Unveiling Alberta’s Gems: The Best Places To Visit For Adventurers And Nature Lovers

Alberta stuns with majestic mountains, turquoise lakes, and charming cities. From hiking glaciers to exploring vibrant culture, discover the must-visit spots for your dream Canadian adventure! (This captivating province has something for everyone!)

The best places to visit in Alberta - Peyto Lake on the Icefield's Parkway

The fresh and clean prairie air filled my lungs as I arrived in Calgary, a genuine feeling of wonder bubbling inside of me. Alberta, the land of soaring peaks and vast prairies I’d, so far, only seen in photographs, was finally within reach.

As I drove away from the city, the landscape unfolded before me like a majestic painting – snow-capped peaks piercing an endless blue sky, their reflections shimmering in turquoise lakes. I knew right then that this wasn’t just a trip; it was the beginning of a love affair with one of Canada’s most beautiful and misunderstood provinces.

While many people look at British Columbia and think that it’s the most famous destination in Canada, Alberta actually offers that pristine experience that many visitors to the country picture when they’re planning their first Canadian travel experience.

I first visited Alberta on a work trip from my home in Ontario. But over the decades since, I’ve returned many times to experience the best places to visit in the province. I’ve explored the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, the crystal clear lakes of Waterton National Park, and the sprawling streets of Calgary and Edmonton.

I’ve even toured through the province’s countless kilometres of farmland to visit remote wonders like Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump and the Okotoks Erratic. Every visit leaves me filled with wonder and wanting to explore more.

But read on, and I’ll let you be the judge of what the most beautiful destinations in Alberta truly are.

Best Places To Visit In Alberta

Christina and Kevin Wagar at Peyto Lake on the Icefields Parkway
Taking in the views of Peyto Lake on the Icefield’s Parkway – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

I’ve explored Alberta’s vast landscapes in every season and light, and Canada’s fourth-largest province continues to amaze me.

A lot of people ask me about when the best time to visit Alberta is. Forget that debate – Alberta is a year-round paradise.

In the winter, the Rockies thrill with frozen waterfalls and some of the world’s best skiing, while the prairies offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and epic snowmobiling trails.

Summer in Alberta beckons with countless emerald-coloured lakes, farm-to-table feasts, and social hotspots like Calgary’s trendy Inglewood District.

Seeking iconic stays? Immerse yourself in history at the Fairmont Banff Springs (considered one of the most haunted hotels in Canada), or opt for modern luxury at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise.

Beyond the beaten path, hidden gems like Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrell Museum offer a thrilling glimpse into prehistory.

Forget the typical rigid Alberta itinerary – Alberta begs to be explored at your own pace. Buckle up, rent a car at Calgary International Airport, and get ready to discover the most amazing places to travel in Alberta.


Banff at night, as seen from the top of the Banff Gondola.
Banff at night, as seen from the top of the Banff Gondola. Photo Credit: Robin and Arlene Karpan

The town of Banff is, quite possibly, the most iconic destination in Canada. Just an hour from Calgary, this town seems to live in an alternate universe where there are simply no bad angles, and everything is idyllic … except maybe the crowds.

My first venture into Banff was in the winter when the annual Snow Days Festival was in full swing, and the town bustled with festive energy. This was long before my days of travel writing, but I planned my itinerary to take full advantage of the mountain town.

After returning time and time again to this famous mountain city, I’ve got my Banff itinerary down to a science. For first-timers, don’t miss:

Top things to do in Banff

Lake Louise

This world-famous lake is a must-see for any visitor to Banff National Park. The turquoise water is a stunning sight, especially against the backdrop of the Victoria Glacier. You can hike or bike around the lake, go canoeing or kayaking on its surface, or simply relax and take in the views.

Moraine Lake

This smaller lake is located just a short drive from Lake Louise and is equally, perhaps even more beautiful than its famous sister, Lake Louise. The water is a stunning shade of blue, and the backdrop of the Valley of the Ten Peaks is breathtaking. You can hike or bike around the lake, or take a boat tour to get a closer look at the scenery.

Banff Gondola

Take a ride on the Banff Gondola for stunning views of the Bow Valley and the surrounding mountains. The gondola takes you up to the top of Sulphur Mountain, where you can find hiking trails, restaurants, and a wildlife interpretive center. You can book tickets on the Banff Gondola here.

Where To Eat In Banff

Brazen Kitchen & Bar

Situated in the historic Mount Royal Hotel, Brazen offers a modern twist on classic Canadian cuisine. Perfect for a celebratory dinner or a special occasion, their menu features Alberta beef, fresh seafood, and seasonal delights. They also have a dedicated kids menu and a lively bar scene for after-dinner drinks.

The Maple Leaf

This lively pub is a Banff staple, perfect for a casual meal after a day of exploring. They offer a wide variety of pub fare, from classic burgers and poutine to Alberta beef steaks and fresh seafood. The Maple Leaf is known for its friendly atmosphere and live music on weekends, making it a great place to soak up the local vibe.

Where To Stay In Banff

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

This iconic castle-style hotel sits majestically on the shores of the world-famous Lake Louise. It’s a luxurious choice steeped in history, offering stunning lake and mountain views from many rooms.

Enjoy world-class dining, an award-winning spa, and a variety of activities like historic tours, sleigh rides, and canoeing on the lake in the summer. Be prepared for a higher price point, but the experience is truly unforgettable. You can check their availability here.

Post Hotel Lake Louise

This award-winning ski-in/ski-out hotel offers a more contemporary and intimate experience compared to the Fairmont Chateau.

Located steps away from Lake Louise and the slopes of Lake Louise Ski Resort, it caters to active travellers and families. Enjoy modern amenities, comfortable rooms, delicious dining options, and outdoor hot tubs with breathtaking views. You can check their availability here.

Icefields Parkway

Athabasca Falls on the Icefield's Parkway
Athabasca Falls on the Icefield’s Parkway – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

The steering wheel felt cool under my fingertips. My eyes still gleamed from the reflections of the sun sparkling off of the turquoise waters of Moraine Lake. I was driving the Icefields Parkway, one of the most breathtaking road trips in the world.

The Icefields Parkway is a journey into the heart of the Canadian Rockies, a tapestry of snow-capped peaks, emerald valleys, and glaciers promising a glimpse into an ancient world. Every twist and turn offers a new vista, each one more awe-inspiring than the last. M

This stunning route between the towns of Banff and Jasper includes some of Canada’s most iconic viewpoints, including the Athabasca Glacier, a colossal river of ice, a testament to both the fragility and the raw power of nature. If you want to witness the raw beauty of the Canadian Rockies in all their untamed glory, this is the place to be.

