Natural unspoiled beauty combined with your choice of complete relaxation, extreme adventures, and everything in between makes the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort a definite must-have on your bucket list. The area is rich in Native American culture, while the scenery is spectacular.
Canada’s oldest national park has been beloved by all visitors. Much of the stuff you will see was stumbled upon by accident! Three Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered the hot springs on Sulphur Mountain in 1883. Later other touristy spots were found in much the same manner. We hope you will enjoy discovering these places for yourself.
Fondue with a View, Dining and Nature Interpretation
Great Divide Nature Interpretation doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to wooing you with Bernard Callebaut chocolate and breathtaking views. You’ll learn SO much about the local landscape, wildlife, and the history of the area, all while enjoying fondue. Plus they actually tell you stories, which are much more interesting than lectures!
Two Jack Lake Trail, 3.2 km
We recommend spending either sunrise or sunset at this lake. It’s only about 20 minutes from the town of Banff, easily worth it for a breather during a conference or something. You can probably go jogging here or just take a stroll. It’s also a great place to take your family, pretty flat without losing any beauty and very peaceful. You’ll want to either catch the Roam Transit to this area, carpool, or rent a car.
Helen Lake Trail, 12.5 km, Out and Back
The ridge is a must for mind-blowing views. It’s a very good moderate hike, as in you would definitely be able to handle it even if you weren’t adjusted to altitude yet. Take a half day so you can really enjoy the scenery. Oh, and by scenery I mean sweeping views of the surrounding mountains.
Sulphur Mountain Trail
Of each of the mountains near Banff, this will be your best bet. Incredible views of the valley make the switchbacks worth the effort. Early is better than later. As you can imagine, finding a parking space later in the day will be a roll of the dice so snag a spot before it gets busy.
Rocky Mountain Raft Tours, Floats on the Bow River
This is the only raft company around that claims to be eco-friendly. Not only were they the first commercial rafting company in Canada (Ey!) they are only 5 minutes from downtown Banff. This will be a very relaxing float on purely flatwater. You can expect not to get wet which means you can bring your camera and actually take in the wild scenery as opposed to rushing past it. Casual clothing will be fine. Oh, and a professional photographer will record your whole trip. Nice!
Minnewanka Bike Loop, 30.2 km, 1.5 to 2.5 hours
If you’re not staying in Banff, parking will be the hardest part of this tour. Try parking at 122 Bear Street. That’s where the locals go. Otherwise you can start this route from your accommodation no problem as long as you’re already in Banff. This is a great route as it has wildlife, scenic vistas, a good overall length, and can be added onto most local bike tours. Basically if you’re going biking and haven’t found a long enough route this is a very versatile way to extend your time on the road.
Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum
Tucked away behind the Trading Post, this museum is completely authentic, right down to having local First Nations tour guides. Displays are visually engaging with dioramas, virtual reality goggles, videos, clothing displays, art, and artifacts. Very cool! There’s even a complimentary coffee in it for curious tourists… You’ll definitely want to fit this excursion into your itinerary.
The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course
With an incredible, championship 18-hole course and an equally breathtaking 9-hole course nestled within it, you’ll have plenty of golf ahead of you. The golf course is in a valley alongside the Bow river, with mountains towering over it. That’s right, it’s gorgeous. And here’s an interesting tip…there are rocks of various sizes in the sand traps, and since this golf course is inside a National Park, by law they could not be removed. Local rules are simply to move your ball and save your clubs!
Willow Stream Spa at Banff Springs
Features include spa terraces, lounges, a co-ed fireplace resting lounge, quiet relaxation lounge, 3 waterfall treatments whirlpools, indoor mineral pool, outdoor whirlpool, mens/ladies whirlpool and spa attire are just some of the open amenities. Treat yourself! You’re in good hands.
Each of these activities can be combined with others. Spending a morning at Two Jack Lake can be concluded with an indulgent evening at the Willow Stream Spa. You can combine a day at the golf course with an afternoon river float. Regardless of what you do, the options are endless. Enjoy!