Apres Ski in Banff Lake Louise
Banff is a pretty town with lively restaurants and bars, the best apres ski, a wide choice of accommodation and plenty of shops and other activities for non-skiers. Lake Louise is a compact little town with good amenities, Sunshine Village lies high up the mountain.
Banff Lake Louise Villages
Banff Mount Norquay
Banff Mount Norquay is where families come to play. With its close proximity to the town of Banff, you stay in the bustling town of Banff, which offers an abundance of good accommodation, restaurants, bistros, stores, galleries, boutiques, museums and plenty of other activities such as soaking in the natural hot springs. Mount. Norquay has a new base lodge with licensed lounge, dining, day care, ski and snowboard school and rentals.
Lake Louise “village” grew around the railroad station and the majestic Chateau Lake Louise Hotel still dominates. The station is no more but the hotel certainly is. Development is tightly controlled by the Parks Service so the village is compact but has most amenities—gas station, bakery, grocery, liquor store, bus station, a wide range of accommodation, and over 20 restaurants and bars all linked by free shuttle buses.
Sunshine Village upper alpine lies at 7,082 feet (2,159 m). Lodgings are found at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge as Banff National Park’s only ski-in, ski-out accommodation. Combined with the gondola base are, Sunshine Village features two licensed day lodges, nine food outlets, cocktail lounges, ski & snowboard school, rental store, day care, snowboard park, outdoor hot pool, and reputedly Canada’s best snow, and lots of it—396 inches (1,006 cm) a year!
Apres Ski Bars & Nightlife in Banff Lake Louise
Banff town is lively with over 100 bars, restaurants and nightclubs for apres ski and partying until late. And with the option to grab an apres ski snack and a few drinks at the ski area base stations at Lake Louise or Sunshine before catching the shuttle bus back to your lodgings.
Wild Bills is one of the biggest pubs in Banff, and although very spacious this pub never seems empty. Wild Bills also has a variety of weekly performers such as the dj Master Ace, Wu-tang Clang and comedians such as Flight of the Conchords.
The Devils Gap pub is located in the centre of Banff town and is often populated with ski instructors and other locals. The best night to go is on a Sunday as they have live performers.
The Pump and Tap is also known as the English Pub, although it is completely run by Canadians. This is a great place to go in the afternoon for a quick drink and a game of pool. They also have surround sound speakers with music playing in the background.
The Elk and Oarsmen bar is slightly fancier than most other bars in Banff, but it still has that great friendly and rustic mountain atmosphere, and is split into two halves, the bar and the restaurant.
The Great Bear Room, located on the top floor of the Lake Louise day lodge, is a comfy, rustic bar offering a variety of mini-snack meals which are great to share over a beer at the end of the day. Or if you prefer they do large, calory intensive meals as well.
The Kokanee Kabin bar is based next to the foot of the Lake Louise chairlift. It is famous for its barbeques and music. They also have great deals on jugs of beer (4 pint jug). In warmer weather they put out deck chairs so skiers can relax in the sun with a drink.
Trappers is a popular bar mainly used throughout the afternoon and for lunch. It is also the home of the famous Mad Trappers burger which should only be ordered by those with a monster appetite, and where you’ll find the most ski instructors relaxing and arguing over who has the best carving turns!
Sunshine Creekside Lodge at the bottom of the gondola station is a popular venue for a few drinks after a long run down from the top of the mountain. The Creekside also serves a large nacho basket in a typical Canadian style which is great accompanied by a pitcher of beer, or you can order various cocktails and shots if you prefer. Its location next to the shuttle bus pick up and drop off stop adds to its popularity.
Banff is famous for being one of the Canada’s best ski resorts for partying and night life.
Hoodoo’s nightclub is in the heart of Banff. Inside they’re three pool tables, various bars and a big dancefloor. There is also a lounge area on one half of the club. Their main night is Thursday when the club is guaranteed to be packed with queues stretching far round the corner.
