Travel

Travel Guide: Banff

Banff Travel Guide on Livin' Life with Style

This is such a highly requested post. You all loved following along on my stories, and seeing my photos from our Banff trip last summer. You guys had so many questions about the area. So, I have put together everything you need to know about where to stay, what to eat, and where to go when visiting Banff, Alberta in the Summer!

Just to give you a little back story, my husband, and I had visited Banff before. We went for the first time about 10 years ago to meet his brother who was traveling to Alaska. We loved it so much, we decided for our 10 year anniversary to go back and take the kids with us to show them how beautiful their country is.

 

GETTING AROUND

Banff is 2 1/2 hours from Calgary, so renting a car is a must! Not only are there so many places you need to drive to, but it’s also great to be able to just stop wherever you want on your route, to take in the views. We stopped so many times to take photos of the wildlife such as bears, deers, mountain goats, etc. There are also beautiful hwy rest stops that have amazing views of the mountains, and water.

Banff Travel Guide: Bow Lake on Livin' Life with Style

Banff Travel Guide on Livin' Life with Style

 

WHERE TO STAY

This trip we stayed at Banff Rocky Mountain Resort in their One Bedroom Wolf Condo. It was newly renovated, and had a private bedroom with a queen bed, and a pull out sofa bed for the kids in the living room. It also had a full kitchen with granite counter tops, and complementary wifi. They had an indoor pool which the kids loved, as well as a complementary shuttle into town. *I highly recommend finding a hotel with complementary shuttle service into town, because parking is very limited. It’s so much easier, and less stressful getting the shuttle service.

Other hotels that we loved that were on our list were: The Rimrock Resort Hotel, Hidden Ridge Resort, Moose Hotel & Suites and Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa

 

WHAT TO SEE & DO

#1- Moraine Lake

Banff Travel Guide- Moraine Lake on Livin' Life with Style

If you could only pick 1 thing to do in Banff, do this one! It’s a must! Moraine Lake is just stunning! When I went 10 years ago in the summer, it wasn’t as popular as it is today because of social media. So getting to Morraine Lake should be done bright and early, and I mean early. To get a parking spot in the main lot, you need to arrive by 4:30am. I know it’s very early, but they don’t have a lot of parking spots available. When they fill up, you will need to park in the overflow lot, and wait for a shuttle bus to take you over to the lake. If you get there very late, they sometimes even shut down some of the hwy, because it gets so busy, so try to arrive as early as possible. I cannot stress that enough.

So many picturesque shots. Head up Rockpile Trail for the best views. It looks very dangerous when you walk by it, but just behind the large rocks are steps that take you up to the top. The view is incredible!  You can also walk the trails, or rent a canoe.

 

#2. Peyto Lake

Banff Travel Guide- Peyto Lake on Livin' Life with Style

This is my second favourite lake in Banff. Again parking is very limited, so you need to get there early as well. To get to the lake you need to walk up a trail that will take you about 20 mins, so make sure to wear proper footwear. The trail leads you up to a viewing platform that overlooks the lake and mountains. If you want to be a little more adventurous, beside the viewing platform is a little makeshift trail. This will take you to another viewing point which has nothing to stop you from falling over the edge, so definitely be very careful. I don’t recommend taking any children down that path, but if you are traveling without kids, it’s a beautiful view.

 

#3. Lake Louise

Banff Travel Guide- Lake Louise on Livin' Life with Style

Banff Travel Guide- Lake Louise on Livin' Life with Style

One of our favourite things to do at Lake Louise is renting a canoe, and paddling around the lake while taking in the views. Canoe rentals are a bit pricey, but totally worth it. Guests staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise have priority over the general public, and their fairs are reduced as well. If you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s $125 for 1 hr or $115 for a 1/2 hr, and you can fit 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children per canoe. They also have a voyageur canoe experience which is $55 a person.

 

#4. Banff Upper Hot Springs

Banff Travel Guide- Banff Upper Hot Springs on Livin' Life with Style

Definitely add this to your list of things to do in Banff. It’s so fun to do with the whole family. The water temperature is 27 degrees celcius in the summer time, so it’s not too hot for the kids. Its also just so beautiful to sit in the pool, and look around at all the mountains that surround you.

 

#5. Banff Gondola 

Banff Travel Guide- Banff Gondola on Livin' Life with Style

Banff Travel Guide- Banff Gondola on Livin' Life with Style

Banff Travel Guide- Banff Gondola on Livin' Life with Style

The ride in the gondola up to the summit is about 8min long, but I highly suggest to use that time and look around you as you glide over the treetops, because you will probably see a lot of wildlife. Once you are up there, take in all the stunning views on the 360 observation deck. There are also restaurants to enjoy a bite to eat, an interpretive centre for kids, as well as a boardwalk to Sanson’s Peak.

