Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Alberta

Best Places to Visit in Alberta: Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in Alberta, one of the most beautiful provinces in the country. Spectacular snowcapped peaks dominate the skyline, where the prairies meet the mountains.

Read More: Top 10 Best Cabins in Alberta, Canada

Many top attractions in Alberta illustrate the power of nature, such as the ancient glaciers that still cover the Rocky Mountains to the canyons, waterfalls, and lakes they left behind. Every year, millions of tourists flock to Banff and Jasper National Parks because of the glaciers and turquoise lakes. Ski resorts are found in these parks, making them some of the best ski areas in Canada. Historical and cultural attractions can be found in the plains and badlands to the east.

Calgary and Edmonton are Alberta’s two largest cities. In Calgary, there is a wide variety of entertainment to choose from. Calgary Stampede is the most famous annual event in the town. In Edmonton, the provincial capital, you can find the largest shopping center in Canada, West Edmonton Mall, as well as numerous other attractions. It is worth visiting Alberta if you are planning a trip to western Canada. See our list of Alberta’s top tourist attractions to understand the province better and discover what to do here.

Banff National Park:

 

Probably the most impressive national park in Canada, Banff National Park is one of the top 10 best places to visit in Alberta. Banff is just 130 kilometers west of Calgary. The region is known for stunning mountain scenery, major ski resorts, and beautiful lakes. The park has a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, caribou, and elk, many of whom are frequently sighted along the main highway.

Banff town offers various activities throughout the year, regardless of the season you visit. As a tourist destination year-round, it attracts hikers in the summer and skiers in the winter. This park is home to a winter carnival held in the town of Banff every year. It definitely makes sense to either stay a few nights in a hotel or set up camp at one of the excellent campgrounds in Banff National Park. Consider staying at the world-famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel if you’d prefer something more refined than a nylon tent and dirt patch. This historic Banff hotel has been welcoming discerning guests since 1888.

The park is visited by more than three million people each year. Summer is a great time to go hiking in Banff, and there are many front country and backcountry trails to choose from. Various roadside lookouts provide impressive views of the park’s mountain ranges, lakes, and glaciers, which many people explore by car.

Sulphur Mountain Gondola is one of Banff’s most popular attractions. A ride to the top provides spectacular views in all directions, and the building has recently undergone renovations and improvements to offer even better views.

Lake Louise:

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A beautiful turquoise-colored lake in Banff National Park, Lake Louise reflects the surrounding mountains and Victoria Glacier. Calgary residents can easily visit the lake daily, as it is located only a short drive north of Banff. There are untouched wilderness areas and breathtaking landscapes to explore, making it a bucket-list spot.

You can hike up the mountain or beyond the lake toward the glacier from the lakeside path. A popular hiking trail leads up to the Lake Agnes Tea House. Deep snow covers the trails in winter, and the lake is frozen. A popular ski resort in Canada, Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of the main attractions in Lake Louise during this time of year.

 

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Several tourist-related shops, restaurants, and coffee shops can be found in Lake Louise Village, just a short walk from the lake. There is not much beyond the central plaza here, however. An attractive natural setting surrounds a large campground nearby.

Parking is extremely limited during the summer months, from May to October. Banff and Lake Louise can be reached in a variety of ways. A Roam Transit shuttle can take you from Banff to Lake Louise, or you can reserve a Parks Canada shuttle to take you out of the park. You cannot buy walk-up seats any longer; they must be booked in advance.

Red Rock Coulee:

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A Provincial Natural Area, Red Rock Coulee, is located on Alberta Highway 887 in southeastern Alberta, Canada, 54 kilometers (30 mi) south-southwest of Medicine Hat. This landscape has many spherical reddish boulders (concretions), some measuring 2.5 meters (10 ft) in diameter.

Around the place are scattered among the giant sandstone concretions in the world, round, reddish concretions with a diameter of up to 2.5 meters. Originally made of shells and plants, they grew in size by accumulating sand, sediments, and minerals from the seas around them. There are even growth layers visible on some of the boulders that have been broken.

 

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Along hiking trails and at the Highway 887 viewpoint, you can see them scattered throughout the badlands and coulees. Alberta’s finest examples of spheroid rock formations can be found here in large red spherical sandstone concretions that have eroded from the softer bedrock.

The concretions measure up to 2.5 meters across and are considered among the largest in the world. There is an upland of fescue-needle grass and steep-sided coulees with eroded sides. There have also been hoodoos (columns of bedrock) formed in certain places. Prairie crocuses, prairie dandelion, gumbo primrose, sagebrush, and juniper are among the plants that grow here.

Waterton Lakes National Park:

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In the Rocky Mountains, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park straddles the border between Alberta and Montana. Waterton Lakes National Park lies on the Canadian side of the border, while Glacier National Park lies on the American side.

In addition to rugged mountains and wilderness terrain, Waterton Lakes features scenic hiking trails. A number of its lakes are among the deepest in the Canadian Rockies. In the park, you can only find services at the Waterton Park townsite, where you will see deer roaming freely.

Waterton Lakes is the smaller of the two parks, but its incredible scenery and Waterton Lake make it worth visiting. The Prince of Wales Hotel, a National Historic Site of Canada, overlooks the lake from a glorious position on the north shore.

Tourism amenities can be found nearby at the town site. Hiking on alpine trails, camping, or sightseeing tours is activities that draw visitors to the park.

West Edmonton Mall:

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The West Edmonton Mall has more to offer than just shopping. There are numerous attractions, entertainment, and exciting activities for the entire family at the mall.

