Say you’re already in Calgary and you only have one day to spare, try this Banff one day itinerary. Don’t worry. It’s not ideal, but it’s still possible to get a feel for Canada’s Rockies. Banff National Park and the town of Banff are only ninety-minutes away.
With time precious, drive straight to town and park in a downtown lot or on a side street where parking is free. Then stroll up and down Banff Avenue, the main downtown street, to get a feel for the place. A coffee stop at Evelyn’s is never a bad idea and they have good picnic items for later on.
After that head out on an easy introductory hike: The Bow Falls loop is ideal, but Tunnel Mountain is even better for its fantastic views, so long as you don’t mind a bit of strenuous activity. Or, for views without any real effort, ride the Banff Gondola.
Though expensive, lunch or afternoon tea in a lounge at the Banff Springs Hotel is a very civilized way to get a sense of Banff’s history. There’s more of this back in town at the modest, but entertaining Banff Park Museum.
This brings you back to Banff Avenue with all its restaurants and bars; or, to fully unwind at the end of the day, try the Upper Hot Springs – open daily until at least 10pm.