This post is presented by Pursuit

When you live in Calgary, you spend most of your time planning and dreaming about your next visit to Banff. Where are you going to stay? Where are you going to eat?  

Well, I’m excited to say that there’s a new must-see experience in the Rockies that you have to add to your list, and when I say you’ve never seen Banff like this before, I really mean it!  

Pursuit has launched Open Top Touring, an incredible vintage-inspired tour that gives you a taste of what it would have been like to see Banff back in the 1930s and 40s.  But what makes it different from a regular tour, is the very thing it’s named after: the Open Top.  Picture a sunroof multiplied by a million.  So rather than having to look out of one window, you’re treated to 90 minutes of 360-degree views, as an expert guide drives you around to some of the most historic and picturesque spots in Banff.  

Open Top Tours were first offered in the late 1930s, and over the years the tours evolved to the more conventional bus tours we know today.  But forgotten was the true magic of the open-top tours. The ability to take in the mountains from every angle, all while breathing in the fresh air and soaking up the sunshine. So I was so happy when I saw that Pursuit was bringing back these kinds of tours. The new Open Top vehicles may look vintage, but are actually brand new, with the modern amenities we’re used to and are tastefully decorated to honour their historic past. 

The tours cost $45 for adults and $25 for the kiddos and it really is a family-friendly activity. I think the kids would have a blast waving their hands out the top of the vehicle, and even getting to stand on the seats and look out the top when it’s stopped along the road.

In terms of safety, all passengers are required to wear masks, and there’s only a maximum of ten people allowed on each bus, so you’re able to space out and feel safe.  Plus, it feels like the fresh air sorta provides an extra layer of safety.   

Obviously, I don’t mind wearing a mask, but if I wasn’t, you would have seen how much I was smiling. My cheeks were actually sore just from having so much fun on this tour.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been to Banff; dozens of times, probably more. Between work trips, day trips, and any time someone came to visit, I’ve been there a lot. And even though I feel like I know the small town inside and out, I was blown away with this unique experience, and would easily do it again with anyone that wanted to.

And if I can be a bit cheesy, it actually made me miss my parents. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been able to see them in nearly ten months, but the Open Top Touring is something that I know they would love. 

When we travel together, I’m constantly looking for things that appeal to all of us, so everyone can have a good time, even if we’re all getting something different out of it. And the Open Top Touring is exactly that. I know that my dad would love the concept of the vehicle and the nostalgia of it. My mom would love to explore the mountains with someone else besides me driving, and I loved being driven to some of the most picturesque spots in the Rockies, so I can easily capture those Instagram worthy moments.  

What’s incredible to think is that of the millions of people who have visited Banff over the years, how they got there might have changed, what they did when they got there certainly has, but the one thing that hasn’t is the timeless beauty. Whether it’s your first visit, or your 100th, the stunning rocky mountains, beautiful Alberta skies, and deep glacier-fed rivers will always be a treat for all of your senses. And the Open Top Tour is just another way to at least attempt to take it all in.

Just don’t forget your sunscreen.

Mike Morrison