Winter in Banff

As many of you know, in honor of Canadian National Park's 150 year anniversary, all national parks in Canada are free for 2017! So in February, Stacey and I went to Banff, Alberta to experience what a beautiful winter could be.

We take a late flight on Thursday, flying via Toronto into Calgary, AB and spent our first night in the Aloft near Calgary University, fairly close to the downtown area. The next morning we fuel up at Monki Café and Bistro, which served an AMAZING brunch. 

While many of the dishes were pretty standard, they each had a bit of a unique flair. We found the food to be expertly prepared and surprisingly delicious!

From here we started our 1.5 hour drive to Banff. As we approached the mountains the scene started to get dramatic.

When we got to Banff, it was full blown winter, snow falling and all. We checked into our place, Hotel Juniper (highly recommended!!). This place is just outside the main city, and has an incredible view of the mountains from every room.

Experiencing Banff in the winter was quite the experience - while many of the main attractions (Vermillion Lakes, and further north up Lake Louise) were covered in snow, we were blessed with blankets and blankets of fresh powder which gave us a unique view of the sites. 

We did the quick drive up to Lake Louise to find it completely covered in snow! We walked as far as we could out onto the lake, which was a bit of a surreal experience given the last time Jon was at Banff was during the summer time.

On our last day we actually wanted to spend some time exploring Calgary, and was surprised by the burgeoning food scene in a historically mining town. We stopped to relax at Monogram Coffee, and had an incredibly inventive dinner at Ten Foot Henry.

However, the most epic moments on the trip were probably the first 30 minutes of daylight every day. We had a great view over the Vermillion Lakes from the hotel, but the 5 minute drive to walk onto the lakes was worth every single digit degree.