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Friday, January 28, 2011

Banff’s Hidden Treasures for Mom and Dad


Part of providing Banff’s finest family accommodation is understanding that sometimes Mom and Dad need a break too. So, although our past blogs have highlighted the many family-friendly activities which Banff has to offer, I’d like to dedicate this blog to our readers looking for some fun, affordable and relaxing happenings around this beautiful alpine town of ours.

Having been a Banff resident for a few months now has offered me the opportunity to get beneath the surface of the town and discover its greatest secrets. Today I am going to share with you what I believe are Banff’s hidden treasures:

Banff Tea Company
The Banff Tea Company, located on Caribou Street, is one of my favorite shops in town! You need just to step inside, smell the aroma, hear the world music and see the décor to recognize that the Banff Tea Company is a unique and fun experience. The store was designed to be a place of creativity and the “sniffer tins” allow you to smell each of the 180 different teas before you buy. The friendly and knowledgeable staff weighs your choice of tea right in front of you – apothecary style – and answers any questions you may have! Every Tuesday evening between 6 and 9 you can enjoy free tea tastings that will not only educate but add to your evenings' entertainment.

Banff is home to some of the finest chocolate shops in the Rocky Mountains. You need only walk down Banff Avenue to view chocolatiers going about their business through shop windows, to understand what I am talking about. A few that I recommend include:

Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut
111 Banff Avenue, Banff - (403) 762-4106

Welchs' Chocolate Shop
126 Banff Avenue, Banff - (403) 762-3737

Roger's Chocolates
133 Banff Avenue, Banff - (403) 762-4500

So ensure to tantalize your taste buds while in Banff by visiting one of these charming chocolate shops!

Wild Flour Bakery
Every Banffite knows and loves the Wild Flour Bakery. Located off of Bear Street in the Bison Courtyard, the artesian Wild Flour Bakery offers a warm and creative environment to relax with a coffee and one of their delightful freshly baked cakes (my personal favorite is the dark chocolate vegan cake, yum!) or enjoy a wholesome and affordable breakfast or lunch.

So if you are looking for downtime, a place to read or people watch, my suggestion is head to Wild Flour – the kids love it too!

Rocky Mountain Yoga

Stretch your stresses away with the Rocky Mountain Yoga Lounge. Also located in the Bison Courtyard, the Rocky Mountain Yoga lounge is a great way to relax and center yourself for an hour of your a day. The studio provides a beautiful and calming environment, offering a range of classes to suit various levels of experience – Mindy the studio’s owner is particularly kind and helpful.

Participating in drop-in classes has been made particularly easy as there are yoga mats, towels, yoga blocks provided (free of charge) on site

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Lovers of art will be blown away by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Rich with history, the museum was created back in 1968 by Catharine Whyte - a product of her and husband Peter’s interest in culture and understanding of philanthropy.

The museum has an eclectic collection of art all which pays homage to the Canadian Rockies. Despite your taste there is always something for everyone to admire, so relax and take in the beauty of Banff through the artistic eyes.

The Banff Center

Another way to feed your creative side is by attending one of the many performances or exhibitions taking place at The Banff Center each month.

With ticket prices approximately $10 for children and $18 for adults, a night at The Banff Center makes for a brilliant and affordable experience. For more information on events and performances be sure to look at their website:

I hope these ‘insider tips’ help to make your Banff vacation an even more enjoyable one!


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Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets

Tunnel Mountain Road
P.O. Box 1228
Banff, Alberta T1L 1B2 Canada

For reservations call toll free:
Toll free fax: 1-800-267-8774
Calgary Direct Line: 264-2563
Phone: (403) 762-5591
Fax: (403) 762-8774

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