Our Banff day trip started early on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning. We were up early to beat traffic and drove from Calgary to Banff, which is only around 130 kilometers. Since Banff is a little pricey, we stopped in Canmore for breakfast at Le Fournil. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite for breakfast, lunch or a snack. To read more about all the goodies that they have to offer check out our review.
After stuffing our faces, we hopped back in the car to drive from Canmore to Banff. It’s very short, only 25 kilometers. Since the Town of Banff is in a National Park, there is an entrance fee for those wanting to stop in the park. Currently, the day fee is $19.60 for a family or group. Before heading out, be sure to check out the Parks Canada site for the latest information.
We had reservations at the gondola for 10:10 am. Since we made it to Banff shortly after 9 am, we had plenty of time to find a spot to park, wander around and then hop on the Roam bus to the base of Sulphur Mountain. We arrived just in time to get in line for the gondola ride to the top. After spending some time at the top exploring and taking way too many pictures, we decided to head back to the center of town to grab some lunch. To read about our Banff Gondola experience check out our post.
Wary Travelers Tip:
In Banff, most parking spots have time limits. If you park on Bow Avenue you can do so for the day. And, you’re close to all the sites you want to see.
After being dropped off at the bus stop on Banff Avenue, we noticed how much busier things had gotten. We headed out to locate the Eddie Burger Bar. While doing a quick search of places to eat in Banff, the Eddie Burger Bar kept coming up and we decided to check it out. It didn’t disappoint. For those of you that are curious, our review is a great place to start.
After some of window shopping, were looking for a quick pick me up, so we stopped by the Little Wild coffee shop. They serve locally roasted coffee, have a great selection of snacks, and friendly service. We both ordered drinks and grabbed a table outdoors to do some people watching and take in the incredible scenery of downtown Banff.
Have a sweet tooth? So do we. The Banff Candy Store is always a must-do activity when visiting. They have everything you can possibly imagine, including the hard to find things from your childhood along with all the classics and massive selection of fudge. While those are all great, the highlight of the store has to be the walls of unique PEZ Dispensers.
And, before heading back to Calgary, we decided to stop at Park Distillery. It’s the perfect place for a late day meal or drinks. Also, they have two patios so you can take in the views while you eat.
The food at Park is “campfire-inspired”. The menu is heavy on the wood-fired, spit-roasted and smokey flavors. Their signature dishes are the cornflake pulled pork fingers and the mac n’ cheese with buttermilk fried chicken. If you are there with a friend, get the Mess Hall Standard which includes ribs, rotisserie chicken, pork n’ beans, wings, smokies, potato salad, coleslaw and cornbread. And, the best part is that Park distills its own spirits. Obviously, we did pick up a few bottles to try at home.
And, our day had us back in Calgary in the late afternoon. A Banff day trip is an easy add on if you are in Calgary for a few days.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to also visit Jasper, click here to read about a few recommended stops along the way.
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