10 Things To Do In Banff

There are so many things to see around the gorgeous Canadian resort town Banff that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to do first. Here are just a few of the highlights of things to do in Banff that you shouldn’t miss.

  • things to do in banff peyto lake

    Postcard-perfect Peyto Lake, named after an early trail guide and trapper in the Banff area, is one of the most breathtaking lakes in the world. Its color changes with the seasons: In the summer, before the heavy melting of nearby glaciers begins, the lake is dark blue. As summer progresses, the mineral content of the lake increases, giving it a unique blue-green hue making a visit one of the top things to do in Banff in any season.

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • things to do in banff glacier areas

    The largest and most accessible of 17 glacier areas along the Icefields Parkway is the Columbia Icefield, a 125-square-mile remnant of the last major glaciation that covered most of Canada 20,000 years ago. The icefield feeds eight major glaciers, including Athabasca Glacier. Make sure you add this to your list of things to do in Banff.

    Photo Credit: First Light

  • things to do in banff victoria glacier

    Among things to do in Banff is a visit to Lake Louise. Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks and the majestic Victoria Glacier, Lake Louise has become symbolic of the quintessentially Canadian mountain scene. The water’s emerald color comes from the rock flour that seeps into the lake as Victoria Glacier melts. It’s known as Lake of the Little Fishes to the Stoney Nakota First Nations people.

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • things to do in banff ski area at Lake Louise

    Lake Louise is also home to a Parks Canada-designated ski area—plus a luxury ski resort—with breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies.

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • things to do in banff moraine lake

    Although it’s less than half the size of Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, nestled in The Valley of Ten Peaks, is just as gorgeous and should be on your list of things to do in Banff. The view of the mountains behind the lake is known as the Twenty Dollar View—it was featured on the reverse side of the 1969 and 1979 issues of the Canadian $20 bill. When it is full, typically in mid-June, the lake reflects a distinct shade of blue.

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • things to do in banff lake minnewanka

    Lake Minnewanka—Minnewanka a Nakoda word meaning “water of the spirits”—and its surrounding area is rich in animal life like elk, mule deer, mountain bighorn sheep and bears. Among things to do in Banff, this lake has three sites for scuba diving, at one of which you can explore the remains of the sunken Minnewanka Landing.

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • things to do in banff castle mountain

    One of the most imposing peaks in the Bow Valley, the bold, castellated southwest front Castle Mountain dominates the view for much of the journey from Banff to Lake Louise. Its colossal size and reddish tint make the mountain a favorite of many who pass by.

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • things to do in banff bow lake

    The sparkling, translucent waters of Bow Lake are among the most beautiful that can be seen along the Icefields Parkway. On still days, the water reflects the snowy peak of Bow Glacier, which rises high above the lake, and at the lake’s upper end is a trail leading to Bow Glacier Falls.

    Photo Credit: First Light

  • things to do in banff cascade gardens

    A few minutes walk from downtown Banff, the immaculately manicured Cascade Gardens make for strolling on a sunny day an enjoyable thing to do in Banff. The terraced gardens also offer a great sight line looking down Banff’s main drag toward the towering Cascade Mountain.

    Photo Credit: First Light

  • things to do in banff icefields parkway

    The Icefields Parkway, which parallels the Continental Divide for 143 miles between Lake Louise and Jasper, is one of the most scenic and inspiring roads ever built and a must-do among things to do in Banff. Although the road is steep and winding, the scenery along it—like the waterfalls of Beauty Creek—is spectacular.

    Photo Credit: First Light

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AAA Travel offers a wide variety of trips to Banff and beyond. Visit AAA.com to learn more or call 877-396-7159 to speak to a AAA Travel Counselor.

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David Kallas, AAA Travel Counselor, Murray, Utah

I'm all about once-in-a-lifetime trips to destinations such as the Cook Islands, Australia or an African safari. I love to plan trips that my clients return from not regretting anything.

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