The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics are coming to a close and I must say I have an Olympic sized hangover. I have stayed up way too late, too many nights, watching even preliminary runs and way too much commentary.

The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics was also a Canadian affair. It was the last Olympics where Cold War rivalries played out on the world sporting stage. It was the year of the Jamaican Bobsled team and Eddie the Eagle, the courageous Scottish everyman who soared in the ski jump, or at least gave it his best.

For Olympic nerds, like me, it was the year of the Battle of the Brians in figure skating where the American Brian Boitano won the gold. I remember most of all the amazing scenery, Lake Louise and the stunning aerial photography of the Canadian Rockies. A two-hour drive from Calgary, Banff is to Calgary what Whistler is to Vancouver.

The town of Banff was created by happenstance in the late 19th century when railway workers discovered hot mineral springs. Visitors came, and later it was designated a National Park. A majestic lodge, The Banff Springs Hotel, was built more than a century ago and has been dubbed the “Castle in the Rockies.”

Today the area appeals to the posh crowd.  Galleries, swanky shops and fine dining are as much a part of the experience as dog-sled rides, skating and hitting the slopes. Looking for the top things to do on a trip to the Canadian winter wonderland? Check out the list of the top 11 attractions.

Filed Under Adventure Travel, Cross Country Skiing, Family Travel, Feature, Luxury Travel, Olympics, Skiing, Snowboarding, Sports, shopping, wildlife


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