Can’t Miss Stops Along The Icefields Parkway

Peyto Lake

Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Canadian Rockies” for a reason, Peyto Lake boasts a captivating colour palette. The glacial flour carried by meltwater paints the lake a stunning turquoise, contrasting beautifully with the surrounding evergreen forests and snow-capped peaks. A short hike leads to a viewpoint offering breathtaking panoramic views.

Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier

Witness the raw power of nature at the Columbia Icefield, home to the mighty Athabasca Glacier. This colossal river of ice is a remnant of the last ice age, and visitors can walk right up to its toe. Several tour options are available, including a special Ice Explorer vehicle that takes you onto the glacier itself. Don’t miss nearby Athabasca Falls, a powerful waterfall cascading down a steep canyon.

Athabasca Falls

Don’t miss the roar of Athabasca Falls along the Icefields Parkway! This powerful cascade thunders through a narrow canyon, showcasing the raw energy of the mighty Athabasca River. A quick stop offers stunning views and a refreshing break amidst the majestic scenery.


Gondola over Jasper Alberta - Photo credit: Tourism Jasper
Gondola over Jasper Alberta – Photo credit: Tourism Jasper

Jasper, the gateway to the vast wilderness of Jasper National Park, lies at the end of the Icefields Parkway. When I first arrived here, I was exhausted after my wife, and I had spent the entire day road-tripping from Banff.

But after a glorious night of sleep at Maligne Lodge, we discovered towering pines lined the streets, their scent mingling with the promise of adventure.

Unlike Banff, with its bustling streets and crowded cafes, Jasper exuded a sense of serene wildness. Here, the pace slowed, replaced by the quiet awe inspired by nature’s grandeur. My list of things to do in Jasper was a broad brushstroke of adventure – a hike through the ancient cedars of Maligne Canyon, a boat cruise on the pristine waters of Maligne Lake, all culminating in the ultimate dream – witnessing the ethereal dance of the Northern Lights paint the night sky.

Top Things To Do In Jasper

Maligne Canyon

Delve into the heart of Jasper National Park and explore the captivating Maligne Canyon. This natural wonder features a series of cascading waterfalls plunging through a dramatic limestone canyon.

Hike the easily accessible trails along the upper and lower falls, marvelling at the power of water carving through the rock over millennia. For a unique vantage point, descend the steep stone stairs for a closer look at the canyon’s vibrant turquoise depths

Maligne Lake

Set amidst a backdrop of towering peaks, Maligne Lake is a jewel in Jasper’s crown. Embark on a scenic boat cruise, soaking in the breathtaking panorama of snow-capped mountains reflected in the crystal-clear water.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings – moose and bald eagles are frequent visitors to this pristine environment. For the adventurous, kayak or canoe across the lake’s surface, experience its tranquillity firsthand.

Marmot Basin

Known for its “champagne powder” and breathtaking views, promises exhilarating runs and unforgettable descents. For the less adventurous, snowshoeing trails wind through pristine forests, offering a quieter way to experience the winter landscape. Cozy up by a crackling fireplace at the end of the day, reliving the memories of a day spent amongst the majestic Canadian Rockies. You can get lift tickets and accommodation information here.

Where To Eat In Jasper

Evil Dave’s Grill

This funky restaurant offers a diverse menu with a globally-inspired twist, featuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Expect unexpected flavour combinations, creative presentations, and a vibrant atmosphere.

Their signature “Forage Burger” showcases Alberta beef with a foraged mushroom and truffle aioli, while the “Crazy Elk Reuben” puts a unique spin on a classic. Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking for a memorable meal, Evil Dave’s offers a delightful escape for your taste buds.

The Balcony Restaurant

Located within the iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This family-friendly restaurant offers stunning panoramic views of Lac Beauvert and the surrounding peaks.

Their menu features classic comfort food favourites with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Savor juicy burgers, hearty pastas, and Alberta-raised steaks, all while soaking in the breathtaking scenery. The Balcony Restaurant is a perfect spot for a relaxed lunch or a cozy dinner after a day of exploring Jasper’s wonders.

Where To Stay In Jasper

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Immerse yourself in rustic luxury at the iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This historic hotel, built in 1926, exudes mountain charm with its grand lobby fireplaces and cozy guest rooms. Located on Lac Beauvert’s shore, it offers breathtaking views and convenient access to the lake for activities like canoeing and kayaking.

Enjoy world-class dining experiences, pampering spa treatments, and outdoor activities like guided hikes and wildlife viewing tours. This luxurious escape is perfect for those seeking a taste of Jasper’s history and breathtaking scenery. You can check their current availability here.

The Jasper Inn & Suites

Experience comfort and convenience at the Jasper Inn & Suites. This modern hotel offers spacious and affordable rooms, ideal for families or budget-conscious travellers. Enjoy amenities like an indoor pool, hot tubs, and a sauna, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring.

The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of Jasper Town Center, offering easy access to restaurants, shops, and sightseeing options. Jasper Inn & Suites is a great choice for those seeking a comfortable and centrally located basecamp for their Jasper adventures. You can check their current rates and availability here.


Kevin Wagar poses with a sled dog in Canmore, Alberta - Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
Kevin Wagar poses with a sled dog in Canmore, Alberta – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Canmore snuck up on me. Nestled in the shadow of Banff’s grandeur, I first visited this tiny mountain town on a business retreat. Before I arrived, I saw it as a stopover, a convenient place to rest before venturing deeper into the Canadian Rockies.

But Canmore weaved its magic on me. The fresh mountain air, crisp and clean, invigorated my soul with every breath. Quaint cafes lining the main street beckoned with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and homemade pastries. Local artisans showcased their work in charming galleries, each piece imbued with the spirit of the mountains.

One crisp morning, I embarked on a dog-sledding adventure in Kananaskis Country, just outside Canmore. The exhilaration of racing across the pristine snow, guided by a team of enthusiastic huskies, filled me with a childlike wonder. As we paused on a frozen lake, the silence was broken only by the rhythmic panting of the dogs and the distant call of a loon. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks reflected in the still water, I felt a profound sense of peace and connection to nature.

Canmore wasn’t just a place; it was an experience. It was the warmth of a crackling fireplace in a cozy cabin after a day of exploring. It was the camaraderie of fellow travelers sharing stories over steaming mugs of hot chocolate. It was the raw, untamed beauty of the mountains whispering tales of resilience and time. As I prepared to leave, I carried a piece of Canmore with me – a newfound appreciation for the simple joys and the profound emotional impact a place can have.

