Banff National Park: Top Your To-Visit Places With Canada’s First National Park

Located in Alberta, Canada, Banff National Park is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country.

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Every year, around three million tourists visit the park. The little town of Banff is the only county in the park and is the center for all the activities. With breathtaking scenic views, this place offers its visitors opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, and several other leisure activities. 

Unique sightings at Banff 

With the total area spread over 6,641 square kilometers, Banff National Park is filled with several breathtaking valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, and rivers. 

Here is a list of the most interesting places in Banff:

  • Banff Park Museum
  • Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
  • Tunnel Mountain
  • Mt. Norquay
  • After-Dark Lantern Tour
  • Lake Louise
  • Château Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake
  • Lake Minnewanka

Brief History

Before Banff National Park was established, the area was considered a sacred place where medicines were gathered and healing procedures were done in the natural hot springs. 

The foundation of the town of Banff took place in the 1880s, specifically from tourism’s point-of-view. In 1883, during the Canadian Pacific Railway construction, three workers stumbled upon a series of natural hot springs and it led to what is now called Sulphur Mountain. 

Similarly, the Cave and Basin hot springs were also identified as a potential attraction for tourists. This pushed the Canadian government to create a reserve in 1885 to protect the springs and surrounding area, which, later on, was enlarged in 1887 and named the “Rocky Mountains Park of Canada”. Later on, it was renamed as Banff National Park, making it Canada’s first national park and the world’s third. Shortly afterward, an establishment was set up and a hotel was built, promoting the area as an international resort and spa.

The Banff National Park was included as the “Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks” by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its “exceptional natural beauty” and “striking mountain landscape”.

Attractions for the younger crowd  

Since the park was established with the sole purpose of tourism, it facilitates people of all age groups, including the younger ones. With a good chance of seeing some of Canada’s wildlife, the Banff National Park is home to many black bears, elk, caribou, wolves, beavers, and grizzly bears making it a complete joy ride for the kids.

Below are some of the activities that are a must-try for the youngsters:

  • Bankhead Ghost Town
  • Fenland Trail
  • Banff Centre’s climbing wall
  • Sally Borden Fitness & Recreation Centre
  • Kingmik Dogsled Tours
  • Central Park Playground
  • Shaw Amphitheatre
  • Kids @ The Castle

Tour sites around Banff

Banff National Park is home to beautiful turquoise lakes mirroring the snow-covered peaks, along with glaciers and forests. Some of the most interesting places to visit in and around Banff are as follows:

  • Banff Park Museum
  • Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
  • Moraine Lake
  • Fairmont Banff Springs
  • Sunshine Village
  • Lake Louise Ski Resort
  • Icefields Parkway
  • Bow Lake
  • Peyto Lake

Restaurants and local food spots

Every fall, the town of Banff holds the popular “The Banff Craft Beer Festival” for entire southern Alberta where some of the best craft beer is available. A huge upgrade from your average pub nights, this festival commemorates the birthplace of Canada’s national parks system. 

If that is not enough, this beautiful place also has some of the best eateries you’ve ever visited and have got a view to die for. To name a few:

  • The Bison Restaurant
  • Balkan Restaurant
  • Bear Street Tavern     
  • The Maple Leaf    
  • Tooloulous
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Samurai Sushi Bar & Restaurant
  • Ramen Arashi

Surely, you aren’t still undecided and fumbling around the web for places to visit this year? Top your to-visit places with Canada’s first national park and let the love in you for nature mate with the real nature at long last!