 

#6. Glacier Adventure: Ice Explorer & Glacier Skywalk 

Banff Travel Guide: Glacier Adventure Ice Explorer on Livin' Life with Style

Banff Travel Guide: Glacier Adventure: Glacier Skywalk on Livin' Life with Style

Probably one of the best experiences of my life. A MUST do when you’re in Banff! You ride in a massive Ice Explorer to the Athabasca Glacier, and once you are there you can get out and explore the Glacier. Bring a cup or water bottle, and you can drink the glacier water! That was probably my favourite part! It was so cold and fresh!

Next you return back to the Glacier Discovery Centre to take a bus to the Glacier Skywalk. Which was so cool! You  walk onto a glass bridge that has a 918 foot drop! Kind of scary, lol but something you wouldn’t want to miss! You can see waterfalls, wildlife, and gorgeous mountain views!

 

 

WHERE TO EAT

#1. The Bear Street Tavern

This restaurant is a favourite with most of the locals in Banff. They are known for having the best pizza in Banff, s0 of course that’s what we tried when we went there. Pizza is so good! We also got the Pork Belly Mac & Cheese and it was delicious! A perfect family restaurant

#2. Tooloulous Restaurant 

If you like seafood as much as we do, then you’ll love this place. I honestly wanted to eat everything on the menu. Their house made crab cakes were amazing! The Louisiana Catfish & Bayou Tooloulou’s was to die for! Its not a fancy place either, very causal.

#3. Melissa’s Missteak 

Hands down the best breakfast place in Banff. We have gone here both times we have been to Banff, and we are never disappointed. We also love the atmosphere because the interior looks like you are inside of a wooden chalet. The food is so good, and you get so much for the price.

#4. Sky Bistro

For the best dinning views in Banff, the Sky Bistro is stunning! When you are going up the Banff Gondola, make sure you go hungry, so you can stop in and eat at the Sky Bistro. We could hardly eat, we were so fixated on the view – you are just surrounded by mountains high up in the sky.

#5. The Larkpur Lounge (Inside the Rimrock Hotel) 

We just went here one night for drinks after dinner, but if you are looking for a beautiful view while dinning, just sit on their patio. The view doesn’t even look real.

 

Banff Travel Guide on Livin' Life with Style

I hope that answered a lot of your questions. If I am forgetting anything or you have another other questions, please let me know!

 

Disclaimer: Thanks so much to Banff Tourism for partnering with me on this post 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Night at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto!

Last weekend we headed to The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto for another fun little family staycation with the kids. We wanted to spend the night downtown, so it would be easier to take the kids to the Toronto Santa Claus parade in the morning. We did the same thing last year and it was so convenient. The hotel was just a few blocks away from the parade route, so we were able to walk to the parade instead of dealing with traffic, and driving downtown.

We stayed in one of their Deluxe rooms with a parlour suite, and it was perfect. Our room had a king bed with a desk, seating area, tv and bathroom. The parlour suite which was attached to our room with an adjoining door, had a sitting area with a pull out couch for the kids, a dinning room area, a wet bar, tv and bathroom. This suite worked out great because we got our own space, and the kids got theirs.

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

 

What the kids love most about this hotel is the Kids Check-In area and the Family Fun Zone!

Once we checked into the hotel, the kids got to go to a special “kids check-in” section located near the front desk, so they can check-in as well.  They get to bang on a gong, and then choose a prize out of the toy chest. I think this is such a great idea. It makes the kids feel special that they get to check in too.

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

 

Another thing the kids love is the Family Fun Zone. Actually we love it too! They have a Kids Centre with a craft table, toys, and games for the kids. They even have a teen and adult room as well called the Club 33 Teen Lounge with an arcade game, video games and a pool table.

They also have a large heated indoor pool, a whirlpool, and a really fun corkscrew waterside!

You can honestly stay in that section for hours- so much fun stuff to do!

 

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

 

We ate at the Market Garden during our stay which was located in the lobby of the hotel. For dinner, they had a create your own pizza section as well as various other meals to choose from such as salmon, burgers, wings, pasta etc. They also had a soup and salad bar too.

For breakfast, it was an all you can eat buffet. They had everything from eggs, bacon, potatoes, to french toast. There was also a selection of fruits, cereals, breads and an omelette station.

Staycation at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

 

 

The day of the parade, The Chelsea Hotel had hot chocolate for their guests in the lobby as well as copies of the parade route. They also provided candy canes for kids which I thought was really nice.

After the Santa Claus Parade, we walked over to the Eaton Centre to do some Christmas Shopping! We also wanted to show the kids the big Christmas tree inside, and the window displays at the Hudson’s Bay.

