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mrscanada Banff National Park - A travel report by Lyla
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Banff National Park,  Canada - flag Canada -  Alberta
7681 readers

mrscanada's travel reports

The Most Popular Park In The Rockies

  18 votes
Page: 1 2
Banff is the most famous of the Alberta Parks, but I don’t like it. There are too many visitors and too many people who own homes but don't live here.

The only way to get here is to fly into Calgary and get on a bus or rent a car.




Payto Lake
Payto Lake
It was established in 1885 the Park and encompasses over 6600 square kilometers. This is Canada's first National Park and the World's third oldest protected park. It a World Heritage site by the United Nations, (in 1995). The town is 1,372 meters high and is Canada's Highest Town. There are approximately 10,000 people who live here. You will have to drive to get there. You travel along the Trans Canada highway for an hour and a half, (the people from Calgary say it takes them less than an hour). The park is so filled with the people from Calgary and tourists that you can hardly drive through the small downtown area. Both summer and winter sports are offered at this park. The Banff Springs Hotels is one of the most expensive hotels in Canada

Favourite spots:
Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Ram
The shops in the downtown area are Henry Singers, Holt Renfrew that are very expensive. The best place to shop is the Sunshine Mall and for the best place to buy food is at Safeway. The best place to ski here is on Sunshine Mountain (it's a 20-minute drive from Banff). Mount Norquay is closer but sometimes it is closed. At the Banff Park Museum has a collection of creatures that are indigenous, (from birds to grizzly bears). The Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum shows exhibits that honor the First Nations people who live in southern Alberta. Canada Place displays Canada’s natural and historical heritage. Did you know that Canadians invented the disposable baby bottle, telephone, a basketball etc. You'll have to visit to find out the rest!

What's really great:
Ducks
Ducks
I only went once to the Cave and Basin swimming pool. The water comes from a spring below the pool and in the water is sulphur. I'm allergic to sulphur and before I could dash out of the pool I was covered in hives! Take a cruise on Lake Minnewanka to Devil's Gap, (1 and a ½ hours), on a glass covered boat. Every time we visit In the evening we go to the Banff Center for the Arts to see a concert.

Sights:
Down Hill Skiing
Down Hill Skiing
Take a cruise on Lake Minnewanka to Devil's Gap, (1 and a ½ hours), on a glass covered boat.

Every time we visit In the evening we go to the Banff Center for the Arts to see a concert.

In the evening it's nice to hire a horse drawn carriage that will drive you through the down town area, show you the homes and condos.




Accommodations:
Riding On One Of The Trails
Riding On One Of The Trails
The Banff Springs Hotel was closed during WWII, and it was the central command for Canada's military. The hotel has swimming pool, a golf course and you can fish in the Bow River that is below the hotel. I caught my first rainbow trout here.

The hotel is now called the Fairmont Banff Springs and they added a spa called the Willow Stream.

You can have Sunday Brunch at the Bow Valley Grill, the Waldhaus Pub serves pub food, nacho, wings, chicken strips and cheese fondue, the Waldhaus Restaurant looks like a German hunting lodge & it serves German and Swiss food, Castello Ristorante serves Italian Food and the Castle Pantry offers you an assorted selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and gourmet foods. You won't believe how much they hotel charges for their food so we always eat in the town.

Nightlife:
Lobby of The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Lobby of The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Part of the population are from Calgary. To own property in Banff you must be a resident. One spouse says they are an official resident.

There are a lot of dinner parties here and if you aren't invited to one you'll have to find something to do if you aren't too tired to go to bed.

Hangouts:
Ducks
Ducks
If I'm not invited to a dinner party I take a walk through the down
town area or take a carriage ride that takes us to see the homes and condos.

Restaurants:
Map You Get When You Enter Alberta
Map You Get When You Enter Alberta
We always take a walk after dinner to the Fudgery Candy Shop. I love their chocolate Bear Claws and my husband likes the vanilla maraschino cherry fudge.

We ate at the Rose and Crown (it servers pub food and beer), all six of the Japanese restaurants, the Ski Stop (makes delicious Italian food), Wild Bills (serves the only Tex-Mex food here), and the Silver Dragon (makes the best Chinese food).

Other recommendations:
A Squirrel Eating A Nut
A Squirrel Eating A Nut
If you are here for the first time I suggest you take a Tour. You'll see Sulphur Mountain's Gondola and 4 people can take a ride in the car that takes you up 2,270 meters in eight minutes, then you will be taken to Lake Louise, (only in the summer),It overlooks a lake with a huge glacier. It is an ½ drive from Banff. There is one lodge to stay in and the only place to have a meal. In the winter you'll have to drive there yourself to go hiking along the trails or go cross country skiing. They do have campgrounds if you have a trailer.

Even more trilling is the Helicopter Sightseeing Tour that takes you over the highest peaks of the Canadian Rockies along the Continental Divide, (including Mount Assiniboine and Mount Rundle).

Published on Saturday September 16th, 2006


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Mon, Feb 12 2007 - 03:05 PM rating by travler

I have always wanted to visit Banff

Tue, Oct 17 2006 - 09:22 AM rating by mortimer

This is a very low quality report about a park which I liked a lot. You keep repeating the same statements and go on brabling about all sorts of expensive stores and hotels... and to top everything you don't even include your own pictures, have you really been there?

Sun, Sep 24 2006 - 05:17 AM rating by marianne

Lyla,
I don't understand the bit about invitations to dinner parties. Do you know people here and weren't you invited? Generally speaking, tourist don't know people so they will never be invited to these parties.
I love the photo of the squirrel
Marianne

Sun, Sep 17 2006 - 05:41 AM rating by davidx

There is plenty of information and good photos here but you make the point about not liking it seem important at the start and then you don't really explain why. Crowds? Atmosphere? Even so, a very good report.

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