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Banff is just a hop, skip and a jump from Calgary (or about 90 minutes). If you happen to reside in Calgary or are visiting anytime soon, we suggest carving out some time to visit Banff for a day trip. We’ve rounded up some of the top local attractions in Banff that you should consider while you visit.

Witness Beautiful Views on the Banff Gondola

When visiting Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, we suggest that you visit the Banff Gondola. This is at the top of our list because of the breathtaking views that you’ll see as you ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Atop the gondola ride, you’ll experience a bird’s eye view of six mountain ranges.

Just 5 minutes from the Town of Banff, the Banff Gondola is located on the shoulder of Sulphur Mountain, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Safely seated in four-passenger gondola cabins, visitors are transported in 8 minutes to the summit at an elevation of 2,281m (7,486 ft) above sea level.

Visit the Upper Hot Springs Pool

Banff is known for its beautiful hot springs, which gust out from 2.5km beneath Sulphur Mountain at a constant temperature of 90 degrees F to 116 degrees F. In fact, the hot springs are so incredibly popular that most tourists first come to Banff to sample the soothing mineral waters at the Upper Hot Springs Pool, right near the Banff Gondola. A dip in the Upper Hot Springs Pool is the perfect ending to a great day at the Banff Gondola.

Take a Stroll on Banff Avenue

If shopping is more your thing to do, we suggest visiting Banff Avenue. This street resembles a small town in the Alps. On this street, you can find small shops, restaurants, beautiful buildings, and the Banff Park Museum. The city’s centre is easy to navigate, as it is one straight street. Visitors come from all over for the beautiful views. Many describe it as being in a different era and “totally refreshing.”

Tunnel Mountain Drive

If you are looking for a relaxing and scenic drive, we highly suggest driving up near Tunnel Mountain. This is a great place to experience the Rocky Mountains. There are great picnic sites, trails, or camping areas along the way. This drive makes for a great photo op, as tourists can take pictures overlooking the Bow River Valley.

Great, so how do I get there from Calgary?

From Calgary, Banff is only about two hours west. You can either drive or take a shuttle. There are two popular buses that travel to Banff:

Banff Airporter is the official airport shuttle provider of The Banff Centre. Multiple daily transfers run between the Calgary International Airport and The Banff Centre for approximately $68 (Cdn) one-way / $136 (Cdn) return. Reservations are necessary; please call 1-888-449-2901 (local, 403.762.3330), make email reservations@banffairporter.com, or visit their website at Banff Airporter to confirm times and rates.

For Brewster coaches, nine departures leave daily from Calgary International Airport to Banff hotels. There are also nine returns daily from Banff to the airport. Fare is approximately $69 (Cdn), one-way.

Please contact Brewster Transportation directly to confirm times and prices: call 1-866-606-6700 or visit their website at Brewster Coaches.

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