Thursday, April 19, 2018

Travel Bucket List :: Banff, Canada

Born and raised in a tropical country, I used to dislike cold weather. Then I've learned to just roll with it. After being married to a cold weather loving person, I started to appreciate the beauty of winter. Banff has been on our travel bucket list for quite some time but it kept getting pushed back. I am so glad that we can finally check this charming town off our bucket list. Pictures don't do this town justice. Beautiful and stunning mountain views everywhere you turn. It was an amazing trip from all aspects. Here is a recap of our winter trip to Banff.
Where to stay: We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. While our deluxe lake view room was amazing, what we essentially paid for was that drop dead gorgeous view. It's one of those things that you just have to do it once and wouldn't necessarily need to do it again. The room is pretty average in my opinion but the view is incredible (you'll get a glimpse of the room in the video above). If it's your first time in Banff, I would 100% recommend you stay here purely for the experience.
What to do:
1. Walk across the frozen Lake Louise: The view is absolutely breathtaking. A camera lens just simply cannot capture the beauty of Lake Louise. We walked across the lake, kept looking at each other and said "how is this even real?" We were mesmerized by the beauty of the lake. I don't know how to ice skate so we skipped it. That walk is something I would never forget.
2. Ski: Ski in Banff is one of the main attractions. There are 3 ski resorts within the Banff National Park: Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. Mt. Norquay is the smallest of the 3. It's great for family with small children. We decided to skip Mt. Norquay. Sunshine Village is the largest ski resort of the 3. Even though I've skied in Vail and Breckenridge before, I am still a beginner skier. I knew different ski resorts use different grading systems but I thought I'd be fine going down the green trails. Boy, I was wrong. I fell so much on the first day. The green trails in Canada are a bit steeper than what I used to. I was exhausted at the end of day 1. Luckily, I got the hang of it on the second day and the experience was much more enjoyable. Between the two, I think Lake Louise ski resort is more challenging than Sunshine Village. At each resort, you can request one of their on-site instructors to accommodate you. They will spend 30-45 minutes to help you become familiar with the trails. Each resort has its unique appeal and I am glad I got to experience both. Click here if you're interested in what I packed for this trip.
3. Banff Upper Hot Springs: Nothing beats soaking in a hot spring after a long day of skiing. It's crowded but people come and go quickly. It's a fantastic place to relax and enjoy amazing mountain views.
4. Johnston Canyon ice walk: It's easy to see why the Johnston Canyon ice walk is one of the top things to do in Banff in winter. We did both upper falls and lower falls and the experience was amazing. All you need to know about the canyon here. Go early to avoid the crowds. I highly recommend you rent ice cleats. You don't have to but trust me, they're well worth it. They call this the ice walk for a reason. I saw people just kept slipping and sliding without those ice cleats.
5. Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park: Another beautiful and easy hike. It's not too far from the Banff National Park. The view is spectacular and so serene plus there weren't many tourists there. A definite must see!
Where to eat:
We're not very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. Below are a few places that we went to while in Banff
- Trailhead Cafe: It's a great place to grab a quick bite. We got pancakes there for breakfast and they were delicious
- The Outpost: Located right next to the Post Hotel & Spa. Food was pretty decent and fair price point.
- Tooloulou's: By far the best breakfast we've had in Banff. Their pancakes were delicious and the service was fantastic
- Coyotes Southwestern Grill: We came here for dinner and enjoyed it so much. Excellent comfort food that hit the spot.
- Beaver Tails: A reader recommended this place so I had to try it. I opted for cinnamon sugar and it was super delicious. Another must try if you're in Banff.
I hope you enjoy this post. This trip was definitely one to remember. We're half way through our travel bucket list. I am talking about traveling while still holding down a standard 9-to-5 job (not jet-setting somewhere on a sponsored trip every 2 weeks like some of the big bloggers do). Watch the video to see where we're heading next.


Lamchop said...

The Rockies are definitely the best thing about living here in Alberta (not our perpetual winters...). Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are spectacular in the summer too if you ever get a chance to return. So glad you enjoyed your trip and the beaver tail!

Sydney's Fashion Diary said...

You're so lucky to live so close to this beautiful piece of nature. Yes, we plan to come back at some point in the summer