Don't miss the chance to have a walk on its streets. It is a fairy tale town and you get to have great views and chances are you ran into a bear!
Much of what happens in Banff happens on Banff Avenue, the main street, full of restaurant, shops, the Banff Park Museum, etc.
Banff Avenue is littered with various resteraunts and gift shops. One offered ostrich, bison and rattlesnake!
The Banff museum is worth a visit, especially if you are continuing on through the Rockies, as it will help you identify the myriad of wildlife you will encounter along the way.
The museum is full of stuffed animals from years ago, some huge ravens were a highlight!
If you walk down Banff Avenue, towards the Cascade Gardens, you will have to cross this bridge that spans the Bow River.
Either side of this pretty river are places to sit, admire the view, have a picnic etc.
You will have a view such as this one of the surrounding mountains, everywhere you look when you are in Banff, are mountain views.
On one side of the river is a museum, I will put this on another tip.
Banff Avenue is the main street in Banff. It is a very lively street and you will find plenty of restaurants, pubs and novelty/souvenir boutiques (including my favorite: Banff Fudge Factory!). Walking up and down the street and hopping in and out of the different shops is a lot of fun - but keep in mind that just about everything there is slightly overpriced.
During summer time when there does not seem to be any room to walk on main street, head to the back alley. That is the highways for the locals duing the summer months and it will take less time to go anywhere.
Strolling Banff avenue is a great way to spend the afternoon. Be warned it can be quite crowded at times, but if you're a people watcher it's great. The avenue is filled with tons of shopping, from mainstream stores to funky little candy stores. Great coffee shops and places to stop for lunch and beverage - a little bit of urban bliss in the mountains.
Hans and I loved to walk down Banff Avenue. Banff Avenue is the main street where you will find unique specialty shops, souvenir shops and restaurants and the views on either side of the avenue were awesome.
There is so much to do and see in Banff. Visit CANADA PLACE Walk through the CASCADE GARDENS with its gazebos,colourful flower beds and cascading waterfalls. Or maybe stop and see the SIKSIKA NATION INTERPRETIVE CENTRE where you can enter a traditional tepee, talk to native interpreters and gain insight into the customs and spiritual beliefs of the Siksika Nation(Blackfoot)
Nobody in Alberta goes to Banff without planning to buy some fudge and candy from the candy store on Banff Ave. Once you step in, its like being in Charlie and the Chocolate factory, and they have everything from fist sized jawbreakers (many a comrade has lost his teeth on one of these suckers), to giant chocolate covered caramel pecan logs (my friend managed to have hers last the whole weekend...and end up in her hair after a late night out...), to every pez dispenser ever created (I don't even like fudge and I ended up falling hard for an oreo cookie/chocolate medley....some of it is a bit pricey, however if you plan to travel anywhere in Alberta after Banff, be prepared to suffer the wrath of the Albertans if you say you bypassed the sugar rush....
This here is a good location to take some nice pictures of Banff Avenue and the enormous '' Cascade '' mountain or even a little back at the bridge .It is just a beautiful view and off course the best with the sun shining.Going a bit backwards on this bridge across the street you will come to ''Cascade Gardens,'' on the grounds of the Banff National Parks Administration Building , more on this can be seen in Tips and travelogues.
There is information on Banff and Banff National Park everywhere, but I believe the official information centres are usualy the best. This is a picture of the main street ,Banff Avenue Information Centre.
Here are several contacts for information in Banff.
Banff / Lake Louise Tourist Bureau.
P.O Box 1298
Banff, Alberta Canada.T1L 1B3
Banff information Centre
This Information Centre will help you finding accomodation, dining and sight seeing inquires, like Tours ,Fishing Hiking etc.
Fax 403 -762-8163.
Banff Avenue is the main street running north-south. Here, you'll see specialty stores & souvenir shops lining the street. An interesting store is the Christmas shop which stocks all things related to Christmas. A very quaint & colorful shop.
The name of this landmark peak was given by James Hector and is a translation of the Native name meaning "mountain where the water falls" referring to the cascade on its southeastern face.