There’s plenty to do in Calgary throughout the winter, but if you’re staying a while then you’ll want to get out of the city and explore some of the excellent places close by that offer a plethora of fantastic winter experiences. Banff is one of those places, and it is only a 90 minute drive from our suites in downtown Calgary.
The skiing at Banff is amazing. People come from all over the world to ski and snowboard on the thick velvety snow at the three local resorts – Mount Norquay, Lake Louise, and Sunshine Village. If you’re a beginner, then there are excellent ski schools that’ll get you whizzing down the slopes in no time (and if you’re travelling with kids, they get the tots skiing super fast or you can put them in ski daycare so you don’t have to worry while you’re enjoying yourself). Experienced skiiers and boarders will find plenty of challenging runs too. An added bonus about skiing here: there are so many runs that even though the mountain is busy, it really doesn’t feel like it
Downtown Banff is really sweet, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to kick back in once you’ve had your fill of snow. If you’re into sports, head to the Elk and Oarsman, and order up a huge plate of Elk Poutine to refuel. There are a few spots to catch live music, including the Banff Brewing Company where you can sample pints of Saskatoon berry ale and other microbrews made on premises. If you want a fancy dinner, head to the Sleeping Buffalo restaurant at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge – they specialize in game and everything they serve is absolutely delicious.
A visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs is an absolute must, and perfect for soothing sore muscles should you work your body too hard on the slopes. Totally art deco in design, the Hot Springs are a fabulous authentic part of local history, where you can even rent 20’s style bathing suits to truly get into the spirit of the place. The water is so hot, and the view out over the mountains is just beautiful.
You can also go dog-sledding, ice-climbing, ice-fishing, tubing, and all manner of other awesome activities when visiting Banff. There’s tons to do there, and one trip most definitely won’t be enough.