For those of you that don’t know, I really love the snow – I’m not sure how you could have missed this considering how many times I’ve said this in the last month. For Thanksgiving (and a pre-birthday getaway), I told Matt I wanted him to take me somewhere cold. The destination? Banff, Canada. Not only was it cold, but it was freezing. I loved every second of it. All of the layers, the scarves, and these fur trimmed boots totally brought out the inner kid in me.
Here are a few tips on what to do if you’re thinking about planning a trip to this winter wonderland!
Where to Stay
- Fairmont Banff Springs: If you’ve ever wanted to live in a castle, this is your chance. As you can see from the pictures, the hotel looks exactly like one! It comes with all of the amenities, wine tastings, and high teas that you expect as well. A totally dreamy experience.
- Rimrock Resort: For those on a budget, try this hotel which also has a great vantage point over the valley. There is a really amazing lounge inside with a great view.
Where to Eat
- Tooloulou’s: Best brunch in town. Hands down. If there’s a wait, it’s worth every second (even if you’re standing outside in sub-zero temperatures). You also need to get the apple cinnamon french toast for the table to share!
- Grapes Wine Bar: Located in the Fairmont hotel, it’s a great place to stop in for a glass of wine and some small bites.
- The Fudgery: A small, unassuming shop right in downtown but there are sooo many different kinds of fudge. A must for any lover of sweets, especially chocolate!
- Nourish Vegetarian Bistro: I had to throw this in there not only because I’m vegan-ish but because their menu is something else. Definitely order the nachos – there are 28 ingredients on them which will surprise and delight you. If it’s in season, order the chai kombucha apple pie float. AMAZE.
An honorable mention is the Taco Bell right outside of Calgary on the way to Banff. As I learned during the question game at my bridal shower, it’s Matt’s favorite restaurant. What can I say, he’s quite a classy gentleman.
What to See
- Lake Louise: We also took a trip to the Fairmont’s sister property at Lake Louise for a little hiking and some amazing views. The entire lake was frozen over so we could walk out on it!
- Peyto Lake: We didn’t make it up here because the roads were too icy but it’s a must see if the weather permits, especially in the summer.
- Surprise Corner: One of the most magical angles of the Fairmont hotel (see photo directly below).
- Cave and Basin: A quick stop but one that you should go in and admire. It’s a cave with a tiny swimming pool in it full of sulphur water. There also happened to be a craft beer festival here while we were visiting so it wasn’t such a quick stop…
- Banff Upper Hot Springs: If you’re into hot tubs, check out this local hotspot. Be warned that it will likely be very crowded especially in winter so to early in the day!
- Canmore: It’s a cute little town on the drive to Banff. Matt and I stopped in on the way there and the way back. Eat at the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company. While the name may give you a laugh, the PB&J donuts might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten!
What an amazing adventure we had in Banff. Definitely adding it to the places to return to, next time during summer!