Banff Travel Guide
Hi guys! I just spent an amazing week in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, went for a girls trip to Banff, Canada and was so surprised to see SNOW IN SEPTEMBER. Like wut. I was sweating my booty off back in Dallas but here, I was wearing three layers and still freezing lol. We saw some of the prettiest sights this week that you have got to see!!! This is definitely a trip for the books! I highly recommend you taking a trip up to Banff whenever you can! God’s wonders are shining bright here!
My friend, Jessi Afshin from The Darling Detail, suggested the idea of planning a trip to Banff and I was IN. I love being able to travel with friends and I was swoon by the beautiful lakes and nature in Canada from my previous trip to Pacific Rim. We got together and planned a four day trip in beautiful Banff, near Calgary. Four days was plenty to both enjoy down time and take advantage of the sights to see in the area!
Sharing my Banff travel guide for you below on all the best places to stay, things to do, places to eat, and of course what to wear! So excited to share our journey below! Hopefully this helps you plan your trip to Banff, let me know your favorite things to do in Banff in the comments below!
WHERE TO STAY IN BANFF
Fairmont Banff Springs
We stayed at the Fairmont Banff Springs, it seriously looks like a castle…It was built in 1888 (whaaaat) but is very nice and elegant inside. I felt so cozy in this castle-like hotel! They had several restaurants, shops and activities on site; we had breakfast everyday at the cutest cafe there called Stock!
The hotel also offers free rides to downtown Banff so you can explore the city, meet connecting tours, or grab a bite to eat whenever you want (you just have to taxi back!).
We had a much needed spa day at the Willow Streams Spa which was great after a long day of traveling. They had several thermal pools, a sauna, steam room, and outdoor thermal pool that was oh so nice!!
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
We went to Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for the canoe rides and of course the stunning Lake Louise! If we could do the trip again, we would definitely try to stay here!!! But they fill up quickly since the location is amazing, so make sure to book in advance!!
The iconic canoes on Lake Louise can be rented at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Definitely recommend booking that in advance since it is always very popular! Times and availability change throughout the year since the lake ices over in the winter time.
September was the perfect time to plan the trip because technically it is still summer (my Texas peeps beware. it was as cold this weekend as peak winter!!). But the summer in Banff still means a lot of the attractions are still open, and just enough snow to enjoy the winter vibes! I was walking around our hotel just waiting to see Christmas decorations everywhere! I would love to come back in winter and enjoy all the snow!!
WHAT TO DO IN BANFF
Sometimes I can be that girl who takes a beach vacation to relax for a week, but sometimes I like to be that girl who sets out on an adventure. You can call me, Dani the Explorer!! I’ll give Instagram some credit in helping me discover many of these places, and they did not disappoint. When I say it was unreal, I mean it was absolutely insane how beautiful these places are.
Lake Louise is right next to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise so if you plan your stay there, you have nonstop views of one of the most iconic lakes in Alberta (lucky duck!). You can rent the canoes through the Fairmont, just make sure to book in advance so you don’t miss out!
We took the Gondola up to our dinner reservations at Sky Bistro and thought it was the coolest experience! It was a little cloudy so we weren’t able to see the array of mountains but it didn’t keep the view from being spectacular from 2,200 feet above! You have to pay for the Gondola even if you have reservations at the restaurant, but the view is amazing and you can hang out on the Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk for awhile to take in the views!
WOWOWOW. This one is more secluded than Lake Louise, so I definitely suggest taking a tour like we did with Discover Banff. You seriously cannot miss out on seeing this spot when you’re anywhere near Calgary! My mind was seriously blown!!!
Omg, this was such a cute, little town. We went here for dinner one night and it started snowing! There are plenty of restaurants and shopping to do here. Sharing my restaurant recommendations below!
We did an excursion with Discover Banff to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. They picked us up from our hotel around 1:30 and we spent the day on the Canadian Highway to two of the most popular destinations in Banff! The driver was so nice and knowledgeable about all there is to know about the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I’m so glad we booked a tour instead of renting a car because they said that navigating and finding parking at the sites is a pain in the tush! The shuttle was 4 hours long and we were able to comfortably travel around Banff.
WHERE TO EAT IN BANFF
Meet my BFF, Jessi, if you don’t know her already. Her heart inspires me, and thousands, daily. She pursues Christ in everything she does and wholeheartedly trusts and is patient for His timing. We were surrounded by evidence of God’s power this week by the majestic nature around us, but also the power of His hand in the relationships He gives us. Super grateful for this girl!!!
Okay, to be completely honest, we had a pretty unhealthy diet this week lol. I don’t know if it’s just the traveling brain that makes you veg out or what, but we got pretty snacky and went to town for some chips and dips to snack on throughout the week. We had a great breakfast every morning at Stock Cafe located inside the Fairmont and ventured out a couple of places in town to eat!
I’ll share the suggestions offered to us by the locals for you to try! They looked so yummy but we just didn’t have the time, you’ll have to tell me where your favorite place is!
Hopefully this inspires you to plan a trip to Banff! Let me know your favorite things to do in Banff in the comments below!