1. Banff National Park
Banff is undoubtedly one of the two most iconic national parks in Alberta, attracting a multitude of visitors to the province each year. It’s not hard to see why this destination is so popular, with its vibrant glacial lakes, lush evergreen forests, and majestic snow-capped mountains. In essence, Banff captures the very essence of Mother Nature at her finest.
Spanning an impressive 6,641 square kilometers, the park stretches across the eastern slopes of the renowned Rocky Mountains. During the winter months, visitors are drawn to the mountain resorts, where they can indulge in skiing and snowboarding amidst the breathtaking scenery. Meanwhile, the summer season brings sunny and spectacular weather, further enhancing the allure of this stunning Alberta destination.
However, during the spring and fall seasons, Alberta remains a compelling destination with plenty to offer visitors, all while providing a more “off-the-beaten-path” experience as tourist crowds significantly thin out. In these transitional seasons, you can revel in the abundant wildlife, embark on epic hikes, and explore stunningly picturesque locales. So, let’s dive into the best times of the year to visit renowned sites like Lake Louise!
2. Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is another must-see destination in Alberta. As the largest national park in the Rocky Mountains, spanning over 11,000 km², it boasts an array of awe-inspiring sites. From breathtaking canyons and thundering waterfalls to majestic glaciers, this park promises an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Jasper, much like Banff, draws crowds during the summer and winter ski season. However, year-round adventures abound, with spring and fall offering quieter and more exhilarating experiences. Whether it’s hiking on glaciers, canoeing or kayaking on stunning lakes, or tackling thrilling climbs, Jasper National Park promises adventure and awe-inspiring landscapes for explorers of all abilities.
3. Icefields Parkway
Stretching between the charming town of Jasper and the pristine Lake Louise in Banff, Highway 93 North, more commonly known as Icefields Parkway, is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque drives in the world. As a seasoned traveler, I can confidently say that this breathtaking route is truly the most spectacular I have ever encountered!
As you journey along the scenic route, you’ll encounter the breathtaking Columbia Icefield, home to the impressive Athabasca Glacier. For an unparalleled perspective, the Glacier Skywalk provides an aerial view of the icy expanse. However, if you prefer an intimate experience, you can embark on a challenging hike across the glacier itself. Keep in mind that a knowledgeable guide and appropriate equipment are essential for this thrilling adventure.
A must-visit spot along the Icefields Parkway is the breathtaking viewing area above Peyto Lake. Make your way to Bow Summit for a stunning view of the uniquely wolf-shaped lake, boasting an incredibly vibrant blue hue that appears almost surreal!
Calgary, Alberta’s largest metropolis, often serves as the initial gateway for travelers arriving via its international airport. While the city is renowned for the celebrated Calgary Stampede, it offers far more than just cowboy culture. As an enticing destination in Alberta, Calgary provides ample opportunities to explore hidden gems and embark on unique, “off the beaten path” experiences.
Discover charming, trendy neighborhoods, vibrant street art, and award-winning modern architecture in Alberta’s bustling city of Calgary. Savor the flavors of delicious cuisine and delight in craft breweries, all while strolling through picturesque tree-lined outdoor spaces. This is just the beginning! Read on for a comprehensive list of 14 entertaining activities to fill your days in Calgary and make your trip unforgettable.
How to get to Alberta
Discovering the beauty of Alberta has never been easier for UK travelers! Direct flights from London to Calgary (9 hours 15 minutes) and Edmonton (8 hours 40 minutes) make it a breeze to explore the best this Canadian province has to offer. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure!
Upon arrival in Alberta, I highly suggest renting a car to fully immerse yourself in the province’s diverse offerings. With an abundance of sights to take in, having your own vehicle provides the ultimate convenience. For those hesitant about driving abroad, fear not – Alberta is an ideal location to test the waters. Dive into my personal experiences and insider tips on navigating this picturesque region right here!
Before you book your tickets to explore Alberta’s top attractions, don’t forget to secure your official Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) from the Canadian government. While numerous websites offer various versions of the ETA, stick to the official government site, which only charges $7.50. Any site that asks for more is not the real deal! Be sure to learn more and obtain your ETA before embarking on your Canadian adventure.