The Banff + Lake Louise Social City Guide
August 17, 2016
People say “vacation” and immediately the of-the-moment buzzy destinations come up. Maderas Village? Isla Holbox? Any of the sometimes unpronounceable and far-flung spots on the New York Times’s annual “Places to Go” list? Here’s one that should be right up there: Banff. Consider Banff or nearby Lake Louise, a couple of enclaves in the Canadian Rockies, which a record number of travelers will visit this summer. It’s all so unfailingly beautiful, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where we—and this list—come in. We’ve gathered up 12 locals who know the mountainous, sweeping landscape of Alberta better than anyone. These are the creatives, chefs, adventurers, teachers, and parents who will show where to explore and where to unwind with a beer after. We like to approach travel this way—a living, evolving best-of list that couldn’t be more current, because these posts are coming in real time. In return? Send us a postcard. Or just @tag us so we can pretend we’re there. This is travel, today.
The Gramlist Editors
#mybanff #banfflakelouise #flyfishing #traveldeeper #earthofficial
Since 1999, visitors and locals alike have chartered helicopters for any sort of adventures, from birthdays to elopements. They’ll take you up into the clouds, land somewhere gorgeous, and capture it on film.
What is scree dust? The term refers to the crumbs and small rocks that gather along a mountain’s slope—and it’s a fitting name for climber Tom Amaral’s blog. If you can scale it, he’s done it, and Grammed it.
This small but mighty museum celebrates “what happens when peaks and people meet!” It’s a very sweet glimpse into the archives of Lake Louise culture (photos from the ’60s are especially cool). And while founders Peter and Catharine Whyte are perhaps too busy running the actual collection to post often, they’re big parts of the local community.
Creative mind Jeff Spackman takes one of the more inclusive approaches with his very popular social media presence. When he Instagrams live from a shoot, he often also Snaps behind-the-scenes moments (follow NAMKCAPS). Our advice? Visit every place he does.
When two is better than one: This husband-and-wife team work together behind their lenses as travel photographers. According to their personal feed, fly-fishing is among their favorite ways to unwind.
Take a look at Adriana Sinke’s feed, and then think about the fact that she used to be an accounting assistant. Our inner Wes Anderson–obsessives love her quiet, moodily lit photos from her global travels, and her Canadian pictures are our favorites.
There’s a reason chef Liz Gagnon is pretty much the only person whose photos show up when you search #banffchef. Park Distillery is an absolute must-stop. Liz’s entire menu was inspired by the most OG of traditions: campfire cooking.
There is something indescribable but unmistakable about a Dave Brosha portrait. We resort to word association to try to put our finger on it: baroque, natural, haunting, weird, momentary. See for yourselves.
Man, Canadians sure are people people. Another husband-and-wife duo, Two Mann Studios, specializes in shooting—what else—people-first events. They’re hired nonstop for weddings, and it’s easy see why.
Holy saturation! Photographer Erik McRitchie cannot take a boring photo, and the Lake Louise landscape is a more than willing subject.
Cult Gathering is exactly that—a festival of unique, sometimes-niche brands getting together to discuss their secret sauces. It was founded by Hugh Forest, the director of SXSW’s Interactive Festival, and the Instagram feed’s a glimpse at who is shaping the local retail scene.
Wyatt Bronson’s Instagram bio bills his specialties as sarcasm and mediocrity, but we don’t know that we agree with the latter. His photos generously capture the wide variety of outdoor living that Lake Louise is known for. In fact, the last indoor photo he took was from the road.