A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff Alberta is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations and a visit to Banff is one of the main highlights for any tour of the Canadian Rockies. With its stunning mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, exciting variety of tours and activities, and world class hotels and dining, it is no wonder that Banff and Banff National Park have been on the discerning traveller’s ‘must-see’ list for over 100 years.
History of Banff
Like many towns and cities in western Canada, Banff owes its discovery to the Canadian Pacific Railway which was being built through the area in the 1880’s. Of course the railway passed through many places of stunning natural beauty, but it was the discovery of natural hot springs at a location we now know as the Cave and Basin that sealed Banff’s fate as an international tourist destination. The Banff Springs Hotel was built soon afterward; also known as the Castle in the Rockies, this magnificent hotel continues to welcome and impress visitors from all over the world.
Banff Tours & Attractions
Whatever your reasons for visiting the Canadian Rockies, you are sure to find a fantastic selection of tours and attractions in Banff and the surrounding area. If sightseeing is your goal, you can’t miss the Banff Gondola which quickly takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain for an unrivalled view of the Rocky Mountains, and there are also some excellent guided boat tours and bus tours, which take you to some of the Banff National Park’s most scenic locations. For the active visitor, there is hardly a better way to appreciate the sheer magnificence of the Canadian Rockies than to go for a hike or a mountain bike ride, and of course during the winter Banff boasts some of Canada’s finest ski resorts at Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.
Whether you like to relax in the hot springs, go for a spa treatment, play a round of golf, or go horseback riding, you certainly won’t be stuck for something to do when you visit Banff.
Banff Hotels & Lodging
With more than a century of tourism under its belt, the town of Banff has refined the art of the warm welcome. At every price point, the variety and quality of accommodation is excellent, and the level of service is hard to beat.
At the high end of the Banff hotel market, the Fairmont Banff Springs, and the Rimrock Resort Hotel are sure to please, while the budget conscious will appreciate the keen prices at the Homestead Inn or Driftwood Inn. Mid-range Banff hotels are fairly abundant, with the Mount Royal, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, and Caribou Lodge all being excellent choices.
Apart from hotels in Banff, comfortable lodging can be found at one of the many Banff bed and breakfasts, and for the real nature experience, there is a good selection of campgrounds in the Banff area.