Travel Review: Weekend in Banff

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since we travelled to Banff for my sister’s bachelorette weekend! Time really flies when it’s not winter.

Now that it’s August, I thought it was time to share a long overdue travel roundup of our trip. Looking back, I’m so glad we decided to forgo Vegas or New York for Katie’s bachelorette weekend and do something a little more alternative.

The wedding was just one week after the bachelorette, so we knew we wanted to do something restful and rejuvenating (which isn’t to say we stayed in the room all night and drank tea!). We definitely took advantage of Banff’s university town-esque nightlife, heading to spots like The Dancing Sasquatch, High Rollers, Hoodoo, the Rose & Crown and Brew Pub.

The downtown core of Banff was much more happening than I thought it would be, and we ended up spending quite a few hours trolling the streets, going for lunch and shopping in cute little stores, including a massive gem store with every kind of crystal imaginable! As you might guess, Banff has a laid-back, outdoorsy vibe, perfect for travellers and hippies (and Australians, of course! In fact, I don’t think we had a server the entire weekend who wasn’t Australian).

We packed our days full of activities, which isn’t hard to do in such a stunning natural setting. It goes without saying that the combination of mountains, lakes and trees is absolutely breathtaking, oh and did I mention MOUNTAINS? Seriously, as a lifelong Torontonian who’s never been out west, gazing at the massive, awe-inspiring peaks as we drove in from Calgary was enough to make my head spin. I mean, I knew they would be big but, whoa!

We stayed at the Rimrock Resort, which was a bit further away from downtown Banff but also close to the Banff Hot Springs and the Gondola. The hotel had stunning views, a beautiful lobby, and excellent restaurants like Primrose.

One of the highlights of the trip was the bus tour we took to Lake Moraine and Lake Louise. Even though the lakes were still frozen and the bus ride was bumpy, it was still an unforgettable trip and we even saw a few bears during the drive!

The gondola ride was a bit pricy, but I’m so glad we chose to do it after all. The views at the top of the mountain were totally surreal. It would be the perfect proposal spot!

Another favourite activity of ours was the morning we spent at Cedar & Sage spa in downtown Banff. We all did yoga, got massages and ate a healthy breakfast, which was a lovely way to counteract all the partying of the night before.

For our last day, we headed to the Banff Springs Hotel for a massive, all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast and a pool day. I’ve never witnessed such stunning views, and if I had any family or friends in Banff, I would most definitely choose the historic hotel as my wedding venue.

Banff In review:

Nightlife: HooDoo Lounge, The Rose & Crown, Banff Avenue Brewing Company, The Dancing Sasquatch, High Rollers Banff

Restaurants: Primrose Dining Room, The Grizzly House (great fondue and a super fun atmosphere! They have phones so you can call other tables!), Saltlik Banff, The Bison, Bow Valley Grill

Do: Hike around Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Tunnel Mountain, visit Cedar & Sage Spa, hang out at the Banff Springs Hotel pool, take the Gondola up Sulphur Mountain

All in all, it was an incredible trip, and I’m so glad we headed west for a visit. Have you ever been to Banff? What did you think of it?

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