Banff, Alberta - August 2-3, 2005

Banff Travel Blog

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The view around Banff

My sister was living in Banff at the time, so I went to visit her for a couple days. It takes about six hours to drive from Vernon to Banff, and it’s a beautiful drive. I recommend the trip just for that. You’ll pass through little towns such as Revelstoke and Golden, before you drive through the Rocky Mountains. I’m a little biased to the beauty of the Rockies, seeing as I love mountains so much, but the Rocky Mountains are pretty amazing.

Banff is situated in Banff National Park. The place itself is a tiny village of about 7000 people (if that), jam packed with tourists. It’s not uncommon to see buses, upon buses, rolling down the two main streets in the town, or parked along the roads.

Cascade Mall
I don’t know what it’s like in the winter (I do know that the ski hills are very busy, and a lot of tourists head there for the skiing and snowboarding - but nowhere near the amount that show up in the summer), but summer is a great time to visit, if you don’t mind crowds. The weather was quite nice while I was in Banff. The sun was shining bright, however, seeing as it’s right in the heart of the Rockies, it doesn’t get overly hot. The temperature during the day while I was there reached the low to mid 20’s C, and then really cooled off at night, enough that you’d need a sweatshirt or light jacket.

My short visit was spent sightseeing and just hanging out with my sister. My mom and I went together, and my brother had gone a couple days before us, so we all just walked around the town, and played tourist.

Banff sights
It’s great having a private tour guide, someone who has lived there for a couple years, and knows where all the cool things to do and see are. We walked into the village center (from her house), which took about 2 minutes, and walked down main street, Banff Avenue. There are a lot of tourist shops in the town, so if you’re looking for something that says, ‘Banff Canada’, you will have no problem finding it. If you’re just looking to do some ‘normal’ shopping, you can visit The Gap, Roots, or any of the skate or board shops, which there are quite a few of.

The whole vibe of the village is a pretty laid-back one. All the people that actually live there seem to know each other. The people that are close in age seem to all be friends, and it’s a pretty cool thing to see when they walk down the street and are continually stopping to chat with each other.

Banff sights
Through my sister, though, I found out that they dread the summer when the mounds of tourists come into town, as the influx of people ruin the quiet, peaceful, existence that they have. At the same time, they all realize that a small place like Banff need those same people to keep them afloat. They rely heavily on the money that those tourists bring with them, so as the saying goes, it’s a double-edged sword.

The only thing I wished I had done while there was take a ride in the ice explorer to the Athabasca glacier. I saw the truck parked in the Sulphur Mountain parking lot, but didn’t have the time to actually visit the glacier.

All in all, it is a pretty cool place to visit, and the views there are amazingly beautiful. The colour of the water, alone, makes it a worth while trip.

vances says:
Nice write-up. Lake Louise is on my list of places to go!
Posted on: Feb 09, 2008
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The view around Banff
The view around Banff
Cascade Mall
Cascade Mall
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Oh Canada
Oh Canada
Tony, Sandra, Anna, and me posing …
Tony, Sandra, Anna, and me posing…
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff sights
Banff Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
My mom treated us all to breakfast at Phil’s, and it was a great breakfast. My sister said that when you want to go out for breakfast, this is THE … read entire review
Banff Sights & Attractions review
You can’t go to Banff without going to the Banff Springs Hotel (affectionately known as the Castle in the Mountains). It’s a beautiful hotel that… read entire review
Banff Sights & Attractions review
The 15 minute drive to Lake Minnewanka is a nice drive. The colour of the water is the most beautiful shade of blue that I’ve ever seen (it doesn… read entire review
Banff Sights & Attractions review
The ride up the Sulphur Mountain gondola is a must-do when visiting Banff. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the top, and you can stay up there for… read entire review
Banff Sights & Attractions review
The Bow River runs through the village. Below the Banff Springs Hotel is a great access point to the river and Bow Falls. Here, you can park and han… read entire review
Banff Sights & Attractions review
The Indian Trading Post is a great little shop to see Native art, jewellery, and other artifacts. It's free to go in and browse, of course. However,… read entire review
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photo by: jeffy