Yesterday my boyfriend and I decided to take a day trip to Banff. We both happened to have the day off from work, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. We were hoping to skip a lot of the crowds because it was a Wednesday and it was rainy, but Banff was still pretty busy because summers are the height of tourist season.
I didn't realize it, but apparently you can buy park passes online. I had no idea you could do that til I googled how much a park pass would be. Needless to say I opted to get it online the night before and then skip the line at a park gates.
During the hour long drive out there from Calgary it rained and rained. I didn't mind dealing with some rain, but at times it was really coming down. Luckily by the time we passed through the park gates the rain had stopped for the most part. Once we'd found a parking spot the rain had stopped completely and we didn't see anymore the entire time that we were there. We were very lucky!
Parking was in high demand as usual in Banff, so once we found a spot downtown we didn't want to leave it until we were ready to go to Bow Falls. We made the car the home base and returned to it a few times. We parked right by the river, so there was a path going along beside it. Literally two minutes after we started walking away from the car we ran into this beautiful elk. She was munching away on grass and was completely oblivious that she was in town. The photo was zoomed it (there were a bunch of boulders and cars between us), but it was amazing to be so close to such a gorgeous (and big!) animal.
Since it was almost lunch time we decided to go get lunch first. My boyfriend had eaten at Bear Street Tavern before with some friends and really liked it, so we headed in that direction. We got there right before the lunch rush hit. When we walked in there were only a few other tables, but by the time we left the restaurant was full. He ordered The Godfather pizza (prosciutto, roasted garlic, arugula, olives, grana padano, mozzarella, herbed bread crumbs, truffle oil, pizza sauce) and I got the Primo Italiano pizza (salami, capicola, prosciutto, mushrooms, onions, peppers, mozzarella, pizza sauce). The pizzas were delicious but ended up being bigger than I was expecting, so next time I'd probably split a pizza with someone. We dropped off the leftovers at the car and then wandered around downtown Banff some more before we decided to head to Bow Falls.
Bow Falls is probably one of my favorite spots in Banff even though it's always busy with lots of tourists. In fact, a photo from this spot used to be the header of my blog back in the day! Thankfully the rain kept some people away so that we could find a parking spot so we were able to get out and walk around a bit. You can see the falls from part of the parking lot, so it's a perfect spot if you're not able to go hiking. You can literally drive right up. We spent 10 or 15 minutes at Bow Falls before driving back to Calgary.
I'm seriously lucky that I live so close to the mountains. I've lived here for about 20 years now and I'm still amazed at all the views and animals. It's such a beautiful place. You can find my other travel related posts on my Travel page.
Where's your favorite place to day trip to?