Vacation in Banff

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Mar 7th, 2018, 03:51 AM
  #1
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Vacation in Banff

Hello,
My husband and I are taking a vacation from Chicago to Banff in August. (My dream has been to see Lake Louise and Banff Can anyone give me suggestions on where to stay. I'm trying to decide if we should stay in one place the entire time, or travel around between places. Also, would you recommend renting a car, or is there easy access to public transportation? I realize we're kind of late planning this trip and places are booking up fast. Please help!! Thanks!
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Mar 7th, 2018, 05:07 AM
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Yes, a car is what you'll need to visit Banff and Lake Louise. Easy access to public transportation - no, not really. Lake Louise and Banff are close enough (maybe an hour or so) together than you could stay in one place. What are you interested in doing/seeing?
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Mar 7th, 2018, 10:00 AM
  #3
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We are flying into Calgary. Should we drive to Banff or stop somewhere on our way? We're looking to really just enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful mountains and lakes.
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Mar 7th, 2018, 12:52 PM
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How long do you have for the trip?

Generally we'd suggest 3-5 nights in Banff/Canmore/Lake Louise and 2-3 nights in Jasper - minimum. The crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies is the drive between Lake Louise and Jasper -- the Icefields Parkway. So you want to split time between Banff/Lake Louise and Jasper. The drive is only about 3.5 hrs, but most people take 6-8 hrs to do it because of the things to see and do -- and few regret doing the drive twice. It's rated as one of the most scenic in the world.

Right now your priority needs to be to get accommodation - especially in Jasper, things are booking up quickly. The more desirable and/or less expensive places tend to go first. I would start with Jasper and build the rest of your trip around that availability. You may want to do one night in Banff/Canmore/LL to start or several nights, then one night on your way back to the airport. For Jasper, you can often find accommodation that is cheaper and nice through Private Home Accommodations: www.stayinjasper.com (they are all inspected and licensed).

Renting a car is by far the best way to see the area - otherwise you'll be dependent on tours to get to many locations. That can be expensive & greatly limits your flexibility -- most bus tours stop only at the major sites. From the Calgary Airport, it's an easy 1.5 hr drive to Banff, all on major highways. Canmore is about 1.25 hrs. Lake Louise is closer to 2+ hrs. So unless your flight arrives really late, drive straight out to the mountains.

Note that August 4-6 is a holiday weekend here and is likely to be the busiest of the summer. If that's during your intended trip, book ASAP and anticipate that places may not take partial weekend bookings at this point. So you will want to be in one place F, Sa and Su nights.
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Mar 8th, 2018, 02:37 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Have u an idea about the price of the public transportation please
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Mar 8th, 2018, 12:23 PM
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Public transport where?

It's very limited in the Rockies -- you would need to combine it with day or multi-day tours to see many areas. Airport shuttles from Calgary to Banff/Canmore/Lake Louise range from $50 upwards, I believe. In the Banff/Canmore area, there are the Roam buses, which are local buses. I think single tickets are in the $3 range, more for going between Canmore and Banff. Parks Canada runs free shuttles between Banff and Lake Louise in the summer, as well as shuttles to Lake Minnewanka. A private company offers a hop on/hop off shuttle that goes to LL, Johnston Canyon and Moraine Lake - think it starts at around $60 for a day ticket, maybe more (haven't seen 2018 prices).

There is no public transport on the Icefields Parkway or in/around Jasper. Brewsters runs a shuttle and tours to Jasper - those probably start at around $85 one way (Lake Louise to Jasper, for instance) - and are generally once per day. In Jasper, you could take a taxi to a very few local places, otherwise day tours. Cost depends on the tour/how many people - assume starting at $50 for very basic half day tours, more for full day tours/smaller groups etc. Tours are the only way to see Yoho NP or to do stops on the Icefields Parkway.

In general, it usually works out far better to rent a car if you are visiting the Rockies. Exceptions might be if you are under 25, so get hit with daily underage driver fees.
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Mar 12th, 2018, 08:19 AM
  #7
 
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Great !! thank you very much
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