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We visited Banff at one of the busiest times of the year in September. Summer is obviously a popular time to visit, but surprisingly September is quite busy as well. We went during the American Labor Day Weekend since that is when we can both get extended time off work. However, we didn’t realize that Canada had the exact same dates for their Labor Day holiday. Regardless, Banff has become increasingly popular in recent years, so many of these Do’s and Don’ts can apply to throughout the year.
wake up early
for the sunrise. The sunrises are gorgeous and you will practically have the place to yourself. It’s also pretty much guaranteed you’ll get a parking spot (they are very limited in Banff) if you arrive early to popular attractions.
park in the surrounding neighborhoods
if the downtown public parking lots are full. Parking in the lots are pretty limited during peak hours. We found street parking in the neighborhoods, but make sure you are with someone who knows how to parallel park .
rent a car
if you don’t like waiting for the shuttle buses. There is plenty of shuttle bus services in Banff, but if you like to get around yourself navigating Banff is very easy. Just be aware that parking is quite limited this time of year.
make reservations for the Banff Gondola
online before you go. This will save you time when you get there and you also get a designated expedited line.
pack your winter clothes
because September can be quite chilly in the mornings and evenings. If you make a trip up to any of the summits, it’s definitely going to be cold.
try night photography
with a Banff local. We found a photography experience with a local from Banff and learned some new night photography skills.
eat at peak hours
or you’ll be waiting for a while to be seated. Eating at peak hours means long wait lines at almost anyplace you go, especially in downtown Banff. Try going right before the rush to avoid the 1.5-2 hour wait times.
ride the Lake Louise Gondola
during this time of year. There really isn’t much to do at this gondola ride, so we recommend skipping this one. Take the Banff Gondola ride instead.
buy water at the park’s attractions
unless you want to pay higher prices for water. We bought a 12 pack of water to store (at a convenience store) in our hotel room. This saved us from having to buy water by the bottle. You’ll definitely be thirsty from the all the walking and hiking.
If you are planning a trip to Banff, we hope these “Do’s and Don’ts” come in handy. We had a wonderful time in Banff and can’t wait to return as there is still so much that we want to see at this beautiful National Park.