Banff is an easy 90 minute drive from Calgary. So when I had a day off I knew I had to go up to one of the dreamiest places on Earth.
Banff National Park
The massive park includes the town of Banff as well as Lake Louise (as well as many other lakes we were unable to see in a day). You have to pay an entry fee to get into the park. It cost us $19.60 for a car of 4 people.
The town of Banff is adorable, although a bit touristy now. We had a hard time finding parking, even on a Monday afternoon. We walked around the town then up to the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Fairmont’s are very fancy and this was no exception.
After grabbing snacks from the coffee shop off the lobby (iced maple hazelnut latte and soft baked chocolate chip cookie for me) we headed outside to the patio where we had gorgeous views of lakes and mountains.
After the midday snack, we headed back to the car and drove up to Lake Louise, which is an additional ½ hour. There is another Fairmont just off the lake, called the Chateau Lake Louise, which would be an amazing place to stay. The lake is absolutely stunning and the pictures do not do it justice. It is the coolest shade of blue and so peaceful, even with all the tourists.
If you have the time, I would definitely recommend waiting in the long line to rent a bright red canoe. We skipped this but I have seen many amazing pictures with the pop of the red next to the bright turquoise water.
We then headed up to Moraine Lake, which is an additional 20 minutes from Lake Louise. You see the sign to turn off on the way up to Lake Louise so it’s very easy to get to.
We arrived pretty late and were a bit disappointed after seeing Lake Louise but I have seen many gorgeous photos of Moraine Lake and I think the lighting/time of day just wasn’t right for us.
Dinner in Banff
There are so many great dining options in Banff. We opted for the Keg Steakhouse, which is actually a Canadian chain. We ate in the bar area and had all of the food. I got the sirloin with lobster, scallops, shrimp and crab with rice on the side and we shared Brussels sprouts at the table. We drank a delicious red blend wine from BC. We left incredibly stuffed.
It really was the perfect day. It’s an incredible place to visit and I can’t wait to go back and spend more time!