Standing in the shadows of beautifully rugged Rocky Mountain peaks, 86 miles (138km) west of Calgary, Banff Town is a cosmopolitan, vibrant Alpine-like village. Historic and modern buildings line its streets, which bustle with chic restaurants and bars, shops and even some worthwhile museums. July and August are the busy months, when the town's population swells by 25,000. Indeed, the town can get crowded during this time, but the many visitors always manage to create a relaxed and festive atmosphere.
Nearby is Banff National Park, Canada's oldest park and the reason most visitors vacation here. Dramatic mountain landscapes, abundant wildlife, glaciers and rushing rivers highlight this spectacular wilderness, making it one of the most beautiful places in the world.