Top Things To Do In Canmore

Bow Valley Canyon

Delve into the heart of the Canadian Rockies with a guided hike through the Bow Valley Canyon. Carved by the Bow River over millennia, the canyon offers a dramatic landscape of towering limestone cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and hidden caves.

Choose from various tours depending on your fitness level, with options ranging from family-friendly hikes with stunning overlooks to more adventurous rappelling experiences. Learn about the area’s geology, flora, and fauna from knowledgeable guides, and create lasting memories exploring this natural wonder.

White-Water Rafting

Get your adrenaline pumping with an exhilarating white-water rafting trip down the Bow River. This thrilling adventure is perfect for those seeking an outdoor adventure. Experienced guides will navigate you through exciting rapids, ensuring a safe and unforgettable experience.

Immerse yourself in the spray of cool water as you paddle through stunning scenery, surrounded by towering peaks and lush valleys. This activity is perfect for creating a sense of camaraderie and conquering challenging rapids as a team.

Buffalo Stone Woman Tours

Embark on a unique cultural journey with Buffalo Stone Woman Tours, led by a member of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. These tours offer an opportunity to learn about the rich history, traditions, and spiritual connection of the indigenous people to the land.

Experience storytelling around a crackling campfire, participate in traditional handcrafts like beadwork, or learn about medicinal plants used by the Stoney Nakoda people for generations. Buffalo Stone Woman Tours provides an authentic and respectful way to connect with the indigenous culture of the region, fostering understanding and appreciation for the land’s deep history. You can connect with Buffalo Stone Woman here.

Where To Eat In Canmore

Graze Restaurant

Indulge in a farm-to-table culinary experience at Graze Restaurant. This upscale establishment focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and innovative takes on Canadian cuisine. The menu changes seasonally, showcasing the bounty of Alberta’s farms and producers.

Enjoy dishes like pan-seared Alberta bison with roasted root vegetables or roasted Fraser Valley chicken with foraged mushrooms. The elegant atmosphere with stunning mountain views creates a memorable dining experience. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak season.

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

Experience the heart of Canmore’s casual dining scene at The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company. This lively brewpub offers a wide selection of house-crafted beers alongside a delicious pub fare menu. Savour classic dishes like juicy burgers, hearty stews, and fresh pizzas, all made with high-quality ingredients.

The friendly atmosphere and live music on weekends make it a great spot to unwind after a day of exploring. Don’t forget to sample their award-winning beers, brewed on-site using Rocky Mountain glacial water.

Where To Stay In Canmore

Stoneridge Mountain Resort

Tucked amidst the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, Stoneridge Mountain Resort offers a luxurious and modern escape. Upscale suites feature fireplaces and balconies, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring. Enjoy amenities like a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, a steam room, and a fitness center.

The resort offers on-site dining options, including a casual cafe and a fine-dining restaurant. Stoneridge is located just minutes from Canmore’s charming downtown area, offering easy access to shops, restaurants, and activities. You can check their availability here.

Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge

This upscale mountain resort boasts a beautiful location directly in Kananaskis Country. It offers a variety of room options, from cozy guest rooms to spacious suites, many featuring stunning mountain views.

Guests can enjoy amenities like an indoor/outdoor pool complex, a spa, multiple restaurants, and on-site ski-in/ski-out access in winter.

Alberta Badlands

Hoodoos in the Alberta Badlands at Writing on Stone Wall Provincial Park - Photo credit: Michael Matti
Hoodoos in the Alberta Badlands at Writing on Stone Wall Provincial Park – Photo credit: Michael Matti

The sun beat down on the cracked earth as I stepped out of the car, the dry desert air filling my lungs with the scent of sagebrush. Gone were the towering pines and snow-capped peaks of the Rockies I’d just left behind.

Welcome to the Alberta Badlands, a landscape ripped straight from a prehistoric movie set. For a self-proclaimed dino enthusiast and geology buff, this place was pure magic.

Everywhere I looked, the eroded earth displayed its multi-coloured story, a canvas painted by millions of years of wind, water, and time. Ahead lay Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and my personal pilgrimage ground.

The promise of unearthing fossilized giants who once roamed this land sent a thrill through me. Hiking trails snaked through the hoodoos – those peculiar spires sculpted by erosion – leading to hidden coves where dinosaur bones lay waiting to be discovered (well, by paleontologists, but a curious visitor can dream!).

This wasn’t just a change of scenery; it was a journey back in time, a chance to stand where dinosaurs once thundered and feel the vastness of prehistoric Alberta come alive. The Badlands weren’t just a landscape; they were a living museum whispering tales of a forgotten era.

Top Things To Do In The Alberta Badlands

Dinosaur Provincial Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-do for any dinosaur enthusiast. Explore the vast network of hiking trails that wind through dramatic badlands landscapes.

Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, which is about an hour and a half away. It’s home to one of the world’s largest dinosaur displays. Marvel at the fossilized skeletons of these prehistoric giants. You can even participate in a guided fossil dig program for a truly immersive experience (availability may vary, so check the park website for details).

Hike Through Hoodoos

The Alberta Badlands are famous for their hoodoos – strange, chimney-like rock formations carved by millions of years of erosion. Hike through scenic trails like the Hoodoo Trail or the Horsethief Trail, marvelling at these otherworldly rock formations.

The contrast between the colourful, eroded earth and the vast blue sky creates a photographer’s paradise. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings; bighorn sheep, prairie falcons, and rattlesnakes call these badlands home.

Midland Provincial Park

Step further back in time at Midland Provincial Park, where hoodoos tell a different story. Here, the eroded layers reveal evidence of a shallow sea that existed millions of years ago.

Explore the Coal Mine Trail and learn about the area’s mining history, or hike to the top of Fossil Falls for breathtaking views of the surrounding badlands.

Where To Eat In The Alberta Badlands

Brooks Steakhouse

The Brooks Steak House in Alberta is a family-friendly restaurant located in the town of Brooks, near Dinosaur Provincial Park. It offers classic comfort food favourites like juicy steaks, burgers, and pasta dishes in a casual atmosphere. They are a good option for those seeking a familiar and satisfying meal after a day of exploring the Alberta Badlands.

Don Chava Taqueria

This quirky and delicious taqueria in Brooks, Alberta, offers classic Mexican cuisine served up in a fun, casual atmosphere. It’s a popular stop for those exploring the Alberta Badlands.

Where To Stay In The Alberta Badlands

Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre

This hotel in Brooks (about an hour’s drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park in Brooks) is a convenient and comfortable option for exploring the Badlands. It offers spacious and clean rooms suitable for families or budget-conscious travellers.

