Banff National Park, Alberta
There are few places more magical in the world that Banff at Christmas. The streets are carpeted in white, snow covered trees look more dramatic than ever and there is a general feeling of Christmas cheer around this glorious little lit up town. Make sure to book your hotels early, as it gets busier than a burger stand at an obesity convention in the Canadian Rockies at this time of year.
Regardless of what time of year it is, there is something going on in Banff. If you are planning to spend a few weeks vacation, skiing is a must. There are quite a few choices including the Big 3 hills of Sunshine, Norquay and Lake Louise. You can get a pass for all three but they all offer something different. Sunshine tends to have the most variety and the biggest crowds, Norquay is nice and close to town and Lake Louise has great snow for boarders. All three are open on Christmas Day so you can spend your day in the most unique way possible.
Keep in mind that a few restaurants and bars will be closed on Christmas and New years Day meaning that it is even more important to book early as everybody has the same idea of a nice hangover dinner with the family! There is plenty to choose from including the classy Le Beaujolais or the more atmospheric Elk and Oarsman bar and restaurant.
New Years Eve is something memorable. The corner of Banff Ave and Caribou is Banff’s Times Square. Everyone gathers on the streets in full view of Wild Bills’ famous clock where midnight means madness. Whether you choose Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper, you are guaranteed a particularly special holiday season up here!