Lake Louise is just a 40 minute drive northwest of Banff, and being smaller makes the wild moose, elk, deer, bears and other large mammals a little more obvious. Lake Louise is much cozier and less commercial than Banff; it feels like the doorway to the ruggedness of the Rockies on both sides of the Albert-British Columbia border. Lake Louise itself has two parts: the townsite in the Bow River Valley, and the famous Lake itself on a plateau up the road. Be sure to enjoy both parts of Lake Louise.
The town is also the starting point of the Icefields Parkway, and the town’s visitor centre is “Mile Zero” of the road that winds past the Columbia Icefields up to Jasper.