Alberta holidays are a popular choice when it comes to exploring Canada. It's a Western province but also one of the most populous provinces with over 4 million people living in Alberta alone this ranks the provinces being the fourth most populated across Canada and the most populated out of any of the Prairie Provinces. Located closely to British Columbia and rich with industry Alberta is a popular place to live with excellent opportunities for investment.
When many think of Alberta there often quick to think of oil. This is because Alberta is probably best known for its oil sands. Alberta is one of the primary sources for Canada's crude oil and northern resource industries and as a result there is a huge working population in this province.
Alberta is also well known for its tourism with several large metropolitan areas that include Calgary and Edmonton, several other notable tourist destinations include Banff, Drumheller, Sylvan Lake and Jasper to name a few.
Alberta is definitely a province that has many stark contrasts in its landscapes. By visiting this province you can enjoy beautiful mountain lakes as well as rolling foothills, farmland, Prairie, Badlands and more. You can spend time in large metropolitan areas as well as enjoy getting away from it all in areas like dinosaur provincial Park where some the world's most exquisite dinosaur finds have come from.
As well as drastic changes in landscape there is also drastic changes in weather. Because Alberta extends over 1200 km from its North to South average temperatures can change drastically depending on the terrain and conditions. In the Southwest average temperatures in the coldest months usually hover around 0°C whereas in the far north these temperature averages sit at around -24°C. This is an extremely stark contrast and something that you need to be prepared for if you plan on traveling north. Temperature changes can also occur more rapidly in mountainous regions throughout Alberta.
Top things to do in Alberta:
When it comes to narrowing down different things to do in Alberta there is a long list of sites that you simply can't mix of you plan on traveling to this province for an extended period of time. Whether you are seeking a glimpse into the past, an adventure or some relaxation Alberta has plenty of offerings for each type of tourist. Here are some top things to do no bird and that will provide you with some absolutely unforgettable experiences.
- Lake Louise: If you love skiing or snowboarding you have to check out Lake Louise. Lake Louise is probably best known as being one of the largest skiable parks in Alberta. This isn't your average ski hill and with 4200 acres of skiable terrain throughout this protected area it's one of the very few places in the world that you can free ski down a mountain or take a gondola up to the highest points in the Rockies. There are different cordoned off sections to suit any type of skier or snowboarder making Lake Louise the perfect place for people of all skill levels. Even if you don't enjoy winter sports this is a beautiful place to stay and take in the sights from Victoria glacier. This is also one of the very few places in the world where you can see the FIS ski World Cup for the best years in the world participate in competition to separate the best from their skill set.
- Banff: Banff is a beautiful protected area that's best known for its hot springs. The upper hot springs allow tourists to take in the amazing scenery of this natural area and 1585 m altitude. The Hot Springs were discovered in 1884 by European settlers and they were used by Canada's native population long before that. The springs are fed by 100% mineral water that travels through the earth’s crust to become both heated and pressurized. The facilities that were built around the Hot Springs date back to 1932 and they combination to hundreds of tourists each day.
- Royal Tyrell museum: In Drumheller we find one of the world's largest dinosaur museums. Most of the specimens kept inside this facility were recovered from the surrounding Badlands area. The rock formations create beautiful scenery and used your arise that the arid desert area that makes up the Badlands was once a fertile jungle housing some of the dinosaurs that are found in the museum. You can enjoy workshops that teach you about recovery of the fossils and more.
- Jasper National Park: perhaps one of the greatest sights to see in Alberta is Jasper national Park. Most of the pictures of the Canadian Rockies that you tend to see partaken in this beautiful landscape. Jasper is home to the second largest glacier fed lake in the entire world and there are three different glaciers all visible from that lake. Jasper is one of the very few ways that you can get up close to these glaciers and take in some of the most picturesque beauty of the Canadian wilderness.
- The Calgary stampede: If you are trying to decide on a time that you should visit Calgary you should look into going in July. For 10 days across July the people Calgary throw one of the world's largest outdoor rodeos. The Calgary stampede has been showcasing the best in horsemanship, sheep shearing and rodeo demonstration since 1912 and now attracts a worldwide audience.