Amenities include an indoor pool, hot tub, and a fitness center, perfect for relaxing after a day of adventure. The hotel also features an on-site restaurant serving casual fare, which is ideal for grabbing a quick bite before heading out for exploration. You can check their current rates and availability here.

Medicine Hat Lodge (Medicine Hat, Alberta)

For a unique stay, consider the Medicine Hat Lodge, located about a 1.5-hour drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park. This historic hotel, built in 1914, offers a taste of Alberta’s past. Choose from elegantly decorated rooms, some featuring original heritage details.

The hotel boasts on-site dining options, including a fine-dining restaurant and a casual pub catering to different preferences. Medicine Hat itself offers attractions like the world’s largest gaslight district, perfect for a post-exploration stroll. You can check their availability here.


Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta - Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

The highway stretched out before me, a ribbon of asphalt leading me deeper into the heart of Alberta. Calgary, the bustling metropolis I’d just left behind, seemed a world away. Now, the landscape transformed, rolling plains dotted with grazing cattle giving way to the dramatic, eroded cliffs of the Alberta Badlands.

My destination: Drumheller, a town synonymous with prehistoric giants. A thrill of anticipation bubbled within me. Drumheller wasn’t just a quirky stop on the map; it was a gateway to the past, a place where towering dinosaur skeletons whispered tales of a bygone era.

The iconic Royal Tyrrell Museum loomed on the horizon, its modern structure a stark contrast to the ancient landscape. Here, I knew I’d come face-to-face with the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex and marvel at the sheer size of the colossal Argentinosaurus.

But Drumheller promised more than just museum exhibits. The promise of exploring hoodoos – those strange, chimney-like rock formations sculpted by time – and hiking through the dramatic badlands landscape filled me with excitement.

Top Things To Do In Drumheller

Royal Tyrrell Museum

This world-renowned dinosaur museum is a must-do for any visitor to Drumheller. Explore vast exhibition halls showcasing a diverse collection of dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and interactive displays.

Come face-to-face with a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex, marvel at the colossal Argentinosaurus, and learn about the fascinating creatures that once roamed this region. The Royal Tyrrell Museum offers guided tours, special programs, and even a dinosaur dig simulator for a truly immersive experience

Dinosaur Adventure Trail

Drumheller isn’t just about museums and parks. The town itself embraces its prehistoric connection with quirky charm. Embark on a self-guided tour along the Dinosaur Discovery Trail, a network of colourful dinosaur statues scattered throughout Drumheller.

Pose for a picture with a larger-than-life Albertosaurus statue or climb the stairs inside the world’s largest T-Rex for stunning views of the town. This playful trail is a fun activity for families and a great way to explore Drumheller’s unique dinosaur theme.

Where To Eat In Drumheller

The Last Chance Saloon (Wayne, Alberta)

For a taste of the Wild West with a prehistoric twist, head to The Last Chance Saloon. This lively bar and grill offer a fun and casual atmosphere, perfect for a relaxed meal after a day of exploring.

The menu features classic pub fare with a dinosaur-inspired twist. Savour juicy “Bronto Burgers” or “Tricera Trotters” (pulled pork!) alongside Alberta beef steaks and other hearty dishes. Live music on weekends adds to the vibrant atmosphere, making The Last Chance Saloon a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

Black Mountain Roasters

If you’re looking for a lighter option or a caffeine fix, Black Mountain Roasters is your answer. This cozy coffee shop boasts a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for grabbing a cup of locally roasted coffee and a pastry before heading out for exploration.

They offer a selection of breakfast and lunch options, including sandwiches, salads, and delicious homemade soups. Black Mountain Roasters is a great spot to relax, fuel up for your day, and enjoy friendly service from the locals.

Where To Stay In Drumheller

Ramada by Wyndham Drumheller Hotel & Suites

This conveniently located hotel offers comfortable and affordable accommodations for budget-conscious travellers or families. Spacious rooms provide ample space to relax after a day of exploring the Drumheller area. Enjoy amenities like an indoor pool, hot tub, and a fitness center, perfect for unwinding after a day of adventure.

The hotel also features an on-site restaurant serving breakfast and casual fare, making it easy to grab a bite before heading out for exploration. Its proximity to major highways makes it a convenient base for exploring not just Drumheller but also the wider Alberta Badlands region. You can check out their current rates and availability here.

Waterton Lakes National Park

Wildflower Festival at Waterton Lakes National Park - Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
Wildflower Festival at Waterton Lakes National Park – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Waterton Lakes National Park, a jewel nudging against the border to the United States in the southwest corner of Alberta, beckoned with the promise of adventure. Waterton, with its dramatic mountains and endless forests, offers an air of tranquillity and solitude.

But Waterton is far from an isolated paradise. A unique aspect sent a thrill through me – its international border with Glacier National Park in the United States. Just across the emerald waters of Upper Waterton Lake lay another protected wilderness, beckoning with the promise of exploring a different national treasure.

Kayaking across the lake, the international border a mere ripple in the water, felt symbolic – a chance to experience the seamless beauty of nature that transcended human-drawn lines. Days promised exploration of turquoise lakes nestled amidst snow-capped peaks, while evenings held the potential for a truly unique experience – a boat tour traversing two countries in a single journey.

In Waterton, the magic wasn’t just the scenery; it was the chance to explore a place where two countries became one, united by the majestic embrace of the Rockies.

Things To Do In Waterton National Park

Crypt Lake Trail

Embark on a challenging but rewarding hike on the Crypt Lake Trail, a crown jewel of Waterton Lakes National Park. This 7.4 km (4.6 mi) out-and-back trail winds through dense forests and meadows, offering stunning glimpses of surrounding peaks.

The highlight? Reaching Crypt Lake, a turquoise gem nestled amidst towering cliffs. The vivid colour of the water, contrasted with the dramatic rock faces, creates a scene straight out of a postcard.

For experienced hikers, consider the additional scramble to the Grinnell Glacier viewpoint for even more breathtaking panoramas. Remember to check trail conditions and weather forecasts before venturing out, and be prepared for a moderate to strenuous hike.

Upper Waterton Lake

Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of Upper Waterton Lake, a vibrant body of water reflecting the snow-capped peaks that surround it. Paddle at your own pace on a kayak or canoe rental, soaking in the scenery and keeping an eye out for resident loons and bald eagles.

For a guided experience, hop on a boat tour and learn about the park’s history and unique ecosystem from knowledgeable guides. A particularly exciting option? Take a boat tour that ventures across the international border, allowing you to explore a portion of Glacier National Park in the US from the comfort of your seat.

