Get the inside scoop on the best of Banff from local residents
Heading to Banff National Park this summer? Banff residents (or Banffites) Meesh Souliere and Fred Cloutier of Banff Ave Brewing Co. give their top 5 recommendations for taking in the sights, hitting the trails and refuelling at the end of the day.
1. Hike Tunnel Mountain
A classic. Encircling the Town of Banff, Tunnel Mountain is super accessible from downtown. This family and beginner-friendly hike can be completed in about two hours and offers gorgeous vistas when you arrive at the top. If you’re up for a bit more of an adventure, check out the Hoodoos Trail, or head to the east and south sides of the mountain for some awesome rock-climbing.
2. Relax by (or in or on) Scenic Mountain Water
There are plenty of options when it comes to cooling down waterside in Banff National Park. Just outside the entrance to the Town of Banff, Cascade Pond is a perfect spot to pack up a picnic, spend the afternoon and even take a quick dip on a hot day. If you’d rather be on the water, try paddleboarding at Two Jack Lake or take a boat cruise at Lake Minnewanka — these lakes are just a five minute drive apart, so you can easily visit both.
3. Hit the Bike Trail
The Fenland Loop trail is a quick and easy route, great for young kids to bike. Accessed right by the big BANFF sign at the entrance of the town, you’ll have plenty of photo ops on this ride. For a lengthier route, take advantage of the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) being closed to vehicle traffic throughout the summer. Along the way you could stop at historic Johnston Canyon and maybe even see some local wildlife like elk, deer, big horn sheep or even bears.
Treat yourself at the end of the day with a refreshing craft beer. Banff Ave Brewing Co.’s Black Pil has been a long-time local favourite. This German-style Schwarzbier is a dark lager with notes of coffee and chocolate, but don’t be mistaken thinking this is a winter-only kind of beverage. Light bodied and easy drinking, it’s crisp and crushable, even with its dark colour.
5. Eat Like a Local
Banff has no shortage of incredible restaurants and dining options. After a day of exploring, climb on up to Banff Ave Brewing Co.’s newest casual dining spot — the Lodge. Anchor in for Banff’s legit take on Detroit-style deep-dish pizza (think thick buttery crust and crispy cheese crowns), along with pasta and regionally inspired small plates — perfect for sharing. Grab a flight of locally brewed craft beer or a handcrafted cocktail and you’re in for a great night.
Banff Ave Brewing Co. is located at 110 Banff Ave, Banff. Visit banffavebrewingco.ca for more information.
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