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This was my first time traveling to Banff and I’m hoping it wont be the last time. Banff was beautiful and even though it was smoky due to the fires in B.C., the views were still breathtaking. Ben and I were trying to think of our favorite part of the trip and aside from the good company, I would say my favorite part was when we saw Lake Louise for the first time. I think we were all taken back by the view. God is amazing. I don’t think I could ever get sick of that view.
For those of you looking to travel to Alberta in the future, I thought I would share some of the things we did/ places we ate and give you some tips! We went with another couple (see my post from last week about them 🙂 and they picked us up from the airport in a rent car. Their flight arrived before ours. We rented a Jeep Cherokee that had a wide sunroof that was actually on of my favorite things because we all could see the views while we were driving. To save on cost, we snagged an Airbnb in Canmore, a small town just outside of Banff (maybe a 25 min drive to Banff. We stayed there and grabbed a coffee from a place called Good Earth Coffee Co. AMAZING coffee and the most quaint little place! Like something out of a movie. So we would drive from Canmore to Banff which was a beautiful drive complete with a waterfall, mountains, rivers, etc. We actually kayaked in Banff on Bow river which was much cheaper than boating on Lake Louise. $40 for 1 hour vs $100 for 30 min. The views were amazing on Bow River which is also made upon vibrant aqua glacier water. We didn’t feel rushed and enjoyed the ride. We had looked into rafting or horseback riding but never got around to it….another reason to come back?! Banff is actually about 45 min away from the Fairmont and Lake Louise which is good to keep in mind when booking your trip depending on what you want to do. I personally like what we did this time because we were able to hang out more in Banff which is such a cute little town with lots to do! Some of the places we ate in Banff were Eddie’s Burger + Bar which we actually ate there for 2 dinners. The boys were craving it….literally so good and has a variety of local meat (grass fed) options. Oh and their truffle fries were amazing! We also ate at the Maple Leaf for breakfast one morning which was a little fancier but very delicious. We weren’t impressed with the avocado toast so much. :/ It does have great atmosphere and and great location right off of Main St. I have to say, tho, the best views were from Banff Ave. Brewing Co. It has a bar on the balcony that you can sit at and overlook all of Banff. Panoramic views…amazing and they have the BEST BES BEST fried broccoli!
When we made it to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, there were so many more restaurant options, but parking can be an issue. We all agreed that if we came back that we would stay at the Fairmont. There are trails and hiking you can access just behind the hotel. Not to mention, the VIEW is amazing! We hiked the Plain of 6 Glaciers hike which was about 7 miles there and back and at the top of the trail, there is a Tea Room where you can order tea, coffee, and get the soup of the day or pastries/ biscuits and such 😉 They ask that you take all of your trash down with you so they dont attract bears! Its like a little camp set up there and the women who work there hike there and stay for several days so there are cabins around the Tea Room. It is really cool and the biscuits and coffee were great! We loved seeing the chipmunks along the way and I even got to feed one with a biscuit crumb I saved. They ask you not to feed them close to the Tea Room so maybe bring something with you for the beginning of the trail. Hiking the P6 Glacier trail was amazing, we saw climbers, waterfalls, amazing trees, and views the whole way. I would recommend either doing one of the Tea Room hikes (there is another one) or hiking to Lake Moraine if you have the time. Taking a horse isn’t a bad idea if you aren’t big or walking far!
We brunched at the Lakeview Lounge before our hike and tried the lobster mac and cheese…yum…so yum. Such a beautiful view of the Lake…hence the name lol. We both had to catch early (6am) flights so we stayed close to the airport the last day in Calgary.
I hope this gives you some ideas if you were planning to visit….which you should! It is truly awesome.