Spring Break Trip to Banff and Lake Louise
Road Trip Travel
Banff is an amazing destination in all seasons, there is always something to do and amazing photos to be taken. It is one of the most beautiful places in Canada and one of the best times to visit is in the early spring. From spring skiing, skating on beautiful lakes, hiking, gondola rides, going to a spa or soaking in the mineral hot springs, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. The crisp mountain air mixed with the warm spring sun, you can almost ski in a t-shirt! Kananaskis, Banff and Lake Louise are all within a short drive of each other and you can enjoy all areas in a long weekend.
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Where to stay
Fairmont Banff Springs
A four-seasons destination for golf in the mountains in the summer and pure ski time through the winter.
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Daily Full breakfast for two guests per bedroom, served in Restaurant
$100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit utilized during stay
Fairmont Château Lake Louise
$100 food / beverage credit.
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Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection
Modern mountain resort with upscale rooms and suites.
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Day 1: Arrive in Banff
You are likely to arrive in the afternoon or evening. Check into your hotel and enjoy the hotels outdoor hot tubs after a long day of traveling or go stretch your legs options in town that the whole family will love. I recommend making a reservation in advance so no one is waiting too long. Farm & Fire offers the freshest ingredients from local Canadian farmers. They have a great options for kids as well.
Day 2: Ski day
Get up early and head to one of the ski hills for a day of spring skiing. You can get your tickets at Ski Big 3 or purchase directly them at the hill. If staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs, there is a free shuttle that runs from the hotel that can take you to and from the hill, so you don't have to worry about driving, parking and hauling all your gear with you. Don't forget to pack sunscreen and sunglasses! Come back for dinner and enjoy the mineral hot springs to help soothe your muscles after a day of skiing. Enjoy one of the many amazing restaurants at the hotel tonight.
Day 3: Skate on Lake Louise
Head into town and try Evelyn's Coffee Bar for a quick breakfast. Enjoy some shopping, or if shopping isn't for you, explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
Cave and Basin is a very special place that the indigenous people, this is also where you can learn about how the Banff Hot Springs were found.
If you are lucky and it's a clear sunny day, I recommend eating at Sky Bistro for lunch at the top of the gondola. It is a great way to get some stellar views and enjoy lunch at the top of the mountain. There is also a boardwalk hike you can explore with the kids and take some amazing family photos. Best to buy tickets in advance online.
If it is an overcast or snowy day, rent skates and go to Chateau Lake Louise and skate on the lake. There are numerous snowshoeing trails around Lake Louise if you prefer to hike.
After a day of skating, make your way back to your hotel and go for a famous fondue dinner at the Grizzly House. Or if the kids want pizza, head to Bear Street Tavern where they can enjoy the best pizza in town. Farm & Fire is another dinner option, also with great pizza!
Beavertails are a local desert that you must try; we had the avalanche and it was the kids' favorite!
If you are in Banff for Easter, try the Easter brunch at Waldhaus Restaurant at the Fairmont Banff Springs - it was amazing. Reservations are a must in advance.
Day 4: Choose your snowy adventure
Juniper Bistro is a great place to go for brunch with an amazing view.
Weather permitting, drive to Johnston Canyon and do the hike to the lower falls, these trails can be icy and snow covered, so wear your hiking shoes or rent some ice grippers. The views and scenery are worth the 40-minute drive.
If you are up for a bigger adventure, dog sledding is an unforgettable experience. Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours out of Canmore is one of the best guides in the area.
Head back to the hotel to get freshened up and let the kids rest before dinner. Parents, the Rundle Bar in the Banff Springs Hotel offers a signature mountain series cocktail hour at 3 pm. Reservations are required.
For dinner, I recommend The Eddie Burger Bar they are known for the best burgers in town or try The Block Kitchen and Bar is a local favorite. No reservations are required at either but get there early to ensure you get a seat.
For desert head to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company for some amazing local chocolates, and fudge.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Canada.