Spring Break Trip to Banff and Lake Louise

Advisor - Amber Zowtuk
Curated By

Amber Zowtuk

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  • Canada

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Skiing

  • Hiking

  • Winter

snow mountains over a blue lake in winter
Curator’s statement

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

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Fairmont Banff Springs

The Fairmont Banff Springs, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, offers an unparalleled luxury retreat amidst breathtaking natural beauty. With its iconic castle-like architecture and world-class amenities, it stands as a premier destination for discerning travelers seeking adventure and relaxation in Banff National Park.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fairmont Château Lake Louise

A luxury resort hotel located on the shores of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, offering breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection

Modern mountain resort with upscale rooms and suites.

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Advisor - Amber Zowtuk

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Day 1: Arrive in Banff

a lodge hotel at the top of a tree covered mountain, with snowy mountains in the distance on a cloudy winter day

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

ski mountain with 3 skiiers

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

Panoramic views of forest and mountains.

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

A girl kayaking on a lake.

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.

Advisor - Amber Zowtuk

Travel Advisor

Amber Zowtuk

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Canada.