Alberta sits just west of Saskatchewan, in the western region of Canada. It is home to one of the largest cities in Canada, Calgary, as well as a wide expanse of untamed wilderness. The other largest city is Edmonton about 2.5 hours north of Calgary. This makes it a perfect province for travelers looking to mix the culture that can be found in a big city with the adventure that only the outdoors can provide. If you like wilderness travel, camping, fishing, or hunting then Alberta is the place for you. It’s the perfect backcountry province for even the most experienced outdoorsman. The local attractions will amaze you and the people you’ll never forget. Alberta really is the place to visit in Canada.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to see what the major cities in a region have to offer, there are two places in Alberta you should check out: Edmonton and Calgary. Edmonton is the capital of the province and has plenty to offer. Two extraordinary pieces of architecture can be found here, one of them being The Muttart Conservatory, a giant indoor horticulture marvel. It consists of four glass pyramids that showcase incredible plant life. In one pyramid, you can explore the growth that occurs in a steamy jungle, and in another you can see the varied plants that exist in desert climates. Flowers and forests make up the other pyramids, and they’re all connected to a gorgeous inner courtyard where food and beverages are sold. The second building of note is the Alberta Legislature. It’s surrounded by 57 acres of parkland and is perfect if you’re interested in Alberta’s political or historical scene.
Perhaps the most famous landmark in Edmonton, and maybe in all of Alberta, is the West Edmonton Mall. This is the largest shopping and entertainment center in the world, one that you actually have to see to believe. There are over 800 stores and services that include everything your heart could desire. More than 100 restaurants and eateries are available to hungry shoppers, as well. There is more to do here than just shop and eat, though. The West Edmonton Mall has a number of attractions that include the world’s largest indoor amusement park, Galaxyland, a water park, bumper boats, an ice rink, and two mini golf courses, just to name a few of the attractions. If nightlife is more your thing, the mall has a Vegas-style casino and a live dinner theatre as well. It’s a must see if you’re visiting Alberta’s capital.
Calgary is located on the banks of the Bow River, near the Rocky Mountains that run up into Alberta. It is the hub for many major Canadian businesses and manufacturers, and this offers a wide, expansive downtown. By far the biggest attraction in Calgary, and one of the best things to do in Alberta, if you get the chance, is the Calgary Stampede. This is the country’s largest rodeo that draws in a huge crowd every year. Along with the rodeo, an amusement park is set up as well as concerts, races, and other fun events. This usually happened in July, so save up and plan to go during the summer months.
As mentioned before, the Rockies stretch up into Alberta, and are an incredible way to spend some time outdoors. If you like to hike, you’ll find miles of trails available throughout the mountains. Whatever region of the mountain range you’re in, the trails you will encounter will change your life forever. Some of the best you’ll find are in one of the most incredible national parks in Canada. Waterton National Park is made so spectacular with the help of the Rockies, and here you can access hikes for beginners to expert. The Red Rock Canyon Trail is a short stroll through the woods around the Rockies and is perfect for someone who isn’t used to longer hikes. The Carthew-Alderson trail runs about 11 miles and sees a 650-meter incline. It’s one of the more challenging hikes in the Canadian Rockies, but well worth the trip if you get the chance to take it. Mountain climbing and orienteering is also a popular activity in the Rockies, and you should be able to find plenty of tour guides or outfitters to help you find the best places to go.
In the Canadian Rockies snow is something that’s easy to come by. Alberta has some incredible deals when it comes to snow, so if you like ski or snowboard, you’ll want to look into Alberta as your next destination. Popular ski lodges can be found in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Hinton. An ideal backcountry lodge is Brewster’s Shadow Lake Lodge. It’s open year round in the mountain peaks in Banff, Alberta. Private log cabins are available here, and you’ll be right next to incredible mountain ranges, perfect for your next ski adventure.
Like most of Canada’s provinces, you’ll also find great fishing just about anywhere you go. In Alberta, some of the best in the world can be found in Banff National Park. The park itself and the surrounding area provide some of the best angling in the world. There are four major rivers in the park, 486 lakes, and more streams than you can count. Here you can fish for trout, pike, and a number of other popular trophy fish. Fly fishing is an increasingly popular sport in Alberta, and outfitters in the area have just what you need for your next fly fishing trip, along with lake and river fishing as well.
So if you have your heart set on a trip to Canada, take an even closer look at Alberta. While it may not be the most traveled province, it certainly offers more than enough fun and adventure for anyone looking for it. Whether you want to explore the attractions in a major city, or rough in the backcountry, you can find travel destinations and lodging to fit your every need. So start planning now to make sure you get everything you need, and be prepared to enjoy Alberta for all it’s worth.