The first time I traveled to Canada I was especially excited that the soda cans were written in English and French, one language per side. Clearly though, Canada has far more amazing qualities about it than its diverse Coke cans. Take the town of Banff for instance; this beautiful Canadian town is full of adorable shops, high-adrenaline activities, and breathtaking views.
The views are among the best on Banff Avenue, where the heart of this town comes to life. From the 2-sidded street lined in pretty red-accented buildings, views of the surrounding mountain peaks make it hard not to stare, with mouth wide open of course. This town is located right in the center of the Banff National Park, hence why it is so easy on the eye–especially for all of us nature lovers!
Located within the actual limits of the Banff National Park, situated in Alberta, Canada, the town of Banff is accessed by traveling through the Trans-Canada Highway. Situated up high in Alberta’s Rockies, 4,600 feet in elevation, Banff is second in height only to Lake Louise.
Banff is considered one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. That’s because visiting Banff proves exciting for all, with endless activities to enjoy, including cycling, whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing, mountain climbing, skiing and more. Important to note, if you love skiing the town of Banff is surrounded by 3 major ski resorts, Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Ski Norquay, and Sunshine Village.
For those that want to take it easier there are romantic coffee shops to enjoy, affordable store fronts to explore, and plenty of historical museums and architecture to soak up. Or you can just sit back and enjoy the views, something seasoned bird watchers love to do around here, where the variety of winged-beauties never ceases to amaze.
No matter what time of year it is, there is something to do in this part of town, which is why tourists travel here all 12 months. With mild winters and summers, Banff is almost always a nice place to be.
According to 2014 census data, there are 8,421 people that call Banff home; this is up 16.1% from 2011 figures.
The green and red buildings look especially festive during the holiday season, visiting in December can really get you in the mood for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any winter-time holiday you celebrate.
Banff was established back in the 1880s when the transcontinental railway was implemented through Bow Valley. Around this time natural hot springs were discovered on Sulphur Mountain. As a result, a federal reserve was instituted to protect the land, and the area was promoted as a hot springs spa, from which profits would help support the railway.
In 1884 George Stephen, the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, coined the name Banff. He chose this name in reference of his birthplace, Banff, Scotland. The Canadian Pacific didn’t waste any time building up hotels near the rail line for international tourists.
In 1887 the reserve land was increased and called Rocky Mountain Park, and so began Canada’s National Park system. Banff National Park remains the oldest national park in Canada. Today, over one million people come to Banff National Park every year in order to explore the 6,600+ square kilometers of mountainside paradise.
The sights this park has to offer are out this world, including bright teal bodies of water, white-capped mountainsides, and plenty of wild animals to try and catch a peak at. Plus, the variety of accommodations offered for tourists are incredible in so many different ways. From regal and elegant looking castle hotels to rustic cabins, all of Banff is soaked in natural beauty.