Cameron Falls Hike

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a moderate 5 km (3.1 mi) out-and-back trail to Cameron Falls. This scenic hike winds through a lush forest, offering glimpses of the cascading falls along the way. As you near the end of the trail, the sound of rushing water intensifies, culminating in the magnificent sight of Cameron Falls itself.

The powerful cascade plunging into a turquoise pool creates a scene of raw beauty. Continue further for an optional viewpoint offering a panoramic perspective of the surrounding valleys.

Where To Eat In Waterton Lakes National Park

The Prince of Wales Hotel Dining Room

For a fine dining experience steeped in history, head to the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel. This grand hotel, perched overlooking Upper Waterton Lake, features a beautifully appointed dining room.

Savour expertly prepared dishes featuring fresh, regional ingredients; all served with stunning lake and mountain views. The elegant atmosphere and impeccable service make this a special occasion restaurant, perfect for a romantic dinner or a celebratory meal. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak season.

Kilmorey Restaurant & Pub

If you’re seeking a more casual and lively atmosphere, Kilmorey Restaurant & Pub is a great option. Located in the heart of Waterton town, this pub offers a welcoming ambiance and a menu featuring classic pub fare with a twist.

Enjoy juicy burgers, fresh salads, and local craft beers on tap. Live music on weekends adds to the vibrant atmosphere, making Kilmorey a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. It’s a perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring and share stories with fellow adventurers.

Where To Stay in Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort

This resort is a great option for those seeking a comfortable and convenient location. Situated just a 5-minute walk from the shore of Waterton Lake, it offers easy access to the park’s main attractions. The lodge features chalet-style guest rooms with balconies, some offering stunning lake and mountain views.

Enjoy amenities like an on-site restaurant, an outdoor pool with a hot tub, and a games room, perfect for relaxing after a day of adventure. You can find availability and book your stay here.

Bayshore Inn & Spa

This full-service lodge offers a luxurious and relaxing experience in the heart of Waterton. Located just steps from Waterton Lake and the town center, it provides convenient access to shops, restaurants, and hiking trails. Guests can choose from comfortable rooms or spacious suites, some featuring fireplaces and balconies with scenic views.

Indulge in pampering treatments at the on-site spa or unwind in the outdoor hot tubs after a day of exploration. The lodge also boasts three on-site restaurants offering diverse dining options. You can find availability and book your stay here.

Pincher Creek

Burmis tree in Pincher Creek at Crowsnest Pass - Photo credit: Travel Alberta/Chris Amat
Burmis tree in Pincher Creek at Crowsnest Pass – Photo credit: Travel Alberta/Chris Amat

Sure, Banff and Jasper might steal the spotlight among destinations in Alberta with their majestic peaks and turquoise lakes, but Pincher Creek holds a different kind of magic. It was a place steeped in history, a gateway to unspoiled wilderness, and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Images danced in my head – exploring the windswept prairies dotted with wildflower meadows, scaling dramatic cliffs overlooking the Oldman River, and maybe even catching a glimpse of a majestic bison roaming the grasslands.

Pincher Creek was a chance to experience Alberta’s wide-open spaces, delve into the rich heritage of the region, and reconnect with the raw beauty of the Canadian Rockies foothills.

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of Pincher Creek at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village. This open-air museum showcases a collection of over 30 restored buildings, including a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, and a general store.

Wander through the exhibits and learn about the lives of early settlers, ranchers, and pioneers who shaped the region’s past. Costumed interpreters bring history to life, offering demonstrations of traditional crafts and storytelling around crackling campfires. The village also boasts beautiful gardens and walking trails, making it a delightful place to spend an afternoon.

Castle Provincial Park

Escape the town and delve into the breathtaking scenery of Castle Provincial Park, located roughly 45 minutes from Pincher Creek. This hidden gem boasts dramatic landscapes carved by glaciers, featuring towering limestone cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and lush valleys.

Lace up your hiking boots and explore a network of trails catering to all skill levels. Challenge yourself with a climb to the top of Castle Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness, or opt for a leisurely stroll along the scenic riverside trails. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife – bighorn sheep, deer, and even the occasional grizzly bear call this park home.

Oldman River

Experience the thrill of an Alberta white-water rafting adventure or a serene kayaking journey down the Oldman River. This major waterway, snaking its way through rolling foothills and dramatic canyons, offers something for all adventure levels.

For a heart-pounding adventure, embark on a guided white-water rafting trip, navigating exciting rapids amidst breathtaking scenery. If a calmer pace is your preference, rent a kayak or canoe and explore the river at your own leisurely pace. Paddle through peaceful stretches, stopping to admire the diverse birdlife and soak in the tranquillity of the surrounding landscape.

Where To Eat In Pincher Creek

Heritage Inn Seasons Cafe & Eatery

This casual eatery, located within the Heritage Inn Hotel, provides a convenient and comfortable option for a relaxed meal. The menu features classic comfort food favourites like juicy burgers, hearty pasta, and breakfast dishes served all day.

The atmosphere is family-friendly, with spacious seating and a relaxed vibe. It’s a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring and refuel for your next adventure.

Antonio’s Pizza

Craving a satisfying slice or a delicious plate of pasta? Head to Antonio’s Pizza, a local favourite known for its New York-style pizzas and Italian comfort food. The menu features build-your-own pizzas with a wide selection of toppings, along with classic Italian dishes like lasagna and chicken parmesan.

The restaurant offers a casual atmosphere with friendly service, making it a great choice for a casual dinner or a quick lunch. They also have delivery and takeout options, perfect for enjoying a relaxed meal at your hotel or after a long day of exploring.

Where To Stay In Pinchers Creek

Travelodge by Wyndham Pincher Creek

This conveniently located hotel offers comfortable and affordable accommodations for budget-conscious travellers. Situated near major highways, it provides easy access to Pincher Creek’s attractions and the surrounding area.

Guest rooms are clean and functional, offering a relaxing space to unwind after a day of adventure. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, and laundry facilities. The hotel also features an on-site restaurant serving casual fare, making it easy to grab a bite before heading out for exploration. You can find their current rates and availability here.

Ramada by Wyndham Pincher Creek

For those seeking a hotel with slightly more amenities, consider the Ramada by Wyndham Pincher Creek. This conveniently located hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms suitable for families or those seeking extra space. Guests can enjoy amenities like an indoor pool with a waterslide, a hot tub, and a fitness center, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring.

The hotel also boasts an on-site restaurant serving breakfast and casual fare, making it easy to grab a meal before heading out for adventure. Its proximity to major highways makes it a convenient base for exploring not just Pincher Creek but also the wider Alberta foothills region. You can find their current rates and availability here.

