Where to Stay?

Old Jan 5th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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Where to Stay?

Trying to decide whether to stay in Canmore, Banff or Lake Louise. I have been checking accomodations and the rates are so much cheaper in Canmore. Rationale is that we will be driving all day anyway, so should we just base in Canmore? Any advice appreciate. Thanks!
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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It depends what your interests are and which month you will be travelling in.

Banff has over 200 restaurants, and Canmore has started to acquire a fair number of restaurants too. Banff also has lots of shops and a couple of museums.

If you want the amenities of a town, you'll prefer Banff or Canmore. They are about 15 minutes from each other, so one is more or less as convenient as the other.

Lake Louise is a very small village, with only a few restaurants (albeit some of them are excellent). Lake Louise has a small sprinkling of hotels and very few shops.

Lake Louise is quieter, and it's more centrally located with respect to prime hiking territory, which is why I prefer it in summer.

Having said that, I'll add that the difference between Banff and Lake Louise is more important in July and August, when Banff is more crowded. The difference is not as noticeable in June, when Banff is not yet so full of people.

If budget is an important consideration, you certainly can use Canmore as a base from which to see the area. However, it's at the far east end of the area that will be of interest to you. It's an hour or more from Canmore to Lake Louise. So, if you stay in Canmore and visit the west end of Banff National Park and nearby Yoho National Park, where some of the prime scenery is, you'll have at least 2 more hours of driving to do each day than you would have had if you'd stayed in Lake Louise.
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Old Jan 6th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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One thing about Canmore is that you can go south to the Spray Lakes and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

The drive along route 40 goes through some of the most spectacularly glaciated peaks in all of the Rockies.

Mount Engadine Lodge on the Spray Lakes road (which is gravel/dirt) is a very pleasant place to stay. The food is good to excellent and there are trails around there to explore.

brookwood is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Thank you both for your replies. I am still trying to debate. All of the properties in Banff and Lake Louise that we would even pay close to $200 per night for do not get good reveiews of tripadvisor. We are going to be in the area for two weeks; I am still trying to plan...we hope to leave on June 15 to begin our trip. Thank you again!
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Old Jan 6th, 2007, 09:44 PM
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Lodging in that part of the world in the summer is expensive. If you want location and proximity, you pay for it.

Canmore is an ok place, but it is not cheap. Real estate prices there have escalated to much that the natives cannot afford to buy a house!! If someone does not already live there, costs are prohibitive.

Banff townsite to me is a place to be avoided because of the crowds.

I don't really have a suggestion. Either pay more or drive more. Those are your two choices.

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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Canmore is virtually a 20min drive to Banff. While I agree Banff has more dining/shopping options, Canmore definitely offers a more relaxed atmosphere and the town really does have quite alot to offer. There are more than enough dining options (and some are on the higher end), and the shops are more than adequate. If you want alot of typical souvenir type shops, then Banff is the place.

As another person mentioned, you can explore the Spray Lakes and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park area, which is often overlooked and truly some of the prettiest scenery.

No matter where you decide, I'm sure you'll have a fantastic visit. There really is so much to do, you won't be able to fit it all in. Happy Travels!!
Old Jan 8th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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if you are going to be there for two weeks, i would consider choosing two different places. canmore is a nice place and plenty of great areas to explore from there (kananaskis provincial park is nice). but, if you want to focus some time around the lake louise, yoho provincial park and the parkway between banff and jasper, i'd consider staying in the lake louise area.
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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We always preferred to stay in Canmore - at least when we went during the summer. Not only were accommodations more accessible and less expensive, but since there were so many other places we'd visit in the area, we found it much easier to use it as a base. We also found it was less hectic than being in Banff proper, but easier to find activities than when we stayed at Lake Louise. Judy's right about the extra driving time to some places from Canmore, but we thought overall it was a very good compromise.
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