After a day on the slopes, the area around Banff can be a shopper’s paradise, with everything from local arts and crafts to wines and collectibles.

Most shopping opportunities exist on Banff Avenue's downtown blocks, and on Bear Street, which runs parallel to Banff Ave just one street over.

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel offers a range of shops with gifts, unique jewelry and clothing, while the Sundance Mall, on Banff Avenue, features even more shops, including one specializing in Canadian sportswear. The mall also is home to a skate and snowboard shop, as well as several restaurants, ranging from vegetarian to Korean, and The Fudgery

Just down the road from the Sundance Mall is the Cascade Plaza with even more restaurants, a full food court and a multi-story atrium. With 50 shops you might have a hard time getting back to the slopes. Unique shops in Cascade Plaza include the Banff outlets for Lush, which makes "fresh handmade cosmetics" and Lammle's Western Wear.

For that special souvenir for younger travelers (or those who didn’t get to go) take a trip to Banff’s ‘Animalland’ factory, on Banff Avenue. It is where you can create your own personalized stuffed animal. There are more than 80 animals, along with 60 outfits to choose from, and each animal comes with a custom birth certificate. Another great place to take the younger crowd is Rocks and Gems Canada (137 Banff Ave.); they are fascinated by the big bin of tumbled stones (their selections are packaged in a little zippered plastic bag, along with a short description of the stone and its properties) and the many fossils. The shop has two giant amethyst geodes on display, and a very large gemstone ammonite fossil as well.

The Banff Indian Trading Post is likely the oldest continually-operating gift shop in the town of Banff. Originally operating as the Sign of the Goat curio shop c.1900, it continues to sell local Native handicrafts such as smoke-tanned moccasins, peace pipes, tomahawks, as well as much more. Santa’s workshop isn’t there, but North Pole Gifts & Leathers in the Clock Tower Mall (which has a distinctive German alpine exterior with clock tower), offers Canadian hand-knit Cowichan sweaters, jewelry, and deer- and salmon-skin wallets, pursues and other leather goods.

For quality Canadian gifts that fall outside the realm of maple syrup, Cowichan sweaters, and deerskin slippers, try out The Quest Gallery (105 Banff Ave.) for the expensive, top-notch stuff, and Nijinska's Gifts (in the Town Centre Mall, on Caribou St. just off Banff Ave.), for items which are more affordable but still unique and beautiful. Rocky Mountain Soap (in Caribou Corner, on the corner of Banff Ave and Caribout St.) is a local company which makes soaps, bath salts, skin creams and lotions with all-natural ingredients. Sgt. Preston's Outpost, in the Clock Tower Mall, features merchandise licensed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

And don't forget wonderful edible treats that you can take away with you! The Fudgery, in the Sundance Mall (215 Banff Ave.) makes superb fudge and some good homemade chocolates and candy.  Cows (on Banff Ave. near Caribou St., near the Mt. Royal Hotel)specializes in delectable ice cream cones, and funny cow-themed t-shirts.   Bernard Callebaut Chocolates, tucked at the far end of Harmony Lane (111 Banff Ave.) makes world-class, award winning Belgian chocolates right in Alberta. Seaborn, a tiny shop on Wolf St., features smoked wild Pacific salmon, packed for air travel, and other gourmet treats.