Alberta is a southwestern province of Canada, sharing its southern border with U.S. state, Montana. Over two-thirds of Alberta’s population lives in the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor, with over two million residents. Both cities have excellent public transit systems, including light rail, along with international airports. Summers are especially pleasant, with highs approaching a mild 70 degrees.
Capital city, Edmonton, is located mid-province and offers a variety of Alberta hotels. Along with the Government House’s renowned art collection, visitors also enjoy touring the province’s oldest and largest university, the University of Alberta. Rexall Place is home to the Edmonton Oilers which boast five Stanley Cup pennants; the Canadian Finals Rodeo is held here every November as well. Visiting the end of July? You can’t miss the ten-day festival, Capital EX! West Edmonton Mall is the largest indoor shopping/entertainment complex in the world. You can bike, golf, ice skate and ski at nearby North Saskatchewan River Valley Park, largest in North America.
Calgary, about 300 km south of Edmonton, is Alberta’s most populous city; it is well-known for the Annual Calgary Stampede, when over a million people descend for the largest, multi-day rodeo and exhibition in the world. Get around this city easily on the CTrain. The CFL Calgary Stampeders and NHL Flames enjoy great popularity as does the famous Calgary Zoo.
The Trans-Canada Highway leads visitors west of Calgary about an hour and a half to Banff National Park, oldest in Canada and drawing the greatest number of tourists. This Rocky Mountain setting offers dense forests, spectacular glaciers and hiking, skiing, climbing, horseback riding and other recreational opportunities. Within the Park is the town of Banff; summertime brings the annual Mountain Film Festival to Banff Centre.
Banff National Park also contains a “Diamond in the Wilderness”, Lake Louise, offering excellent skiing and dazzling scenery. Plan to drive to Jasper along the scenic Icefields Parkway – you won’t regret it! Jasper National Park, along with Banff and two other adjacent parks, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting a splendid display of waterfalls, hot springs, caves and canyons. Watch for the many tunnels and overpasses which have been constructed throughout the province, at great expense, to allow animals to move without being endangered by highway traffic.
Drumheller Valley, located northeast of Calgary in the Canadian Badlands, is known as the "Dinosaur Capital of The World”. Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest in size in Canada; look for a wood bison and one of the rare nesting sites of endangered whooping cranes, plus enjoy endless water activities on sparkling Lake Claire. For some of the best pike and lake trout fishing in the world, check out the 3,000 square mile Lake Athabasca in the northeastern corner of the province.
To describe Alberta in a few paragraphs is difficult, as there is much to do and see. Start planning your best vacation ever, today!