Leonard Zhukovsky / Shuttestock
This site commemorates the birthplace of Canada's national parks system, which began with the protection of the Banff hot springs in 1885. The site underwent a three-year, C$13.8-million renovation and reopened in May 2013. You'll find restored historic buildings, a new plaza, and great interpretive displays about Banff and the other national parks in Canada. An interpretive trail explains the area's geology and plant life and offers information on the wildlife and history of Banff national park. While visiting the cave and walking past the warm mineral pools, keep an eye out for the most endangered species in the park, the Banff snail, which makes its home in the warm mineral waters and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.