Traveling as a family of six is a luxury, one we do not get to do often. Yes, we’ve traveled to Vancouver quite a few times last year which was very quick little trips for Rhetts health and then we went on a business trip to Osoyoos in late December which was mostly business and not a lot of play.. so a vacation with no strings attached has been much needed.
Our last trip was as a family of five in 2015 with a short six day trip to Disneyland. Even then, money was really tight and we didn’t get to do all the things we wanted to do.
Flash forward to 2020.
We had planned to move to Hawaii for a six month period in the Fall, but in recent light of events we’ve cancelled these plans indefinitely.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in 2020 it’s that Gods timing is best. It certainly is hard to make plans when the future is so unstable and since we’re Canadian citizens, the border to the USA is not even open. Making our plans a hard NO. But even if they were open, the 3.4 million Covid cases in the US is a reason to stay put on our Island.
Long story short, on June 30th we decided we wanted to travel somewhere close to home. We’ve always wanted to take our kids to the Rocky Mountains as our older boys have only been when they were 1 and 2. So in true Jess style, I started planning right away for our ‘Vacation’ that would be happening a short 12 days later!
Traveling To Banff
We first made a really quick two-day stop close to home in Whistler, BC
We hadn’t been to Whistler since 2016 ( right before we had a late-term miscarriage with Nolan )
So with a super light itinerary, we decided to leave home on Friday the 10th and stay in Whistler until the 12th.
Whistler was pretty rainy so we didn’t take a ton of photos but our favourite stops in Whistler all included food – Pure Bread, The Old Spaghetti Factory and Holy Cow Ice cream. Also, the sights are pretty magical. Hiking at Lost Lake and seeing the turquoise water was a treat for our kids as well as swimming in our resort pool and walking through Main Street.
On the 12th, we decided to make our way through Pemberton to Kamloops, where we would be sleeping the night on our way to Banff.
The Enchanted Forest
We then drove from Kamloops the next day to Banff, but we made a quick stop at the Enchanted Forest right outside of Revelstoke. Let me tell you, it was a BLAST. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it. They have hand sanitizer’s on every corner so by chance if you do touch anything, you have a way to wash the germs away.
I didn’t realize there was only 510 km’s between Kamloops and Banff so it was a pretty easy drive when broken up! Snacks and road games did the trick for our four kids.
Our Stay In Banff
We arrived at The Rimrock Resort in Banff at 6ish and decided to order supper in as we were all pretty tired. They have such a delicious menu and they also have a kids menu to choose from.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience with incredible views, Rimrock is one of the best hotels in Banff. It’s walking distance from the Banff Gondola and the Upper Hot Springs. Both under 500 meters away! It’s about 3 km’s outside of town, but I was totally okay with that.
We stayed at Rimrock Resort in Banff from the 13-18th. You really need a few days to take in all Banff has to offer.
While we were in Banff we did a TON of sight seeing, even though a lot go attractions were closed due to Covid.
Day Two In Banff – The Banff Gondola
If you’re interested in a one-of-a-kind experience, The Banff Gondola by Pursuit Banff/Jasper was INCREDIBLE. I wish we could go again. This company also offers a ton other attractions in Banff and surrounding areas too!
Here are some photos from inside the gondola on top at 7,400 elevation!
We dined at the top of Sulphur Mountain and then explored the outside panoramic deck!
Once we were done, we took the gondola back down the mountain. It was truly an experience to remember!
Day Three In Banff – Main Street
The next day we explored Main Street and took the kids to the Iconic Old Spagetti Factory.
Day Four In Banff – Lake Minnewanka Cruise
On the forth day we were in Banff we had the pleasure of taking a cruise on Lake Minnewanka for an hour. It was SUCH a treat for us and the weather was absolutely perfect!
The tour guide told our kids many exciting stories and kept their attention the entire hour.
Day Five in Banff
This morning we took things quite slow and we went for a walk downtown and went to the sweet store and got candy apples.
Then we made our way over to Lake Louise which is about 65 km’s from downtown Banff.
If you’re heading to Banff, this needs to be on your to do list as the sights are absolutely STUNNING.
When we arrived we saw that you could rent canoes, but this is only open from 9-5 and we arrived shortly after 5!
We wished we had extended our stay so we could do more hiking around this lake as you can see from the photos, it is BEAUTIFUL.
We made our way back to Banff around 7 PM and we booked a table at the “Grizzly House” which is a really cool experience. We didn’t take any photos as it’s pretty dark in the restaurant. But basically it is a fondue type dinner. You can order more exotic meats and cheeses, or get a more simple dinner.
We stuck with chicken, steak and Swiss cheese with vegetables and bread.
It was delicious and such a good experience!
Day 6 In Banff
We decided to make our way back to Vancouver. We drove the full 860 km’s span of BC and stayed in a sweet little hotel in downtown Vancouver. From the beautiful Rocky’s to the Ocean!
So before I conclude this blog, I wanted to share the best places to eat with kids and the best activities to do in Banff!
What To Do In Banff in Summer
- Cave and Basin National Historic Site
- Banff Gondola
- Lake Minnewanka Cruise
- Hiking + Canoeing at Lake Louise
- Walking Around Main Street
- Indian Post
- Day Trip To Canmore
- Upper Hot Springs
- Hike Bow Falls
- Rent a bike and go biking!
Best Places To Eat With Kids In Banff
- The Old Spaghetti Factory
- Grizzly House ( Fondue )
- The Balkan Restaurant ( Greek )
- The Primrose ( Breakfast )
- Wild Flour ( Coffee Shop )
- Beaver Tails ( Treats )
- Cows Icecream
- Bear Street Tavern
I cannot wait to embark on our next trip. I hope you enjoyed our trip to Banff!