the best of banff + surrounding

I never understood everyone’s fascination with mountains. Sure, they looked beautiful in photo’s but I didn't get the hype. Until I visited Alberta. Seeing them before own eyes almost brought me to tears. I felt like I was in a painting, I couldn’t stop staring. I can gladly say now I have an obsession with the Canadian Rockies.


Banff National Park

Stay:

Canmore was our first stop. I suggest staying here over Banff. It is equally as beautiful, you don't have to pay a park entrance fee and it's much less busy. If we wanted to head to Banff it was only a quick 15 minute drive. The drive in was out of this world, I couldn't stop staring out the window, you are literally surrounded by mountains. We checked into Solara Resort + Spa and once we got our keys headed up to the room. They had provided us with a double suite including two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two balconies, a kitchenette, and living space. We were blown away! It was like a home away from home, I felt very cozy snuggling up to the fireplace and enjoying the stunning mountain views right outside our windows. Every day I would make myself a coffee, head to the balcony and enjoy the morning air. It was bliss. Our trip took place in the month of April, which isn't high season. This made it extra peaceful and quiet.

solara resort and spa

After spending three nights at Solara Resort we headed to Mount Engadine Lodge. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Canmore, you are really out in the middle of nowhere! Some of the best mountain views I had seen so far. They provided us with a “glamping” tent, which I highly recommend.

Mount Engadine
Mount Engadine Lodge

We spent the next few days hiking the surrounding trails, enjoying the cozy lodge experience, reading in front of the fire, and tasting some great food. Every day at 3pm they serve you a charcuterie board! If you are looking to unplug and get away from the business of life, this is your spot.

Mount Engadine

To do:

If you are in Canmore, I highly recommend visiting Grassi Lakes. This was one of my favourite hikes, and the view at the top blew my mind! It took about an hour to get up, but not a difficult trek. I’ve never seen such crystal clear blue water!

Going on the Banff Gondala was one of my favourite moments. You won’t see better views. It can be a bit pricey, but worth it. We booked our time slot in advance so that we didn’t have to wait in the long lineup. When you get to the top, there’s tons to do too!

Once you are in Banff there are endless possibilities! We took so many photos at places that we just came across while driving around! Lake Louise was one of the further spots we visited, but in April it was still frozen over.

Food:

I am a huge foodie and enjoyed every second of my experience at Table Food + Drink in Canmore. The Chef was amazing. He sat down with us and chatted about some of his favourite dishes and cooking methods. Once I heard he loves using duck fat in his recipes I was sold. For starters we ordered the smoked carrot coconut soup and grilled calamari. The soup had such a lovely, sweet flavour and although dairy free, was super creamy. I love squid, so I had to try the grilled calamari which included some of my favourite things: capers, olives, roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes. Highly recommend. As our mains we decided on the Icelandic Cod and the Lamb Shank, both were outstanding. The lamb fell right off the bone and came with some of the best mashed potatoes i’ve ever had. The Cod was perfectly flakey and I felt the tapenade cream was an excellent touch. Pictures just don’t do it justice!! The staff is what made the experience extra special, they treated us like royalty. Ps. Order the jalapeño margarita, trust me!


Overall, out West was amazing and i’m a little tempted to move there…