6 Secret Things To Do In Banff That Only True Locals Know About

This is how they beat the crowds!

Someone opening the bookcase to Rundle Lounge's secret room. Right: Someone swimming in Two Jack Lake.

Someone opening the bookcase to Rundle Lounge's secret room. Right: Someone swimming in Two Jack Lake.

Banff is by far one of the most stunning places to visit in the world, but there's a lot more to the town and Banff National Park than you'd expect.

From sunrise to stargazing, secret bars to lesser-known hikes, there are some underrated spots right on the doorstep of Banff town — and some of the places that locals love don't involve driving too far.

If you're looking to explore other areas of Alberta, there are plenty of cool things to see and do all over the province.

Catch The Sunrise At Two Jack Lake

Address: Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr. (10km northeast of Banff)

Why You Should Go: Lake Moraine is most people's favourite sunrise spot but Two Jack Lake is just a 15-minute drive from Banff town and it's nowhere as crowded. You can hang out lakeside or grab your swimsuit and take a sunrise dip.


Grab A Drink At The Rundle Bar

Address: 405 Spray Avenue, Banff, AB.

Why You Should Go: Heading to the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs should be on your list anyway, but you can also grab a drink at the stunning Rundle Bar even if your budget won't stretch to an overnight stay. There's also a secret lounge just behind a bookcase to find.


Bowling At High Rollers

Price: Lanes from $49 an hour, plus shoe rental for $5.99.

Address: 110 Banff Ave., Banff, AB.

Why You Should Go: You'll have your choice of 48 craft beers and snacks including huge pizza slices at this retro-style bowling alley. As well as bowling lanes, there are also pool tables so you can let your competitive side roam free.


Stargaze At Vermilion Lakes

Address: Vermilion Lakes Dr. (five minutes west of Banff town)

Why You Should Go: The lakes are just a short trip from Banff and it's the perfect place to see both Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain with a stunning backdrop of stars.


An Early Morning Hike At Tunnel Mountain

Address: Tunnel Mountain Dr. (six minutes from Banff)

Why You Should Go: This hike is just under two hours so it's the perfect way to get your day started. You'll be rewarded with stunning views of the Banff Springs golf course and Mount Rundle.


Catch A Show At The Banff Centre

Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., Banff, AB.

Why You Should Go: If you're mountain-obsessed, the Banff Centre For Arts And Creativity is the place to be. There are a ton of inspiring and creative films to be seen all about mountain culture during its annual festival and the centre also hosts music and comedy events.


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Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.