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10 Things to Do in Banff, Alberta

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

While I am lucky enough to say that Banff is my backyard, I know that it is a hotspot for many tourists all over the world. Whether the sun is shining, or the snow has fallen, Banff is gorgeous to visit all year round. Here are some of my favorite things to do around Banff!


Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake just outside of Banff running 21km long and 142m deep. In the summer it is a beautiful hiking spot, or you can grab a canoe and explore the lake. They have scenic boat cruises that go out daily, with an interpretive tour guide so you can learn all about the ghost town that is submerged under the lake. If you are up for an adventure, you can even dive down to the bottom and check it out! In the winter, grab your skates, snowshoes or just enjoy the scenery as you take a stroll around!

Johnston Canyon


This walk is one of my all-time favorites and is enjoyable all year round- for FREE! Although it is busy in the summer, it provides a relatively easy walk to both the lower falls and the upper falls. You also have the option to keep going to the top to explore the ink pots! In the winter, you can check out the frozen waterfalls and enjoy the scenery with fewer tourists. If you are really feeling adventurous, you can even do the Evening Icewalk.



Ski or Snowboard the SkiBig3


This is one of Banff’s primary tourist attractions. Between Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay, you can check out all of the best mountains Alberta has to offer. If you plan to stay for a while, you can purchase a pass that includes a free bus from Banff all winter long!


Walk on the Columbia Icefield Skywalk


The Columbia Icefield Skywalk experience features waterfalls, wildlife, the Sunwapta valley below you, glaciers above you and a glass platform that is all that stands between you and a 918-foot drop. This award-winning architecture is a must see! I recommend visiting before 1pm as the crowds start to pick up in the afternoon. There are a couple dining options while you are there as well and other tours offered if you’re looking for a full day of fun.



Drive the Icefield Parkway


The icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) connects Lake Louise with Jasper in Jasper National Park. I recommend doing this drive in the summer as the roads can be quite slick in the winter but allocate yourself at least 2 days to make the most of the trip and stop at the beautiful lakes along the way!


Canoe on Lake Louise


Ever wonder where all those beautiful pictures with mountains and ice blue water on Pinterest come from? Lake Louise is an iconic lake that is certainly a highlight on any trip to Alberta. In the summer you can take a canoe out and get your perfect shot for Instagram, or in the winter you can lace up your skates, go for a sleigh ride or check out the famous Ice Magic Festival.




Park Distillery


This local Gin Distillery is great for lunch or dinner! It has won multiple awards and is the perfect place to catch up with friends and reflect on your fun-filled day in Banff. They even do free Distillery tours. This is a local favorite and one of my go-to’s every time I visit!


Lake Agnes Tea House Hike


After your 7.6 km moderate trail hike, you will find a fully operating teahouse and Lake Agnes. Although it is busy, you wont regret sticking around for some lunch, dessert and tea to help energize you for the trek back down! If you are feeling up to it, you can continue up the mountain to the Beehive lookout where you will get a beautiful view of Lake Louise.




Soak in the Hot Springs


Whether the sun is shining, you just finished a frigid day on the ski hill, or you are just looking for a little R&R, the Hot Springs is the spot for you! I recommend checking it out earlier in the day if possible as it does get busy, but like anything else in Banff, it is worth the wait!


Take the Gondola up Sulphur Mountain


If you’re not up for a hike, the Gondola is the perfect option for you. Get stunning views of six mountain ranges and enjoy a walk along the Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk at the top! If you are feeling ambitious you can walk up, grab a bite to eat and a tasty beverage, check out the interpretive centre and make your way back down on the Gondola for ½ price ( free during winter season)






Soak in the Hot Springs


Whether the sun is shining, you just finished a frigid day on the ski hill, or you are just looking for a little R&R, the Hot Springs is the spot for you! I recommend checking it out earlier in the day if possible as it does get busy, but like anything else in Banff, it is worth the wait!



Don't forget to grab a Beaver Tail on your way out of town. This is one thing you don't want to miss!



If you need any advice or help planning your trip to Banff, visit me at tannis.thetravelagentnextdoor.com or via email at bdavis@ttand.com


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