CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE
UNREAL. The most accurate way to describe this entire trip. Banff, Canada is a bucket list destination and the perfect location if you’re looking for adventure, gorgeous scenery, and to gain a different perspective of life. I went with 4 other girls, and 3 of them I met for the first time ever at the airport in Calgary.
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, set up against some of the most epic natural wonders of the world. We had our own little home at Basecamp Resorts, with two stories, three rooms, a hot tub rooftop, and a perfect path for me to get my runs in. I shared a room with Abby (her and I are literally twins, it's wild -- so you will hear her name a lot throughout this post lol!) and the window view was magical. You could see all the cute shops, snow filled mountains, and all the wildlife! We were actually taking pictures and videos of the wild Elk standing outside our door. Basecamp resorts was the perfect common ground for all we had planned throughout the weekend. Cute, cozy & all the photo opportunities you could imagine!
Le Fournil Bakery
This French inspired bakery hosted a party for us to try all of their crafty edibles and bakery delights. Some of my favorites were: Fromage et charcuterie, Caprese, Nuée lactée, Gâteau au chocolat, and the Tropical Brownie. Flavor and stunning aesthetics are their passion. I had to ask the owner what the name “fournil” meant, and it is the French word for “bakehouse” and is the section where the bread oven is located within a community. All of their espresso coffee was out of this world and kept me energized ALL day long. Another item a few of us got the following morning was the Pear Danish with chocolate — SO delish. There is so much history behind Le Fournil bakery and they show that with great pride for their work! We loved being able to meet the team and learn about their history. We went up to the rooftop and relaxed in the hot tub for a bit before going back and heading to bed for our long day tomorrow!
Abby and I went on a morning stroll Friday morning to check out the gym, see some of the Christmas lights while it was still dark, and we even got a somewhat close up experience of about 30 elk standing right in front of us. The elk were stunning to watch, but we made sure to keep a good distance cause apparently it’s running season and they are very unpredictable animals. We also were told to be careful when hiking and walking trails because the two biggest bears in the town have not went into hibernation yet. One’s name is “The Boss” and if you come anywhere in sight of him, then you better have some bear spray. They’ve also been recently seeing tons of Wolves, Moose, Fox, Cougars, and Coyotes. Animals we have seen that you can go right up to are rabbits! They are pretty thick and so dang cute. Coming from a really outdoorsy family, seeing the wildlife was one of my favorite things here!
Easily the most gorgeous sight you will ever see. It didn’t even feel real. We all felt like we were in one of those “25 days of Christmas” movies or something from the Hallmark channel. We obviously took plenty of photos, but I will be 100% honest, the pictures don’t do it justice. We took the Banff gondola from the ground up to the skyline (Thank you to Pursuit Banff Jasper for the tickets!). We saw people hiking too! After we got off we went to Sulphur Mountain where we climbed all the way up to the very top. Yes, it was freezing but SO WORTH IT! We also stopped by some gift shops in the National Park area and acted like the ultimate tourists do. #noshame lol. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Banff, the gondola ride is a must! We also heard its a prime sunset spot. It’s Banff’s #1 attraction and a very romantic location for anniversaries, elopements, or just a fun getaway with your significant other/friends!
Banff Ave Brewery
After exploring Banff, we popped into the Banff Ave Brewing Co. They provide fresh craft beer, classy pub food and plenty of TV & good times. We ordered some of their signature beers, and we got: Turkey Club, Mighty Mountain Salad, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Alberta beef burger, and fish & chips! It was perfect to overlook the cute town of Banff and refuel for the rest of the day.
Abby and I got up early yet again to walk to Bow Valley for the sunrise! We wanted to see a sunrise while we are here because we were told by almost every local how gorgeous it was coming up over the mountains. It was a short walk from Basecamp and the we took the path all the way down from the bridge, through the snow paths, down by the valley, and back! It was so peaceful just to be up, playing country music while walking the path, listening to the wildlife around us, and watching the sun come up over the mountain top.
Eclipse Coffee Roasters
We stopped by Eclipse Coffee Roasters on the way back — THE BEST COFFEE IN TOWN! We are HUGE coffee gals and this was everything we needed. I tried a latte with oat milk for the very first time and it changed my life. Abby got hers with almond milk. We also tried their power balls and banana bread — SO YUMMY!
So many words to say about Lake Louise — the pictures do all the talking. The lake was frozen so we were dancing, flipping, and jumping on the lake. We must have missed that “Danger thin ice” sign … oops! We easily spent hours at this lake just taking in how gorgeous it was and how magical Banff truly is. Everyone was right, it seriously will take your breath away and no matter how many photos you take, they don’t do it justice. Lake Louise was easily the prettiest view I have ever laid eyes on. We were even talking about coming back in the summer time to see how different yet still gorgeous it is. We also stopped by the famous Fairmont Chateau to peak in and grab some coffee.
Banff National Park
On our way back from the Lake, we stopped at the Banff National Park to walk around the shops, get a quick bite to eat at the Maple Leaf, and soak in our last afternoon in this gorgeous town. After we got back, Abby and I strolled off around Canmore one final time to snap some more photos, pop into some cute stores, and see the sun go down. We spent the rest of the night organizing photos, chatting about life and packing up for our flights tomorrow.
We woke up pretty early (6am) to head back to Calgary International Airport. This trip went by SO fast and I wish we could have stayed another week. There is so much to do in this magical town, especially if you love the outdoors!
However, leaving Canada means I am only 2 days away from seeing my sweet boy in Chicago. It’s been a long 8 weeks of extreme minimal communications and not being able to see him. This girl is ready to see her boy. Coming for you soon, Drew!
XOXO - Amber
Meet the girls:
Amber (@ambermiller9) — Virginia Beach, VA
Vy (@pixelatedme) — Hampton, VA
Abigail (@lifeinfocusblog) from Milwaukee, WI
Lauren (@thepolishedapproach) — St. Louis, MO
Kali (@kalialexandria) — Southern Illinois
I want to personally thank my sponsors/partners for this trip. With you, this trip was everything I could have imagined and more. Thank you,
32 Degrees Official (Code: Amber10)
Fuzzy Babba (Code coded in link)
Clarion Couture (Code: Amber20)