If an urban adventure is what you’re after, there’s no better place to be than Calgary, Alberta. With plenty to do and see, you certainly won’t get bored – peruse the beautiful museums and art galleries during the day and get to know the breweries and restaurants by night!
However, if you’re not in the mood for hanging out in a city among throngs of people and being kept busy day in and day out, you can easily escape the city’s hustle and bustle for a few days. With a plethora of options for weekend getaways from Calgary, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere magical to go for a change of scenery and a little bit of peace and quiet.
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The Best Places to Go on Weekend Getaways from Calgary
Finding options for cool places to go for weekend getaways from Calgary is definitely not going to be a problem, however, the difficulty may come in when you’re trying to make up your mind! That’s why we’ve selected our two favorite places to go, along with cool things to do and places to stay, to make your life just that little bit easier.
Banff National Park
Enjoy a weekend in the mountains when you travel to Banff National Park. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, there’s no better place to visit than the beautiful Canadian Rockies. The perfect place to enjoy a combination of snow, adventure, and relaxation, the town of Banff is sure to show you a good time!
Distance from Calgary: 140 km
Duration of the Journey from Calgary to Banff: 1 and a half hours
Things to do in Banff National Park
Enjoy the Scenery
If spectacular scenery is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. Offering phenomenal views from incredible vantage points, you can take a walk, a drive, or even a ride in a gondola to really get the full experience.
The Banff Gondola is one of the best things to do in the area, whether you’d like to reach the summit and enjoy a meal or go for a hike along one of the beautiful trails. The gondola will take you to the Sulpher Mountain Summit from where you’ll be treated to sweeping views of six different mountain ranges as well as the Bow Valley. Find admission tickets here!
If you’d like to explore the region on foot, there are several trails available to enjoy. A few of the best trails in Banff are:
If the weather isn’t on your side, take a drive out to Fairmont Banff Springs in the heart of the national park. The journey is a beautiful one and if you keep your eyes peeled, you may even be able to spot some wildlife!
Looking for some activity recommendations? We suggest checking out this highly rated full day Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip or experience Banff at night on a Sunset and Star tour.
Whyte Museum of the Rockies
Banff isn’t only towering mountains and hiking trails. If history is more up your alley, you absolutely need to make a stop at the Whyte Museum of the Rockies.
Unlike anything you’ve experienced before, the museum has several permanent exhibits as well as new ones that pop up periodically. You can learn all about the area from a geographical and topographical perspective, as well from a social point of view. With exhibits on things like global warming in Canada as well as the history of the indigenous people from the area, there is so much to see at the Whyte Museum of the Rockies.
There’s even a digital vault where you can peruse phenomenal photographs or, if you’d like to learn as much as possible, do a guided tour of the museum.
Visit a Few of the Local Eateries and Breweries
If you’re spending all day adventuring out in the cold, you’re going to need some sustenance, and luckily, Banff has no shortage of fabulous places to eat and drink. The little town of Banff is vibrant and trendy, so you’ll find that eating out or enjoying a beer will be a fun, social experience!
If you’re a beer drinker, you’ll be in your element in Banff. Here are a few of the best breweries in the area:
- Banff Avenue Brewing Co.
- Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant
- Park Distillery Restaurant and Bar
- Sheepdog Brewing
- Blake Brewhouse and Distillery
The other cool thing to do in this quirky little town is hit the streets and enjoy a bit of shopping. Banff Avenue boasts a series of excellent stores just waiting to be perused. So if shopping is your thing, make a day of it – explore the shops, buy yourself a treat or two, and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the avenue when you need to refuel.
Where to Stay in Banff
Whether you’re looking for something boujee or an option that’s a little kinder to the budget, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Here are a few options for places to stay in Banff during your weekend trip from Calgary.
Moose Hotel and Suites
Enjoy a taste of luxury at the Moose Hotel and Suites. Boasting a cozy atmosphere, this top-notch accommodation option has everything you could possibly need during your stay – there’s even a spa and treatment center on site!
Peaks Hotel and Suites
Close to all the activities, Peaks Hotel and Suites is one of the newest Banff hotels with a top notch pool and spa. Here, you get the best of both worlds – the perfect hotel experience at a reasonable price!
The adventures from Calgary go beyond even the destinations in this article.
We have a full itinerary featuring more attractions,
more places to stay and more restaurants!
On the hunt for the perfect destination for romantic getaways near Calgary? Lake Louise ought to be at the top of your list. Fall in love next to the picturesque lake or explore the area with your favourite person in the world – you’re bound to have a weekend you’ll never forget.
Distance from Calgary: 190 km
Duration of Journey From Calgary to Lake Louise: 2 hours
Things to do in Lake Louise
Go on a Hike
You simply can’t go on a weekend trip to Lake Louise without going on a scenic hike with your partner in crime. Best of all, there are options for visitors of all skill levels. If you’re only moderately fit or don’t enjoy walking far, take a little stroll around the lake.
But if you’re keen on working up a sweat and getting some proper exercise, you can turn your stroll into a full-blown hike. Enjoy a two mile hike up to the Lake Agnes Tea House and then another 2.5 miles to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. Get yourself a drink and a snack and enjoy the views from the top before making your way back down.
Try out an Open Top Shuttle ride if your legs are tired and there is more sights to see!
Do Activities on the Lake
It all depends on which time of year you’re visiting, but regardless of the season you take your weekend trip from Calgary, you’ll have plenty to do at the lake. During the summertime, hit the water on a canoe or a kayak and take in the picturesque views all around you as you make your way around the lake.
