Imagine snow-capped mountains bordered by the azure blue sky streaked with lazing clouds above. Below, trees of the most stunning shades of green and auburn and red abound. The entire scene is reflected in intricate detail in the placid waters of mirror-like lakes. If you have ever been mesmerized by a photo of such a vista, you very well might have had an introduction to Banff, Alberta already. This Canadian resort town was the first inside a Canadian national park. The Banff National Park is part of the World Heritage Site-listed Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and one of Canada’s premier tourist destinations.
With a population of less than 10,000 people, Banff is one of the most beautiful untouched while still accessible segments of wilderness in North America today. It is a veritable paradise for anyone with a penchant for the outdoors.
Besides the traditional sports you might expect to indulge in in a rugged wonderland like skiing, biking, mountain biking, hiking and fishing, Banff also offers a few less common but perhaps even more intriguing options for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors and challenge themselves in new ways. Snowshoeing, dog sledding, paddle boarding and mountaintop yoga are just some of the unique activities which draw thousands of visitors and enthusiasts to this part of the Canadian Rockies every year. The town’s novel approach to featuring what a typical vacation may entail has endeared Banff to many new travel enthusiasts. Besides the open outdoors, there is also abundant wildlife, particularly elk and even grizzly bears.
Banff’s nightlife is also gets a great report. The prevalence of upmarket chateau-style resorts and fine dining attracts a good crowd that gives Banff a cool, energetic vibe. The family-friendly town is also gaining notice for its arts scene. Year-round film screenings, concerts and talks by national and international writers and artists lend to its growing popularity. It already hosts a slew of international gatherings in all fields: Bike Fest, Rocky Mountain Music Festival, Banff Mountain Film Festival and the Banff World Television Festival.
Access around the town is easy via buses, rented bikes and motor vehicles. Access to the mountains is probably best enjoyed on the cable car which Banff calls a ‘gondola’. Banff has made excellent use of its natural tapestry of terrain and features to make it the perfect destination all year. Skiing and other snow sports dominate during the winter season. Fishing, hiking and other water sports are extremely popular in the other months. Thee hot springs are a year-round tourist draw.