Want to Vacation Close to Home? Here are the Best Spots to Visit in Alberta
Alberta is known for its incredible landscapes and scenery, along with the abundance of outdoor adventures to experience – winter, spring, summer, or fall. So why not plan to make this beautiful province the destination for your next vacation (or staycation)? From breath-taking scenery to endless outdoor activities to some bigger city spots, too, we’ve got the scoop for you!
The first stop on our list is the beautiful resort town of Banff, located in Banff National Park – Canada’s first national park and third in the world. Banff is renowned for its surreally coloured lakes and spectacular mountains; plus, the abundance of outdoor adventures you can take advantage of there.1
Activities you can enjoy include hiking, ice skating, fishing, dog sledding, ATVing and snowmobiling, biking, cross-country skiing, golf, and scenic drives. And you won’t want to miss a dip in the famous Banff Hot Springs.
The popular Sunshine Village Ski Resort is in Banff National Park as well – so if you’re into winter sports, you’ll want to plan some time there.
Next up is Lake Louise, where you can take in the world-famous turquoise lakes and magnificent mountain backdrop.2 This destination is also found in Banff National Park.
There are so many activities to enjoy there, including ice skating, snowshoeing, hiking, horseback riding, paddling, canoeing, sightseeing, and dog sledding. It’s also home to Lake Louise Ski Resort – a top skiing and snowboarding destination in Canada.
Jasper is a small town surrounded by mountains, crystalline lakes, and abundant wildlife.3 It’s located in the heart of Jasper National Park – one of 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada. The park offers glaciers, waterfalls, canyons, and evergreen forest – to note just a few highlights.4
In Jasper, adventures you can have include stargazing (!!), skiing and snowboarding, dog sledding, hiking, wildlife spotting, mountain biking, biking, white-water rafting, and setting out on stunningly scenic drives. Maligne Lake is another must-see spot in Jasper National Park.
Canmore is a beautiful town flanked on all sides by the front ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. You can experience virtually everything there – from great food and shopping to breath-taking scenery to endless opportunities for exciting outdoor adventures.5
You can take advantage of the prime mountain recreation in Canmore, with over 71 km of multi-use trails and access to five major ski resorts.6 Skiing and snowboarding are popular activities in Canmore (you can check out the nearby popular ski resort Nakiska), as well as cross country skiing, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and biking.
If you’re craving some indoor adventures, consider heading to the vibrant city of Edmonton – Alberta’s capital. There you can visit West Edmonton Mall – the largest mall in North America.
But there is also plenty of four-season outdoor recreation to take in too. You’ll want to check out the River Valley – the largest urban park in Canada, with more than 160 km of maintained pathways and 20 major parks.7 You can also head out for a day of skiing or snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing, a segway tour, biking, kayaking and more.
The last spot on our list is the exciting metropolitan city of Calgary. While you might not want to spend your whole vacation in the city, it’s worth the trip for destinations like the Calgary Zoo and the Calgary Tower. From there, you can head out to the more scenic areas we’ve listed above, like Banff and Jasper.
While visiting Calgary, some other adventures you can have include skiing and snowboarding, outdoor ice skating, snowshoeing, snow tubing, fishing, dog sledding, and biking (even in the winter!)
If you need us, we’ll be packing our bags! What are some of your favourite spots in Alberta?
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