Sunshine Village#1 in Best Things To Do in Banff
Located miles 11 miles west of Banff Town, Sunshine Village offers 12 lifts, more than 3,300 skiable acres and a peak elevation of 7,200 feet. And thanks to its location straddling the Continental Divide, Sunshine sees more snow than its neighbors, meaning the ski season here is long – typically from early November to late May. The powdery terrain beckons skiers of all levels (another point of praise from recent travelers), and the Sunshine Mountain Lodge offers a great setting for dinner and drinks after a day on the slopes.
If you're not in Banff for ski season, you should still make a point to visit Sunshine, according to reviewers. From mid-June to early autumn, the Sunshine Meadows are open for hiking and provide visitors spectacular alpine views of the surrounding peaks, including Mount Assiniboine. Hiking is free and so is the shuttle from town, which runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
During ski season – which generally lasts from early November to late May – the slopes are operational from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. during the winter, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the spring. Day passes cost CA$109 (about $85) for adults and CA$85 (around $66) for youths between the ages of 13 and 17; children between the ages of 6 and 12 can ski for CA$42 (approximately $33). If you purchased a SkiBig3 Season Pass, you'll enjoy unlimited skiing and riding at Sunshine Village, as well as Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay. Sunshine Village is located about 20 minutes southwest of Banff Town. Similar to the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay, there is a shuttle bus that offers free round-trip service from Banff Town to Sunshine Village. For more information visit Sunshine Village's website.
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#2 Banff Gondola
The Banff Gondola is a relaxing way to experience the town's natural beauty. The eight-minute ride to the summit of 7,500-foot Sulphur Mountain leads to breathtaking views of the Bow River Valley and Banff, not to mention a boardwalk, a handful of eateries, a gift shop, interactive interpretive exhibits, a multi-sensory theater and a 360-degree rooftop observation deck.
Recent visitors gushed about the views seen from the top of the mountain. And though they do bemoan the high ticket prices, they said it's worth the cost. One tip from travelers: wear layers. The temperatures at the base of the mountain can change drastically from the summit.
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