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Concerns arising!

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posts: 2
Concerns arising!

having pretty much fallen in love with Banff upon finding it in a brochure i rushed out and booked us a 7 day holiday from December 1st. The promise of snow and the activities listed were just good not to throw a mass of money into it but things are starting to develop and im getting concerned we may be expecting things we wont get.....

heres where i need help ........

- what are the typcial weather conditions in December? i guess i bought the travel agent speel about the guarentee of snow but looking closer it doesnt seem to be a heavy covering that time of year usually

- what activities are there to do? i was looking at canoeing and sleigh rides as part of the holiday but im being told these are seasonal events and wont be available.

- what time of year do the christmas lights and decorations usual go up in Banff? This was a selling point for my girlfriend to see the amazing lights reflecting in the snow but again its been suggested this might not actually happen so early

- how easy is it to get around Banff and the surrounding areas via local transport?

- the ��1700 cost laid down just for accomodation and flights doesnt include any activity so we are in desperate need of fnding the best value for money tours and activities. Things such as husky dog rides and snow mobile tours are a must but im seeing such a range of prices. if anyone can suggest places or tour operators then that would be a big help also!

- wheres the best places to hit town on the night? my girlfriend and i are both fairly lively so somewhere to dance would be ideal

- if anyone has stayed in Brewsters Mountain Lodge id also be interested to know your opinions on the place.

- if anyone knows of any good guide books available in the UK that would be a big help too

hope to hear from you guys and gals soon as although months away things have stressed me out in the last week just researching our vacation! I saw it as possibly the nicest place i'd ever go and somewhere that would be perfect to propose to my g/f so you can probably understand my, quite possibly over exaggerated and unnecersary, stressing!!!

thanks everyone!

Edmonton, AB
posts: 304
reviews: 9
1. Re: Concerns arising!

While nothing is ever "guaranteed" in terms of Canadian weather, it is extremely likely that there will be snow for your visit. There have usually been at least a couple of substantial snowfalls by then.

As for activities, canoeing is absolutely out. If the lakes aren't frozen by then, they'd be close to it. As long as there is snow, sleigh rides will be available. Try Holiday on Horseback (www.horseback.com). For other activities try www.banfflakelouise.com and click on "things to do". They have links to a number of sites offering sled dog tours, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skiing, ice fishing and more.

I would highly recommend a visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs. It is an outdoor spring-fed hot pool that is open year-round. It is absolutely amazing to sit in the warm pool with the cold air looking at the amazing scenery.

I've never been to Banff in December, but I'm pretty sure the Christmas lights will be up by then. Most places in Canada seem to do it by the last week of November.

There are lots of great guidebooks put out by local Alberta publishers, but they are not available in the UK. Try the Lonely Planet guidebook for Banff, Jasper and Glacier National Parks. That one should have international distribution.

Banff is lovely and romantic. You and your girlfriend will have a wonderful time.

East sussex,england
posts: 6
2. Re: Concerns arising!

I have spent two xmas' in Banff, staying at the Caribou Lodge, excellent hotel, warm friendly surroundings, open log fire in reception, hot tubs, sauna/steam room, small gym - Keg Restaurant at the Caribou excellent. On both stays in Banff in December/New Year we have had excellent snow fall, skiiing conditions great in Sunshine Village/Lake Louise.

Look into getting a Tri area pass which will save you money - it will cover your pick up from hotel on bus and also your gondola ride to the slopes.

Xmas lights were definitely up both times on visiting, outside and in the shops/malls, it felt so much like christmas, very romantic - you must go to the "Spirit of Christmas" shop on the main Banff Avenue, everything to do with Christmas you will fill find there. Also sleigh rides locally in the park that can be arranged.

A great evening out is the saddle dome in Calgery - we visited on New Years Eve to see the Calgary Flames, fantastic atmosphere, great time had by all.

Hope you have a great holiday, we are visiting ourselves this xmas/new year for our vacation, can't wait to arrive in Banff, Canada is such a beautiful country and the Canadian people are the best.

Julie from Sussex

posts: 2
3. Re: Concerns arising!

Thanks both! you have really eased my nerves and worries! guess you always want things to be perfect, and the slightest thing can be a worry! excited to see the christmas lights!!! (think ive reverted back to the age of 8!!!

East sussex,england
posts: 6
4. Re: Concerns arising!

I totally fell in love with Banff - its the most beautiful place, you will not regret for one minute your decision to book to go there - i have been counting the days to go back myself! Happy Holidays guaranteed!