The town lies in the middle of Banff National Park, in the valley of the Bow River and resembles a small town in the Alps. In the summer time it is mostly visited by hikers, and winter is a place for skiers, the bustling city center is very contradictory with his quiet nature and beauty. Visits Banff certainly do not get bored
Shopping in Banff is not too bad, you'll find shops around, restaurants to dine- in. Even if you just wandering around and enjoy the view and admired the beautiful buildings and look sometimes behind you where you have the mountain. Banff downtown is easy to navigate is a long straight walk, small and compact no need to drive around. We came with our car, we parked to one of the parking outside the center and we walk around
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!
I love Cows Ice Cream. I came across my first Cows Ice Cream while in Halifax on the waterfront. After that, I made sure to visit Cows when I was in Ottawa on several different occasions (although there isn't one in Ottawa anymore), in Banff, in Vancouver, and in Whistler. They've got great t-shirts and other Cow souvenirs...and the ice cream isn't bad either.
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.