While the three-day 2017 CAAR Conference is full of exciting presentations and engaging business opportunities, Banff, Alta., is also jam-packed with endless adventures.
Recognized as the 2015 Travellers’ Choice on Tripadvisor, Banff is known worldwide for its stunning vistas, gorgeous natural scenery and towering mountain peaks. Everywhere you turn there’s something to see in Banff.
Be sure to take a ride on the iconic Banff Gondola while you’re in the Rockies. Only a quick 10-minute drive from the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Banff Gondola offers un-matched views of the surrounding mountain range and natural scenery.
Visitors are taken to the summit of Sulphur Mountain where they can enjoy the new Banff Gondola summit facility. Complete with a self-guided Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk, the new Above Banff Interpretive Centre and Above Banff Theatre, visitors to this stunning mountain peak will have the experience of a lifetime.
The resort town of Banff in February is the perfect picture of the Canadian outdoors. Nestled in the middle of Banff National Park, there’s no shortage of activities to do during the winter months.
Hit the snowy slopes on your skis or snowboard at one of the three ski resorts in Banff National Park. If that’s not for you, slip on some snowshoes for a walk down the area’s famous trails, or lace up your skates and enjoy some ice skating on Lake Louise or the Bow River.
If you’ve ever wanted to try dog sledding, now is your chance! You’ll be able to ‘mush’ your way through Banff National Park with the help of expert guides and a team of energetic huskies.
Want to get up-close and personal with Mother Nature? Banff Adventures offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences like waterfall ice climbing, cave tours in Grotto Mountain, ice walks in Johnston and Grotto Canyons and spectacular snowshoe tours.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing stay in Banff, taking a dip in the Banff Upper Hot Springs is the most revitalizing way to unwind while at the conference. Sleigh rides are another relaxing way to take in the beauty of Banff. This quintessential winter activity is available for small groups or couples – perfect for a romantic, Valentine’s Day outing.
Known for its fascinating history, Banff is a focal point of Canadian culture and history in Western Canada. You don’t have to travel too far to find a historic site in Banff – the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO Heritage Site. Built in 1888, the hotel is known as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” and is supposedly home to a few ghosts, including the infamous “Ghost Bride”.
Get out and enjoy the crisp, mountain air on one of the many self-guided walking tours around Banff. These tours take you all around this historic resort town and offer an intimate look at the history, people and events that helped shape the town of Banff as we know it today.
Less than a 10-minute drive away, the Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a must-see for any history buffs attending the conference. Discovered in 1883 by Canadian Pacific Railway workers, the cave with its natural, warm, mineral springs is considered the birthplace of Canada’s national parks.
Dining in the Rockies:
Known for its eclectic dining experience, Banff is home to a range of food and tastes from all over. While you’re in town, be sure to tuck into some Rocky Mountain Cuisine, which features seasonal produce and locally sourced meat like elk, bison, beef and fish.
Need something to satisfy your sweet tooth after a delicious meal? Be sure to pick up a Beaver Tail on Banff Avenue while you’re visiting – these delicious, fried-dough pastries are a must-try while in the Canadian Rockies!
The 2017 CAAR Conference opens on Valentine’s Day, and Banff has a wide variety of shops, with everything from big brand clothing and technical outerwear, to local art and must-have souvenirs to help you find a special gift for your loved ones. Take a stroll down Banff Avenue or Bear Street for all your shopping needs when you’re in town.
Visit caar.org for a comprehensive list of Banff retailers.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down – Banff has an energetic and exciting nightlife that gives you a chance to explore the resort town in another light. Stop by one of the many bars and lounges in downtown Banff, like the Hoodoo Lounge or Aurora Nightclub for some dancing and drinks.
For a taste of life in the Canadian Rockies, complete with local brews, live music and world-famous Alberta hospitality, check out a local saloon or pub. Mel’s Bar above Melissa’s Missteak, Wild Bill’s and The Rose and Crown are all popular destinations for visitors to Banff.
Be sure to visit banfflakelouise.com for a list of more fun, unique activities to do in Banff.
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