One thing summer and the holidays have in common is that we all walk out completely socially exhausted. From massive crowds to social engagements every night, sometimes you just need to step away. Banff is a bustling tourist location all year round, though the fall and spring are a little slower than usual. If you're looking for some hidden places in Banff to whisk you away from the noise, we've got you covered.
We've rounded up seven things to do that are different than your average trip to the hot springs or night out at the clubs. Don't get us wrong, we're fans of both those things, but there's just another side to the resort town you need to experience. Because Alberta turns into a winter wonderland each year, some of these hidden gems are perfect for winter. Others are great for any time of year.
If you have an Alberta bucket list, these might not be on there, but they should be. If you're from out of town and looking to road trip out to Banff, update your itinerary with these bad boys. Live like a local, escape the crowds and do something a little different on your next trip over.
Go For A Sunrise Skate At Carrot Creek
Address: Carrot Creek, Banff National Park, AB
Why You Need To Go: Carrot Creek offers gorgeous mountain views around you and clear ice below you — you won’t believe it’s real life. It's not easy to find if you don’t know where you’re going, though, so it’s a bit of a local secret.
Test Your Luck at Bingo Night
Address: 92 Banff Ave., Banff, AB
Why You Need To Go: Every Thursday night locals flock to the Royal Canadian Legion in Banff to play bingo, drink beer, and maybe walk away with a little extra cash in their pocket. Don't knock it 'til you try it — it's a ton of fun.
Eat The Curry Of Your Dreams
Address: 229 Bear St., Banff, AB
Why You Need To Go: Masala is a hidden gem in Banff that you won't soon forget about once you've tried it. The delicious Indian cuisine, welcoming atmosphere and unbelievably friendly staff will have you going back for more sooner than you think.
Go Night Skiing At Norquay
Address: #2 Mt. Norquay Rd., Banff, AB
Why You Need To Go: If you're not a fan of crowds but you love nothing more than skiing or snowboarding, hitting up some slopes at Norquay after nightfall might be your new favourite activity. For far cheaper than day rates, you can ski down illuminated runs or hit the park in the calm of nighttime.
Get Fresh Artisanal Bread & A Latte At Wild Flour
Address: 211 Bear St. #101, Banff, AB
Why You Need To Go: Wild Flour is a bakery and café that's a daily staple for locals. Though there may be a lineup from time to time, it's just because locals are devoted to that fresh bread, those delicious baked goods and the unreal coffee.
Hit Up The Rose's Rooftop
Address: 202 Banff Ave., Banff, AB
Why You Need To Go: What many people don't realize is that The Rose & Crown has a beautiful rooftop patio that overlooks Banff Avenue and the stunning Rocky Mountains. We know, it's not always patio season in Alberta, but it's worth knowing about on those surprise sunny days.
Hike The Back Side Of Sulphur
Address: Sulphur Mountain, Banff, AB
Why You Need To Go: Countless people take the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain to check out the beautiful view from the top and grab a drink or a bite to eat at the restaurant. If you're looking to do something a little different and dodge the crowds, why not do the 13-kilometre trek up the backside of the mountain?
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.