The best places, we think, for breakfast are Touloulou`s and Coyote`s on Caribou Street and Melissa`s on the corner of Caribou and Lynx Streets.
The best deck, and views, is probably the Elk and Oarsman, on the 100 block.
Next best is the Rose and Crown, on the 300 block
If you can get a seat, you can watch the world go by on the deck at the Brew Pub, 100 block.
Also the Waldhaus Restaurant has a lovely deck looking out at Mnt Rundle and the golf course. The walk to it takes 20 minutes but takes you along the river and past the Bow Falls (you get there from the falls by following the Banff Springs Access road out of the other end of the car park).
Another hidden gem, at the bottom of Mnt Norquay is the Juniper Hotel - http://thejuniper.com/dining/ - which has great views down the valley.
Fun nights can be had at High Rollers bowling alley, on the 100 block. Thursday night at the Legion is bingo night (it is a young night despite bingo’s pensioner reputation), get there early as it fills up quickly.
We don’t allow barbeques on the deck but if you want so sit around a firepit, and toast marshmallows, Parks Canada provide firepits and wood at the Cascade Pits.
There is a guided driving tour of the area. You can buy and download the app to your phone, to avoid data usage - http://gypsyguide.com/
Banff is, generally, very dry, and is at at a high altitude, which causes people to get dehydrated quickly. Drink plenty of fluids. Try easier hikes first. If you think you are fairly fit and want to hike the mountains then try Tunnel Mountain first (behind the house 1.5 - 2hrs round trip).
Carry bear spray (available from the sports equipment stores, the Town Hall and Home Hardware on Bear Street, funnily enough). Hopefully you won’t need it but, like insurance, it is sensible to have it.
Plan to arrive by 10am - or after 3pm. It is a very popular destination and after 10am there is a high chance that there will be nowhere to park. On some occasions Parks Canada even close the access road. If there are signs on the highway that the parking is full dont waste your time searching for a spot just use the overflow parking and free shuttle service – its so much less stressful.
Otherwise if you book lunch, or dinner, at the Chateau you can park for free in the hotel parking.
When it is hot here it is very hot, but in the evenings it can cool right off and the temperature, even in the summer, is often around zero first thing in the morning. When it rains, which is mostly June, it is usually a downpour. So the best advice for clothing is to bring mostly summer clothing but definitely also something to layer with as the cold snaps are cold.
Being at a high altitude you can burn quickly if you don’t wear sun cream.
Bring mosquito repellant and after bite cream if you don’t!.