If you’re visiting in winter, don’t fret – there’s loads to do! It just may be a little colder. During the winter, Lake Louise, which is a glacier-fed lake, freezes over, allowing for the possibility of many fun activities. Best of all, a little natural ice rink is formed and you can visit and have a skate on Lake Louise – pretty cool, right?
Take Advantage of the Snow
There’s no shortage of outdoor activities to do at Lake Louise. If you’re into slightly more traditional pastimes, you can go skiing in the area. Or, if you’d like to try something a little more unusual, why not go dog sledding or snow shoeing? If you’re visiting with the kids, they’re sure to enjoy a good old sleigh ride – bonus if it’s Christmas time!
If you’d like something a little more organized, you can even do a winter tour to Lake Louise. That way, you’ll get to see all the important things and you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Where to Stay at Lake Louise
Regardless of when you’re visiting, you’re going to want a cozy and comfortable spot to enjoy cuddling up in the evenings and having your coffee in the mornings – romantic getaways near Calgary don’t get better than that! Here area few different options for accommodation at Lake Louise.
Fairmont Château Lake Louise
When you’re enjoying a romantic weekend away, you don’t want to have to think about anything other than having a good time with your partner. Fairmont Château Lake Louise offers all the luxuries you could possibly want and more.
Lake Louise Inn
If you’d rather something smaller and little more quaint, Lake Louise Inn will be the perfect place for you. Centrally located, this inn is cute, comfortable, and budge friendly.
Three days aren’t enough for your travels?
Experience these destinations to their fullest with our 6 day winter itinerary!
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park may be a little farther than the other two destinations, but the drive up these picturesque mountains will make the drive absolutely worth it! With smaller crowds than Banff, you will feel like you have this whole outdoor wonderland just for your romantic getaway from Calgary without sacrificing the most delicious food and exciting attractions.
Distance from Calgary: 480 km
Duration of the Journey from Calgary to Banff: 4 and a half hours
Things to do in Jasper National Park
Experience from above
The sights are incomparable in Jasper National Park and there is no better way to see it than by taking to the sky! Jasper SkyTram is a seven minute flight that ascends 2,263 metres towards a magnificent overlook where you can see lakes rivers, six mountain ranges and the town of Jasper itself. While visiting, be on the look out for Mountain Goats, Pikas, and the White-tailed Ptarmigan! Adventure Packages are offered if you are a true adrenaline junkie.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk is another way to take in the wonders of Jasper. This 1 km long suspended glass platform will take you 280 plus metres into the sky. You will find fossils, waterfalls, glacial landscape, and more. Grab your admission tickets here!
Admire Mother Nature’s creations
You go explore high and low in Jasper National Park. Maligne Canyon is the deepest canyon in the Rockies which goes as deep at 50 metres. Taking a tour through the canyon will send you across as many as six bridges. The first and second bridges will offer an easier trek with the second being the highest above the canyon. Be sure to venture to the third bridge to snap the perfect photo of you and your best travel partner in front of the waterfall.
A hike through Cavell Meadows loops you through lush floral greenery while catching sights of Angel Glacier and Kettle Lake! So much landscape to see in just 8 km. Be sure to grab a couple extra layers as this venture will be chillier than the surrounding areas.
We have some highly rated adventures for unique ways to experience Jasper National Park:
Take to the lakes
Not much is more relaxing than a day by the water. The glaciers around Jasper feed Lake Edith. Here you can swim, kayak, paddleboard and more. No gas motors are allowed which is great for a perfect beach day on your weekend getaway from Calgary.
Maligne Lake is another water body you should certainly add to your list of activities. Known for its uniquely colored azure water, you can see three glaciers from the lake and visit Spirit Island. This lake is also home to many wildlife such as moose, mountain sheep, caribou, mule deer and more. We suggest this guided half day excursion for all the best sights of the lake, canyon and more or focus more on the wildlife and canyons check out this guided experience.
Where to stay in Jasper National Park
Whether you are looking for a rustic lodge or an amenity filled hotel, Jasper accommodations are hard to beat. Here are just a few of our suggestions to lay your head at night after an exciting day out in the park.
The Crimson Jasper
The Crimson Jasper is as close to the downtown experience as you can get. Minutes from Jasper Railway Station, Jasper Park Information Centre, and all the best local restaurants to fuel back up on. Best part? It is pet friendly for your four legged adventure partner.
Bear Hill Lodge
Close enough to walk downtown or get lost in the adventure of the park, Bear Hill Lodge has multiple accommodation types from cabin, cottages, and more. You will have the perfect peaceful stay for your weekend getaway from Calgary
Final Thoughts on Weekend Getaways From Calgary
There you have it! As much as the lovely city of Calgary is a wonderful place to both live and visit, sometimes you just need a little break from the constant hustle and bustle. Luckily, it’s located in an extraordinary area, meaning that there are endless options if you’re looking for weekend getaways from Calgary.
We’ve given you a few of the best places to go that are within a reasonable driving distance, so you don’t have to spend the whole day in the car. Offering so many cool things to do and gorgeous places to stay, all you have to do is pick the getaway of your choice and hit the road. Happy traveling!
Frequently Asked Questions
Pyramid Lake Road, Fairmont’s Jasper Park Lodge, Maligne Lake Road to name a few!
Yes! Check out the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Boathouse. Keep in mind that during summer months, the boathouse works on a first come first serve basis and the lake can become busy during peak hours. Also the hotel runs the dock and give priority to hotel guests.
Access to Banff will require daily admission fees ranging from adult and senior fees with youth being free. Banff Park Museum National Historic Site also has its own admission fees. We recommend checking out the Canada Parks Discovery Pass which gets you access to multiple parks across Canada