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Mt. Norquay
Sunshine Village
Thu, 31 Aug 2023

Banff vs Lake Louise vs Canmore: Which is Best For Your Stay?

Banff and Lake Louise is like something out of a fairytale. Imagine snow-covered peaks, frozen lakes that sparkle, and cozy mountain towns with three unimaginable ski resorts: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resorts, and Mt. Norquay. It feels like you could be dreaming. With three picturesque towns to choose from, choosing the best place to stay can be a challenge. Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore all offer something unique and will make your trip to Banff and Lake Louise truly unforgettable. Keep reading to discover which town is the perfect fit for your stay.


Banff Town


If you're looking for a magical winter wonderland getaway, look no further. The town of Banff, nestled in the heart of Banff National Park, is a true gem that attracts visitors from all over the world. From the moment you arrive, you'll be swept away by the cozy ski-town vibe. Banff offers an endless variety of dining options, as well as traditional Canadian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. You simply can't leave without trying the classic poutine. For those who love to shop, the high street is lined with boutique stores and gift shops offering unique souvenirs to take back home. You'll also find the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub on Banff Avenue for all your skiing, riding, and rental needs.


Let's not forget the skiing! To get to the resorts there are free ski shuttles conveniently located around town, making it super easy to access the three world-class ski resorts. Mt. Norquay is just 10 minutes from town, Banff Sunshine is 20 minutes, and Lake Louise is 45 minutes west of town.


Banff is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with local artists showcasing their work and museums offering fascinating insights into the town's history and Banff National Park. Sound like a dream? Make it a reality. Banff is the perfect place to stay if you're looking to enjoy some magical ski-town vibes with dining and snowy experiences right on your doorstep.



Banff Town with Cascade Mountain and 4 People Crossing the road in Banff Town with the beautiful views of Cascade Mountain | Photo by Grant Gunderson


Lake Louise Village


Lake Louise is a hidden gem located just off the Trans-Canada Highway, making it easily accessible. Just 40 minutes west of Banff, this quaint hamlet offers a variety of charming restaurants and accommodation options. Unlike Banff, Lake Louise is smaller and quieter, providing a peaceful escape to the mountains and nature. 


One of the best things about Lake Louise is the iconic lake, located just five kilometers up from the hamlet, directly across the valley from Lake Louise Ski Resort. Trust us when we say that it's a must-see destination with a view that will take your breath away. 


Free ski shuttles are also available from the village to Lake Louise Ski Resort which are speedy and convenient. It only takes 10 minutes from the lake and 5 minutes from the village. Plus, on specific days of the week, you can catch a shuttle to Banff Sunshine. 


Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with Ski Resort in background Views of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise surrounded by nothing but mountains | Photo by Paul Zizka




As you begin your journey from Calgary International Airport into the mountains, your first stop is the enchanting town of Canmore. Located just outside of Banff National Park, Canmore is a stunning mountain town that offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. With a wide range of accommodation options from family-friendly hotels to condo suites, you can choose a comfortable base camp that suits your travel needs. Canmore also offers a range of restaurants, shops, and a recreation center.


From Canmore, you can easily access Banff through community bus services. However, to make the most of your mountain adventure, we recommend using a personal vehicle. By car, you can reach Mt. Norquay in just 30 minutes, Banff Sunshine in 35 minutes, and Lake Louise Ski Resort in 55 minutes.


Two people crossing the pedestrian bridge in Canmore Crossing a pedestrian bridge in the picturesque town of Canmore | Photo by Travel Alberta / Mike Seehagel


Ready to book your adventure?


Whether you're looking for a cozy ski town vibe or a quiet and peaceful mountain retreat, there's something for everyone in Banff and Lake Louise. Take a look at the hotel and lodging options available. With endless activities, dining options, and stunning natural beauty Banff National Park is the perfect destination for your next adventure. So what are you waiting for? Our friendly reservations team will help you book your stay today and experience the magic of the Canadian Rockies!