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.
On a cold day, or evening, it’s great to lounge around in the hot springs, opening hours and prices can be found at - https://www.hotsprings.ca/
The Lux cinema is on Bear Street - https://luxbanff.com/
For those in need of their yoga fix the Banff Center has drop in classes - https://www.banffcentre.ca/group-fitness-classes
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. We strongly advise that you follow our advice to be found at http://banffbear.ca/banffbearbedandbreakfast.html?usefulinfo=1#moreusefullinks – its so much less stressful.
Otherwise if you book lunch, or dinner, at a Chateau restaurant you can usually 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!.
Banff National Park encompasses over 2,500 square miles in the Canadian Rockies, and includes dozens of lakes, streams and rivers formed by its large glaciers. The waters are well-stocked with fish and fly fishing takes place year-round, though summer constitutes the height of the fly fishing season. For information on permits, tours and rules of the park go to our fishing in Banff National Park page
The below information is is an aggregation of several sources and correct at the time of writing, in May 2022, the details can change and we will give current information upon request.
Each year Lake Louise and Moraine Lake become more popular. As a consequence when the car park becomes full (sometimes before dawn) the access road is closed by Parks Canada. This means that there are limited options to see some of the most iconic views of the Rockies.
Due to the pressures of accommodating more than 2 million vehicles per year, Parks Canada and the Town of Banff have introduced transit options and limited paid parking at Lake Louise to about 450 stalls.
Parks Canada say:- “The best thing we can do is make it easy, convenient and as cheap as possible and that will encourage people to use transit. We’re really hoping they understand it’s the guaranteed way to see those two lakes rather than trying to find a parking spot on a busy day.”
Parking at the lakes is not prohibited. You can still just risk driving to the access road to see if you will be permitted to drive up. This can be immensely frustrating if you can, and then wait on the road for a long time only to finally get to the car park only be turned away, as there is no queuing system if the car park is full.
This year Parks Canada have moved their park-and-ride lot to the Lake Louise ski hill and created better integration of Parks Canada shuttles with Roam transit.
Therefore the public transit options available are to take the Roam Transit from Banff or to park at the Park and Ride and take the Parks Canada shuttle. More details follow but the pros and cons of the two options are:
Once at Lake Louise Lakeshore, you can connect between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on a first come first serve basis, via the Lake Connector shuttle (if using the Roam Transit you would need to have the Super Pass ticket).
BanffNow provides up to date real time information to visitors including availability of parking, major traffic events, suggestions on places to visit and more. Plan ahead, stay informed and get the most out of your trip to Banff National Park.
There are a number of private transit options (though these tend to be more expensive):
Below is a range of information on getting around the rest of the area with places to visit and transit options.
E-bikes are an excellent way to get around but supply is limited (compared to demand) and we highly recommend that you consider this option as it gives you the freedom to come and go at will, without lining up for buses. If you do opt for renting an e-bike then you should plan ahead and book online.