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Picnics and BBQ’s in Banff

by K Gordon Schultz

Picnics and BBQ’s in Banff, Alberta

Banff National Park has the most sudden weather change I have ever seen. Last September, it changed from summer to winter overnight and it seems the opposite has happened now. This time last week, snow covered Banff Avenue and there was the perennial minus sign was in front of all temperatures. However, yesterday after a day of skiing under bluebird skies, I received a phone call that there was a BBQ going on by the recently unfrozen Bow River. A trip to the butcher and liquor store later and I was on the Cave Ave. Side of Banff basking in the evening sun. There are many places to have a picnic or BBQ in Banff but here are a few of my tips from experience.

Cave Ave side of Bow River

There is a park on the Banff side and it is a great place to have a picnic, throw around a Frisbee and whatever else tickles your fancy. However, the opposite side of the river is where the locals go. Why? Because there are more BBQ’s, more wildlife, basketball courts, volleyball, better toilet facilities, skate park, tennis courts, closer walks and more. Furthermore (and keep this quiet!) technically you will need a liquor license if you want to enjoy a beer or glass of wine in the sun. However, on the ‘local’ side, as long as you are polite, not out of control and eating with your alcohol, you can generally enjoy yourself till dusk. A liquor license is not hard or expensive to arrange through the town council if you are having a bigger celebration, wedding, etc.

For more info about Banff’s outdoor regulations.

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