The complex has an indoor waterpark, ice skating rink, mini golf, aquarium with live shows, bowling alley, mirror maze, indoor electric go-kart racing, and movie theatres. There is no doubt that shopping is also important. Every type of store you could imagine can be found at the mall.

In winter, families enjoy shopping and indoor activities at the mall as a way to escape the cold. You don’t have to fret about bad weather spoiling your fun with an amusement park inside the West Edmonton Mall. In winter, Galaxyland is a great place to spend time, even on the coldest days.

Water slides and other features include the largest indoor wave pool in the world at the waterpark. With 31ยฐC (88ยฐF) temperatures, the waterpark feels like a tropical getaway in the middle of the city. It is even possible to rent a cabana to enjoy the beach while keeping the vacation atmosphere going.

Jasper National Park:

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Like Banff, Jasper is recognized for its national park and town, which lies at its heart. This national park covers 10,878 square kilometers, making it the largest in Canada.

This area contains lakes, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, and forests, but it looks quite different from the parks further south. Jasper National Park in Alberta is ideal for seeing incredible glacial scenery. It is home to Columbia Ice Fields, the largest non-polar ice field outside of the Arctic Circle.

Wildlife can also be found at Jasper National Park, including moose, caribou, deer, wolverines, and grizzly bears. This park is known for Maligne Lake, Mount Edith Cavell, the Angel Glacier, and Maligne Canyon, which are often featured in advertisements for the Canadian Rockies.

There are trails for hiking and scenic lookouts throughout the park. A ski resort named Marmot Basin is popular with locals during winter.

Sylvan Lake:

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Sylvan Lake is considered one of the best-kept secrets in Alberta. On the edge of Sylvan Lake, this small lakeside community lies about 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Red Deer, Alberta. Between Calgary and Edmonton, it is approximately 150km (93 miles) away.

This lake is made for boating and sea-doing, so if you’re staying at Sylvan Lake, you must get out on the water! Taking in the sights and seeing all the boats docked there is so much fun. During the summer, there will be a lot of activity with boats coming and going and people just enjoying the lake. It’s also a great place to catch a beautiful sunset if you’re feeling romantic!

Many award-winning craft beers are available at the Snake Lake Brewing Company in Sylvan Lake! The tasting room at the brewery is open seven days a week, so you can try their beers or fill up a growler. Lakeside Go-Karts & Mini Golf is the perfect place to take the family for fun! Just a short walk away from Sylvan Lake’s downtown;

they’re located right beside the lake. The thrill of ripping down the track in your go-kart or bumper car will bring you back to your childhood. They have an 18-hole mini golf course so that you can perfect your swing!

Canmore:

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Canmore is a small town between Calgary and Banff National Park, where you can find restaurants, shops, and services. People who are interested in a mountain lifestyle flock to this growing community. This town is named Malcolm III of Scotland, whose nickname was Canmore. The former coal mining town became famous when it hosted the 1988 Calgary Olympics Nordic events.

There are hiking and mountain biking trails nearby and some of the best ski resorts in Alberta. It is a favorite escape for Calgary residents; many have second homes or condos here. There are several fine campgrounds nearby that some people like to camp at. Among the main attractions for visitors are Canmore Cave Tours. Rats Nest Cave is one of Canada’s longest caves; the tour lasts about 4.5 hours.

 

 

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Grassi Lakes is one of the most popular hikes and are relatively easy to complete. Canmore is also a good base for exploring nearby hiking trails, like those in Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country. Film buffs will be interested to know that Brokeback Mountain, Shanghai Noon, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford were filmed in Canmore. You can still enjoy the delights of Banff and Lake Louise on a budget with Canmore accommodations.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park:

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Located in southeastern Alberta, near the border with the United States, the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is 42 km (26 mi) east of Milk River. It has a gas station and visitor information center, but little else (in terms of tourism infrastructure) is available in Milk River.

A quaint beach awaits along the Milk River, a Missouri River tributary where you can play or enter the water easily. The entire area holds great cultural and spiritual significance for the Blackfoot since it is located within their traditional territory. According to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, there is archaeological evidence pointing to a period when First Nations People frequently camped in the Milk River Valley more than 3,500 years ago.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is closest to Lethbridge, Alberta’s third-largest city. The park is located 128 km (79 mi) southeast of Lethbridge, and it can be accessed by driving south on Highway 4. Take Highway 501 east and Highway 500 south from Milk River to reach the park. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive the scenic route.

There is a beautiful campground within the park if you want to spend even more time here. Alberta Parks maintains this campground with amenities such as a grocery store, showers, a playground, sewage disposal, and fire pits. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park has unique hiking opportunities that draw many visitors. Climbers and explorers of all ages love to jump from structure to structure and take selfies with the fabulous backdrop of hoodoos.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump:

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A rise in the landscape terminates at the edge of a cliff on the prairie. Herds of buffalo were driven over the edge of this natural feature by indigenous peoples for thousands of years.

A nearly 6,000-year-old custom practiced by indigenous people of the North American plains is reflected in this site, which displays remarkable evidence of prehistoric life. Having fallen 11 meters, their legs would be broken and injured enough for Blackfoot hunters to kill them. In addition to being used as food, the bodies were processed for other purposes. While buffalo jumps were also used elsewhere on the plains, this is North America’s largest, oldest, and best-preserved site.

 

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There is a World Heritage Site designation by UNESCO for the area. Information about the site and Plains Buffalo culture can be found at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Center.

Charlotte Hutton

Charlotte Hutton is one of the earliest writers for Rated Viral. Before joining us, she worked for several other media companies. She is extremely talented and intends to stay with Rated Viral. In her free time, she enjoys vacations in tropical places!

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