Located in the heart of Banff National Park and snuggly embraced by Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the town of Banff is the larger of the two towns in the park. Once you reach Banff, you’ll see why it has a big reputation. From the Cascade Mountains to the picturesque Bow River, the place is blessed with a spectacular natural setting woven with parks, woods, and trails. During winter, the area turns into a winter wonderland offering a lot of adventure for snow enthusiasts. Banff is an ideal base for hiking and wildlife viewing while going through the surrounding park areas during summer. Whether you’re planning a weekend summer getaway or a month-long winter hiatus, Owner Direct will make sure you find the best accommodation that will fit your lodging and travel needs with our large selection of vacation rentals in Banff and surrounding areas.
If you choose to visit during winter, there are home and condo rentals that offer a free shuttle service to the village and slopes. At the end of a long day on the ski hill, what better way to relax than heading home to that beautiful private vacation rental you booked. Cuddle up under a blanket, sink into the steaming hot tub, or cozy up to the warm fireplace in the spacious living room. There’s plenty of room to store your ski equipment, too.
Take advantage of mountain homes during summer where you can explore the lakes in a kayak or canoe, or enjoy a cold drink on your private deck with a view of those beautiful BC mountains. If the lake isn’t your thing, choose accommodations nestled among the trees with plenty of lawn space, or high up the mountains with a view of the town. Maybe pick a home with a pool with a private grill for cooking up some barbecues. Light up a fire pit to roast some marshmallows leading to great bonding time with family and friends.
Stepping out from your home-away-from-home, explore Banff Avenue or watch a concert at The Banff Center. Mountain bike along a lakeside trail, go climbing at Tunnel Mountain and then soak at the Hot Springs. Try fishing or play a round at Banff Springs Golf Course. The winter season brings ice skating on frozen lakes, world-class skiing, and snowboarding. Ride the gondola for amazing views, go tobogganing or see some ice sculptures during Snow Days winter festival. For history buffs, visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site or Banff Park Museum. You can learn about First Nations heritage at Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. Go see the world famous turquoise waters of Lake Louise just 59 km northwest, while 21 km more then you’re at equally stunning Moraine Lake.
Being an international tourist destination, there are no shortages of restaurants and bars. Downtown Banff boasts plenty of casual eateries. Favorites include Banff Ave. Brewing Company and Block Kitchen and Bar. For vegetarians, Nourish Vegetarian Bistro is described as a hidden gem. For upscale dining, travelers recommend restaurants in the northern part of town, such as the Sleeping Buffalo Restaurant & Lodge that serves regional cuisine and offer incredible views. Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar wows visitors with its menus and alpine views seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. For dessert (or breakfast), try the fully loaded Beaver Tail.
The closest airport, Calgary International Airport (YYC), handles most major airlines. From there, you can rent a car to drive the 90 miles west to Banff or hop on the Banff Airporter, a public shuttle. If you’re driving, take the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1) West from Calgary. The first exit to Banff is about an hour and a half from the airport.
The best way to get around is on foot. If weather prevents a casual stroll, there’s a bus system that services the town and ski areas.
The best time to visit Banff is either summer (June to August) or winter (December to March). Nature lovers will want to get to the park when the weather is warm and skiers will want to vacation in the height of winter.
Depending on what you want to do, Banff can be seen as an almost year-round destination. No matter when you choose to visit, plan to wear sunscreen to protect against UV exposure. The sunshine at these alpine altitudes is strong.
Life moves a little slower in Banff, so it’s wise to reset your internal clock to ‘relaxation mode’. It’s also common to see wildlife wandering right down the street and along the river, so keep your camera with you at all times.
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