Banff and Lake Louise are classic winter rail vacation destinations. Their natural beauty is easily an enticement on its own. An abundance of seasonal activities and deluxe hotels steeped in railroad history are all the more reason to put this destination on the map for your next winter getaway.
The annual 12 feet of snowfall each year in Banff makes this area perfect for outdoor activities— and provides a great reason to cozy up to relaxing indoor activities. Here are 10 top activities that are certain to make your winter rail vacation in Banff and Lake Louise a memorable one.
1. Skiing and Snowboarding
Banff’s legendary slopes have long been a favorite of skiers and snowboarders alike. Places like the palatial Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offer skiing and snowboarding packages and even lessons for novice skiers and snowboarders.
2. Ice fishing on the Lakes in Banff National Park
After racing down the mountain slopes, take a trip to Banff National Park and enjoy a traditional Canadian pastime: ice fishing.
3. Banff Hot Springs
Take a bone-warming and muscle-calming dip into the famous Banff Hot Springs to rejuvenate your body in the crisp winter air
4. Dog Sledding
The Banff Lake Louise area offers a unique mix of thrill seeking and nature appreciation. During your visit, enjoy a dog sledding lesson and tour. Allow your new canine companions to show you the wonders of the place they call home.
5. Ice Skating on Lake Louise
During the winter season, the vast Lake Louise is the perfect spot to ice skate with one of the most breathtaking backdrops: the Rocky Mountains
6. Snow Shoeing
Slip into snowshoes and explore your winter environs in an up-close and intimate manner. Whether your trek takes you along the shores of Lake Louise or the trails at Marble Canyon, spectacular winter scenes abound.
7. Shopping in Downtown Banff
Shop your heart out in downtown Banff. This lovely mountain town has it all from boutique shops to popular retails chains – and all with zero sales tax.
8. Banff Gondola
Step into the hanging carriages of the Banff Gondola and get a bird's eye view of Banff and the Bow Valley.
9. Dining at the Best Restaurants
Banff is known for its vibrant food and craft beer scenes with more than 100 restaurants ranging from the casual to the elegant. It also has a top-rated Après Ski scene, with a long list of options for fortifying food and drink after a long day on the slopes.
10. Sleigh Rides
Enjoy a cozy sleigh ride through the quaint town of Banff or the hamlet of Lake Louise at any time of day.