Get High on Life in Banff
Did you know that Banff, which sits at over 4,500 feet, is officially the highest Canadian town? Perched at the top of its country, this paradisiacal place is the perfect location to kick off your bucket list. Chock-full of natural wonders as far as the eye can see, this corner of Canada is unlike anything you’ve ever glimpsed in your life. And before you hightail it to heaven, these are the activities you’ll want to do in Banff.
You Have to Believe Banff is Magic
Everyone knows that real artisans carve ice, and Banff hosts them every year in January during its Ice Festival. Over a three-day period, these brave and imaginative artists battle the elements in a test of creativity and grueling manual labor, as they construct evocative, stunning ice sculptures for your pleasure. During the week and off peak hours, it’s actually free to visit the sensational spectacle. And even if you aren’t able to make it up to Banff in time for the ice carving itself, you’ll still be able to carve out some of your own time to look at the displays for one week after they’ve been completed. You’re unlikely to see another ice carving competition during your life, so…what are you waiting for? Get on a plane pronto!
Book It to Banff
A trip to Banff is outdoorsy by its very nature, so you’re going to need a variety of wardrobe items. When you want to bring up all your winter ski gear or your summer hiking essentials, the Swissgear 6006 Expendable Lightweight 3-piece Spinner Luggage Set will become your new best friend. Whether you’re checking into the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to enjoy their eco-friendly amenities or you’re getting into some adventures over at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, this set will keep you prepared and organized throughout your trip.
With a 29-inch big bag, a 24-inch medium bag and a 20-inch carry-on, you’ll have all the luggage you’ll need to ensure a great trip. Of course, getting to the top of Sunshine Mountain Lodge is an adventure in itself, so you’ll appreciate the fact that all these bags boast elegant gray exteriors that are built to resist rips. These three pieces will remind you of why you love soft-sided luggage so much. From the convenient front zippered panels to the telescopic locking handle and spinner wheels that stay strong whether you’re running through the airport or racing to your hotel room, these bags were built to travel to parts unknown. With grip handles on the top and the side, they’re ideal to grab in a hurry—perfect for the intrepid traveler who’s always on the go.
Tube and Ski to Your Heart’s Delight
There are so many great places to ski in Banff that the mind boggles at times. When you come to this majestic part of Alberta, you just may have trouble deciding which ski resort to choose. They’re all so spectacular that it can take time to select one! And when it comes to secret ski spots that everyone loves, Mt. Norquay is the place that everyone loves. Often referred to as the “best kept secret of the Rockies”, it’s optimized for both skiing and tubing; it’s also ideal for Instagram pictures that everyone in your social circle will covet. Also, a pro tip: seasoned snowboarders tend to go wild for Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Craving Euro Chalet Vibes? Stay for Dinner on Mt. Norquay
The Cliffside Bistro serves up vintage tearoom style dining, as well as some of the most spectacular views you’ll ever witness in your entire life. Once you check dining at this 50-seat eatery off your bucket list, you’re bound to feel like a million bucks. And if you want to stay healthy while you’re up in the mountains stretching out your legs, don’t forget to hydrate and take your vitamins! The Swissgear 2379 Dopp Kit allows you to keep all of your essential oils, tinctures and remedies on hand. As Dopp kits go, this one will surprise you with its incredible durability. Honestly, it’s the perfect accessory to take while visiting a retro chic chalet. Its classic gray and black colors call to mind days of yore, while its zippered front pocket and strong handle make it easy to pack for any occasion. Slip pockets and special compartments seal the deal, making this an item that you absolutely cannot leave at home. The built-in hanging hook makes it easy to convert it into your very own traveling medicine case.
Foodies will also want to check out Eagle’s Nest Canadian Bistro and Samurai Sushi Bar while in Banff. Park Distillery and Three Ravens are also perennial favorites in this town. The good news is that many of the best eateries are located in hotels, so you’re bound to find one that’s in walking distance of your hotel room.
Hop on the Banff Gondola
Visitors to Banff unanimously agree; a trip to this vibrant village is not complete without a ride on the Banff Gondola. You’ll hop on and cruise up to Sulphur Mountain—which arches into the sky at an altitude of 7,500 feet—for eight minutes. And once you get to the top, you’ll be thrilled to see that there’s a lot going on. Not only will you be treated to exquisite views of Banff and the beautiful Bow River Valley, but there’s even a boardwalk on top.
If the altitude makes you hungry, you can stop for a bite to eat before you take a gander at all of the cool exhibits. A 360-degree observation deck allows you to experience the sheer bliss of being on top of the world, but the one thing to remember is that it may get cold up there! You’ll definitely want to bring a sweater and a hat just in case, because temps can vary a lot between the bottom of the mountain and the top. When you need to tote some layers, the Swissgear Sling Backpack in heather gray is the perfect accessory. The slimline profile and innovative mesh strap is essential; you’ll still look sleek and sassy as you enjoy the mountain. And if you want to split the strap into two for easier carrying, you can do that too! The padded tablet sleeve keeps your electronics cozy as you gallivant around, and the front pockets allow you to keep everything you need within reach. With a webbed handle and divider pockets, this backpack will keep your essentials secure as you explore the great outdoors.
An Evening Snowshoe Adventure Is a Must
The Lake Louise Night Snowshoe Tour allows you to enjoy the brilliance of millions of sparkling stars, as well as the beauty of the wilderness. If you want to preserve the magnificent memory of crunchy snowshoes as soon as possible, you’ll need to put your camera back in your Swissgear 5311 Scansmart Backpack in Heather.
When you’re into travel friendly backpacks that are also ScanSmart backpacks, this is the one you’ll love. Two mesh water bottle pockets allow you to stay hydrated and happy during all of your amazing adventures. Built with ergonomics and comfort in mind, this bag is perfect for toting long distances while bringing your laptop along. And if you’re packing in every item on your bucket list and need to run directly from your snowshoe excursion to the airport, then you’re going to love the laptop compartment that allows your electronics to lay flat for their scan. The soft handle and lovely aesthetics of this laptop backpack will make you proud to carry it on multiple trips, while the trolley strap helps you to keep all of your items together when you’re in transit. Organizer compartments make it easy to keep your passport and phone away from your souvenirs, as the airflow back panel keeps you cool. As far as modern marvels go, this backpack is at the top of the list.
Your Bucket List Called—It Asked for More Spa Days
After a vigorous vacation that allows your body to reach its peak condition, you’ll want to head over to the Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs to replenish yourself. With waterfalls, mineral pools and more, this exquisite spa will allow your mind and body to calm down after having so much fun. With massage rooms and terraces galore, as well as a fireplace resting lounge for men and women, there’s no way you won’t feel your soul’s deepest yearnings crackle back to life.
There’s no way around it; Banff is one of those places that excites the spirit any time of the year. Whether you need to get your fix of whitewater rafting or snowboarding, this is the place that will host you with happiness. There’s something different about the vibe around Banff. You’ll want to push your athletic limits while literally reaching for the stars during another enchanted evening. When you aspire to make memories that will remain magical for the rest of your life, you’ll come to Banff.