As a year-round hotspot for winter recreating, a mere hour and a half from Calgary, home of the Banff Film and Book Festival and an access point to Banff National Park, the Banff nightlife can be quite lively, but don’t expect anything like St. Anton or Verbier. This isn’t Europe after all. But you will be able to find a watering hole or two to suit your needs.
If you’re staying in Banff or skiing at Mt. Norquay and looking to crack a couple beers open and share stories from the slopes with locals and enjoy some exceptional live music, head to Wild Bill’s on Banff Avenue. If you’re staying in Lake Louise (which is about 45 minutes from Banff proper) the majority of the après party scene can be found at hotel bars. But if you’re looking for a unique après-ski experience, old-fashioned in fact, definitely plan on a Brewster’s Winter Sleigh Tours, which is a great après-ski activity for just about everyone. After skiing at Sunshine (which is closest to town) you’ll want to head to the Mad Trapper’s Saloon for a couple draft beers and hearty pub food. It’ll hit the spot after a full day on the slopes.
If you’re looking for an after dinner place to enjoy a cocktail, beer or a game or two of pool before you hit the hay, Banff bars offer plenty of options. For locally made craft beers head to Banff Ave. Brewing Company in the Clocktower Mall. If billiards sound up your alley, head to The Rose and Crown or the Buffalo Padlock. If you’re looking for local live music you have several options, but Wild Bills is probably your best bet.
Have dancing fever? Aurora Nightclub and Lounge features international electronic and house DJs and offers party-goers a huge, two-story dance floor. Head to the Dancing Sasquatch on Banff Avenue. This new Banff night club has a rustic, cabin décor, is open seven days a week—for your dancing enjoying—and features local and nationally-recognized DJs. On Caribou Street, you’ll find the Hoodoo Lounge, albeit a smaller club than Sasquatch, is an ideal late night place for relaxing. But the party does and will get going on the dance floor.