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Essential Guide to Banff National Park

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Adventure travelers and history buffs are equally at home in Banff National Park. As the birthplace of Parks Canada's national park system, Banff is home to far more than just the Canadian Rockies (though, really, those rugged beauties would be enough). From the drive along Icefields Parkway to Cave and Basin and the stately Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, history is both widely visibly and wildly beautiful. Mix in unrivalled wildlife viewing, hiking options, hot springs, and more, and it’s easy to fall in love with Banff National Park. Pair a trip to Banff with several days in nearby Jasper National Park, and you've got a dream vacation in the making.
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311 Cave Ave, Banff, AB T0L 0C0, Canada
You can smell the minerals in the water as you unload the family at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the place where two railway surveyors spotted a cave and series of natural hot springs back in 1883. They were helping to build the...
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405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4, Canada
Set in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Banff National Park, the year-round Fairmont Banff Springs was the brainchild of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. On arrival at Banff, the tourism visionary made...
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700 Tunnel Mountain Rd, Banff, AB T0L, Canada
Set just a 15-minute walk from the irresistibly photogenic town of Banff within the pristine surrounds of Banff National Park, Buffalo Mountain Lodge lives up to every rustic Rocky Mountain vacation fantasy. Deer can even be spotted nibbling on...
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Moraine Lake, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Nestled at the base of the Valley of the 10 Peaks, Moraine Lake boasts turquoise waters that change color throughout the day as sunlight refracts off the minuscule particles of glacier-ground rock suspended within. Though it has a B-list rating...
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Lake Louise, AB T0L, Canada
Not actually on Lake Louise, but atop a nearby mountain, is a small wooden tea house overlooking another, much smaller lake. With a week still to go before it opened for the summer months, the views outside were still impressive.
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1 Sunshine access Rd, Banff, AB T1L 1J5, Canada
Most people travel to Canada in the winter to ski the famous big resorts like Whistler and Lake Louise. But 20 minutes from downtown Banff is a little "hill"—as the Canadians like to call their mountains—called Sunshine Village. The...
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There’s something romantic about a horse-drawn sleigh ride, but it’s even more special when it traces the shores of historic Lake Louise. Imagine snuggling beneath a fleece blanket on an old-fashioned sleigh as two mighty horses pull...
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Mount Norquay, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Built for kids but beloved by nearly everyone, tubing at Mount Norquay is an entertaining alternative to skiing or snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies. Not satisfied with simply being the fastest tubing park around, Mount Norquay staff are also...
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211 Bear St # 213, Banff, AB T1L 1E4, Canada
Best known by locals for its stunning views of the Canadian Rockies (nab a seat by the giant windows to make other diners jealous!), the Bison’s best-kept secret is its addictive dinner and Sunday brunch menus. Chefs Liz and Kirk are...
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111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
One of Canada’s most iconic hotels, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is cradled by the Rocky Mountains, its grand, castle-like structure surrounded by towering peaks and the pristine, protected wilderness of Banff National Park. The...
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1 Moraine Lake Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
Open seasonally from June 1 through October 1, Moraine Lake Lodge is, as its name suggests, set right on the stunning turquoise waters of the glacier-fed Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. The lake is one of the most photographed locations in ...
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200 Pipestone Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
The Post Hotel & Spa is set in the heart of the pristine Banff National Park, surrounded by the Canadian Rocky Mountains and overlooking Lake Louise. The original log-walled lodge—opened in 1942 as the Lake Louise Ski Lodge—has...