10/31/2012 04:37 EDT | Updated 02/07/2013 07:59 EST

42 Things I Love About Banff, Canada (in the winter)

Hecktic Travels

1. Curling up next to a roaring fire with a good book, watching the snow fall outside

2. Great skiing, if that's your thing

3. Surprisingly excellent food at Masala Authentic Indian Cuisine

4. The gorgeous drive from Calgary into the mountains

5. Relaxing in a thermal spa after a long day


6. Flying down an icy slope in a snow tube

7. Step back in time at the Banff Park Museum

8. Long day exploring the park and the slopes followed by a cozy night in

9. Furry squirrels

33 MORE reasons to love Banff in winter after the slideshow...

42 Reasons To Love Banff In Winter

10. Spend an afternoon just driving around and be stunned by the beauty

11. How can you not love the word Banff?! Banff, Banff, Banff...

12. Cross country skiing around Lake Louise

13. Journey to the top of the world on the Banff gondola


14. Just two minutes from downtown Banff is Surprise Corner where, well I'll just let you be surprised

15. Learn about the original inhabitants of the area at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum

16. Mastering the art of après-ski, aka poutine and beer

17. Depending on the time of year, take advantage of one of the many hiking trails near town

18. Shopping at one of the many stores on Banff Avenue


19. I love scenic drives, especially along the Icefields Parkway

20. Chatting with locals who are some of the nicest, most welcoming people anywhere

21. Mushing through virgin snow on a dogsled


22. Stop by an artist's gallery for stunning photography and one of a kind arts and crafts

23. A friendly bear or two. Or three.

24. Be sure to watch a televised curling match with some locals. Let me know if you understand it.

25. Enjoying old world style at the iconic Banff Springs Hotel


26. Remembering to stay hydrated, Banff is at elevation and it's bizarrely dry

27. Tasty fondue at the Grizzly House

28. Head down to the cave and basin to learn more about the railway and check out the natural spa

29. Test your strength and endurance while ice climbing

30. Canadian beer. Poutine. Repeat.

31. Escaping the harsh winter chill inside a coffee shop, enjoying organic pastries and fair trade coffee

32. Get into the Western theme by spending your evening at a saloon

33. More relaxing at the thermal spa

34. Not a skier, maybe take a snowboarding lesson

35. Driving through the park, hoping to catch sight of elk, bear or who knows what?

36. Gourmet burgers at Eddie Burger Bar

37. For whatever reason Banff has a preponderance of fudge and candy shops. Visit them. Eat the candy. Be happy.

38. Walking past sparkly and frozen waterfalls in Johnston Canyon

39. Take a day off from adventure sports and pamper yourself with a massage

40. Walk, hike or dogsled to the Continental Divide

41. I love being in a place where winter actually feels like winter

42. More après-ski

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