What to eat, drink, and do in this winter wonderland.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Exterior in Winter
Courtesy of Fairmont Banff Springs

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts.

Louise Tuck Headshot

Courtesy of Louise Tuck

Meet the Insider: Louise Tuck, Co-Founder of Elite Jetsetter

Location: Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta

Louise Tuck is a born-and-raised Banff local with a passion for exploration. She and her partner, Rob, founded Elite Jetsetter in 2015, where the duo run a blog and content creation studio focused on luxury travel. When they’re not showcasing some of the region’s unique experiences, they enjoy exploring their beautiful backyard in the Rocky Mountains. Here are their recommendations for the winter wonderland that is the Canadian Rockies in Banff and Lake Louise, which also shines in the upcoming spring shoulder season.


Fairmont Banff Springs Rundle Bar
The Rundle Bar at The Fairmont Banff Springs

Courtesy of The Fairmont Banff Springs

The Fairmont Banff Springs is, in one word, iconic. Once you enter through the main doors, you absolutely feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a period of class, luxury, and comfort. With 10 world-class dining experiences located on-site, there’s almost no need to leave. Other favorites in Lake Louise include The Post Hotel & Spa and the Beaujolais Boutique B&B, whose hosts provide a wealth of knowledge when it comes to exploring the mountains in Banff.


Sky Bistro Dining Room
The Sky Bistro dining room

Courtesy of the Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit

Trailhead Cafe is a great option for breakfast on the go. The Sky Bistro at Sulphur Mountain Gondola is absolutely gorgeous and offers 360-degree views from the gondola tower. This is easily the most beautiful restaurant in Banff. Watch the sunset over the mountains and feel like you’re on top of the world. Or, for an awesome alpine fondue experience, stop by Walliser Stube, famous for its “Château” fondue experience. For a sweet treat, stop by The Fudgery for their renowned selection of mountain-themed sweets. The bear claws are a must-try!


Park Distillery Food and Drink
Park Distillery

Courtesy of Park Distillery

Shoku Izakaya is home to the most creative and delicious Asian-inspired cocktail menu in the Bow Valley. The mango togarashi mojito is essential. Park Distillery, in Banff National Park, is a distillery, restaurant, bar, and store serving local handmade spirits and campfire cuisine.


Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours

Mike Seehagel/Courtesy of Snowy Owl Dog Sled Tours

With some of the best snow and most diverse terrain in the Rocky Mountains, a visit to Lake Louise Ski Resort is a must-do in winter. On a clear day you can even spot the world-famous blue lake across the valley. Make some cute, furry new friends and explore the mountains by sled dog with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours—one of the most Canadian activities you can find! Fun fact: These dogs were used in the Disney movie Togo. After a long day of hiking or skiing the mountain parks, head south to Kootenay National Park, a hot-spring mecca for tired muscles during the winter.