Embarking on a trip to Banff was like stepping into a postcard that came alive with its captivating landscapes and cozy town charm. This little town had been on my bucket list for years and it didn’t disappoint. I loved wandering through charming shops, savoring the local cuisine, and marveling at the spectacular mountain views. Honestly, every moment was an adventure that left me wanting to go back for more!
Experience Banff Through My Eyes
I was invited by Pursuit Collections to come experience what makes the Town of Banff so special. That was an easy task! It’s a lovely town with plenty to offer. Here are some of the highlights of my trip there. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Welcoming Atmosphere at Mount Royal Hotel
First things first, we checked in to the hotel. As guests of the historic Mount Royal Hotel, we were welcomed into the inviting lobby. It was the perfect place to rest and regroup for a few minutes while waiting for our companions. The design and decor seemed to reflect the natural beauty of Banff, setting the perfect tone for our stay in this serene mountain town. The entire hotel is lovely and quite comfortable to stay in.
Exploring Banff With Open Top Tours
Open Top Tours was such fun! Their unique approach to showcasing Banff’s historical sites was as charming as it was informative. Hop in the old-fashioned car driven by your own personal chauffeur who navigates the way through Banff’s scenic and historic sites. She seriously made it such a fun tour, even serving us hot chocolate when we pulled over at one of the gorgeous viewpoints!
Majestic Banff Springs
Our jaws dropped when we saw Banff Springs for the first time. This captivating landmark is not just another hotel—it’s a testament to Banff’s rich history and the charm of the Canadian Rockies. Did you know Banff Springs first opened its doors way back in 1888? It’s one of the oldest luxury hotels in Canada. Its stately presence serves as a beautiful reminder of the tales woven into Banff’s tapestry over the centuries.
The Stunning Cascade Mountain
Cascade Mountain towers over the Town of Banff and is an integral part of its spectacular landscape. Once you’ve seen it, you simply can’t think of Banff without picturing this beautiful mountain as part of it. Did you know that Banff is Canada’s highest town, sitting at an elevation of 1,383 meters? That’s just one of many fun facts that make it so unique.
Encountering wildlife in Banff was a fairly common event. While exploring the town, we came upon this deer, calmly walking through a parking lot as if it was the most natural thing in the world. It was a delightful yet humbling experience that reminded us that Banff was their home first. Did you know Banff was Canada’s first national park, established in 1885?
A Hot Tub With a View at Mount Royal Hotel
Mount Royal Hotel’s rooftop hot tub offers a unique way to unwind. Imagine soaking here with a breathtaking view of Cascade Mountain in the backdrop. It’s relaxation and sightseeing all in one go.
Tasting Banff’s Local Delights
We were invited to experience the varied flavors of Banff’s local cuisine prepared by the talented Pursuit Collection’s Executive Chef. Each dish is a tantalizing experience, capturing the town’s rich culinary culture. You’ll find these gorgeous (and delicious!) dishes on menus at the various restaurants owned by Pursuit. Simply put, the Town of Banff is a foodie’s delight!
The Cave and Basin, Repurposed
The Cave and Basin, once a swimming hotspot, is now a sought-after venue for entertainment. The area you see in this picture used to hold a public swimming pool before hotels with their own pools became popular in town. It’s now used for other fun activities. Coupled with the majestic Rocky Mountains in the background, this is an easy place to be entertained!
The Art of Chocolatiering
Witness the mastery of a chocolatier at Mountain Chocolate, where each gourmet candy is carefully crafted. These delightful treats not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also offer a glimpse into the precision involved in their making. Can’t say I minded being educated on that topic!
A Leisurely Stroll in Downtown Banff
The Town of Banff is small enough it’s very walkable. This photo I snapped of friends strolling down Banff Avenue, with Cascade Mountain serving up a beautiful backdrop, captures the whole charm of Banff.
Spirited Evenings at Brazen
One of our memorable evenings in Banff was spent at Brazen, a restaurant located inside Mount Royal Hotel. The mocktails were as delicious as the food was! The unique blend of flavors in each drink was a testament to Brazen’s innovative spirit, and it set the tone for the meal to come.
Culinary Delights at Brazen
As promised, Brazen’s dinner menu is a tour-de-force of creativity and flavor. Each entrée and side dish showcases the restaurant’s commitment to taste and presentation, creating a dining experience that’s as delightful to the eye as it is to the palate.
Downtown Banff’s Charm
The quaint shops lining the streets of downtown Banff lend it an irresistible charm. Have I mentioned how captivating Cascade Mountain is in the background? (I seriously fell in love with it!) It perfectly captures the allure of the town.
A Touch of Nostalgia
The exterior of this vintage-looking movie theater in Banff adds a touch of nostalgia to the town’s streets. For those seeking some indoor entertainment, this quaint theater is a great choice.
Preparing for Adventure
It’s very common to see skiers in Banff, ready to take on the slopes. Having just left the Mount Royal Hotel, these two are on their way to catch the shuttle bus and make their way to one of three ski areas near the Town of Banff.
Glimpses of History at Mount Royal Hotel
The façade of Mount Royal Hotel tells a story of evolution over time. Each architectural style represented on its exterior marks a different decade of expansion in the 20th century, creating a unique patchwork of history. The location of the hotel can’t be beat, since it’s located right in the heart of the city.
Serenity by the River
The tranquil river flowing through Banff was just beginning to thaw in late March. The river, the iconic bridge, and the distant Rocky Mountains all come together to create a truly serene image. Even though it was cold, it was sunny and beautiful!
Take a Break in Downtown Banff
I loved this (and yes, I asked if I could take their picture!) Banff is the kind of relaxed, laid-back town you can sit and relax in Adirondack chairs, then meander on as you continue exploring. This is the picture-perfect image of the friendly atmosphere that defines Banff.
We found ourselves admiring a lone person traversing a snow-covered, frozen Lake Minnewanka, not far outside the Town of Banff. The mountains created a serene winter scene that served as a reminder of Banff’s quiet beauty in the colder months.
Ascending Sulphur Mountain
As you ascend 7,486 feet up Sulphur Mountain in the Banff Gondola, the views are simply breathtaking. Interesting fact: the mountain’s name originates from the two sulphur (or sulfur as it’s spelled in the U.S.) hot springs found on its lower slopes. It’s a not-to-be-missed experience when in Banff.
Dinner With a View at Sky Lounge Bistro
Once you’ve made it to the top via the Gondola, you can spend time admiring the view from the four levels of the interpretive center. There are also two restaurants available, and enjoying dinner as the sun sets over the Canadian Rocky Mountains is an experience to cherish. This picture taken at the Sky Bistro shows off the stunning views we enjoyed, courtesy of the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. And yes, dinner was just as exceptional as the view!
Sunsets From the Viewing Platform
Stepping out onto the viewing platform, we got an even better look at the setting sun. The sky painted a beautiful picture, with shades of orange and yellow setting the mountain tops on fire. I definitely recommend making your dinner reservations to be there during sunset if you can!
An Unforgettable Trip
Banff was spectacularly beautiful to see in the late winter/early spring and I can’t wait to come back and explore it again in the summer! If you haven’t made it here yet, put it on your bucket list. It’s worth it! And if you need help planning, Pursuit Collection has everything you need to make your trip as perfect as mine was, any time of year!
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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.