Monday, April 5, 2010

Banff for Free

One of the things I love about Banff, Alberta is that many of the best things to do are free.

Go For a Walk or Hike: There are so many trails to choose from all with fabulous scenery. I especially enjoy the trails along the river, on Tunnel Mountain (perfect for viewing the hoodoos) and around the Cave and Basin.

Check out the Banff Springs Hotel: It costs nothing to walk through the beautiful halls and many gorgeous rooms of the historical Banff Springs Hotel. Many of the large windows have tables and chairs just begging you to sit and soak up the view. My sister and I played a few rounds of our favourite board game there.

Enjoy the scenic drives: There are so many to choose from in the area. In the summer, I love to drive through the Banff Springs Golf Course and check out some of the world’s most scenic golf holes.

Browse the shops on Banff Avenue: Ok, if you buy something it’s not free but there are so many neat Canadian Rocky displays including life sized stuffed animals, skeletons, fossils and more. I always enjoy watching the fudge being made (and trying samples) at the Fudgery and can never resist popping into Welch’s Candy Store for their huge selection of old fashioned (and new) sweets.

Banff Natural History Museum: (Small Fee) Both adults and kids would enjoy this small, historical collection of preserved native animals.

Cave and Basin: (Small Fee) An enjoyable exhibit highlighting local Rocky Mountain history. Also includes information and viewing of the Banff Spring Snails found only in this area.

Free Yoga Lessons: Lululemon offers yoga lessons when the store is closed. Although very popular, the class I attended was geared more towards an intermediate level. My version of “Bird of Paradise” was more like “Moulting Crow”. Check the store for schedules.

This is just a short list of Banff offerings. I’d love to hear your tips on things to do for free (or next to free) in the Banff area.

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