Santa Calus Parade Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Santa Calus Parade Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Santa Calus Parade Toronto on Livin' Life with Style  Santa Calus Parade Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

Santa Calus Parade Toronto on Livin' Life with Style

 

If you want to plan a staycation for you, and your family at the Chelsea Hotel, visit their website here!

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Thanks so much to the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto for hosting us. Also a special thanks to the Santa Claus Parade for the VIP passes! 

Weekend getaway at Sherkston Shores!

A couple of weeks ago, we took a short drive to Sherkston Shores Beach Resort & Campground for a little family getaway. With how fast our summer flew by, it was great to end it with a weekend away with the kids, before it was time for them to head back to school.

The resort was located just 90 minutes from Toronto on Lake Erie, so it was nice to stay local and enjoy time away as a family.

There was so much to do on the resort. Not only do you have access to 4 beaches, but they have a pool area with water slides, mini golf, arcades, volleyball, basketball, pickleball, tennis, water sports and so much more!

Sherkston Shores Resort getaway on Livin' Life with Style

 

The resort is on 560 acres, which is exclusive to renters, campers, seasonal RVers, and vacation cottage owners and their guests. We stayed in one of their premium 2 bedroom cottages that you can rent. The master bedroom had a queen size bed, the second bedroom had bunk beds for the kids, and their was a pull out couch in the family room area. It also had a full size kitchen with appliances, and a large deck with a table. There was also upgraded cable, and free wifi in the cottage as well.

We stayed in the Dunes area on the resort which I highly recommend, because it was steps away from the beach!

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

 

 

Checking into the resort was a breeze. They gave us a map of the resort, so we could find our cottage easily as well as a calendar that told us everything that was going on at the resort that weekend.

Getting around the resort was so fun! Right beside the welcome center you can rent a golf cart during your stay. The kids just loved it! I recommend calling in advance to reserve one as they do sell out fast. Driving around in a golf cart was definitely the way to get around and explore the resort. They even allow you to take them on the beach! Charging them was so easy as well, they have a charging station outside your cottage, so each night we would charge it so it was fully charged for us to use in the morning.

Travel Guide for Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style

 

Located just outside of the welcome center is the Family Funplex. This is where the pool area was that had a splash pad,  3 water slides, 2 pools, and a hot tub. They also had a bar area to grab drinks.

Inside the Funplex was a Boston Pizza, arcade area, a LIVE Lounge, and a cafe that sold sandwiches and ice cream. Around the other side they also had a supermarket if you wanted to buy and make meals in your cottage. Or Boston Pizza will deliver to your cottage if you don’t feel like cooking or going out.

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style  

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide to Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

 

The spot the kids loved to hang out the most was at the man-made beach in the middle of the resort. It had soft sand, and beautiful clear water. The kids loved building sandcastles, and playing in the water. We spent a lot of time here.

Also every Saturday night they have a fireworks show here which is amazing! We brought some blankets and jackets, and watched the fireworks from the beach. The kids loved it! They put on quite an amazing show, so don’t miss it during your stay.

Travel Guide to Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide to Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

Travel Guide to Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style  Travel Guide to Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

 

After dinner it was so nice to walk the beach and enjoy the sunsets. The kids also loved looking for bright coloured rocks to take home, and also skipping stones on the water.

Our Stay at Sherkston Shores resort on Livin' Life with Style

 

Thanks so much to Sherkston Shores for hosting us. We had such a great time! We’ll definitely be back!

Travel Guide to Sherkston Shores on Livin' Life with Style

For more information on Sherkston Shores please visit their website here.

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Sherkston Shores. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.

 

 

10 Tips for Planning a Disney World Vacation

 

Packing up for a getaway using my new Tracker Expedition Luggage!

If there is one thing I love to do, it’s travel. It doesn’t even have to be by plane, I am even up for a road trip if it means we are heading somewhere fun, and exciting. I try to book 1-2 family trips per year, 1 girls only getaway, and of course a couple of romantic staycations with my husband.

Next year we already have 2 family trips planned, and in a couple of weeks I am heading on my annual trip to NYC for a fun girls trip. See, I’m always on the go. lol

Just recently my husband and I had a little staycation in Niagara for the weekend, after a wine tour we did.  I was so excited to take one of my new luggage pieces from Bentley with me!

Bentley Tracker Expedition Softside Luggage set review on Livin' Life with Style

 

I got this beautiful 4 piece luggage set from Bentley, and I absolutely love it! This set is called the Tracker Expedition II, and it comes in 4 colours including this purple colour that I picked out. You buy all the pieces separately to make the complete set. There is a large 28” luggage, a medium 24” luggage, the carrying luggage is 20” and there is a Duffel bag as well.

