Time for some hard truths people- we love every inch of Toronto. But the city is hardly the place to enjoy the true winter beauty of the Great White North. And the only thing the recent snow cover has done is make us daydream of the perfect winter getaway even more. More so with Valentine’s and Family Day weekends ahead of us. And we know just the place for it. Hello, Banff!

It’s magical, it’s dreamy, it’s spectacular and it’s legit a real-life version of a fairytale winter wonderland. Banff could well put Arendelle (the Disney kingdom from Frozen) to shame without so much as breaking a sweat.

The best part is, you could be as adventurous or as indoorsy as you wish and you’ll still enjoy this winter beaut to the core. Below are our favourite winter activities in Banff that ought to be on every bucket list.

#1 A stay at Fairmont Banff Springs

fairmont banff
Photos via Fairmont Banff

This Hogwarts-look-alike hotel is unmissable. Nestled on the banks of The Bow & Spray River, the hotel has snow-covered Rockies for a backyard, snow-dusted forest for a front yard and views to last a lifetime. Whether you wish to indulge in indoor recreational activities or hardcore winter adventure or simply gawk at the views, Fairmont Banff Springs has got you covered on every front. This is where you can enjoy all the joys of a serene countryside with all the pleasures of a luxurious stay. 

#2 Snowshoe your way through the Canadian Rockies

We already established that Banff in winter is a sight for sore eyes. And snowshoeing is one of the best ways to explore this majestic snowy beauty in front of you. Once there, the urge to hike the snow-blanketed Rockies is practically impossible to resist. Plus, it’s an activity for the whole fam..

#3 Ice Skate on glacier water

It’s no news to anyone that ice skating is a favourite winter activity for Canadians. And we could give you a million different reasons as to why Lake Louise is THE destination to skate. Off the top of our head, the unbelievably magical views, the daily care and maintenance, the often built snow sculptures and the sheer size of it. There’s obviously a reason (or 10) why CNN labeled it the 10th most beautiful rink in the world.

#4 Ski & Snowboard the “Rocky” terrains

banff travel winter
Photo Credit: Travel Alberta / Mike Seehagel

C’mon, of course, skiing and snowboarding are part of the list. And it’s not just because these are staple winter activities for Canadians but also because Banff is home to three world-renowned ski resorts. So all your skiing and snowboarding cravings are well taken care of. You don’t have to be a seasoned skier/snowboarder, snow-lovers of all calibres can enjoy these slopes. Plus, if you’re staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs, these resorts are just a short drive away.

#5 Drive along the scenic roads of Banff & Lake Louise

banff travel winter
Photo credit: Fairmont Banff

Just because you aren’t one for adventure and activity, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors. The good ol’ driving is always a great way to take in all the Banff beauty. Trust us, this would be one of the most scenic drives of your life. In addition to great views, you might even come up close with a moose (or 3). So, keep your cams ready.

#6 Ride up in the Banff gondola

Photo credit: Fairmont Banff / Chris Amat – Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection

The most awesome and photogenic views of Banff are easily the ones you get from atop the Sulphur Mountain. And an easy, non-tiring way to get there is the gondola that takes you there in a mere eight minutes. Make sure you bundle up as the peaks and valleys of Alberta’s Rockies will transform under colourful lights and a blanket of stars during Nightrise, a brand new immersive sensory experience once the sun sets. 

#7 Enjoy a rejuvenating spa day

Honestly, this one is our absolute favourite activity, especially after we’ve crossed off all the above activities on our list. Relax and rejuvenate your body and mind with a wholesome day spent at the award-winning Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs. With their variety of spa treatments, you’re sure to walk out de-stressed and refreshed.


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That was our list peeps! Ready to make your reservations, pack your bags and head over to the delight of a winter destination that is Banff? Well, see you there.