Sometimes You Just Have to be a Tourist in your own Backyard

My sister came to visit from Vancouver this weekend and we treated ourselves to a night at Chateau Lake Louise. Pro tip: If you have a Lake Louise season’s pass you can stay up there for 40% off… Check your pass benefits. We pretended we were rich for a night & then did ALL the touristy stuff. It was fantastic. Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your own town.

Here’s a little rundown of some of the touristy stuff we got up to in case you too want to play tourist for a weekend. I’ve got my favourite Banff itinerary down below as well!

Obviously we walked around the lake & took the cliche Lake selfie to start:

Then we went on a majestic sleigh ride around Lake Louise

Then obviously we went for a skate

We walked by a fire pit and the Lake staff offered us a s’more. So. Obviously.

Up next – a ski day at Lake Louise ski resort

With a view of the ski hill from our room.

On Sunday we had to stop in Banff for a lunch wander and a heel click obviously. Magpie & Stump is a great Mexican restaurant with an awesome old school vibe. In the summer they have an incredible roof top patio too. I highly recommend! Oh and the spicy marg’s are money. As is shot roulette if you’re feeling really adventurous…

Anddd some bowling at High Rollers… A MUST do for some evening fun if ya haven’t yet. You have to reserve a lane in advance but it’s always a great time and they have a TON of craft beer on tap.

If you’re looking for other Banff recommendations – you may not realize this but accommodation in Banff in the winter is WAY more affordable than the summer. They average aroun $180 a night but you can snag a room for $100 if you really keep an eye on the deals.

If you’re a beer fan there are now two breweries in town that I love – 3 Bears Brewery (which also has good cocktails) and Banff Ave Brewing. Both offer beer flights so you can taste’em all. And Park is always a favourite for some good cocktails as they’re a distillery above all.

For dinner a new favourite is Lupo for Italian. Reasonably priced & awesome atmosphere for a nicer dinner. The Maple Leaf Lounge is also good for some appies or a charcuterie board – if you’re in more of a snacky mood. Or, as I already mentioned Magpie & Stump for some great Mexican. Melissa’s Missteak is also great – especially if they’ve got live music going on.

If you want a cozy old pub vibe stop by the Rose & Crown – a quintessential pub with live music. Tommy’s offers up the same feel but on a smaller scale, and has dart boards at the back. Or the Pump & Tap for a reallll cheap divey experience. It’s a local fav because the booze is cheap and they’re also kind of unofficially a Saskie Terry bar…

If you want an.. Well… experience – the hostel offers a “Shot wheel” – spin the wheel and you get served whatever shot it lands on.

And then you have to end it all off with the quintessential Banff tourist photo: The Banff Ave island selfie.

All in all this weekend was just a darn blast. Cheese whiz we live in an incredible part of the world

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