Calgary, Alberta Canada
Traveling to Banff has been a dream of mine for years!! Although definitely worth every bit of travel, here are the logistics for actually getting there.
We flew from Toronto into Calgary which is the hub for travelers to Banff. It is a big city that is definitely worth checking out if you have time. They were the hosts of the 1988 Winter Olympics, so if you are interested in Olympic history, there are some interesting things you can explore! Also, Calgary is an hour and a half away from Banff! If you arrive late in the day or have an early morning departure flight, I would would recommend staying in Calgary for a night. It worked great for us!
You will need to rent a car in your travels to Banff (unless you want to travel around by bus, however probably not with little kids). J We chose Europcar, and it was very reasonably priced! We decided to bring our own car seats. Renting car seats an get expensive so whenever possible we like to bring our own. Basically the only time we don’t bring our own car seats is when we aren’t renting a car the entire time. It’s SUPER annoying to lug around car seats onto trains and what not. If you decide to bring your own car seats for the car rental it is free to stow them under the plane (unlike luggage if you are flying domestic) so that is a huge perk!
When we arrived in Calgary we picked up our car seats and waited at a designated spot to take a bus from the airport over to the car rental office. It is about a 5-10 minute drive away. There were car rental offices right at the airport, so if you don’t want to have to wait for a bus transfer, I would recommend choosing a different company. However, we really loved our Europcar rental and they even upgraded us to a minivan which was so spacious!
We stayed at the Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel, which was sooo close to the airport, it was perfect! Our room was fantastic! A family suite including a big living area with a pull out couch and table, huge bathroom, and a separate master bedroom. Matt and I LOVE having a separate room from the boys because generally we like to stay up a little later than them and it’s nice to keep a light on and not have to whisper! By far, the best part of the hotel (and the whole vacation, according to Dylan) is their two huge water slides! Dylan had a BLAST taking the two story slides down and splashing in the water, Matt and I even enjoyed it as well! I also really appreciated that the hotel provided life jackets for our non-swimmers. Bringing “swimmies” for the boys would have taken up way too much space in our luggage. It is always so helpful when the hotel provides everything you need, and that is how we felt about the Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel.
Some places with kids we would recommend visiting from the Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel are:
- Calgary Zoo and Prehistoric Park www.calgaryzoo.com
- Canada Olympic Park
- Calgary Tower and Revolving Restaurant www.calgarytower.com
- Hangar Flight Museum www.thehangarmuseum.ca
- Dinosaur Providential Park (a couple hours from Calgary but, from what we heard, well worth the visit!)
I really could not say enough good things about our trip to the Canadian Rockies and I can't wait to share with you more sights and attractions in the beautiful district of Calgary!