Banff National Park in Canada

Yesterday I saw this movie called The Right Kind of Wrong. It was quite a good romantic comedy, but what baffled me during the entire movie was the location where the movie was set.

I was constantly thinking that it was fake, that this kind of place was too pretty to be real. That the colors were photoshopped or something. I googled for the location of this movie and apparently it was shot in the Banff National Park in Canada. It’s a real place. The views are real. I was even more baffled now …

So – this destination is going on my bucket list, but preferably for a next trip in September this year or end of spring 2016. I need your suggestions this time, where should I go, how should I go there? Roadtrip with a car or a camper? Motels or hotels? Suggestions as to where I should actually go to, sleep, eat and so on?

Because come on, look at these pictures – wouldn’t you want to go and book your trip immediately? Thanks for the tips you guys!

banff national park canada banff NP canadaSONY DSC

5 thoughts on “Banff National Park in Canada

  1. We visited Banff as well as Jasper and while they’re both very nice and beautiful, we found Jasper to be more rugged, wild and authentic. A bit less developed I’d say and while that may be down to total coincidence, we did spot more wildlife in Jasper than we did in Banff. But rest assured: you *will* see bears, deer and other animals while there. They’re really hard to miss, because of all the cars stopping to admire them 🙂 You’ll actually spot the cars parked by the side of the road and the people pointing excitedly long before you’ll spot the actual animals.

    The drive between both parks (called the Icefields Parkway) is simply breathtaking. But do prepare yourself for a somewhat long drive, especially given the fact that there are almost no gas stations or convenience stores and long stretches without cellphone coverage.

    Here’s some of the things we did while there and particularly enjoyed:

    Banff

    Banff Gondola (up to Sulphur Mountain, lovely view of the town and surroundings)
    Lake Minnewanka
    Lake Johnson
    Fairmont Hotel Banff Springs (too expensive to stay there, but lovely to visit for the architecture and affordable for lunch at the German themed Waldhaus pub)

    Lake Louise

    The town is very small, but the lake itself is stunning, the most amazing shade of blue I’ve ever seen. We rented a red kayak and paddled on the lake.
    Lake Louise Gondola (we spotted bears below us while gliding over the meadows!)
    Walking from the lake to the tea house above it. The perfect walk for us: not too hard, easy to do on your own pace, lovely views as you climb ever higher above the lake and with something to look forward to in the end.
    Fairmont Hotel: besides a golf course, with big windows and yummy desserts.

    Jasper

    Jasper Tramway (up another mountain, but with the widest view imaginable across the wonderful nature that surrounds it)
    Maligne Lake and canyon
    Lots of walks (Mary Schäffer Loop, Moose Lake Loop, Five Lakes, Mount Edith Cavell)

    We also went for the glacier walk along the Icefields Parkway at the Columbia Icefield. It is somewhat pricey and very touristy, but we did enjoy it a lot. If nothing else, you get to ride in very cool vehicle that takes you on the gletcher itself 🙂

    We stayed in Canmore for the Banff part of our trip (30 minutes from Banff town) where we found a great deal the the Ramada Motel. No five star place by any means but nice big rooms, decent breakfast and spotless clean. We found it a good place to explore from.

    In Jasper, where there’s somewhat less choice when it comes to accomodation, we stayed at the Seldom In Guesthouse in town. It’s a lovely little B&B run by a couple that actually works for Parks Canada and knows the park *very* well. They gave us all sorts of handy tips and were just lovely people all around. Also, they got us talking to other guests to exchange tips and experiences as well.

    We didn’t see much of Calgary and Edmonton but found Calgary rather hard to fall in love with. There’s nice places to eat and the Glenbow Museum was lovely, but overall it’s a city made for people rushing by in cars, not for pedestrians. We just passed through Edmonton but did visit the West Edmonton Mall, one of the biggest in the world. It’s a spectacular in a way (they have an indoor pool!) but also tacky and dated.

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      • Not yet, but we did skip through it looking for some of the places we might know. At least one scene (in a restaurant) is filmed at the Fairmont Lake Louise, pretty much in the same spot where we were sitting 🙂

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  2. Hi Margot

    We went there (and Vancouver & Whistler) in April 2014. And it was gorgeous 🙂
    But you’ll have to know that April is still winter over there. We knew this, since we wanted to go boarding as well. But there were none of those beautiful turquoise lakes yet. Most of them were still frozen (and some were starting to open up). They were as beautiful but different … walking on a frozen Lake Louis is an experience altogether 🙂 But I really want to see it in summer as well (I believe end of June, early July is when the lakes are at their prettiest).

    If you like, you can check out my blogpost which describes our Road Trip from Whistler to Vancouver to the Rockies (in Dutch) http://paulvanderheyde.com/road-trip-west-canada-whistler-vancouver-rocky-mountains/. If you go, you’ll definitely have an amazing time .. I hope to go back someday 🙂

    Cheers
    Paul

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    • Thanks for the info Paul! Will read up on your blog post for sure! And thanks for the tip. I was thinking about May 2016 (fundings …), but I will leave it for later in the year as I am not a fan of wintry experiences. I like sunshine on my travels 🙂 Too bad the lakes are too cold to swim in at any given time 🙂

      Hug,
      Margot

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