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Travel Thursday: Heaven on Earth in Banff

Destination: Banff

Dates: August 1-6, 2023

Travelers: Sharon & Chuck Phillips and Ronnie & Kim Byrd


Choosing the Destination

Sharon Phillips, Public Information Officer for City of Zachary, along with her husband Chuck and their best friends, Ronnie and Kim Byrd, recently traveled to Banff, a resort town in Alberta, Canada.

The travelers choose Banff after hearing that Lake Louise was one of the most beautiful places to visit, with its vivid turquoise waters and soaring mountain peaks encircling the lake.


“We all love to hike and also wanted to canoe on the glacial waters. In Banff, we enjoyed the hiking, breathtaking sites, and the adorable little village with rooftop restaurants. Banff National Park also had turquoise blue water set against the evergreen forests. We could see wildlife roaming freely, such as elk, jackrabbits, and chipmunks.” -Sharon Phillips


“The air was crisp and gave us a much-needed reprieve from the weather in Louisiana. The Highs were 72 and the low was 49 degrees.”











Exceeding Expectations

Sharon highly recommends staying at the Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise. “The views were amazing! We also loved our dinner at the Fairview Lounge overlooking Lake Louise.”

All avid hikers, some of the best moments of the trip were spent hiking Lake Agnes to the Lake Agnes Teahouse for tea and biscuits. A 2.4 mile trip uphill with 1,500 elevations higher than the base of the trail. They also hiked the Johnston Canyon, a deep mountain canyon with many beautiful waterfalls. “We hiked to Peyto Lake, often referred to as Wolf’s Head Lake, as the lake is shaped in a way that the north half of the lake looks like a head of a wolf.”

A canoe ride on Lake Louise’s turquoise waters is a must do, as well as a Lake Minnewanka Boat Cruise. Fun fact: Lake Minnewanka is where Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum kissed while rafting the river in the 1953 movie River of No Return.

Other highlights included a ride on the Banff Gondola and lunch at Sky Bistro, with a total elevation gain of 7486 feet above sea level, allowing for amazing panoramic views.

Sharon also recommends having dinner at the Fairmont Banff Springs Restaurant. “The sights were stunning, the Italian food was delicious, and you really felt like you were in a castle.”





Words of Wisdom

“I wish I had trained on a stair climber before hiking!” says Sharon. “Next time, I will have a handy conversion of Canadian kilometers.”

She also advised travelers to book in advance to see Lake Moraine.  “We found out it books weeks in advance and was not accessible by car, only by tour bus. We were disappointed to go that far without seeing it.”



Ultimately, Sharon describes Banff as the perfect romantic getaway that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Simply “Heaven on Earth.”

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