Alberta

Canada
Johnston Canyon showing hiking or walking, a bridge and snow

Walk where dinosaurs once roamed, see the northern lights, enjoy winter sports in the Canadian Rockies and glimpse pioneer life at historic sites and museums.

Alberta has great contrasts. The Canadian Rockies, renowned for ski resorts, wildlife and winter activities are juxtaposed against the desert Badlands with prehistoric geology and dinosaur fossils. Excitement abounds in this wild place: spotting grizzly bears or wolves, digging for dinosaur bones and walking amid stone giants of the Hoodoo Rocks.

Edmontonand Calgary are the gateways to Alberta. Explore the province’s history at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. Learn about gemstone geology, local dinosaur fossils and the ancient cultures of Alberta’s aboriginal people. Whatever time of year you’re visiting, the “City of Festivals” offers celebrations of the seasons, music, film and food.

Alberta’s most well-known festival, however, is in Calgary. The 10-day-long Calgary Stampede celebrates the rustic skills of rodeo riding and chuck wagon racing and has been held annually since the 1890s. Get a view over the city while relaxing in the lush green of Prince’s Island Park in the Bow River before sampling fantastic local beef or Alberta cheeses with Rocky Mountain wines.

Drive to the Badlands to see desert landscapes dotted with eerie mushroom-shaped sandstone structures called Hoodoos. In the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, dig for dinosaurs and learn about the fossils found here. Immerse yourself in early settler life at the Pioneer Village and Museum in Hanna. Keen Star Trek fans can have their picture taken in a Trekkie uniform in Vulcan, in a scaled-down Enterprise ship at the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station.

Alberta’s main winter attractions are its powdery slopes, mountain scenery and ski resorts with buzzing nightlife. Lake Louise, Banff and Sunshine are the best-known slopes, but there are plenty more throughout the province to experience. Try your hand at dog-sledding or take a sleigh ride. In warmer months, hike peaks covered in alpine wildflowers in Banff National Park or take a wildlife tour to see and photograph wild grizzly bears, huge elks, wolves, bighorn sheep, cougar and lynx.

Popular cities in Alberta

Calgary featuring a city and a skyscraper
Calgary
Known for Rivers, Theaters and Urban
Home to one of the largest rodeos in the world, this city is alive with art, festivals, pioneer history and wintersports and is a gateway to the Canadian Rockies.

Reasons to visit

  • BMO Centre
  • Prince's Island Park
  • Calgary Zoo
Banff which includes mountains
Banff
Known for Mountains, Cross-country skiing and Hiking
Visit the highest town in Canada and explore the pristine wilderness which surrounds it.

Reasons to visit

  • Upper Hot Springs
  • Banff Gondola
  • Tunnel Mountain
Drumheller Valley which includes tranquil scenes, landscape views and a gorge or canyon
Drumheller
Known for Friendly people, Family-friendly and Museums
Otherworldly landscapes, dinosaur fossils and historic mining towns make this valley a haven for paleontologists, geologists and filmmakers.

Reasons to visit

  • Royal Tyrrell Museum
  • Drumheller Hoodoos
  • World's Largest Dinosaur
Old Strathcona which includes a sunset, night scenes and heritage architecture
Edmonton
Known for Theaters, Entertainment and Rivers
Canada’s Festival City along the North Saskatchewan River is famous for its huge entertainment mall, spacious parklands and thriving arts scene.

Reasons to visit

  • TELUS World of Science-Edmonton
  • West Edmonton Mall
Grande Prairie
Grande Prairie
Known for Entertainment, Spas and Theaters
Get away to Grande Prairie! Enjoy the theater, entertainment, and safaris.

Reasons to visit

  • Northwestern Polytechnic
Lethbridge
Lethbridge
Known for Gardens, Universities and Hockey
This garden city in southern Canada is famous for its scenic walking trails, heritage sites, art galleries and rolling countryside.