How To Spend 48 Hours In Banff, Alberta

Moraine Lake - Banff, Alberta |

It’s been almost over a decade since I was last in Banff, Alberta and before then, let’s just say I’m dating myself. I haven’t been to Banff since the invention of digital cameras! Since getting hooked on Instagram and seeing photos from friends who’ve recently visited, visiting Alberta has been on my to-do list since returning from my travels around the world.



How To Spend 48 Hours in Banff


In mid-July (of 2015), I was a guest of Rocky Mountaineer and rode their train from Vancouver to Banff (I wrote about and shared photos from the journey here, here, and here.) and was able to explore a bit of Banff before I headed out on a trip to Whistler and the Coast. It goes without saying that I now need to share what I did as well as the photos I took from the final destination of my trip!

And drumroll, please!!!

Rimrock Resort Banff |

The Rimrock Hotel

Once we arrived at the Banff train station, we continued with our amazing Goldleaf Service via the Rocky Mountaineer. We all said sad goodbyes to our fellow passengers and the wonderful staff on board, and then we were shuttled over on buses to our respective hotels in Banff. When I got to my room, my bag was already there. Hellooooo Goldleaf Service, you are the best!! I stayed at the lovely Rimrock Resort Hotel, which is a bit outside of the town center but right next to the mountains. As you can see from the photo above, it had some gorgeous views.


My dear friend Kori, who I met while traveling in Asia lives in the area, was kind of enough to be my local guide. The night I arrived, we went into town, had dinner and caught up on lost times. We haven’t seen each other in four years since I was in London, England on my RTW trip.

The next morning we had some coffee and then headed into town for some breakfast at a place called Melissa’s. It was your typical town type diner but with Banff decor, lots of wood!

Melissa's Missteak Banff |

Typical breaky at a local place called Melissa’s

We took a little stroll through the town and randomly came across the local farmers market. In case that’s your thing, it’s every Wednesday. I love picking up fresh fruit and prepared food as snacks so I was happy to come across it. I also saw some of the travelers from my train too.

Banff farmers market |

Farmers market!!

Banff farmers market |

Beautiful colors at the Banff Farmers Market

We stopped in the Banff Info Centre.  They are super helpful and have tons of maps and pamphlets about what to do in the area. Definitely worth going!!

Info Centre Banff

Info Centre Banff |

Get that info!

Moraine Lake

After time in the town center, we headed to Moraine Lake. Seeing the lake in person was my top priority so we headed there first.

Driving to Moraine Lake |

I love how they built a bridge for the animals because of the highway humans made

Valley of the Ten Peaks

Driving towards Moraine Lake

As Kori drove towards Moraine Lake, we could already see the Valley of the Ten Peaks. I was freaking out with excitement! It was pretty busy in the parking lot, but we found a spot and then walked towards the lake. And then BOOM!
Moraine Lake |

The stunning Moraine Lake

When you see Moraine Lake in person, you fall in love. The color of the lake, the mountain peaks behind it, the fresh air…it’s truly amazing. My photo does not do it justice here, but I will say that so many factors play into the color of the lake, whether it is the weather or light I can say is that it’s as beautiful as you imagine and more.

Moraine Lake Canoeing |

Epic moments on Moraine Lake. Thanks, Kori for the photo!

Moraine Lake Canoeing GoPro Selfie |

And thanks to Kori for paddling me around while I shot photos and video!

Moraine Lake GoPro |

Had to share this photo shot from my GoPro Hero4. Different color in the different light

It was a dream of mine to get in a canoe and paddle around Moraine Lake. A big thank you to Moraine Lake Lodge for the canoe rental. After we went for a canoe we decided to hike up to a higher point for some photos. It started raining and it looked like this:

Moraine Lake |

Still stunning in the rain! And even bluer!

Moraine Lake Kori and Me |

We had to no makeup in the rain selfie!!

Lake Louise

After grabbing a quick snack at the Moraine Lake Lodge and using facilities, we made our way to Lake Louise. I had to see her too!

Lake Louise |

Taking a look at Lake Louise

Lake Louise |

The gorgeous Lake Louise

Lake Louise |

Everyone shows you the above photos, but a place like this isn’t a secret!!

Lake Louise |

Ohhhh Canada!

