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Banff, Alberta

Banff, Alberta

All the Convenience of Town With the Beauty of the Mountains

  • Author: Angie, Head Prairie Traveler
  • Date Posted: Jul 26, 2013
  • Category:
  • Address: Banff, Alberta

Banff, Alberta

If you’re in the Calgary area, be sure to take the short drive west to Banff, Alberta. A small resort town in the Rocky Mountains, the area is filled with natural wonders including natural hot springs, Sulphur Mountain and Bow Falls. And there are definitely plenty of photo opportunities! If you’d like to visit the mountains, but still want to enjoy modern amenities, Banff is the ideal place to go.

History of Banff, Alberta

The area was named by Canadian Pacific Railway President George Stephen after his birthplace of Banffshire, Scotland. Then, to promote the area as an international tourist resort, the CPR built several grand hotels in the area. The surrounding area, including the nearby natural hot springs, was set aside as a reserve and named Rocky Mountain Park. It was the start of Canada’s National park System. As time went by and tourists began to flock to the area, others moved in around the railway station to provide for their needs.
Banff Alberta Superb Skiing

Now, growth isn’t as important to the town as preservation. Development is highly controlled and regulated to prevent strain or damage to the surrounding wilderness. In fact, you can’t even move to town unless you can prove a “need to reside”. To further protect the area for other nations as well as ours, nearby Banff National Park was named a World Heritage Site by the UN in 1985.

Interesting Facts About Banff

  • The local public transportation system includes four hybrid Nova buses. The scenes on the sides of them are from around the National Park.
  • Despite the importance of the CPR to the town’s history, Via Rail no longer offers passenger service here.
  • The Banff Centre is one of the world’s most prestigious schools. It focuses purely on art, music and culture.
  • Together with Calgary, Banff hosts an estimated 5 million tourists annually.
  • The town openly encourages buskers (who have a permit, of course) to perform for locals and tourists alike.
  • Every resident of Banff must follow the town’s “Words to Live By” when interacting with someone else, which have been adopted as its code of conduct. They’re to be used in each resident’s personal and professional lives. Visitors are encouraged to follow the same code of conduct.

Banff Amenities

Arts & Culture

  • The Banff Centre
  • Town Hall Art Gallery
  • Bear Street mall Exhibition
  • Public Artworks
  • Buskers
  • The Book and Art Den


  • Homegrown Art Show
  • Canada Day Celebrations
  • Mountain Madness Relay
  • Banff Summer Arts Festival
  • Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival

Historic Sites

  • The Atkin Home
  • The Banff park Museum
  • 180 Banff Avenue
  • Lady MacDonald Cabin
  • Lux Theatre
  • The Old Banff Cemetery


Restaurants & Bars

  • The Terrace
  • Nourish Vegetarian Bistro and Tea House
  • The Bear Street tavern
  • Beaver Tails
  • Keg Steakhouse & Bar
  • The Bison Restaurant


  • Banff Caribou Lodge
  • The Fairmont Banff Springs
  • Hidden Ridge Resort
  • Fox Hotel & Suites
  • Shadow Lake Lodge
  • Banff Beaver Cabins
  • Buffaloberry Bed and Breakfast
  • Banff Avenue B&B