It is true that I haven’t traveled enough nor seen much to claim what is the title of this post but given my limited exposure to planet Earth, The Canadian Rockies seemed to be nothing less than a small piece of paradise. The beauty is unparalleled to what I have seen so far. The combination and contrast of the green, brown, white, blue and turquoise is just perfect – but then nature is never anything less than perfect.
We flew into Calgary – even I, with a passion of traveling, refuse to drive for about 40 hours (one way)! The drive within the park is not stressful nor are the distances huge between the four parks, so we decided to stay in the Lake Louise vicinity and drive to all the different spots of interest.
How to get there:
- Fly – Into Calgary then another 1 hour and 20 minutes drive to Banff, AB, Canada – longer if you plan to drive to Lake Louise or further North.
- For all those who love to collect points and get award tickets – well you can find very good ones to Calgary (especially if you are ready to travel on a weekday) even during the summer months.
- Drive – About 10 hours from Seattle, WA, 7 hours from Great Falls, MT, very, very far from all other places in the US (unless one has a lot of time, loves to drive and most likely is traveling alone – because there is nothing better than a long distance drive to test the strength of relationships).
- Lake Louise Inn (http://www.lakelouiseinn.com/): Very comfortable when traveling with family. Onsite laundry, if need to pack light (especially when flying), inside pool and a pretty large one, condos with kitchen – it was super easy to get cereal, pasta and other items and not worry about where to eat (especially given our dietary restrictions). Not very fancy.
- Any of the Fairmont Hotels in Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper – http://www.fairmont.com/
Places to eat: We didn’t really eat out a whole lot so not much to put here – but two places worth mentioning –
- Bear Street Tavern, Banff – http://www.bearstreettavern.ca/
- Cow’s Ice cream, Banff – http://www.cows.ca/
- We also ate at Subway but I don’t think anyone’s interested in that.
- Shiraz (1120 Centre Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 ): An amazing Iranian (Persian) restaurant in Calgary Downtown area – First time we experienced Persian cuisine.
Things to do: Numerous!
- Active: I can think of two – hiking/walking and biking – There are many, many trails and sub-trails to hike and discover, some of these are even connected. Do stop at the visitor center and discuss appropriate ones with a park ranger.
- Moderate: Gondola ride, lake side activities, antique stores, local museums, etc.
- Relaxed: A good book and a cup of coffee at the outdoor deck at Lake Louise Chateau while enjoying the visuals – scenery, people exerting themselves doing things that are best done inside of gyms not on vacations, just studying human beings, etc. 🙂
What to do next:
- Share your experiences if you visit or have visited The Canadian Rockies!!!