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bootlegga Banff - A travel report by James
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Banff,  Canada - flag Canada -  Alberta
5151 readers

bootlegga's travel reports

Canada’s Rocky Mountain Playground

  23 votes
Page: 1 2
What is there to say about Banff that hasn’t already been said? Beautiful. Definitely. Wild. Absolutely. Full of tourists. Unfortunately. Still, it is one of the most beautiful places most of us will ever see.


Banff
Banff
Banff National Park was founded in 1885, and was one of Canada’s first UNESCO world heritage sites. Banff is likely one of Canada's best known national parks. Banff has something to do no matter what the season. In winter, there is world class skiing and snowboarding at half a dozen nearby hills, and in the summer; hiking, camping and sightseeing are just minutes from Banff.

Favourite spots:
A family of Elk on the outskirts of Banff
A family of Elk on the outskirts of Banff
Johnston Canyon; being a big fan of waterfalls, hiking up here is fantastic. You can go as little as about 1 km to see the splash pool and the lower falls. The more adventurous can climb higher and see it all. Whether you visit in the summer or the winter, Johnston Falls is a sight worth seeing!

What's really great:
The Rockies outside of Banff townsite
The Rockies outside of Banff townsite
Banff epitomizes what Canada stands for. Here, Canadians and people from other countries live, work and play together, all without strife or problems, excepting the occaisonal bar scuffle.

Sights:
Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka is only a 10-minute drive (30 minutes by bike) from the town of Banff. Here you can hike along the shores of the lake, go boating, or watch the abundant wildlife in the area. While hiking near here, I’ve seen deer, mountain sheep, and moose. And the hikes go from easy (2km to 30km – the end of the lake), so there is something for every fitness level.

Other places worth seeing are Kananaskis, about 45 minutes away by car. It has some of Canada's best golf courses and fantastic hiking. If you enjoy scenery, Moraine Lake and the Valley of the ten peaks can't be beat. Peyto lake is also stunning.

Many hotels in Banff also have spas, the best of which is the Willow Stream Spa in the Banff Springs Hotel. It is has been rated the best spa in Canada and ranks with other top spas worldwide.


A couple of good sites about Banff to check out are;

http://www.where.ca/canadianrockies/

http://www.discoverbanff.com/

Accommodations:
Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake
For budget minded travellers, there is Bumper’s Inn. It’s a small step above a youth hostel, with private rooms. For those staying for than a night or two, try the Douglas Fir Resort. All the rooms have kitchens and fireplaces.

Obviously, there are also tons of campgrounds. Generally, I camp in the summer and stay in hotels in the winter. There are several sites just a stones throw from Banff. Two Jack Lakeside campground is the place I like best in the Banff area. If you want something away from the hustle and bustle of Banff, another nice campground is Johnston Canyon campground.

Nightlife:
Johnston Falls in December
Johnston Falls in December
Check out the Aurora, a rocking nightclub with DJs and strobe lights. It's on Banff Avenue in the heart of the action! Just recently, a new club called Hoodoo opened up. It's a taste of the big city in Banff, and while that may not appeal to some, it is still a lot of fun.


Hangouts:
The Icefields Parkway is one of Canada's most scenic drives
The Icefields Parkway is one of Canada's most scenic drives
My personal favourite is Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon, good food, great atmosphere and live entertainment most nights. And I don't even like country music!

http://www.wbsaloon.com/wb_html/main_WB.-htm

Restaurants:
Wildlife in abundant in Banff National Park
Wildlife in abundant in Banff National Park
As Banff attracts many Japanese tourists, Banff has several good Japanese restaurants. The poshest of them is Kyoto Sukiyaki House. The most affordable is Sushi House Banff, which has a little train rolling around the restaurant carrying sushi at $2-$5 per plate! For a nice dinner at an affordable price, try out the Buffalo Mountain Lodge. Wild Bill’s Saloon also has the best steak sandwich I’ve ever had! I almost always stop for lunch there when passing through.

Other recommendations:
Upper Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs
Just past the Banff Springs and Rimrock Hotels is Banff Hot Springs. For a small fee, you can go soak in the springs. The springs also has a spa, so those of you who like facials and massages can have that done too.

Lake Louise in the summer is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. In the winter, it has one of the best ski hills anywhere! The back slope is incredible. Ski Louise and you’ll be sold, trust me.

Driving the Icefields Parkway is a drive no one will ever forget. It changes elevation many times, going from the valley floor to the Bow Summit (near Peyto Lake) at 2068 m!

Published on Thursday August 19th, 2004


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Thu, Sep 07 2006 - 09:53 PM rating by mrscanada

Did you know during WW II the Banff Springs Hotel was closed and Canada's millitary "brass" were all there running our part of the war?

Since you have been here and written a wonderful review can you imagine how they could do it?

Mon, Oct 25 2004 - 07:51 AM rating by picasso

Very interesting and with a good picks

Boris

Mon, Oct 25 2004 - 07:43 AM rating by mistybleu

James, your report was very interesting; I especially liked your pictures of Johnston Falls in winter.

Mon, Oct 25 2004 - 04:59 AM rating by magsalex

Great report with some lovely pictures

Mon, Oct 25 2004 - 01:59 AM rating by gloriajames

this has made me consider placing rocky mountains on my list of travels. good report 5*

Sun, Oct 17 2004 - 03:36 PM rating by mortimer

Hi James

Nice report you wrote, it brings back some memories... of rainy days in July! When I was there I stayed on the big campground in town and liked the bus shuttle for 1$, this was very convenient.
Martin

Fri, Sep 17 2004 - 12:14 AM rating by bridgete

WOW!!

Fri, Aug 20 2004 - 03:24 PM rating by priggipisa

Thanks for your report James. I've been to Canada on many occasions, but mostly Toronto & Montreal. Your report peaked my interest - I'll keep Banff in mind for next trip to Canada.

Fri, Aug 20 2004 - 09:01 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report to read .
ravi

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