Travel Guide | Banff + Canmore AB
Our family loves weekends in the mountains, lucky for us we’re only an hour and fifteen minutes away from Canmore and an hour and a half from Banff Alberta.
Here are a few of our favourite things to do, see, eat and stay!
( we had a gorgeous snowy departure on one of our visits! )
Accommodations.. there is no question this mountain destination can be expensive! Travelling at off peak times and using searches like Hotels.com can help with finding good deals on must stay spots!
Our favourite is a newer development Moose Hotel and Suites. There is so much good about this spot, the walking distance to town, the pool and two outdoor hot tubs are SO good and the rooms are fantastic. The comfiest beds, fireplaces.. We love their top floor one or two bedroom suites when travelling with the kids! This is our first pick when staying right in Banff.
Fairmont Banff Springs, the castle in the mountains. It’s an epic stay for sure, have cocktails in the Rundle Lounge with live music, spend the afternoon in the outdoor naturally heated mineral pool… the rooms are generally small for what you pay but the experience is worth it. They have a small little tucked away wine bar with charcuterie that is a lovely spot to stop in at. Whether you stay at the hotel or just visit be sure to wander and snoop around, there are some very cool nooks in the hotel ( and a scavenger hunt you can ask for for the kids that tours you around as well )
When Kevin and I were married without kids we loved staying at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge.. if you ask for a top floor room you get large high beamed ceilings with a wood burning fireplace. It’s an amazing spot to curl up in chairs in front of the fire with a bottle of wine and they have a great restaurant and outdoor hot tub.
Breakfast at Tooloulou’s is worth every minute you stand in line ha ha! Their menu is amazing and if you need gfree its a perfect spot!
Brunch at The Juniper Hotel is lovely, we had a delicious brunch with the kids with lovely views.
We haven’t eaten there but we’ve stopped for cocktails at Park Distillery and it’s a great spot with great decor! Great people watching, I love the outdoor wood table and benches with sheepskin rugs to sit on.
Chuck’s Steakhouse is our favourite spot for dinner, great service, decor and steak.. and the sides are amazing!
For a true Banff experience, The Grizzly House is a Banff landmark serving fondu. Beware though, you will have a very distinct oil smell when you leave.. we had people laugh at us after eating there that you have to shower and get ready to go out post dinner! Ha! It was an amazing meal though :)
We love lunch at the Rundle Lounge ( Banff Springs ) if we are staying at another hotel we’ll go over for lunch, their club sandwich is amazing ( so is the gluten free bread they make in house! ) They’ve recently redone the little cafe / coffee stop in the main lobby and it looks fantastic. You can also have brunch at the Bow Valley Grill, you’ll look out the large windows at great mountain view.
Banff is such a great spot to visit and spend time outdoors, there are lakes and hiking and the gondola.. so many experiences! I have to visit Bow Falls every few times we go, and if you’re there in the summer you can climb the stairs across from the falls and wander a little path and end up at Waldhaus. Stop at the pub ( kid friendly ) for an awesome casual lunch, you can sit on the patio and watch golfers and wild life! Moraine Lake is on my list to visit this summer and if you have time head up to Lake Louise, the drive is lovely and so is the lake! Stop and have lunch at the Fairmont Lake Louise, the views from the restaurant are spectacular!
( Mountain Mercato is a must stop every visit for lattes and shopping! )
Canmore is the sweetest little town just before Banff, right before you go through the National Park gates.. it’s a town that we fell in love with a few years ago and go every chance we get.
( Living room at Basecamp )
Basecamp Resorts.. we stayed here on my 40th birthday with 4 friends, we had a 3 bedroom 2 story condo and it was incredible. They have a hot tub with gorgeous mountain views and the decor is so so good!
Solara Mountain Resort has fantastic rooms, we once found an incredible deal ( and I mean crazy incredible ) on Hotels.com for a three bedroom condo and C + L each had their own room with a fireplace.. they keep asking for that room again.. ha! I wish!
Blackstone Mountain Lodge has great rooms with kitchens and a fireplace along with a great outdoor pool and hot tubs. We’ve enjoyed every stay here!
Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. We could eat here three times a day ha ha.. it’s SO good and SO popular, worth any wait or line up, I promise! They offer a gluten free bagel as well. Any restaurants mentioned in this post will offer great GF! )
Gaucho is Brazilian BBQ and we love the experience. It’s a nice casual spot with great food. I’m kind of a sucker for their Caipirinha’s!
Our newest find is Wild Orchid Bistro and Sushi Lounge. AMAZING. We ate here with the kids and shared all kinds of amazing small plate dishes including the best ginger beef I’ve ever had.. and the ENTIRE menu is gluten free!!
Mountain Mercato is a stop for delish coffee and a browse through the fabulous shop! They do have a little cafe as well with a lovely menu, but mainly not gfree so we stop for Dulce Lattes :)
If you’re a beer drinker be sure to check out The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company!
On my list to visit is Where the Buffalo Roam Saloon.. looks like a very cool very instagramable vibe ;)
The Range also has a great vibe, an artisan roasted sandwiches spot.. I’ll have to check out their menu!
Wander Main Street ( 8th Street ) in downtown Canmore. You’ll find great shops, great food and a fantastic mountain view as you stroll along with your Dulce Latte :) We love Rocky Mountain Soap Co, Unlimited Skate & Snow, Twelve 21, Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe, Indigo Bay, Alberta’s Own Marketplace and Mountain Mercato!
There are plenty of outdoor activities as well, hiking, a hidden swimming hole ( it’s so cool! ) Quarry Lake.. we truly stick to town and resort pools when we visit but have a peek at all the activities here.