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Indigenous man in regalia stands atop a cliff at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump - Photo credit: C&B Advertising
Indigenous man in regalia stands atop a cliff at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump – Photo credit: C&B Advertising

The wind whipped through my hair as I stood on the towering cliffs of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a vast expanse of rolling prairie stretching before me. This wasn’t just any viewpoint; it was a place etched in history, a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of the Indigenous peoples who continue to thrive here as they have for centuries.

The reverence in the air was palpable. For thousands of years, the Blackfoot Confederacy used this very site for a unique and sustainable hunting practice – driving buffalo herds over the cliff, maximizing their harvest with respect for the land.

Gazing out at the sprawling landscape, I tried to visualize the thundering hooves of the buffalo, the coordinated efforts of the hunters, and the reverence they held for these majestic animals. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump wasn’t just a historical landmark; it was a cultural touchstone. It whispered stories of a bygone era, a time when humans lived in harmony with nature, using their knowledge and skills to survive and thrive.

Things to do at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Interpretive Center and Walk the Cliff Edge

Start your visit at the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre. This modern facility houses informative exhibits that tell the story of the buffalo jump. Learn about the history and culture of the Blackfoot Confederacy, their deep connection to the land, and the ingenious techniques they used for buffalo hunting. Interactive displays, films, and artifacts bring the past to life.

After exploring the interpretive center, don’t miss the opportunity to walk along the designated path that leads to the edge of the cliff itself. Gaze out at the breathtaking panorama and imagine the buffalo herds stampeding over the very ground you stand on.

Witness a Buffalo Jump Re-Enactment (Seasonal)

If you’re visiting Head-Smashed In Buffalo Jump during the summer season (typically June to September), be sure to check the schedule for a buffalo jump re-enactment.

This captivating performance by Blackfoot actors depicts the traditional buffalo hunt, showcasing the skill, cooperation, and respect for the animals that were central to this practice. Witnessing the re-enactment provides a deeper understanding of the Blackfoot culture and their connection to the buffalo jump.

Hike the Bison Bluff Trail and Explore the Tipi Rings

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on the Bison Bluff Trail, a moderate 2.3-km (1.4-mi) loop trail that winds through rolling grasslands and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. As you hike, keep an eye out for interpretive markers that reveal the history and significance of the area.

The trail leads you to a group of tipi rings – circles of stones that mark the location of where Blackfoot families once camped. Imagine the sights and sounds of a bustling encampment as you explore these remnants of the past. Remember to practice respectful behaviour and leave no trace while exploring the tipi rings.


A woman walks toward the Rock that Ran at Rocks Erratic in the Okotoks, Alberta - Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
A woman walks toward the Rock that Ran at Rocks Erratic in the Okotoks, Alberta – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

My destination: Okotoks, a charming town nestled in Alberta’s foothills that held the promise of small-town charm and outdoor adventure. This quiet area of rural Alberta offered a laid-back vibe, a place to unwind amidst breathtaking scenery.

Okotoks wasn’t just about serene landscapes. Intrigue swirled around this town, fueled by a local legend – the “Rock that Ran.” Pictures danced in my mind – a massive glacial erratic, seemingly defying gravity by mysteriously shifting positions throughout history. The prospect of exploring this geological oddity and unravelling its folklore sent a thrill through me.

My exploration wouldn’t stop there. Okotoks boasted a network of scenic trails winding through valleys and alongside the Bow River. I envisioned myself paddling a kayak on the calm waters, surrounded by towering cottonwood trees, or hiking to a secluded viewpoint for panoramic vistas of the rolling foothills. Okotoks promised a perfect blend of quirky history, outdoor adventures, and small-town charm. And I, an eager adventurer, was ready to embrace it all.

Things To Do In Okotoks

Okotoks Erratic (The Rock That Ran)

Uncover the mysteries of the Okotoks Erratic, a massive glacial erratic nicknamed “The Rock That Ran.” This 16-metre tall boulder sits perched on a hillside, a geological marvel that has sparked curiosity and local legends for centuries. Legend says the rock mysteriously moved throughout history, though science attributes its various resting places to glacial activity.

Hike the easily accessible trail leading to the Erratic and marvel at its size and unique position. Interpretive signs along the trail explain the rock’s geological history and the captivating folklore surrounding it. Snap a photo with this iconic landmark and ponder the stories it whispers of the past.

Paddle or Hike Along the Bow River

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Bow River, a ribbon of turquoise water that winds its way through Okotoks. Rent a kayak or canoe and embark on a peaceful journey downstream, surrounded by lush vegetation and the sound of birdsong.

Keep an eye out for beavers and other wildlife that call the river home. If paddling isn’t your style, opt for a scenic hike along the Bow River Trail. This paved pathway offers stunning views of the river, rolling foothills, and the town of Okotoks itself. The trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll, a bike ride, or even a family outing.

Okotoks Art Gallery

For a dose of culture and creativity, head to the Okotoks Art Gallery. This vibrant space showcases a diverse collection of contemporary visual art by local, regional, and national artists. Exhibits rotate throughout the year, featuring paintings, sculptures, photography, and mixed-media installations.

The gallery also offers workshops, artist talks, and special events, providing opportunities to engage with the local art scene. After browsing the exhibits, take a stroll through the beautifully landscaped sculpture garden, a serene oasis in the heart of Okotoks

Where To Eat In Okotoks

Sweetgrass Deli & Eatery

Craving fresh, seasonal, and delicious food? Sweetgrass Deli & Eatery is a haven for locavores and anyone who appreciates a good meal made with love. This casual eatery boasts a menu featuring house-made sandwiches, salads, and creative takes on classic dishes.

Locally sourced ingredients and innovative flavour combinations make every bite a delight. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is perfect for a casual lunch or a relaxed dinner. Sweetgrass Deli is also a great choice for those seeking vegetarian or gluten-free options.

Browns Socialhouse Okotoks

Looking for a lively atmosphere and a menu packed with crowd-pleasing favourites? Head to Browns Socialhouse Okotoks. This popular spot offers a casual and energetic ambiance, perfect for a night out with friends or family. The menu features classic pub fare with a twist, including juicy burgers, shareable appetizers, and wood-fired pizzas.

Weekend brunches are also popular, offering delicious takes on breakfast staples. Live music on select evenings adds to the vibrant atmosphere, making Browns Socialhouse a great place to unwind and enjoy good company.

