Canadian Rocky Mountain TownSurrounded by the peaks of Mt. Cascade and Mt. Rundle, Banff is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Ample opportunities exist for hiking, exploring glacier-fed lakes, biking, mountain climbing and other outdoor activities.

Not only does Banff offer unparalleled views of the Canadian wilderness, the Alberta destination also provides visitors opportunities to dine, shop and explore art galleries. While you may be considering a trip to Banff, you’re not the only one who thinks a trip to the national park would be lovely. According to officials from Parks Canada, Banff saw more than 4 million visitors in 2016.

When traveling to the heart of the Canadian Rockies, consider staying in a less densely populated destination. After all, a vacation should be a time to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy nature, uninterrupted.

Enter, Canmore — a remarkable mountain town just a short 5-minute drive from the gates of Banff National Park. Although close in proximity, Canmore offers solitude, which means it’s not so congested with selfie-taking tourists. Like Banff, Canmore is positioned among the Rockies, and is known for its craggy summits, including Ha Ling Peak and Three Sisters. Here’s why you should visit Banff, but stay in Canmore.

Beautiful Canmore Hotels

Popular destinations like Banff often get away with charging outrageous rates for not-so-stellar accommodations just because travelers will pay for it. A quick zip up the Trans-Canada Highway sits the award-winning Solara Resort and Spa, which provides an upscale home away from home experience suited for any type of traveler. The mountain retreat features spa-inspired bathrooms in each room, wine fridges, sofa beds, a washer and dryer plus other essential amenities to make your stay memorable and comfortable.

The Canmore condo style hotel features the One Wellness Spa, an on-site spa where travelers can relax and unwind in the sauna and steam room or indulge in a massage, pedicure or other treatment. With luxe accommodations and a winning reputation, Solara provides an unforgettable and unmatched experience for a much better price than staying in Banff.

Fewer Sightseeing Tourists

With off-the-charts tourism numbers, Banff is only expected to get more crowded. While you may consider planning a trip in the off-season to avoid bumping into picture-taking tourists, why let them enjoy all of the fun of the peak season over the course of the summer months? The crystal blue lakes and accessible roads are “limited time only.” Though Banff is surely worth the trip, take your travels just outside of the National Park gates too. Spend your leisure time in Canmore. It’s quiet, has fewer tourists but still has all the surrounding nature and fun activities. Enjoy outdoor sports or shopping in the adorable mountain town.

Solitude

Travelers seeking solitude will love Canmore. In the town, and surrounding areas in Bow Valley, the nature trails are less populated and less traveled, which allows explorers like you to connect with nature, uninterrupted by noisy cars, tourists and other distractions. Set out by bike or saddle up to your skis and take advantage of the cross-country skiing.

Staying in Canmore also offers you more natural beauty within jumping distance. Venture out to Lake Louise and Ice Fields Parkway too.

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