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Visiting Banff During Phase Two



We left our bubble for the first time since March 14th, when COVID-19 shut Alberta down, to Banff last weekend. While we were anxious about filling the streets of the Bow Valley and hopefully, not adding to a problem of overcrowded streets, we really (really) needed to leave town and have a change of scenery. What better scenery than Banff?

We stayed at the Moose Hotel which is close to downtown and has an amazing rooftop patio with a fire pit and a hot tub (hot tub is currently closed). There is an indoor pool that is open for kids to enjoy.

Banff itself hasn’t changed, but what is different is knowing that everyone there that is visiting Banff is Canadian. That, one of the top tourist attractions for international visitors to Canada was filled with… Canadians. No tourist busses, just Canucks and their cars politely going about their business in Banff. If was very very cool.

I did have a very Canadian moment when in the IGA at 9 pm on a Saturday night in Banff with a “no you go first” standoff with some students. I’m chuckling to myself and then realized we weren’t the only ones trying to outdo ourselves being polite.  It was amazing. Way to go fellow Canucks.

We were in Banff for a total of 18 hours, it was a last-minute trip to get out of the damn house, and the best part (aside from the Canadian standoff) was the main street.

A ” portion of Caribou Street, between Banff Avenue and the Bear Street laneway, and the Banff Avenue and Beaver Street laneway” has been closed to create a pedestrian zone which is AMAZING. COVID has created so much trouble, but a real positive has been the idea of creating spaces for people and not cars. The extra space is amazing! You’re not running into people on the small sidewalk, and being pushed into the road into the traffic. Plus there’s so much patio space. I really hope this is something that is kept after we get through this pandemic.

A portion of Banff Avenue is closed down and it’s GLORIOUS

What do you need to know about traveling to the Bow Valley and Banff during Covid?

  • Wear your mask.
  • Distance yourself from people you’re not traveling with.
  • Wash your filthy hands (even if they’re not filthy, wash them anyway).
  • BE RESPECTFUL of your servers and anyone in the service industry. Banff had a 90% unemployment rate at the height of the lockdown, and they’re opening up the town for you to enjoy.
  • Be nice. Create “Canadian Standoff” where you can’t help yourself and be polite.
  • Tip extra.
  • Wear a mask (yes, I’m saying this again) and don’t breathe all over people.

Enjoy your travels to the beautiful Rocky Mountains.