Banff is a popular tourist town located in Banff National Park and surrounded by mountains like Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade. While slightly busier than Canmore, just 20 minutes down the road, there is an abundance of adventures to find while you are there. In the summer we partake in hiking, geocaching, camping near by, the hot springs, and once in awhile we take in some treats and good eats on the strip. In the winter one can enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities including snow shoeing, skating, ice caves, skiing and sleigh rides to name a few.
During one of our trips to the mountains and Banff, we visited the Whyte Museum of The Canadian Rockies to take in some history of the area. This museum entry fee is by donation and while it’s not large, it’s packed with some interesting local artifacts. While we were there we took in the Exhibition of Sarah Fuller: My Banff, a series of photographs collected based on personal experiences and perceptions in and around Banff featuring real people in real time. The kids loved checking out the heli-skiing helicopter and learning about bears in garbage cans.
During this visit we stayed at the Banff International Hotel. This hotel is right on the main strip but yet far enough away from any noise that might entertain any given evening. Just a short walk and you are in the midst of Banff. We were booked into a Loft Suite and the kids were besides themselves with excitement. Upstairs in the loft were two very large beds and they immediately got to work unpacking everything they brought, setting up shop and making plans. They even had their own TV. The suite is very spacious and comfortable. The staff at the front desk were very accommodating and we were thrilled to have underground parking to keep our truck warm.
It was Valentine’s Day when we were there, and we decided to take the kids somewhere fun and carefree to celebrate. Having been to several restaurants in Banff already, we opted for the Banff Avenue Brewing Company, a restaurant recommended to us as kid friendly. We made reservations, arrived and were seated and immediately received great service. The food was good and there was a nice selection of beverages to choose from. This is a place we will visit again.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel. Banff Lake Louise Tourism had recommended we check out Valentine’s Weekend at the Cave and Basin National Park. The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada is the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system. While here you can enjoy interactive displays and exhibits, guided tours, naturally occurring and warm mineral springs inside the cave as well as wander through a gallery to take in some history of the park itself. In the winter during specifically posted times you can even go for a skate.
This evening’s celebration was about old time movies & films, skating, fire pits, roasting marshmallows, enjoying hot chocolate and a mini ice palace with slide. So much fun! While we were there, we had the pleasure of meeting Patrick McCloskey of McCloskey Productions Inc. who was onsite taking photographs. An interesting person to talk to full of information on the area and history of the park. He took some lovely photos of the kids and shared them with us.
The next morning we got up, packed up, sought out breakfast and checked out. A quick coffee, tea and Beavertails before heading home fueled the trip.
Every time we come to Banff we find something new to explore. Check in with Tourism Banff if you go to find things to do off the beaten path. So much to see and learn about the area and a fun outing for the entire family.
We we’re given a discounted rate at the Banff International Hotel, however all opinions expressed remain our own.