By now we were starving, so we went to the Fairmont Lake Louise for a snack and a drink. Everywhere was pretty busy and if you’re a guest, you have first priority. We went to a bar/restaurant downstairs without a view, which was fine because we just wanted some grub!

On the way back we stopped at Vermillion Lakes just to take a photo of the viewpoint. But on the way, we saw the most insane rainbow. I was hoping to see a moose or a deer, but everyone was stopping for the rainbow!! So we stopped too!

Rainbow side of the road |

Taste the rainbow! It’s so close!

Vermillion Lakes |

Vermillion Lakes! Was obsessed with Mount Rundle (called it Jagged Edge like the RnB band)

Banff Town |

Banff Town

Banff Town

Banff Town
Banff Town

Banff Town

The next day I had to check out of my hotel because my stay was over at the Rimrock. We moved over to the Caribou Lodge. I like the location of this hotel because it’s closer to everything if you don’t have a car. Kori is local so she had a car and kind enough to take me to all of these places!

On my final day in Banff, we made our way over to the Banff Gondola. The weather was crazy. We didn’t know where to go because wherever we went was dependent on weather. It hailed when we parked at the Banff Gondola haha.

Banff Gondola

Going up! Up to the top of Sulphur Mountain

The gondola is a bit on the pricey side, but the views are insane. If you love views and love taking photos, in my opinion, it’s worth it. Check them out:

Banff Gondola View

Banff Gondola View

Banff Gondola View

Me and Kori Banff Gondola

Sometimes I force you into GoPro selfies

Chipmunk Banff Gondola

He was not camera shy!

Even though I wasn’t staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs, the hotel is definitely a stop you should make while visiting Banff. It’s historic and beautiful. It’s like a Canadian castle!

Fairmont Banff Springs

An angle of the Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Banff Springs

Inside the hotel

Fairmont Banff Springs

Down the halls. Makes me think of Hogwarts. I am sure it’s haunted!!!

I visited the Fairmont with Kori and made plans to meet my friend Jen Leo for a drink!! She’s also a travel writer but a seasoned and well-known travel personality. She was on a trip here with her daughter. I know her from living in San Diego and the travel world. It’s always great to run into people randomly while traveling!

Rundle Lounge Caesar

A delicious Canadian cocktail, the Caesar at the Rundle Lounge

On the way back after dinner, we stopped for a few more photos at Bow Falls and Bow River. Kori was a doll and was trying to think of the best places I could take photos of the stunning landscape and capture the beauty of Banff.  Then we made our way back to our suite at the Caribou Lodge.

Bow Falls

Bow Falls. Not huge but still beautiful

Bow River

Bow River

Caribou Lodge

I didn’t take an outside picture but here’s one of our room

Since Kori is local and was driving, I took the Brewster Bus to the airport. They have direct bus rides to the Calgary Airport from Banff or to the city center. They pick you up from your hotel go all the way to Jasper I believe. I was a bit on the early side but nothing that Wi-Fi can’t cure.

As a rundown for having about 48 hours in Banff, here are my must-dos:
  • Moraine Lake (canoeing gets you the best photos)
  • Lake Louise
  • A visit the historic Fairmont Banff Springs
  • Vermillion Lakes
  • Banff Gondola
  • Banff Town
  • Farmers Market if it’s Wednesday
I didn’t get to go to but am dying to still:
    • Peyto Lake (a lake in the shape of a wolf, I’m serious!)
    • Lake Minnewanka

Helpful Tips For Banff

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience in and photos of Banff. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to help out.


In case you want to see a quick video, I’ve got a bit of Moraine Lake in this video

**Disclaimer: Many thanks to  Rocky Mountaineer, Moraine Lake Lodge, Banff and Alberta Tourism, Caribou Lodge, Brewster, and Fjallraven Canada for the support. As always, all opinions are my own. Links shared in this post are affiliate links. You are not charged extra to buy but if purchased through the retailer I recommend, I earn a tiny commission for the sale. Purchases through affiliates help me with the cost of running this site and sharing helpful travel information with you, my fellow traveler. It’s always appreciated if you use my affiliate links but never expected. Thank you for the support.**


Round The World Girl is a blog by Arnette, a solo female traveler, lover of adventure, coffee, tropical islands, and unforgettable meals. She shares a retrospective of her 19 month, 19 country round the world trip, adventures both near and far, destination guides, helpful tips and tricks for travel, as well as tips and reviews of her favorite things.

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