Come in From the Cold in Banff, Alberta

Posted December 23, 2009 by Kate Hamman

Alberta-Banff-BuffaloMtnLodge-DEF Situated among the Canadian Rockies in one of the country's most visited National Parks, Banff overflows with things to do in the sun or snow. But you don't have to go outside to get a sense of the great outdoors. You can appreciate wildlife by a roaring fireplace in a cozy lodge, or seek out art depicting nature in a local gallery. And when it comes time to eat, taste foods fresh from the land with a gourmet twist.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge: Located on Tunnel Mountain, which was once known to the native people as "Sleeping Buffalo," this lodge is a safe haven from the cold winter weather. You can hibernate inside the square timber structure filled with reminders of the Canadian Rockies, including antler chandeliers, a buffalo head over the fireplace, and custom-made wood furnishings. And cozy in-room touches such as wood-burning fireplaces and feather duvets, will have you sleeping as snug as a bison in a rug. Rooms start at $169 CAD (about $160 U.S.; see for current exchange rates) per night, and the lodge offers a range of packages to make your vacation complete.

Canada House Gallery: For 33 years, the commercial Canada House Gallery has given the public the opportunity to witness the work of regional artists. The shop continuously adds new items, but you'll more than likely encounter Inuit pieces, landscape and nature paintings, and animal sculptures. It's free to browse, but the cost of an original piece of artwork can get pricey.

Bison Mountain Bistro and General Store: Selling fine cheeses, specialty meats, and handmade jams, mustards, and ketchups, this general store is anything but general. The gourmet items overflow into made-to-order sandwiches such as the House Smoked Bison Pastrami and Appenzeller cheese with horseradish butter, shaved onions, romaine, and oven-dried tomatoes for $13.95 CAD. Stop in for a bite, a few souvenirs, or some inspiration on how to add a little pizzazz to your everyday meals.

To search for flights and compare prices to Calgary, which is home to Banff’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Buffalo Mountain Lodge)

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