A stop in Banff is a must on any trip/ tour of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a charming town, with Alpine-style buildings lining the main road – Banff Avenue – and a very relaxed vibe! Mountains dominate the landscape all around – Sulphur Mountain at one end and Cascade Mountain at the other! It’s staggeringly beautiful.
There’s plenty to do so I’d recommend staying at least three nights. You can explore by bus, car or even e-bike so it’s easy to get out and about and see all the sights. There is a great public transport option called Roam which offers day passes for just CAN$2 (16+) or CAN$1 for over 65s, and there are stops all along Banff Avenue which go to the main tourist attractions.
Nearby lakes include Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka, which both boast aquamarine waters and beautiful views. You can view ancient hoodoos from a lookout point on Tunnel Mountain Road. And, of course, two of the most popular attractions are the Banff Gondola which scales Sulphur Mountain affording breathtaking views, and the Banff Hot Springs which are a real treat to relax in while gazing at the snow-capped mountains.
In the town itself you’ll never be short of shopping or dining options. Banff Avenue and the adjacent blocks are bustling with restaurants of all styles and cuisines, and all sorts of shops from gifts and souvenirs to clothing and jewellery.
There are also some lovely hiking trails directly from the town centre. I particularly liked walking out to Vermillion Lakes, or down to Bow Falls and Surprise Corner.