Discover your perfect winter vacation with our top picks of the best activities and attractions in Banff and Lake Louise. If you need recommendations, have any questions or would like to book any of these exceptional activities, call our friendly Banff-based reservations team at 1-844-762-7190.
Legendary for its fantastic downhill skiing and boarding amid vast terrain, Banff and Lake Louise also offers an inspiring range of other snowsports opportunities – from world-class cross-country and backcountry touring to snowshoeing and sledding journeys into the heart of Canada’s most mesmerizing wilderness. Thrill seekers can even tackle ice climbing while soul soothers head straight for celebrated spas and hot springs.
Feel the adrenaline rush of mushing your very own dogsled team in Banff National Park. Grab your sled or toboggan and head to Spray Meadows Hill behind the Fairmont Banff Springs. Slip on a pair of ice skates and glide over the frozen, glacier-fed waters of Lake Louise, one of the most scenic ice skating rinks in the world. Or book a guide for an icewalk to Johnston Canyon or a snowshoe through Sunshine Meadows.
Banff and Lake Louise’s many rolling slopes present ideal terrain for the popular winter fun that is tubing and tobogganing. Visit either Mt. Norquay or The Lake Louise Ski Resort for an exhilarating slide down groomed tubing lanes. A magic carpet and a kids play area make this a fantastic family activity. Your SkiBig3 Lift Ticket can be redeemed for a free tubing pass at Mt. Norquay.
For smaller, slower hills perfect for tobogganing toddlers, head to Spray Meadows Hill behind the Fairmont Banff Springs or Cascade Ponds recreation area.
Soak in Canada’s highest natural hot springs pool. This modern year-round facility features an outdoor hot pool, children’s area, cafeteria, gift shop, change rooms, day spa, towel and locker rentals. Plus, the opportunity to wear historical swimsuits reminiscent of the 1920s. Or rejuvenate, recharge and pamper body and soul in a full-service luxury spa and enjoy therapeutic massage, yoga and pilates, relaxing mineral waters and much more. Interested in learning more, see our picks for heavenly hot pools in Banff & Lake Louise.
Take a panoramic gondola ride to the summit of Banff’s Sulphur Mountain, where spectacular 360 degree views of Banff and the surrounding area await. Then kick back and relax over breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Summit Cafe.
Or, take the Lake Louise Ski Resort gondola and be awed by views across the valley of the giant Mt Temple, Valley of the Ten Peaks, Lake Louise and the mighty Victoria Glacier.
Perched high on the upper cliff bands of Mt. Norquay, the historic Cliffhouse Bistro opens only on full moon nights. Overlooking the glittering lights of town below, guests ascend the North American Chair to this high alpine eatery to dine amongst the stars at 7,000 feet.
Italian, French, Greek, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, or regionally and seasonally sourced Canadian cuisine: Banff and Lake Louise attract some of the world’s finest chefs serving up cuisine as varied as our international guests. From five-diamond certified Post Hotel to more traditional fare at the Bear Street Tavern or St. James Gate, there’s something satisfying for every palate.
Some like first chair, others prefer last call; either way, Banff’s got you covered. Take in live music at the Banff Rose and Crown or Wild Bill’s Saloon, curl up at fireside lounges at the Saltlik, or sip locally brewed beers at the Banff Ave. Brew Pub. Once you’re ready for DJs and dancefloors, head to the Dancing Sasquatch, or Hoodoo Lounge to kick it up a notch. Learn more about must-try breakfast spots, cozy comfort food, and healthy dining options. We’ve got your tastes covered.
Stroll historic Banff Avenue or nearby Bear Street in search of that perfect souvenir in one of countless gift shops, chocolate and candy stores. Seek out beautifully handcrafted jewelry and one-of-a-kind Native art. Gear up at locally-owned and international sporting goods stores in both Banff and Lake Louise. Even find the finest in mountain culture fashion at boutiques and leading apparel and department stores.
Banff National Park boasts a rich history of artists dedicated to capturing the natural wonders of the region. For a glimpse into the characters, culture, and history of the area, visit the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, and Banff Park Museum National Historic site. Visit the world-renowned Banff Centre for performances and exhibitions at the Walter Phillips Gallery. Or get a contemporary take with an array of local art galleries including Canada House, Willock and Sax, Harmony Lane, and Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont hotels.