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Banff AlbertaBanff, Alberta

Banff truly has it all, from soaring craggy peaks to thick pine forests, and from ultra-refined spas and shopping to extreme mountain adventures. There is something for every travel palate in Banff. Discover the jewel of the Canada's Rocky Mountains.

For more than a hundred years, Banff has been drawing wide-eyed visitors to its little piece of heaven tucked neatly into Canada's Rocky Mountains. There have been the adventurous clambering up rocky slopes and hiking through dense arboreal groves. There have been the fun-seekers skiing knee-deep through powdery snow or watching golf balls soar through the rarified air. And there have been the contemplative seeking and finding solace in the shadows of the mighty mountains.

It was in 1883 that three Canadian Pacific Railway workers spotted a plume of steam rising from a crack in a rock, and a cave bubbling with hot springs. Two years later Banff National Park was born¦only the third national park in the world. The town of Banff in the late 1800s became a world-class resort featuring an ultra-luxe hotel (the Banff Springs, now a Fairmont property), the Upper Hot Springs (which now feeds several swank spas) and base camps where horsepacking trips and intrepid hikers ventured and still do! Today, Banff enjoys a truly lofty place among destination travelers. The Banff townsite is as historic as it is picturesque, complete with first-class restaurants, accommodations fit for royalty, unique shopping opportunities, a host of mountainside events and natural attractions aplenty. Here are just a few things you can look forward to as you plan your Banff vacation this year.

Banff Gondola Open year-round
This stunning ride takes you up in a glass-enclosed gondola to experience nature atop Sulphur Mountain. At 7,486 feet above sea level and blessed with a 360-degree panorama, the Banff Gondola offers you the best view in the Rocky Mountains.

Ski the Big Three Open until late April or early May
Whether it's downhill, boarding or cross-country, you'll find a trio of endless opportunities close to Banff. Take your pick: Sunshine Village with its all-natural snow and Canada's longest ski season, Canada's single largest ski area at Lake Louise.

The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course
Designed by world-renowned golf course architect Stanley Thompson, the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course is spectacular in every way. Played at the foot of the historic Castle in the Rockies), this is golf at its very finest.

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Want to discover the Rocky Mountains in depth? Visit the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, which introduces you to the art, heritage and cultural history of the Rocky Mountains of Canada.