Where To Stay In Okotoks

Royal Duke Hotel

This charming heritage hotel located right in the heart of Okotoks offers a unique and comfortable stay. Built in 1906, the Royal Duke Hotel boasts beautiful turn-of-the-century architecture and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Guest rooms are decorated in a classic style and offer all the essential amenities for a relaxing stay.

Enjoy the convenience of being steps away from Okotoks’ shops, restaurants, and attractions. The hotel also features an on-site restaurant and bar, serving delicious meals and a welcoming place to unwind after a day of exploring. You can find availability and book your stay here.

Lakeview Inns & Suites

This comfortable hotel offers a convenient location just outside of Okotoks town center. Spacious and well-appointed guest rooms provide a relaxing haven after a day of adventure. Amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring.

The hotel also features barbecue facilities and a playground, making it a great choice for families. A complimentary breakfast buffet fuels you up for a day of exploring Okotoks and the surrounding area. You can find availability and book your stay here.


Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
Photo credit: Roth and Ramberg / Tourism Calgary

Calgary’s energy crackled in the air as I returned to the city. a contagious buzz that mirrored my own excitement. For many, Calgary is a jumping-off point for adventure, a vibrant metropolis nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. While Banff and Jasper might steal the spotlight for their majestic mountains and turquoise lakes, But I knew that Calgary promised something different – a unique blend of urban energy, cultural experiences, and easy access to breathtaking natural beauty.

I would spend my time exploring the vast exhibits at the Glenbow Museum, a treasure trove of Western Canadian art, culture, and history. On my itinerary were urban delights, food experiences, and a jaw-dropping view from the top of the Calgary Tower.

Things To Do In Calgary

Calgary Tower

Soar above the city and experience Calgary from a whole new perspective at the iconic Calgary Tower. This 190-meter (629 ft) tall structure offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the cityscape, the sprawling Bow River Valley and the majestic Canadian Rockies gracing the horizon.

Take in the sights from the observation deck, or test your nerves on the thrilling glass floor, offering a unique perspective of the city far below. For an unforgettable dining experience, indulge in a delicious meal at the revolving restaurant, savouring gourmet cuisine while the city unfolds beneath you. The Calgary Tower is a must-visit for any first-time visitor, offering a taste of Calgary’s urban energy and scenic beauty.

Glenbow Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Western Canadian art, culture, and history at the Glenbow Museum. This world-renowned museum houses an extensive collection spanning centuries, from First Nations artifacts and dinosaur remains to contemporary art installations.

Wander through impressive exhibits showcasing the stories of the people who shaped this region, from the indigenous Blackfoot Confederacy to the pioneering ranchers and settlers. Marvel at the museum’s vast collection of art, including works by renowned Canadian artists like Emily Carr and the Group of Seven.

The Glenbow Museum offers a captivating journey through time, providing a deeper understanding of Calgary and its place within the larger Canadian landscape.

Prince’s Island Park

Escape the urban bustle and find tranquillity amidst the verdant oasis of Devonian Gardens and Prince’s Island Park. Located in the heart of the city, these sprawling green spaces offer a welcome respite for nature lovers.

Explore the Devonian Gardens, a whimsical network of pathways adorned with vibrant flower displays, cascading waterfalls, and charming ponds. Wander through themed gardens, from the serene Japanese Garden to the vibrant Sensory Garden, each offering a unique sensory experience.

Continue your stroll across the pedestrian bridge to Prince’s Island Park, a haven for locals and visitors alike. Rent a paddleboat and explore the peaceful lagoon, go for a bike ride on the scenic pathways, or simply relax on the grassy meadows and soak up the sunshine. This urban oasis provides a perfect opportunity to connect with nature and unwind in the heart of Calgary.

Where To Eat In Calgary

Model Milk

This hip and trendy spot in the 17th Avenue SWS district offers a unique take on comfort food. The menu boasts an ever-changing selection of small plates featuring locally sourced ingredients and creative flavour combinations. Expect dishes like duck fat fries with parmesan and truffle mayo, roasted bone marrow with toast, or grilled octopus with chorizo and romesco sauce.

Model Milk’s ambiance is upbeat and trendy, perfect for a fun night out with friends. The open kitchen allows you to witness the culinary creativity firsthand, and the extensive cocktail menu provides the perfect complement to your meal. Don’t be surprised if there’s a wait – Model Milk’s popularity speaks for itself!

Calcutta Cricket Club

Transport yourself to the exciting streets of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) at this award-winning Indian restaurant. The menu features an eclectic mix of dishes inspired by the cosmopolitan cuisine of West Bengal. Expect bold flavours, fragrant spices, and unique textures.

Dig into melt-in-your-mouth lamb samosas, savour the delicately spiced chicken tikka masala, or try the adventurous goat keema curry. Calcutta Cricket Club’s ambiance is lively and stylish, with exposed brick walls, vintage furniture, and cricket memorabilia adorning the space. Be sure to make a reservation, as this popular spot fills up quickly.

Where To Stay In Calgary

Hotel Le Germain Calgary

This luxurious hotel located in downtown Calgary offers a sophisticated and comfortable stay. Sleek and modern guest rooms feature plush furnishings, spa-inspired bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing city views. Unwind at the on-site spa, offering a menu of pampering treatments, or take a dip in the rooftop pool with stunning cityscapes.

Indulge in delectable French-inspired cuisine at the hotel’s renowned restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Hotel Le Germain caters to the discerning traveller seeking a blend of luxury, comfort, and a central location for exploring Calgary’s vibrant downtown core. You can find availability and book your stay here.

Alt Hotel Calgary East Village

Embrace a trendy and tech-savvy experience at Alt Hotel Calgary East Village. This modern hotel boasts a vibrant atmosphere and innovative design elements. Compact yet cleverly designed guest rooms feature comfortable beds, high-tech amenities like smart TVs with built-in streaming services, and funky artwork adorning the walls.

The hotel’s communal spaces are lively and social, perfect for grabbing a drink at the on-site bar or relaxing in the stylish lobby area. Alt Hotel caters to budget-conscious travellers who value style, comfort, and a central location in Calgary’s trendy East Village district, known for its art galleries, breweries, and restaurants. You can find availability and book your stay here.


Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton Alberta
Photo credit: Maurice Li @maurice

A wave of crisp Edmonton air invigorated me as I first arrived in the provincial capital. This city, the self-proclaimed “Festival City of Canada,” was alive with an energy that mirrored my own excitement.

Edmonton wasn’t just a bustling metropolis; it was a treasure trove of cultural experiences, historical intrigue, and unexpected natural beauty. Edmonton offers a vibrant arts scene, a rich indigenous heritage, and the largest urban park in all of Canada, stretching right through its heart.

