Travelers to the province of Alberta can experience western Canada at its best. Alberta is home to the cities of Edmonton and Calgary. Not only are there large cities, but there is plenty of nature as well. Alberta boasts mountains, national parks, railways, hunting, skiing, and many other attractions.
Calgary was home to the XV Olympic Games in 1988. Visitors can see the Canada Olympic Park, which hosts the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum. Athletes continue to use the park for training and recreation. For the adventurous, skiing and other sporting activities are available year round.
Other famous sites in Calgary include the Calgary Tower, Fort Calgary, and Rouge Restaurant. Calgary Tower offers stunning views of the city from downtown. Fort Calgary is a National Historic Site with offers an interactive learning experience on the founding and growth of the city. For food and wine enthusiasts, Rouge Restaurant offers excellent French cuisine in a historic home surrounded by gardens. The Calgary Stampede celebrates cattle ranching and the Wild West with a rodeo, festival and exhibition every July. Over one million people attend this event each year.
Edmonton offers visitors sites such as Fort Edmonton Park, Muttart Conservatory, and Sir Winston Churchill Square. Fort Edmonton Park is Canada’s largest living history museum. Go back in time from 1846 through 1929 with a visit to learn about the past from costumed guides. Muttart Conservatory, designed by the famous Canadian architect Peter Hemingway, houses countless plant species in pyramid structures. For a lively outdoors experience, Sir Winston Churchill Square hosts public art, pavilions, festivals, food, and much more. Edmonton’s K-Days festival is a popular fair with rides and concerts and attracts nearly 700,000 visitors each year.
Escaping to the country offers rewards not found in a metropolitan setting. Banff National Park and Jasper National Park are found within Alberta. The province is also home to five UNESCO World heritage sites. These sites include Dinosaur Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Banff National Park offers stunning views of glaciers, ice fields, alpine landscapes, and lush forests. The park is connected to Jasper National Park via the Icefields Parkway. At Jasper National Park, visitors can experience scenic vistas of the Rocky Mountains and diverse wildlife. Elk, grizzly bears, beavers, mountains lions, and other animals call this area home. Outdoor activities abound with hiking, fishing, and rafting available. Camping is also popular. The Miette Hot Springs are a favorite for soaking in steamy waters and enjoying the mountain views.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump dates back at least 6,000 years. Here, visitors can learn about the Blackfoot tribe of Native Americans and how they would hunt buffalo using the natural sandstone cliffs to their advantage.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is rich in dinosaur fossils with over forty species discovered here. The park has also contributed many fossils to museums worldwide. The visitor center offers public programs and a fossil prep lab area.
Ski resorts are also popular across Alberta. Alberta has a long ski season, which makes it a popular winter sport province. It is not unheard of for the season to last into May. Lake Louise offers 4,200 acres for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and Castle Mountain has 59 trails. Sunshine Village is known for having the best snow in North America.
Samuel Witherspoon is a freelance writer who focuses on outdoor activities, travel, foreign cuisine, culture, and other great topics. If you’re also passionate about travel it may be wise to utilize the travel coverage rate comparison tools available here.