Top 10 Local Favourites in Summer and Winter


Want to know what the locals do in the summer in Banff? Check out these top 10 tips:

  1. Ride your road bike along the Vermilion Lakes road. It's an easy ride that takes you past the beautiful lakes and, if you want to extend your journey, you can connect to the Banff Legacy Trail.
  2. Take your mountain bike on some trails close to town. Ride the Spray River Loop or head to the Tunnel Bench Loop. Parks Canada has a list of approved mountain biking trails.
  3. Have lunch on a bench by the Bow River in Central Park. It's just steps away from downtown Banff is a quiet spot to enjoy a picnic.
  4. Hike up Tunnel Mountain for a noon-time workout. If you're looking for an easy introduction to mountain climbing, this is it.
  5. If it's a hot day, escape the heat by heading to Johnson Lake. It warms up enough that you can swim in the lake, or just lounge on the shoreline.
  6. Poke around the alleys and discover hidden entrances to Banff's great stores. Find a list of shopping locations from Banff Lake Louise Tourism.
  7. Soothe your tired muscles in the Banff Hot Springs.
  8. Beat the crowds and do your grocery shopping early in the morning when there's lots of parking and no lines.
  9. Play a round of golf at the Banff Springs Golf Course. Locals love hitting the links to play the Tunnel 9.
  10. Catch a concert or take in a film at The Banff Centre.


Visiting in the winter? Here are some of the top 10 things locals love to do:

  1. Go ice skating on a frozen lake – Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka, the Vermilion Lakes, or Lake Louise. There's even an ice skating rink in downtown Banff at the high school field for part of the winter.
  2. Grab your cross-country skis and head to the Cascade Fire Road. Find a list of cross-country skiing trails from Parks Canada.
  3. Take advantage of some amazing deals at local restaurants during A Taste For Adventure.
  4. Enjoy the many activities of Banff's winter festival, SnowDays, that's held January/February. It's got everything from ice sculpture demos to and ice climbing wall in downtown Banff.
  5. Ski or snowboard at one or all of the three ski resorts in Banff National Park (Ski Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise Mountain Resort)
  6. Check the online calendar for events, festivals and activities.
  7. Enjoy après ski in front of a crackling fireplace. Find a list of restaurants in town from Banff Lake Louise Tourism.
  8. Escape the cold for a few hours and head to the indoor climbing wall at the Sally Borden Building at The Banff Centre.
  9. Tunnel Mountain Road is closed to vehicles in the winter so it makes for a peaceful walk anytime of the day.
  10. Enter a team in the Mountain Madness Relay Race. This is a pretty unique race – it starts with a downhill ski portion on Mt. Norquay, followed by a run to the Bow River, then it's ice skating, classic cross-country skiing and finally snowshoeing across the finish line.