OLM’s Fashion Editor Alexandra Gunn Tours Banff in the Lincoln MKZ
Photography by Winter Lotus Photography.
Banff is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations and with so many things to see in the National Park, it can be difficult to know what to do first. The resort town is surrounded by mountains, notably Cascade Mountain, Sulphur Mountain, Mount Rundle and Mount Norquay. Outdoor enthusiasts and tourist tend to flock to this picturesque town in the heart of the Rocky Mountains to explore the extensive hiking, skiing and wildlife-watching.
Between the stunning landscapes, the chateau-style accommodations and the array of fine dining restaurants in town, Banff is easily one of Canada’s top destinations for couples and families looking to explore the natural beauty of the mountains and enjoy the luxuries of a mountain resort.
What better way to experience the new refined Lincoln MKZ than a weekend in Banff? From the city streets of Calgary to the Trans-Canada highway out to the Canadian Rockies, making the journey out to Banff in the Lincoln MKZ was nothing short of deluxe.
From massaging heated seats to the Sirus FM radio, the drive out to the resort town was a breeze. Usually, with a new vehicle or rental car it often takes some time to adapt to all the features of the vehicle. However, I found the experience to be seamless. The intuitive placement of all the buttons, knobs and the central control panel is very well thought out and even though the Lincoln had every possible upgrade, the technological features of the vehicle didn’t overwhelm the experience of the ride.
Did I mention fast?
I’ll admit, driving out from Calgary was half the fun. The twists and turns of the road as we made our way through the Rockies were an opportunity to see what the car was made of and it didn’t disappoint.
Arriving in Banff, we drove up the main street to the Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel. The lavish hotel is often referred to as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” and has been providing year-round hospitality for more than 125 years. Its unique blend of opulence and seclusion has been a symbol of Rocky Mountain magnificence for more than a century. More often than not, you’ll see a group of tourist walking the hallways just to get a glimpse of the historic ‘castle’.
Time flies when you’re having fun.
After spending hours exploring the town in the Lincoln and making day-trips, we would often come back to the Fairmont to soak in the salt pools or enjoy a cocktail in the Rundle Lounge. We discovered that most restaurants in and around Banff offered a rustic and laidback feel – nothing pretentious.
As we wrapped up our adventure and began the drive back to Calgary, we made a quick stop in Canmore to walk along the Bow River and get that perfect shot of the Three Sisters. Our quiet weekend in Banff was an ideal blend of sightseeing, relaxation and the finer things in life.
Banff is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife and nature lovers, history buffs and shoppers alike. We made the most of the weekend by exploring the local sights, venturing out for a few short hikes and soaked up the spectacular alpine scenery with a gondola ride for a bird’s eye view of Banff.
Downtown Banff – Grab a coffee and tour Banff Avenue. You’ll want to browse the boutiques and souvenir shops and pick up some sweet treats at the candy store. Between the art galleries and the outdoor gear shops, you likely won’t leave empty handed.
Vermillion Lakes – Just outside the town of Banff, these lakes offer spectacular views of Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain. We explored the leisurely hiking trails, watched a group paddle across the waterways and spotted elk grazing in the distance.
The Banff Gondola – A short 5-minute drive from the hotel and a cable car ride to the top was just the start of the fun. Sulphur Mountain offers a 360 view of 6 scenic mountain ranges. Make sure you tackle the one kilometre mountaintop boardwalk and warm up at 7,486 feet (2,281 meters) above sea level, at the Sky Bistro restaurant.
Where to Eat in Banff
Don’t eat at the same place twice. Banff caters to the ‘foodie’ in all of us and you’ll want to explore as many restaurants as possible. It’s also best to book in advance to guarantee a seat at your top pick. Most restaurants in Banff adhere to the mountain lifestyle and offer a relaxed atmosphere with a laidback ‘mountain chic’ dress code.
Saltlik – If you’re a meat lover, you’re in the right place. The iconic Banff steakhouse is known for its impressive (and extensive) selection of AAA Alberta beef. Served a la carte, the 16oz bone-in ribeye steak in citrus-rosemary butter is a knockout. Try the wok-fired calamari to start.
1888 Chop House – With a modern twist on the authentic chop house, the menu focuses on prime cuts of Alberta beef, sustainably sourced wild game and Ocean Wise Seafood. Steak is the star here. Try the 40oz Dry Aged Tomahawk Ribeye sliced and served at your table.
The Bear Street Tavern – Rustic, laid-back and a local hangout. Start with the smoked bison Caesar salad and look no further than the Godfather Pizza (can be made gluten free) to a satisfy any hungry adventurer. No reservations needed and kid friendly.
Sky Bistro – Want a meal with a view? The newly renovated restaurant with glass walls offers mountaintop dining that showcases a panorama of Canadian cuisine. If you hiked to the top, celebrate with a glass of craft beer from Banff or Canmore.
Lincoln MKZ: Quiet Luxury
What makes a luxury vehicle? Is it the brand that defines the experience or is it the high-quality features that make it pleasing to the senses? Often, it is a combination of the two and undoubtedly many more elements.
Elegant, effortless and understated are the best words to describe the Lincoln MKZ. The new 2017 design offers a fresh twist on the definition of modern luxury. The redesign is all about quietly exceeding the expectations without being the loudest statement on the road.
Want to experience the Lincoln MKZ? Visit www.lincolncanada.com to book your test drive today.