Looking for a cool place to spend the summer? Or a winter wonderland? We found just the place for you! The town of Banff, Alberta, Canada is simply amazing. This cherished gem in the Canadian Rockies is a town of just 8,500 permanent residents and tourism is the name of the game. Banff is known for the National Park (a World Heritage Site) and the added bonus of the world renowned hot springs. So after a long day hiking in the fair weather, or skiing in the cold, the hot spring welcomes you to relax and soak. If you retire in Banff, Alberta for your favorite season, you will see what we mean. Because of the year round appeal, Banff has festivals going all the time as well as galleries, shops, and world class restaurants with amazing hotels and lodges. But this is also a home base for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, horseback riding, birdwatching and rock climbing. This is cool weather recreation paradise!
Banff started, as so many places in the west, as a railroad stop. The town was settled in the 1880’s and is still a railroad stop, but also a destination in itself. Surrounded by mountains, Banff sits at 4,600 ft (1,400 meters) and is where most visitors stay when visiting the park or the area. Further up Hwy 1 is Lake Louise, probably one of the most photographed bodies of water in the world.
The weather can range from -13C/8F in the winter to 22C/70F. (If you live in Phoenix and hate the summers – come to Banff!)
One of the most popular attractions in Banff is the gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain with stunning views of the six mountain ranges. While up there, have lunch at the Summit Café or go at night for the Alpine Lights Dining. The view is incredible!
For those with no fear of heights, venture out on the Glacier skywalk, a half circle glass platform extending from the mountain and see the 918 foot drop!
Banff is an extraordinary place and one of our favorite spots in Canada. No matter when you go – don’t forget your camera!
One of the best parts of Banff is enjoying the outdoor hot springs and hearing voices from all over the world! Make some new friends from Germany or Japan!
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!