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With the snow-capped Rockies as its backdrop, pretty Banff – at the heart of Banff National Park – is one of Canada’s most photogenic towns. In winter, it draws skiers for its top-notch slopes; by summer, it’s a wildlife enthusiast’s dream, with bear and elk sightings moments from your doorstep. Stay at one of these friendly B&Bs, and you’ll have all the energy you need for tackling mountain hikes or visiting luminously turquoise glacial lakes.
Set in Canmore, at the gateway to Banff National Park, this B&B puts nature first: it’s so cozied by mature trees that it practically feels like it’s floating above the forest. True to its name, artistic touches are found at every turn, from stained-glass windows to wood carvings; many were designed by owner Valerie Knowlden, who built the retreat, along with her husband. Book the Treehouse Suite for a bird’s-eye view of the green surrounds.
This Victorian-style inn is a real throwback to Canada’s frontier days. Just two rooms – each with their own lounging decks – give it an intimate feel, so after a day spent exploring the nearby shops it really feels as though you’re returning home. There’s a barbecue area where you can grill up a feast, but this is a prime location, minutes from the many restaurants in the heart of Banff. With options ranging from steak to sushi, you can just as easily head out for dinner.