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Things to do in Banff for non-skiers (Mom) in Mohter's Day?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Need some input for those who had been to Banff/Lake Luise...

I thought I'd treat my Mom to Mother's Day in Banff. I know Banff is more than just a skiing destination. What's the top list of things to do to amuse non-skiers?

Now why this does belong to a skiing forum: I'd like to sneak in a day or two of skiing since the resorts stay open till Sunday 5/19. So...

If you only have one (or two) days to ski, which mountain(s) would you go? And which to skip till next time? Mind you, this is for May condition.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 22

Last Question First

If you're skiing in May in Banff and just have a day or two, you should start with Sunshine. I have no idea what conditions are like right now, but I'm going to guess, based on past experience, that Lake Louise will have snow at upper elevations, but you're going to need to ride a bus from the parking lot to the mid-level lifts to avoid all the mud. At Sunshine you can take the gondola to treeline and ski above treeline with no problems, then take the gondola back down if the ski-out to the parking lot is closed.

Edited: Let me amend the foregoing. If you want to ski this week, Sunshine is your only option. Lake Louise, Norquay and Nakiska are closed for the season.

As for what to do in Banff if you don't ski, Mom could spend an entire day just getting lost in the Banff Springs Hotel - no I'm not kidding. Golf if the course is open. Fly fishing. Take the gondola at Sulphur Mountain for sightseeing. Go to the hot springs. Drive to Calgary....
post #3 of 22
The town of Banff is a good destination too.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Is Sunshine worth skiing for a day then?
post #5 of 22

Absolutely

One of my favorite places to ski. Love it. The place I think of as being most comparable in the US is A-Basin because so much of it is above treeline. But, because of the latitute, the treeline in Banff is at much lower elevation, and the peak is only about 8900ft instead of 13000ft. .
post #6 of 22
There's a bunch of great bars. Go get Mom loaded.

Or there's always a spa. I imagine there's a full-range of spa prices, up to and including the Banff Springs Fairmont.

Martini's are cheaper.
post #7 of 22
I love it... It's a Mother's day trip... To a freakin' ski resort... And mom doesn't even ski! ... Love ya' mom...

Guys, are you listening? This man is a genius!!! Plan your next anniversary now- "But baby, Whistler has AWESOME stores and restaurants!"
post #8 of 22
If mom has a full day and a car, the drive up the Icefields Parkway and a stop at the visitors center at the Columbia Icefields is a trip that should not be missed.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
If mom has a full day and a car, the drive up the Icefields Parkway and a stop at the visitors center at the Columbia Icefields is a trip that should not be missed.
That's a drive I want to do also! )

Thanks guys, for all the tips. It'll be decided today or tomorrow if the trip will actually happen.
post #10 of 22
If you have the time a drive to the ice fields would be something everyone will enjoy.
If you like to quietly watch the world go by, a beverage on the patio of the big hotel at Lake Louise looking up at the glacier is one of the prettiest places I've ever seen.
Likewise a vistit to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is a must do event. Even the tour is fun. It's one of the great hotels of the world. and last but not least, an unlimited AmEx card for shopping downtown Banff will make any mom happy, even if you leave her for a day or two to go skiing!
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoWork View Post
I love it... It's a Mother's day trip... To a freakin' ski resort... And mom doesn't even ski! ... Love ya' mom...

Guys, are you listening? This man is a genius!!! Plan your next anniversary now- "But baby, Whistler has AWESOME stores and restaurants!"
I didn't invent it. I just copied it.

This year at Aspen ESA, there's this guy from Australia. I mean all the way from Australia!!! He's there with his wife but she doesn't ski...:

Turns out (according to him), his wife loves the winter landscape and would happily amuse herself while he skis his legs out!!! And they were doing something like a 3 weeks (or more) tour of all the great resorts of the Rockies. AND, it wasn't the first time he pulled that stunt!!!

So, I know my Mom also likes winter, even though she doesn't ski. She drool over my pictures when I come back from skiing trips. I'll see how well this work out...
post #12 of 22
Skiing might be a good plan for the weekend. This will be your last chance to catch the Goat's Eye area.

You could bring your mom up the sunshine gondola. It might be a good idea if the weather is nice and skies are clear. The veiws from the village are really great and there will be snow up there. Banff itself won't be too wintery. I think there are some country bands playing and a "redneck rodeo". Probably pretty cheesey but it could be fun.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
I didn't invent it. I just copied it.

This year at Aspen ESA, there's this guy from Australia. I mean all the way from Australia!!! He's there with his wife but she doesn't ski...:

Turns out (according to him), his wife loves the winter landscape and would happily amuse herself while he skis his legs out!!! And they were doing something like a 3 weeks (or more) tour of all the great resorts of the Rockies. AND, it wasn't the first time he pulled that stunt!!!

So, I know my Mom also likes winter, even though she doesn't ski. She drool over my pictures when I come back from skiing trips. I'll see how well this work out...
WOW! That is awesome. My hat off to you,(and the Australian) sir. Multitasking at its best. I'm sure mom will have a blast and you'll no doubt squeeze in some great turns- a man after my own heart! Have fun having your cake and eating it too! :
post #14 of 22
Like everyone else has said, there's shopping in downtown Banff, the Banff Springs, and plenty of hiking and sightseeing to do. There's also the Banff Hot Springs, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, which has some pretty neat stuff.
post #15 of 22
I think every mother would love a spa treatment at the Banff Springs. At least I know mine did when my mother treated her to one several years ago.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'll be there a few days on my own also. Where's a good decent place to stay but not quite as expensive as the Fairmount Spring or the Chateau Lake Louise? (need to leave some change for lift tickets! )

Clean and tidy will do. A wirlpool would be great!
post #17 of 22
1. Sulphur Mountain Gongola with lunch on top of Sulphur Mountain
2. If the snow melts by Mother’s day, hike Johnston Canyon.
3. Check out any concerts at the Banff Centre - you can do this over the web - they often have good Jazz, classical concerts, or dance.
4. Spend some time in the upper hot spring
5. Take your Mom out to Mother’s day brunch at the Banff Springs Hotel - (get you reservations early)
6. Lots of great restaurants (Maple Leaf, Coyotes, Ticino - in Banff & Crazy Weed in Canmore — to name a few.
7. For local history - Whyte Museum


John
post #18 of 22
Looks like you might luck out with timing.

There has been a foot of snow in the last 24 hours.....probably on the heavy side but still soft.
post #19 of 22
I like the Inns of Banff, but it's on the edge of town (i.e. closer to the slopes) and a pretty good hike or a short shuttle ride to towntown. If you want something closer to downtown, the Aspen Inn is nice also.

Both are much cheaper than the Fairmont properties in Banff & Lake Louise, though not by any means the cheapest options in Banff.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Another question about the area. How far is Jasper from Banff?

Mapquest said it's about 4 hours but that's not accounting for stopping and gapping at views, nor traffic if there's any. Realistically, is that a half day leasurely drive or is it an all day affair?

Basically, should we plan for staying at Jasper overnight? (or leave it alone for next trip? )
post #21 of 22
Well it's Mother's Day and I hope you remembered the card. Just got mine 10 minutes ago!
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
My Mom got ME (and a trip to Banff) instead of a card...
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