The skinny on Banff

Getting there: Banff is located in Alberta, Canada, with Calgary being the closest airport (just under two hours away). You’ll probably need a connecting flight, but if you go via Chicago, it’s an easy connection.

A rental car is a good idea from the airport but there are shuttles. Once you get to Banff, the bus and shuttle system to and from the resorts is great.

Where to stay: Banff has many great lodging choices. For a life experience choice, head to Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

How to ski: Get yourself an Ikon Pass ( and you’re cleared to ski at each of the Banff resorts. (Plus, you can ski the rest of the season at one of the many Ikon spots across the nation and around the world, making it a great deal).

Should you choose to use rentals, the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub ( in the center of town has top-tier gear, lots of things to rent in case you forgot (ski pants, helmets and more) and a great staff that fits you up just right.

Don’t miss dining: You could never hit all the great dining spots in one trip, but do put both Hello Sunshine – a cool vibe cocktail lounge and sushi bar ( that even has a super fun karaoke room and the Bluebird Restaurant and Lobby Bar ( where you’ll relax in a kind of ski lodge vibe while noshing on amazing food (try the madeleines, trust me). Up at Lake Louise, fondue at Walliser Stube, inside the Fairmont, is a ski town life experience.

Unique Apres: Head to the Banff Gondola ( to take in “Nightrise,” their evening ride up and down – with a stop at their cool mountaintop building, that is both a light show and intimate look at the First Nation history of the area.

Planning it all: Banff has a great outlet for making it all work out. You can learn more at