Celebrated for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures, Banff is a top destination for those who love skiing, hiking, and fresh mountain air. Find the ideal Banff vacation homes for your group, and start planning your visit to this year-round resort town.
Banff enjoys a subarctic climate with mild summers and cold, snowy winters. In the summer, temperatures typically reach the upper 60s or low 70s, and the skies remain remarkably dry. Spring and fall tend to be chilly, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s and a moderate amount of rain. If you're a snow lover, you won't want to miss Banff in the winter. From November through May, Banff turns into a winter wonderland, with temperatures in the teens and several inches of snow on the ground.
If you're arriving by air, keep in mind that you won't find a commercial airport in Banff National Park. Instead, fly into Calgary International Airport and take the Trans-Canada Highway west to your destination. If you'd like to explore far outside of the city or if you plan to stay in one of the more remote Banff vacation homes, you'll want to rent a car or drive your own during your visit. If you plan to stay in town, however, getting around town on foot or by bike is a low-stress and fun way to see Banff.
Get a whole new perspective on this beautiful area with a ride on the Banff Gondola. This eight-minute ride takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain, where you'll find a boardwalk and gorgeous views of Banff. If you're feeling ambitious, consider hiking up the mountain and riding the gondola back down. Just north of Banff, Sunshine Village is the place to be any time of year. In the summer, Sunshine Meadows offers some of the best hiking in the area. In the winter, Sunshine Village has peaks that reach nearly 9,000 feet, about 3,500 acres of skiing, and 12 ski lifts. West of Banff, the Lake Louise Ski Resort is another popular destination for skiers, snowboarders, and even tubing enthusiasts. If you're looking for a more relaxing day in Banff, set your sights on the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Not only does this site offer stunning mountain views, but it also includes large public bath facilities where you can sit back and soak up the healing natural minerals.
Banff is home to numerous cultural, culinary, and sports festivals, and fall and winter tend to be the most event-heavy seasons. In early fall, make time for Alberta Culture Days, which highlights visual art and music with live performances, tours, and more. In the late fall, you won't want to miss the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. For more than four decades, this event has been an annual highlight, with more than 75 film screenings and numerous author events and readings. November marks the beginning of the Winterstart Festival, which includes the 10-day Bon Appétit Banff culinary festival and some of the world's best food. During the holiday season, visit the Banff Christmas Market, which includes local vendors offering handcrafted gifts alongside live music and great food.
No matter when you explore Banff, there's plenty to do and see in this mountain town. Since this is a particularly popular destination during ski season, be sure to book your choice of Banff vacation homes early to get your top pick.