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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late Summer Days by the Lake


Kids at Johnson's Lake - Photo courtesy of Banff Cragg and Canyon and Corrie DiManno

Just because the kids are heading back to school doesn’t mean there aren’t still some great days of summer to enjoy! Why not make it out to Banff for a last minute summer getaway to ease everyone in to the new term! And nothing says Canadian summer like a day by the lake. Lucky for you, Banff has several in its back yard. Here are some of our favorites.

Johnson's Lake (Pictured)
Great for: Family atmosphere and swimming!
A firm favorite with many families, with its beachy shore, picnic tables, hiking trail and accessibility from Banff. Johnson's Lake even has a secret rope swing (if you’re brave enough).

Cascade Ponds
Great for: Proximity to Banff and Picnics!
Great for a lazy, family day with covered picnic shelter with wood stoves plus outdoor picnic tables with fire-pits. Just remember to bring the hot dogs!

Vermillion Lakes
Great for: Wildlife spotting! Canadian geese, beavers and even a moose was recently spotted cooling off in the lake!
The closest lake to Banff! Follow the road out by car or easily accessible by bike, Vermillion Lakes gives you time to reflect on life while overlooking Sulphur Mt. and Mt. Rundle. Why not head down to the Blue Canoe docks to rent a kayak or canoe to see it all straight from the lake.

Lake Minnewanka
Great for: Lake activities
Whether it’s boating, fishing or sunbathing, Lake Minnewanka has it all. Only a 15 minute drive from Banff, it boasts some of a best mountains views (where doesn’t in Banff) with a great family atmosphere with picnic spots galore!

NEWSFLASH! Save big when coming to stay at the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets! With August from $139 and September from $125, you can save and play in the Rockies!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Best Webcams in Banff


Whether you’re looking up the area before your vacation or simply curious about the weather, Banff has enough webcams to see the town from every angle.Here are a few of our favorites!
The latest edition to Banff’s webcams; where you control the camera!

Ski Big3
Check out the conditions at the big 3 ski hills in town, any time of year (no snow yet!)

Blue Canoe
By the bow river, watch in real time the daily goings on by the Blue Canoe and kayak rental/

Banff Gondola
Feels like you are on top of the world with this one, from the top of Sulphur Mt. looking down over Banff./

Three Sisters Mt.
Straight from neighboring Canmore, this cam gives you a great view of the famous 3 sister’s mountain range.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets. Banff's Finest Family Accommodation.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Water Sports in Banff


Johnsons Lake - Taken August 12th 2011

Did someone say it’s August 16th? We’re not sure how that happened so quickly (it often does), but that doesn’t mean it’s time to bundle up and brace for winter. There are still a glorious number of days to grab hold of the warmth still yet to come, with the end of August and fantastic fall on the way; we’ve got some activities to help you savor summer.

What says Canadian summer more than a day by the lake, and believe us, you’ve got your pick in Banff National Park. Once you’ve driven to Banff, you might not fancy going much further, which is lucky for you because there are a number of beautiful lakes on your doorstep. These include Vermillion Lakes, Cascade Ponds, Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake, Lake Minnewanka and Spray Lakes.

Great for all ages and giving you a view like no other. Head down to the Blue Canoe docks in town to rent a canoe or kayak for a couple hours. Paddle up the Bow River or take the route to the peaceful Vermillion Lakes, for an unrivaled view of the area. Top Tip: Paddling back is downstream and is half the effort and the time!

Upper Hot Springs
Great at any time of year, enjoy the natural mineral waters at Banff Upper Hot Springs situated on Sulphur Mt. Soak up the view along with the spring water. Passes are also available on our Sightsee and Soak package!

Okay, we won’t pretend that our summers aren’t without the odd shower, so when the heavens do open, we do have Banff’s only indoor waterslides to keep you occupied! Everyone is welcome!

NEWSFLASH! We also have great savings available with our Summer Spectacular Saver with rooms for the end of August from $139 and September from $125! Click here for more information.

Savor summer, there’s still so much left to do!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Spectacular Sale


Believe it or not, we still have 43 days of summer left! Which means there is still a lot of BBQ’s, biking and swimming in lakes to be had! So why not do it in Banff, at the Douglas Fir Resort with our Summer Spectacular prices, for dates through August and September!