- Red rock Canyon: Red rock Canyon is another protected wildlife zone located in Waterton Lakes national Park. Red rock Canyon is an excellent place where you can connect with nature and see a stark contrast from the green pine trees, blue Lakes and rushing streams to the beautiful red rock canyons and foothills. Kids and families can play through the streams, Hike on many different walking paths and see some of the bird is native wildlife.
Top tips for any trip to Alberta:
If you are planning a trip to Alberta you should strongly consider packing the right items and picking the right time to go. By planning ahead and following these tips you can have a much better time and be prepared for all types of activities that you might experience in the province. Here are some of the top tips for packing and traveling to Alberta.
- Shoot for the summer months: The reason for going during the summer is twofold. Alberta is a place that you can ski just about year round because of the colder climates up in the mountains. While the weather can be somewhat unpredictable and has been known to even snow in the middle of June the weather is much more comfortable especially if you come from a warm climate. The second reason for going during the summer months is for all of the festivals. Edmonton as well as Calgary play host to some of the best festivals in Canada. A large-scale music Fest as well as the Calgary stampede take place throughout July making either one of the stops perfect for summer. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages to going in the summer as well is you don't have to contend with poor driving conditions. This means that you can easily make your way up north and explore more of the province even in a typical rental car.
- Pack comfy hiking shoes: in order to really explore the natural areas of Alberta you going to need to put on a pair of comfortable hiking shoes. Enjoying a walk outside usually involves using some type of comfy hiking shoe that's waterproof as well. In areas like red rocks you may find yourself wading through small streams and with) hiking boots you can do this with ease.
- Consider a boat rental: taking a boat out on a glacial lake is one of the most amazing ways that you can see a glacier. Renting or going on a short cruise can be absolutely breathtaking and give you a whole new perspective on the scenery.
- Go to the mountains even if you don't ski or snowboard: some of the views from the Rocky Mountains in Alberta are absolutely life-changing. Many of the ski hills offer up tours and the ability to even walk on some of the oldest glaciers in the world. This means that there is something for even people that don't enjoy winter sports. With the help of the gondola and some of the helicopter tours you can make your way to the top of the Rockies and capture some most pristine views of the province.
- Expect some travel: because Alberta is so large and because many of the Metropolitan areas are quite spaced out it's very important that you expect some driving. Many tourists visit Alberta with just a few days expecting to see a large amount of the province. Accounting some extra time for travel will do your trip some good. If you want to go at a more relaxed pace make sure you have at least a week or more that you can spend to see a fair portion of this province.
- Bring varied clothing: Different layers for your clothing is definitely the best way that you can pack and prepare for each day. Dressing in layers will help to save you time and prepare you for the future. Weather can change quite quickly depending on where you may be traveling in the province and having layers will allow you to take off and put on warmer clothing throughout the day.
- Try the beef: Alberta beef farmers are extremely proud of their product and in this province you can find some of the world's greatest steak and beef products. Alberta beef and BBQ is often compared with Texas and local farms and restaurants try to impress with every steak they serve.
- If you have an interest in dinosaurs and history go to the badlands: If you love dinosaur museums or you are interested in archaeology and paleontology you should strongly consider going to the Badlands. This is where some of the world's best fossils and dinosaur remains have been found and there are workshops were you can work side by side with leading experts to unearth the past.
- Prepare to shop: The west Edmonton mall has some amazing stores and a full indoor roller coaster. This is one spot that you can't afford to miss if you are a big shopping connoisseur or you are interested in doing a bit of shopping. Currently the Canadian dollar is valued significantly lower than the American dollar as well as the euro so you could definitely find some excellent savings on brand names in the west Edmonton mall and throughout the province.
- Bring a camera: Alberta is definitely one of the most beautiful provinces for connecting with nature. You can see some beautiful landscape scenes as well as get up close and personal with some of Canada's largest carnivores. Alberta plays host to mountain lions, black bears, grizzlies and more. It's also one of the very few places on earth where you can still find wild bison and buffalo.