Banff is a small town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, about an hour and a half west of Calgary, Alberta. When I was growing up we used to only ever go to the mountains for ski trips, so I only ever saw Banff in the winter. It wasn’t until I was older that I actually had a chance to visit in the summer. It is a beautiful place both times of the year but definitely a different experience in the Summer! If you are heading to Banff here are some of the top things to do in Banff in summer.
Go for a Hike
Since you’re in the mountains, you should definitely go for a hike! The trails around Banff range from super easy short little hikes to more advanced all day hikes.
This picture is from the Spray River loop which starts and ends near the Banff Springs Hotel. It’s a little over 12 km long and takes about 3.5 – 4 hours depending on how fast you go.
If you are new to hiking you can check out All Trails for info about all the hiking trails. It will show you how long the trail is, how difficult, and other peoples reviews.
Walk Down Main Street (Banff Ave)
In the last few years Banff ave has changed to a walking street. Most cars are no longer able to drive along the main street in summer time, so its safer to wander around (and stop for pics!). Plus many of the restaurants along Banff ave and the surrounding side streets now have outdoor patios in the street.
Pick up some fudge from The Fudgery
Once in the town itself stop in The Fudgery for some handmade fudge. You can watch them make the fudge from the front window, and they have a whole selection of flavours on the counter (My go-to is the maple pecan). Get a piece to share with your friends or grab some to bring home.
RELATED: Visiting the Scottish Highlands
Banff Tea Co.
Hidden on one of the sides streets, Banff Tea Co. is an independent tea shop with an amazing selection of loose teas. Take a few minutes inside to take in all the blends and the perfect one for you. They everything from black teas, to green teas to, herbal. If you are looking for a sleepy time tea I pick up a bag of their “Knock Yourself Out” tea every time I’m in town. Also be sure to check out their featured teas, as they change every season.
Cows Ice Cream
Cows ice cream is a Canadian ice cream company with locations across the country, though the one in Banff is the only one in Alberta! Their creamy slow churred ice cream comes is a range of flavours and is the perfect thing for a summer day. Be warned though, if it is hot out there will be a line out the door!
Visit Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
A Historic Hotel which first opened in the late 1880s, the Fairmont Banff Spring overlooks the town of Banff. As a luxury hotel, staying the night is way outside of my budget. However, it is actually free to tour around the hotel. There are a number of ghost stories associated with the hotel, with the most famous being the Ghost Bride (you can read more about her on a plaque near the circular staircase.
The hotel also has a number of restaurants if you would like to stop for lunch or dinner and enjoy the view.
Parking near the hotel is pricey (upwards of $10 an hour). There is free parking a little be down the road along spray avenue, or if you are feeling up to it the hotel is about a 25 minute walk from the town. Banff’s Roam Transit also has a bus that goes up to the hotel and costs $2 each way.
There’s still so much more you can do in Banff in the summer so have fun exploring! Let me know what your favourite things to do in Banff are down in the comments.