re interested. While you’re exploring, make note of the many restaurants so you can choose where you want to eat supper. I recommend Banff Ave. Brewing Co. but there are multiple restaurants along the street to choose from. There is public parking here but you should be prepared that most parking is paid. Parking off of the main road will make it easier to find a spot."
"While dropping our ice skates off at the Banff Adventures rental company, we decided to spend some additional time exploring the town and seeing what we could find. We stopped at a few tourist shops along the way to pick up some souvenirs and had a great lunch!"

Mentioned in these guides

So, you're going to the Canadian Rockies? After living in Montana for many years, I knew and expected the terrain to be quite similar. I was in for quite the surprise when this area of Canada turned out to be one of the most beautiful places I've EVER visited. Below you'll find my favorite stops (separated by location) that we found along the way from Edmonton to Calgary (and a few stops over in BC!), along with tips on the area and an interactive map. I've included the hotels used personally, as well as some additional top rated stays at several price points. I've also included some stops that we didn't make it to this first time around, but we will definitely be heading back for them! Quick Disclaimer: Respect nature and wildlife. Wildlife is WILD and nature is natural. Treat them as such. Leave no trace when outdoors, and respect wildlife by giving them space. Locations included: 🏔️ Edmonton 🏔️ Jasper National Park 🏔️ Banff National Park 🏔️ Banff, Alberta (town) 🏔️ Lake Louise (town) 🏔️ Canmore, Alberta 🏔️ Calgary, Alberta I've added quite a few hotel options, as they all book up extremely quickly and are not cheap. I did highlight the ones we stayed at as well as provided descriptions of those! Pssst. Above is the exact route we drove also! We drove up from Montana, but flying in to Edmonton and renting a car or RV to drive this itinerary down through to Calgary is an awesome option. If you wish to continue this trip further like we did, drive down to Yoho and Kootenay National Parks in BC and Glacier National Park in Montana from Calgary! I have a separate guide for Glacier, but highly recommend if you have the time! I have listed a variety of different things from nature and hiking to food and craft beer to a few select "other" options (that don't involve hiking). However, this guide primarily focuses on the true beauty of nature in Canada. You won't run out of options! We found the Parks in Canada to be extremely accessible, dog friendly, and overall pretty clean. The red Adirondack chairs were the coolest thing, and I'm not going to explain that... You'll see what I mean.
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