Location: Banff, Alberta – Cananda
Aprrox. 129 Kilometers / 80 Miles or 1.5 Hours Drive From Downtown Calgary
Overview Map Of Banff
The town of Banff is situated about 1 1/2 hours west of Calgary and the Lake Louise area is another 45 minutes west of Banff. We stayed close to Banff all 6 nights because there’s a lot more facilities, WiFi, and restaurants available. We started several of our days at the Wild Flour Bakery for croissants (Pain Au Chocolat for Tyler and a plain one for me), and an Americano. This is definitely our favorite ritual when we’re traveling.
Lingering over light as a feather, buttery pastries and rich black coffee is a favorite pass time, but it’s practical as well! Let me explain: early in the morning is perfect for the freshest pastries, but it’s also perfect for planning which mountain to climb that day, as well as using WiFi to blog on the road. So you see, pastries are totally necessary on vacation!
The town of Banff is gorgeous with bright colors and flowers everywhere. The entire main street is filled with shops and restaurants and it’s fun to walk the length of it, but the side streets definitely hold some treasures as well (like the above mentioned bakery).
Above the town of Banff sits the lovely Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Some day, I would love to stay in this beautiful hotel, and whilst I’m dreaming, we’ll throw in a dinner at Eden. In all seriousness though, saving up for a dinner at Eden is on my list. The tasting menus are mouthwatering, and they get top notch reviews.
If you’re not looking to spend quite so much, there’s some good options back in the heart of Banff.
We enjoyed a couple of rice bowls at Chaya, but they also have all kinds of ramen noodles on the menu. Overall, the dining experience in Banff was mixed. The prices are similar if not higher than Calgary, and the food wasn’t as good. The Wild Flour Bakery I mentioned really stood out for it’s pastries and coffee, but everywhere else was good but not great. But… that’s only compared to city standards, considering you can be scrambling up a mountain for 10 hours and then settle down to a delicious rice bowl at the end of the day, I was more than happy!
We also spent some time at the MacLab Bistro located in the Banff Centre overlooking the town of Banff. This complex is a great area with a lot going on. There are several restaurants and all kinds of theatre and concerts during the summer. There is also a gym where you can purchase a shower, (trust me this is invaluable information when you’re camping)!
Since I was working from the road, the challenge in Banff was finding WiFi. I’m not sure what they thought at the MacLab Bistro when we came in one day and had breakfast – lunch – and dinner without ever leaving. It was a great place for me to put in a longer day (because it’s their slow time of year and there were plenty of tables), and I got a lot of work done with my meals being brought out me and all!
See you next week for more adventures in the Banff area!