Sharing the experience of Day 1 of the week long family vacation and travel to Banff National Park, Canada. This breathtakingly beautiful destination will surely leave you enchanted!
Remember that truly mesmerizing picture where you see someone canoeing in a lake, looking towards a majestic mountain range? The wide angled breathtaking landscape speaks volumes about the natural beauty that God has bestowed us with. The Instagram worthy picture that I am talking about here is of none other than the surreal location, Lake Louise in Banff, Canada.
Every year, tourists from all over the world travel to Banff to see and feel the paradise that one gets to see only in pictures. Many photography enthusiasts are seen at Lake Louise in the early hours of the day to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise at the lake!
Banff Vacation – Last week of September, 2019
It has been almost a year since we visited Banff National Park, situated in Alberta province of Canada. After much planning, me, along with my husband and 5 year old kid, were able to visit the majestic Canadian Rockies in the last week of September, 2019.
It was a week long trip to Banff, and without any doubt, it was a great experience for us. The best part? We were able to get a glimpse of different climates in a week long trip. When we started our Banff journey, it was all green. Then, rain showers welcomed us making the lush green mountains look even better. And after 2-3 days, the same green landscape turned to a beautiful bed of white snow.
Since we had a toddler traveling with us and because we were seeing changes in weather, we tried to take it easy and avoided some hikes that we might otherwise would have attempted to do. But yes, a week is definitely less to cover all the important places in and around Banff. So, we would come back to this heaven again to experience more beauty that mother nature has bestowed upon us.
Travel Tip – Car Rental at Airport & Car Seat Info For Travel With A Kid
We traveled from California to Calgary Airport and we rented a car at Calgary airport itself. You can pre-book your car online and just pick it up at the airport. Each of the car rental companies have designated pick up spots at the airport parking lots. We actually modified our car rental booking once we were about to pickup the car. Since it was the time snow might would’ve started, we changed our car from a Sedan to a more comfortable SUV. Choosing the Subaru Forrester was a great selection, as it has lot of advanced safety features, especially for driving in snowy weather.
Also, since we had a toddler with us, it was compulsory to use a car seat. You can purchase the car seats there in Calgary. Or a better option is to bring the car seat along, in the flight. Since the car seat that we use in California is a heavy one, so we purchased another, which was completely travel friendly. It is light weight, safe, durable and the cost is also reasonable. Apparently, it is one of the Amazon bestsellers in car booster seats. It is the “Graco TurboBooster Highback Booster Seat”. As per rules, every U.S. airline allows you to check-in a car seat free of cost. So, buying this car seat was worth it!
Stay at Super 8 by Wyndham, Canmore
Coming to our trip, we had booked a room in a hotel in Canmore. Now, there is a reason behind why we selected our hotel room in Canmore, and not the town of Banff. The biggest reason is cost saving. There are some excellent low cost hotel options in Canmore, which provide best value in terms of quality of service. Also, the drive from Canmore to Banff is an experience in itself, and the views on the way are absolutely gorgeous.
We stayed at Super 8 by Wyndham, Canmore. The rooms in the hotel are cozy and the service and breakfast is excellent. Also, the view that we had from our room window was absolutely stunning. There is a railroad track just beside the hotel, but we never had a noise issue with the passing trains. As seen from the window here is the majestic and picturesque mountain range.
Flashback to the start of the journey, after we rented a car from Calgary airport, we spent the night at a hotel in Calgary (since we had a late night arrival), and in the morning, we checked out of the hotel in Calgary, and started our journey towards our Canmore hotel (Super 8 by Wyndham). But, again we decided to save time and headed straight towards Lake Louise, Banff with our luggage, instead of going to the hotel. Since we had some day time in our hand, so we wanted to make the most of it, instead of spending half the day at the hotel and then later starting our trip for the day.
Travel To Banff – First Visit to Lake Louise
To our surprise it started raining as soon as we reached, and in a few minutes, we could feel the tiny snowflakes in action. It was beautiful. Lake Louise and it’s clean and pristine waters cannot be described in words. The water is emerald green in color, which is acquired by the rocks which are carried into the lake by the glaciers that overlook the lake. The way the lake is surrounded by mountains and glaciers is beauty beyond imagination. Even the most stunning and high definition photos cannot do justice to what you see there with your naked eyes.
Hotel Fairmont’s Chateau Lake Louise is a luxury resort which is located at the eastern shore of the lake. Also, the lake is known for hiking trails which are very popular among tourists and adventure enthusiasts. However, we missed that part of the trip. So, saving the hiking for our next trip.
After spending some time at the lake, we decided to have late lunch and headed towards Banff Downtown. There are plenty of dining options available, and you can select one as per your cuisine and budget preferences. Since we had a toddler with us, a lot of times, we just headed to McDonald’s for a quick meal. The downtown itself has a charming appeal to it. The walkways are always full of life with lots of tourists, souvenir stores and coffee shops, and walking across the Banff Downtown sparkling in the light snow showers was a memorable experience for us. We even bought maple syrup bottles on the last day as souvenirs for friends and family, as token of love from our travel to Banff.
Dinner at Indian Restaurant, Canmore
Well, after we returned back to our hotel, we took a quick nap, rested for a while, and then went out to explore nearby restaurants in Canmore and also shopped for some basic fruits, salad and snacks from Safeway. It was pretty close to our hotel, so that is another good part about stay at Super 8 By Wyndham.
Dinner was sorted as we found an Indian restaurant just near our hotel. The restaurant’s name was “Indian Authentic Cuisine”, and it truly lived up to our expectations. We almost had our dinner there every other day, except for one day when we had pizza at the nearby Boston Pizza place. Imagine coming back to the hotel after spending whole day at different lakes, parks and other tourist destinations, and then just going to a place 2-4 minutes away to have the most delicious Butter Chicken and Naan, yummy heaven. The other dishes are also equally great at the restaurant. Our “Travel to Banff” experience would not have been complete without having a warm hearty meal at this place!
Day 1 of our Banff vacation was a great experience, and we couldn’t wait for our next day to begin and visit the various lakes and other scenic spots in and around Banff. Sharing the rest of our “Travel to Banff” experience in the next blog posts soon!
If you like this post, do check out our visit to Casa Lama, a Castle in Toronto!