Aurora’s is probably the top nightclub in Banff, often hosting famous DJ’s from all over the world. This club has four bars, a lounge area and two dancefloors each with its own DJ. The main nights at Aurora are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it’s often also busy mid-week.
The Dancing Sasquatch nightclub is is just one massive dancefloor with bars either end and at the middle. It is located at the centre of Banff and you can often see queues stretching far down the street. The main nights to go are Friday and Saturday.
There are no nightclubs in Lake Louise or Sunshine Village
Restaurants in Banff Lake Louise
Downtown Banff has more than 100 bistros and restaurants including Japanese, Italian, steakhouses, Tex-Mex as well as cafés, pubs and delis.
Eddie’s is probably the most famous restaurant in Banff, offering a vast selection of cocktails and every type of burger imaginable. If you don’t fancy anything featured on the menu, you can always design your own burger complete from scratch.
The Silver Dragon is the place to go if you’re looking for a Chinese. It’s known for friendly, quick service as well as for good quality Chinese dishes.
The Spaghetti Factory, just off the main street in Banff, is a perfect place to load up with carbs after a big days skiing. You can order just about any variety of pasta or spaghetti. They also have some meat dishes as well and a large cocktail menu.
Whitehorn Mid-Mountain Lodge offers dinner with appetizers, buffet dinner, live entertainment and a guided torchlight ski down the mountain, two or three times a week after skiing until 8:30 pm.
Brewster Cowboy’s Barbecue and Dance Barn, near the Fairmont Chateau, is a popular venue on Saturday nights and also can be reached a sleigh ride.
Deer Lodge’s Elkhorn Dining Room is a very comfy dining experience after a long day of skiing in Lake Louise.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel offers a range of dining experiences from the Castle Deli, Lakeview lounge, Glacier Saloon to Lago’s Italian Restaurant.
The Baker Creek Bistro in the Baker Creek Chalets on Bow Valley Parkway, down the road from the Fairmont Chateau, is one of the more popular dining options in Lake Louise.
The Lake Louise Inn features a choice of restaurants including Explorers Lounge, Legends Restaurant, and Timberwolf Pizza and Pasta Café, to satisfy everyone in the family.
Other Activities in Banff Lake Louise
Lake Louise has plenty of outdoor activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice walks, dog-sledding, ice skating and sleigh rides. Banff will suit less adventurous folk with a wide range of bars, restaurants, shops, museums and other cultural pursuits.
Cross-Country Skiing in Banff Lake Louise
Cross-country skiing is hugely popular in Banff Lake Louise as the landscape is so accommodating for it. You can simply rent a pair of cross-country skis and set off yourself. Or there are companies such as Yamnuska that will take you on longer guided tours with or without tuition.
Ice Walks in Banff Lake Louise
There are various scenic Ice walks around the Banff Lake Louise area. They mainly sprout off the end of Banff town and run around the natural sulphur spring.
Dog Sledding in Banff Lake Louise
There are a few local companies that run dog sledding where you can learn to drive (or mush) your own team of huskies and sled through deep powder. The two best known are Banff Adventurers and Howling Dog Tours.
Ice Skating in Banff Lake Louise
There is a large outdoor ice skating rink just outside of Banff town. Here you can rent ice skates and ice hockey skates and sticks if you wish to play ice hockey in true Canadian fashion.
Spa & Wellness in Banff Lake Louise
Only twenty minutes from Banff town there is the newly built Banff Centre. The Banff Centre has a fully operating spa service as well as a gym, sportcourts and a climbing wall. There is also the Banff Springs which is only a 15 minute walk from Banff or there is a shuttle bus service that gets you there quicker.
Galleries and Museums in Banff Lake Louise
Art galleries and craft shops showcase Inuit, wildlife, landscape, and Native art along with ceramics and jewelry. There are also several museums and national historic sites in the neighbourhood that highlight the natural history and man-made heritage of the Rockies.
Shopping in Banff Lake Louise
Shops in Banff range from fashionwear to native crafts and specialty boutiques, along with larger shopping malls. Lake Louise has its own Samson Mall for shoppers.