Around 4 million tourists flock to Banff every year to experience the majestic beauty of the town's dramatic surroundings. Nestled within the unspoiled wilds of Banff National Park, high in Canada's Rocky Mountains, Banff is ideally located for excursions to the area's many resorts and attractions.
Banff's 10,000 permanent residents can attest to the fact that this region is as beautiful in summer as it is in winter. Come spring, the countryside takes on a vibrant verdant hue, matched only by the astonishing deep turquoise of the area's lakes.
Take in the spectacular views on foot, making the most of the hundreds of hiking paths. There's a trail for every level of ability, from riverside meanders to hard-core treks. If you prefer getting around on two wheels, there are plenty of mountain bike rental shops in Banff where you can also get advice and trail maps. Kayaking is the ideal way to see the vivid glacial lakes up close; bring your own kayak or simply hire one in town.
Come winter, Banff is transformed into a snowy paradise. A mecca for skiers and snowboarders, there are several ski resorts in the area, including Mt Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. You can catch a shuttle bus from one of the hotels in town to get to Sunshine Village or Lake Louise. Both have a vast number of runs ranging from novice to advanced levels. A local favourite, Mt Norquay is smaller but less crowded, and has more advanced runs.
As you would imagine, the volume of holidaymakers year-round makes Banff somewhat of a party town. Unwind after a day in the mountains in one of its many first-rate bars and clubs. The Dancing Sasquatch is the town's legendary nightspot and no visit to Banff would be complete without at least one late night in this fine establishment.
Banff is a four-hour drive south of Jasper, or an hour-and-a-half's drive west of Calgary.