Bentley Tracker Expedition Softside Luggage set review on Livin' Life with Style
My old luggage was so heavy. What I love about these pieces is that they are so light weight! The large size luggage only weighs 7lbs! They are all on wheels, and have retractable handles so you can easily move them around. They also have 2 front zipper pockets on them for extra storage.
Bentley Tracker Expedition Softside Luggage on Livin' Life with Style
Bentley Tracker Expedition Softside Luggage on Livin' Life with Style
Inside has a ton of storage as well. It has shoe pockets (I actually used one for my curling iron), an interior mesh pocket with a zipper which is where I keep all undergarments, and a large section for all my clothes and toiletries. I always put all my toiletries in a toiletry bag, and all my makeup in my makeup bag. I like to keep those both separate. Bentley has a great selection of Toiletry Bags if you are on the hunt for one.
To keep everything all tight, and secure, I always use the compression straps. Whenever I get to my destination, and I open up my luggage, everything is still in place because of those straps, so I always make sure I use them.
 Packing Tips- Bentley Luggage
How to pack for a 1 night stay- Livin life with style
 
I can’t wait to take this luggage with me in a couple of weeks when I go to NYC!
If you’re in need of some new luggage, I have a special code just for you!
Use code STYLE15 for 15% off the Bentley website! *Excludes Jansport, Select Samsonite, & Briggs and Riley.
Happy Shopping!
Disclaimer: Thanks so much to Bentley for partnering with me on this post. 

5 Activities to do as a family at Blue Mountain Resort!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had our 10 year wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we decided to go back to where he first proposed to me, which was at Blue Mountain Resort. We absolutely loved it there the first time we went, and couldn’t wait to head back! We took the kids with us as well to make it a fun, family vacation, and of course to show them where we got engaged.

Blue Mountain Resort was so thoughtful, and kind, and made our stay extra special. We wanted to stay in the Rivergrass homes, because that’s where we stayed when we got engaged, and they actually looked up our old reservation, and put us in the exact same home!! They even had a bottle of wine, and chocolates waiting for us.

 

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

The last time we were here was in the winter, so it was so nice to go during the summer time, and experience some of the summer activities they had to offer. Here are our Top 5 activities we did together as a family during our trip to Blue Mountain Resort:

 

#1- Open- Air Gondola.

This is a MUST! The views are stunning from the top of Blue Mountain looking down at the Village. They have a lookout point with Muskoka Chairs to sit on, so you can relax and take in the view. It’s so peaceful, and quiet at the top. They have walking, hiking, and biking trails too on the mountain. There are bike lifts that will take your bike up to the top, so you can ride down. You can also hike up the mountain by foot, and get a one-way gondola ride back down as well.

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

 

#2 – Mill Pond Activity Centre

The Mill Pond is located in the heart of the village, so it’s a very popular spot. We sat and had lunch at Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen which was near by, and than relaxed in Muskoka chairs by the pond. We also went on paddle boats around the pond, which the kids loved!

Blue Mountain Resort

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

The Westin Blue Mountain

 

3.- Cascade Putting Course

My kids love mini-putting, so we had to do this one for sure. The putting course was 18 holes, and had one of the best designs we have ever seen. The holes were a perfect challenge for all of us, and the landscaping was so gorgeous. You were surrounded by natural limestone, beautiful grasses, and little rivers throughout the whole course.

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

 

4. -Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster

This was hands down our favourite activity! So much fun! I think we all went on this ride like 5 times. This ride is over 1 kilometer long, with a lot of twists, and turns at speeds up to 42 km/hr. Super fast ride, but so much fun. This is a very popular ride, so the lines can get pretty long in the middle of the day. I suggest getting up early, and doing this ride first thing in the morning when it opens. That’s what we did, and there was no line at all.

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

 

5.- Plunge! Aquatic Centre

We couldn’t of had a better weekend when we went to Blue Mountain. It was so hot, and this activity was a perfect way to cool down. It’s even perfect for those rainy, or cooler days, because part of the pool was indoor as well. They have everything from an indoor water playground, to water slides, rope swings, and hot tubs…and we used it all. The kids loved the playground, and slides. My husband was in the hot tub quite a bit, and I tested out the rope swings which were so fun.

They have family change rooms, lockers to keep your valuables in, and complementary towels.

 

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

Blue Mountain Resort Review- Livin' Life with Style

To make things cost effective, Blue Mountain does offer an Active Pack for overnight guests, which saves you 25% on all Base Camp Attractions which are all the ones we did above. It’s definitely worth it.

For more information on Blue Mountain such as pricing, lodging, and other activities they have to offer, visit their website here

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Blue Mountain Resort for partnering with me on the this post. 

Copyright © 2020 · Theme by 17th Avenue