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Photo Courtesy Banff National Park

A Spring visit to Banff, Alberta brings optimism for a few end-of-season ski runs, sightseeing and sunny patio chill-outs. The gem of the Rockies does not disappoint! The town of Banff, located in Banff National Park, offers a relaxed vibe, with plenty of sunny vistas and welcoming nooks to catch warm rays, mountain air and more than a few tasty treats!

A leisurely stay at the Rim Rock Resort Hotel offers an ideal home base while in Banff. The majestic hotel, with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design, offers a welcoming warmth and stunning mountain views. The resort rests atop a meandering drive through the main drag of Banff and is conveniently located near the open-year-round Sulpher Mountain Hot Springs.

With sunshine and fresh air on the agenda, here are a few highlights to savour while in Banff.

Norquay Cliff House Bistro

A scenic drive from central Banff, just past the historic Juniper Hotel, leads to the “local ski hill” Norquay. For a $20 fee, take in a thrilling, open-air chair lift ride 8,040 feet and enjoy stunning mountain views and a bite at the Cliff House Bistro. The current bistro menu is a bit limited, compared to the more lavish ski and summer season offerings, but savoury soups and basic sandwiches compliment the local brews, served icy cold and best enjoyed on the tiny porch lookout.

Beers & Beyond at Banff Ave Brewing Company

After a day of sightseeing a coveted seat on the main-street-facing “porch perch” is worth the wait at Banff Ave Brewing Company. A massive roster of locally brewed beers is worth mulling over, with Pilsners, Pale Ales, Stouts and beyond served in sizes ranging from sleeves, pints, steins, pitchers, sampler trays, growlers and take-away growlers. Decisions decisions! Sipping on the house specialty “Pink Rose Lemonade” was my choice, a pretty in pink refreshing alternative to beer and a nice compliment to a tray of salty, baked pretzels served with a small ramekin of creamy fondue and a side of grainy mustard. Cocktail specialties like Mountain Man, Rifle Man and Uncle Buck pack a whiskey wallop for the more adventurous spirits fan!
Banff Ave Brewing company
Photo courtesy of Banff Ave Brewing Company Facebook

Park it at Park!

One of the newest hot spots in downtown Banff is the rustic restaurant Park Distillery Restaurant and Bar. This place has an interesting in-house distillery offering “tours and taster flights” of homegrown spirits like vodka infused with vanilla beans, smoked espresso beans and chili seeds. Fondue is another house highlight, as well as traditional pub fare; best enjoyed from street-side picnic tables that create an urban campground vibe.

Park Distillery
Photo courtesy of Park Distillery Facebook

A Fine Finale – The Fudgery!

The Fudgery, a delightful fudge house, is an ideal après ski pit stop for a must-do selfie with their mascot Grizzly Bear and samples of deliciously sweet and creamy treats. Savour row upon row of sweet treats and be sure to try the house specialty, Maple Fudge.

There are endless choices in Banff; plenty of places to see, sip and say ahhh!

Guest Post: Jacqueline Nelson Shilletto, Food & Spirits Fanatic

Jacqueline has been writing about her enjoyment of food, drink and destinations for close to 20 years.
She has pursued her food and beverage exploration throughout Europe, the Carribean and North America, and names the Guinness Plant and Museum in Dublin Ireland as a highlight experience. Her interest to learn about sustainability, small batch production, and food provenance has led her to explore cideries organic wine operations and tasting classes with experts looking to share their wares. Jacki also runs her own niche consulting firm, Jacqueline Nelson Communications (JNC) representing clients looking to leverage her expertise with food and nutrition, consumer packaged goods, travel and the goodwill sector.

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