I’d spend my short time in the city exploring the glass pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory, a botanical wonderland showcasing diverse plant life from around the world. And venturing into Fort Edmonton Park, a living history museum where I could step back in time and experience life on the Canadian frontier.

Top Things To Do In Edmonton

Muttart Conservatory

Immerse yourself in a vibrant tapestry of plant life from around the globe at the Muttart Conservatory. This iconic landmark features six climate-controlled biomes housed within striking glass pyramids. Wander through the lush Tropical rainforest, teeming with exotic plants, cascading waterfalls, and colourful birds.

Explore the arid desert scape of the succulent house, marvel at the delicate beauty of the orchids in the Foggy Tropics pyramid, or be transported to the Mediterranean with its citrus trees and olive groves. The Muttart Conservatory offers a captivating escape for nature lovers and a feast for the senses. Don’t forget to check out the featured pyramid, which often showcases special themed exhibits and breathtaking seasonal displays.

Fort Edmonton Park

Step back in time and experience life on the Canadian frontier at Fort Edmonton Park. This sprawling living history museum recreates different eras of Edmonton’s past, from a bustling fur-trading fort to a historic streetcar suburb. Costumed interpreters bring history to life, demonstrating traditional crafts, offering guided tours, and sharing stories of the people who shaped this region.

Explore historic buildings, ride a horse-drawn carriage, or even pan for gold – the possibilities for historical immersion are endless. Fort Edmonton Park offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, allowing you to connect with the stories and struggles of those who came before us.

West Edmonton Mall

Prepare to be dazzled by the sheer scale and variety of West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America by leasable area. This mammoth complex houses over 800 stores, a water park, an amusement park, a Sea Life Cavern aquarium, bowling alleys, theatres, and even an indoor skating rink – all under one roof!

Spend the day shopping at your favourite brands, experience the thrills of the Galaxyland amusement park, or take a relaxing float down the lazy river at the World Waterpark. West Edmonton Mall offers something for everyone, whether you’re a shopaholic, a thrill-seeker, or simply looking for a fun-filled day with family or friends.

Where To Eat In Edmonton


This spot in the Ritchie Market offers a unique combination of creative small plates and a focus on local beers. Perfect for adventurous foodies, Biera’s menu features constantly evolving dishes that showcase seasonal ingredients and innovative culinary techniques. Think crispy duck confit, peach and pistachio salad, or a selection of house-made charcuterie.

But Biera isn’t just about the food – it’s also about the beer. They feature a carefully curated selection of local craft beers on tap, with knowledgeable staff to help you find the perfect pairing for your meal. The atmosphere is modern and industrial-chic, with a communal atmosphere perfect for trying a variety of dishes and sharing with friends.

Dolly‘s Cocktail Bar

Step into a world of pink and Peruvian cuisine at Dolly’s. This ultra-trendy restaurant offers a unique and vibrant take on South American flavours. The menu boasts an array of delectable dishes prepared with fresh ingredients and traditional Peruvian cooking techniques. Savour succulent ceviches, indulge in flavorful lomo saltado (stir-fried beef) or try something adventurous like cuy (guinea pig) – a delicacy in Peru.

The cocktails are equally creative, featuring an agave, pisco, and cachaca base, offering a taste of the tropics in every sip. Dolly’s ambiance is playful and stylish, with its vibrant pink décor and Instagram-worthy atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for a fun night out with friends or a unique and flavorful dining experience.

Wood Buffalo National Park

A bison walks through the grass at Wood Buffalo National Park - Photo credit: Chris Matti
A bison walks through the grass at Wood Buffalo National Park – Photo credit: Chris Matti

Mosquito netting, check. Sense of adventure, double-check. As I bounced along the dusty road toward Wood Buffalo National Park, I was filled with anticipation. This wasn’t your typical national park experience; this was a vast, untamed wilderness, the largest in all of Canada.

Wood Buffalo offered something entirely unique in Canada – a chance to delve into an untouched world teeming with wildlife and steeped in history. The park’s very name whispered of its treasures – the last remaining natural nesting grounds for the majestic whooping crane and the world’s largest free-roaming herd of wood bison.

I dreamed of paddling a canoe down the Peace-Athabasca Delta, a labyrinthine waterway teeming with birdlife, and keeping my eyes peeled for the elusive whooping crane. And, of course, I couldn’t wait to embark on a guided tour in search of the gentle giants – the wood bison, their massive forms roaming the grasslands.

Things To Do In Wood Buffalo National Park

Paddle The Peace-Athabasca Delta

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the Peace-Athabasca Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a labyrinthine network of waterways teeming with life. Paddle a canoe through this watery wilderness, keeping your eyes peeled for a diverse array of bird species.

Spot majestic bald eagles soaring overhead, listen to the calls of nesting loons, or watch ducks and geese glide gracefully across the water’s surface. The Peace-Athabasca Delta offers a unique perspective of the park’s ecosystem, allowing you to witness the delicate balance between water, vegetation, and the creatures that call it home. Be sure to hire a qualified guide or outfitter for a safe and informative exploration of this vast delta.

Spot Whooping Cranes in Their Natural Habitat

Embark on a wildlife viewing adventure in search of the elusive whooping crane, one of the rarest birds in North America. Wood Buffalo National Park is the last remaining natural nesting ground for these majestic creatures, making it a crucial habitat for their survival.

Join a guided tour with experienced naturalists who can lead you to areas where whooping cranes are known to congregate. With patience and a bit of luck, you might catch a glimpse of these graceful birds gracefully soaring through the sky or wading through the shallow waters. Remember, whooping cranes are sensitive creatures, so respectful observation is key.

World’s Largest Free-Roaming Wood Bison Herd

Step into a land of giants and come face-to-face with the mighty wood bison, the largest land mammal in North America. Wood Buffalo National Park is home to the world’s largest free-roaming herd of these gentle giants, offering a unique opportunity to witness them in their natural habitat.

Join a guided tour in specially designed vehicles that allow for safe and up-close viewing of these magnificent creatures. Learn about their role in the park’s ecosystem, the challenges they face, and the conservation efforts underway to ensure their survival. Encountering a wood bison herd is an awe-inspiring experience, a powerful reminder of the beauty and vulnerability of the natural world.

Are You Ready To Explore Alberta For Yourself?

Alberta stands as one of the most naturally-rich provinces in Canada. It’s a destination that seamlessly blends mountains, valleys, cities, and rural landscapes into a blend of some of the country’s most magical experiences.

Explore these places to visit in Alberta for yourself and discover Wild Rose Country for yourself.

Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Canada? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people in Canada who are passionate about travel and love to share their local secrets.

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