We ended up with less than 24 hours in Banff due to the weather, which did not give us much time to explore.
When we left Johnston Canyon after our hike, we took the scenic Bow Valley Parkway for a picturesque drive to get to the town of Banff.
We decided to go to our hotel first to drop off our luggage. The Juniper Hotel is located just outside of town, on Highway 1 with lovely landscapes of the surrounding mountains. After checking in, we were assigned a room on the first floor with a beautiful view of the Fairmont Hotel in the distance.
Little did we know that the picturesque view also meant we were located beside a major highway, which was very noisy at night. They must have the cheapest windows ever in this hotel, as you could hear all the road traffic all night long. Especially the truckers as they jake braked as they went by. If you are a light sleeper, get a room on the other side of the hotel.
Being on the first floor, we did not have to worry about climbing steps, as this hotel has no elevator. The room was large with a king size bed. The bathroom was small with limited counter space but for one night we managed.
After unloading the car, we headed into Banff.
After finding street parking, which was free, we went to the Grizzly House Restaurant for dinner. It was a nice evening and we were able to sit outside along the sidewalk and enjoy our meal and people watch.
When we were seated, we noticed the other diners with the fondue dinner and we decided to try it. We started off with a salad and then they brought the cheese fondue with bread cubes. I would have been happy with that, as it was delicious and very filling. (That is garlic cloves in the cheese that we removed.)
Next came our meat to cook on a hot stone using garlic butter. J ordered steak & chicken and I ordered steak and scallops. We were able to cook the meat to our taste. They provided different sauces to dip the meat in. I do not remember what it was, but it was good.
Our last course was the chocolate fondue. Even though we were getting full, we made room for it. It was excellent. They even wanted to provide us with spoons so we could get all the chocolate out of the pan but we declined. We left stuffed and happy we tried something different. By the time we left, it was getting crowded. If you plan on going to dinner after 6:00, make reservations.
After our meal, we walked around, going in and out of the cute stores. Downtown Banff is an attractive town with beautiful overflowing flower planters surrounded by the mountains
We stopped off at the visitor center, and they provided us with a map and pointed out places to visit. They were calling for rain the next day Since we were leaving for Calgary, we were limited on what we could do. They advised us to go to the golf course over at the Fairmont Hotel, and ride around as the animals come out in the evening. On our way we passed the Bow Valley Falls.
We drove around the golf course, which is a one way road and saw at least 9 elk, 8 female and 1 male. The people playing the course did not take any chances and just skipped that hole.
When the elk got done eating he just laid down. I don’t think he was going anywhere for a while. It was getting late so we left and went back to the hotel.
After a very noisy night from the traffic on the highway, we left to do some exploring before the rain came. We drove Mount Norquay Scenic Drive and pulled off to take pictures of the view of the town. We stopped and walked through the pathway that led us to the open meadow. That is when I spotted the red chairs in the field. Parks Canada placed bright red plastic Adirondack chairs around Banff to help draw people to the various viewpoints and be able to connect with nature. Of course I had to sit and enjoy the view, but we did not stay long as it was damp and cold. It would be a great place to have a picnic lunch.
By the time we went back to the car, it started to rain. We decided to drive to Calgary where we would spend the night at the Homewood Suites by the airport, before we head back home the next day.
The weather did not cooperate during our time in Banff, which just means we have to return and see more. After all we have a Canada park pass that is good until August 2018.
What is your favorite thing to do in Banff?