As a Canadian who happens to love the outdoors, I’ve heard of the beauty of Banff, Alberta since I was a child and have always dreamed of visiting. From the majestic mountains, gorgeous lakes to the hiking trails and the animals, it seemed the opportunities were endless and they all screamed for me to hop on a plane and visit.
To be completely honest, in all of my imaginations I have envisioned visiting in the Winter season. When I was contacted by Banff Tourism and offered the chance to visit Banff and explore the Summer activities with the Food Bloggers of Canada I was exposed to an entirely new way of thinking towards Banff.
Of course I accepted and last week I joined 5 other bloggers to tour Banff and enjoy many activities and food…oh such delicious, fresh food we enjoyed in Banff! In this article I will highlight all of the sights we enjoyed but because it’s going to be long, I’ll have to write more in-depth articles about each one in future.
Enjoying Summer in Banff – Food, Activities and Accommodation
I had the pleasure of experiencing this trip with Ethan from Food Bloggers of Canada, Davida from The Healthy Maven, Annie from Chu on This, Louisa from Living Lou and Yuli from the Fat Girl Food Squad. Once we landed in Calgary, we caught the Banff Airporter shuttle which took us the 90 minutes to Banff. The bus was comfortable and the echos of our gasps as we laid eyes upon the mountains for the first time on the road.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Our accommodations for the trip was the Buffalo Mountain Lodge which is located on Tunnel Mountain, just a 15 minute walk from the heart of Banff.
The lodge is such a treat to view for the first time, it smacks of the quaint alpine resort with its rustic decor and post and beam construction truly affording the feeling of being in a mountain lodge.
The views at Buffalo Mountain Lodge were incredible, as we walked down to the hot tub we were greeted by the stunning mountain to remind us how fortunate we were to be in Banff.
There are many different room options, even pet-friendly choices. I was in a Premier Room which had a vaulted pine ceiling, a super-comfy queen sized bed (can you say excellent mattress and pillows?), a wood burning fireplace which is stocked nightly, a balcony and finally a large bathroom with a stand up shower and a to-die-for claw foot tub. Oh how I adored that claw foot tub!
The balcony was wonderful, I sat out there often with a cup of coffee in hand just marvelling at the view. Somehow the sheer magnitude of the mountains struck me in the soul, reminding me that God’s creation is vast, mysterious and the possibilities are endless.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge has some fantastic food which is served in the Sleeping Buffalo dining room. We enjoyed breakfast buffets and also a welcome dinner with the fine folks from the lodge and Tourism Banff.
The food is fresh, local cuisine which doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find a large breakfast buffet, full menu all day including game meats such elk, bison and bear on the menu which is from Canadian Rocky Mountain Ranch. This girl enjoyed trying each, and my final opinion is that this isn’t your typical snoring hotel restaurant which leaves you disappointed. The chef at Buffalo Mountain Lodge has taken his time to compile a creative, locally sourced menu which is just plan well done.
Park Distillery Restaurant & Bar
Our first outing was to Park Distillery Restaurant & Bar which has just opened in Banff. Park is a camping-inspired restaurant which takes everything I love about the cozy-camping theme and spins it into an atmosphere and menu that delights!
What says camping more than corn bread? This was the opening act and man it was GOOD!
In the mood for a lighter dish to power up for some hiking? Don’t worry there’s a Hiker’s Bowl salad that is jammed with Kale, arugula, pears, blueberries, trail mix, yogurt vinaigrette to get you going.
From the menu I chose the BBQ Flank Steak Tacos which are prepared on the rotissere/grill that Park is soon-to-be famous for. With Grilled peppers, salsa verde, corn tortillas this taco is anything but boring. As you can see the camping theme continues as its served on a baking tray, super simple and perfect for the vibe.
I could go on for DAYS talking about the desserts at Park…suffice it to say that their Ice Cream Sandwich featuring Cornflake cookies and fruitloop ice cream will be haunting me until I return!
Touring Banff on a Townie Bike
Block Kitchen and Bar
One of the stops along our tour was the Block Kitchen + Bar which is a wee hole in the wall in the heart of Banff.
If you enjoy tapas and chilling with friends like I do, Block Kitchen + Bar is the place for you. The atmosphere reminded me of a Toronto spot, it was cozy and yet had an urban chic feel. We enjoyed some Asian Lettuce Wraps which were offered with pork belly or Thai beef, pickled veggies and peanut and spicy sauces. These were not only delicious but light enough that we weren’t over-full for the rest of our bike tour. Feel free to check out their entire Lunch Menu…go on, you know you want to!
We carried on with our bike tour, at times it was hilarious as it had been over 5 years since I’d been on a bike but mama got it all under control soon enough.
We biked through the town of Banff and along the Bow River. The sights are simply breathtaking, our guide had offered to stop anywhere we wanted to snap photos…and our stops were frequent.
Mt Norquay’s Via Ferrata and Cliffhouse Bistro
I was honoured to be invited by Banff Tourism and Food Bloggers of Canada to experience this foodie trip to Banff. I have so much to process still, it’s like the beauty of the place and the healthy lifestyle focus is still echoing in my head. What a treat to find that Banff is truly a Summer travel location!
With its trails, lakes and fresh foods….well I assure you that you won’t be disappointed no matter your age, physical capabilities or dietary needs because Banff seems to be plugged in and eager to please!
Disclosure: I was a guest of Banff Lake Louise Tourism and my transportation, accommodation, excursions and meals were all covered. I am not being further compensated for writing about my experiences and all opinions are 100% my own.