  • Prices for the last week in August start from $139*. Make the most of family time before the kids go back to school with a trip to Banff!
  • Prices for September start from $125!* A fantastic time of year! The weather is still warm and the trees are beginning to turn. Come spend it in the mountains for a truly spectacular end to your summer!

Click here for prices and to book!

Need more reasons to stay in September? Here are a few upcoming, not to be missed, events!

•    Sept 10th – Subaru Banff Triathlon. Swimming Two Jack Lake, cycling the Minnewanka Loop and running through Banff. 

•    Sep 16th – Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Think men, in heels, walking down Banff Avenue, raising money for a good cause.
Register here!
•    Sept 17th – Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Banff Centre’s new open air amphitheater!
•    Sept 18th – Terry Fox Run. Commemorating a great guy and raising money for a great cause.

Find the perfect hotel in Banff for you and your family, at the Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets.

 *Prices are based on 2 adults in a Studio. Limited dates available.


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Local’s Guide to Eating in Banff


Feeling hungry but faced with the dilemma of where to eat? When visiting Banff, you have your pick of the lot when it comes to eating out but it’s hard to tell where is worth spending your money! So, for the next couple weeks we will be recommending our favorite local restaurants in town, just for you.

The Maple Leaf Grille & Lounge
A rustic setting with a contemporary look, The Maple Leaf is an award winning dining room featuring Canadian cuisine in a lovely lodge style setting. Prized for its wine selection (over 600 bottles on the menu!) and fabulous choice of thick and succulent cuts of bison, elk, venison and beef not to mention the Lobster, crab, scallops, mussels and oysters are delivered fresh six days a week, the toughest decision is deciding what to eat. Great for a relaxing dinner or make it personal with a private function room, the Maple Leaf has the right mix of formality yet mountain hospitality to make you feel at home.

Giorgio’s Trattoria
You won’t find a more authentic Italian restaurant in town. A warm and friendly atmosphere will greet you as you walk in the door, with rich colors and dark woods, Giorgio’s brings the best of Italy and Canadian cuisine together. Take your pick from AAA Alberta Beef, market fresh fish, specially imported Parma ham, olive oil and cheeses and classic homemade pasta and traditional thin crust pizza baked in their famous wood burning oven. Their outdoor patio allows you to enjoy the great food and watch the action on Banff Ave, not to mention the mountain view!
Buon appetito!

$100 dinner vouchers are available for both restaurants with our Summer Splashes package! After all that food, we know just the place where you can come back, light a cozy fire, put your feet up and watch the sun set over the mountains.

Douglas Fir Resort, Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pet of the Year Competition – Winners for July!!


Wow! Talk about the competition heating up! July saw our biggest number of entries for our Pet of the Year Competition and what amazing entries they were! Due to the high number of entries we found the decision too hard, so we have 


 Captain Suki

Commander of the lakes, lifeguard to those in need, beach babe of Alberta, Captain Suki is here! With a love for the open water and the great outdoors, Suki is often seen soaking up the sun by the lake during summer. She also has a love for her remote control toy truck and (much to her owner’s discontent) chewing drywall and baseboards when people aren’t looking! To combat this, Suki’s owners keep her distracted with her own TV showing re-runs of Animal Planet!


An adorable Doodle (part Poodle, part Dachshund) with a fantastic personality, Leo has a taste for Tupperware and anything shiny. In-fact since Leo came to live with his family a total of 3 spoons, 2 poached egg cookers and a frying pan lid has gone missing! So to get him back in his family’s good books, Leo is our other winner for July!

 Honorable Mention!

Whilst we have two winners, we would like to extend an Honorable Mention to one more entry. This goes to Emma and her amazing back flipping skills. Never have we seen such a large dog, with such grace in the air. Pictured here in BC, Emma really shows off her skills and we are impressed to say the least.


Our two winners for July go into the running for the Pet of the Year Competition to win a 2 nights stay with us!

You can enter as many times as you like so please keep sending us your pet photos to We love seeing your photos!

Thank you to everyone who has entered so far!  

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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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