Highlights From The Road to 150 Alberta Adventure
From boreal forest to vast prairies and high mountain peaks, Alberta is an incredible province to explore. This is Canada’s fourth-most populous province and one of only two Canadian provinces that are land-locked. This is also our home province and it was very fun to be able to experience Alberta as part of the Road to 150 travel series.
We rode a gondola to the top of a mountain, walked on a glacier, hiked to various waterfalls, canoed a glacier-fed lake, had fun at the second largest indoor waterpark in the world, hiked into a canyon, learned about dinosaurs, rode on a steam train, and learned about Canada’s star music talent. We also went up into the iconic Calgary tower, rode the worlds largest indoor triple loop rollercoaster, and drove the world-famous Icefields Parkway. We packed a lot of adventures into our short visit and can’t wait to explore the province deeper.
Fun facts about Alberta;
- Calgary is home to the world’s largest outdoor festival.
- Edmonton is home to the largest mall in North America.
- Banff National Park is not only Canada’s first national park but also the most visited.
There is so much to do in Alberta. Whether you’re looking for incredible natural parks to explore, first nations culture, rodeos, or beautiful cities, Alberta is the place to be!
Things To Do in Alberta
Coming from British Columbia, we started our trip off in Banff National Park, one of Canada’s most scenic areas. Here we visited the beautiful towns of Banff and Canmore, hiked through Johnston Canyon, paddled a canoe on Lake Louise, rode a gondola to the top of a mountain and drove the Icefields Parkway up to Jasper National Park. We also stood on a glacier, took a variety of boat rides, saw a bunch of wildlife, and admired the colours of the fall season. We then drove to Edmonton to experience North America’s largest mall, visited Drumheller to learn about dinosaurs, and ended our entire trip in Calgary, where we rode a steam train, learned about Canadian music icons, and admired the views from the Calgary Tower.
Below is a list of what we did, where we stayed, and the companies that helped make this journey possible. We’d also love to give a special shout out to Best Western International for helping to make this entire 150-day road trip happen.
Things To Do In Banff National Park
Banff National Park is an absolute must-visit for anyone traveling to Alberta. With so much scenery in Canada, there’s a reason why Banff National Park is the most visited park in the country. Just 1-2 hours from Calgary, we never tire of visiting this beautiful slice of Western Canada.
For those wanting the experience of standing on top of the world, the Banff Gondola is a great thing to do. You can either take the gondola both ways or you can hike up or down. From the top, you’ll see incredible views of the surrounding area, the mountains, the valleys, and the town of Banff. Both summer and winter are equally stunning.
Lake Minnewanka Banff Lake Cruise
If you’re interested in a scenic lake cruise and some history of the area, consider the Lake Minnewanka cruise, which offers a 1-hour panoramic interpretive cruise. Situated on the largest lake in Banff, you’ll see the stunning scenery as well as learn about the underwater village, which is now a popular diving site.
If you’re looking for a beautiful and free hike, hiking Johnston Canyon is a great way to see a canyon and an array of waterfalls up close. There’s even a cave you can walk into. This hike is quite easy (although slippery in the winter) and is beautiful in all seasons. Our favorite season is the winter!
This is easily one of Canada’s most popular lakes, not only for the scenery but also for the luxury hotel right next to it. There’s also numerous hikes nearby, another stunning lake called Moraine Lake, and the option of paddling a canoe!
Things To Do In Jasper National Park
Jasper is another stunning national park, equally impressive to Banff National Park but much more isolated. It’s also at the top of the Icefields Parkway, which is known as one of the most scenic drives on Earth. We love Jasper and the array of delicious restaurants, accommodation, and wildlife.
Located along the Athabasca River, with a wooded setting and spectacular mountainous views, Becker’s Chalets has the ideal location. It’s only 5km from the hustle and bustle of the Jasper but surrounded by pristine nature and the sound of a flowing river. We loved waking up to elk or Canadian geese on the front lawn and equally loved resting in front of the river. Each chalet has a kitchen as well, enabling you to cook your own food and save some money. However, there’s also a gourmet restaurant on-site!
Jasper Sky Tram
In 1960, Albertan adventurer William McGregor climbed to the summit of Whistlers Mountain, Jasper. Inspired by the incredible views, McGregor dreamed of sharing his experience with the rest of the world. Since opening the Sky Tram, over 6 million visitors have ridden to the top and experienced the same breathtaking Rocky Mountain views that first inspired McGregor over half a century ago.
Athabasca Glacier Adventure
Where else can you ride a million-dollar all-terrain Ice Explorer on to a glacier? In fact, you can then get out and walk on it yourself! It’s a quick experience but for many people, the opportunity to be standing on top of a glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Maligne Lake Cruise
If you’re looking for a beautiful lake cruise in Jasper National Park, this is it! You’ll enjoy a panoramic tour across the crystal waters of Maligne Lake before arriving at Spirit Island, one of the most photographed spots in the area. Afterwards, go hiking in Maligne Canyon!
Syrahs of Jasper Restaurant
Consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in Jasper, it’s easy to see why. They have an incredible menu and some really playful features that change all the time. In fact, I tried sturgeon for the first time! Try finding that at another restaurant. Also, you have to try the White Chocolate Goat Cheesecake. Simply amazing! We come here every time we visit Jasper!
Evil Dave’s Grill
Dying for a delicious tenderloin? What about a Malicious Salmon or the best Falafels of all time? This another restaurant in Jasper that we visit every time we come. Whether it’s Cowboy Sushi as an appetizer or cheesecake for dessert, Evil Dave’s Grill always hits the spot.
Things To Do In Edmonton
Canada’s most Northern major city is full of things to do. Most notably, the city is home to North America’s largest mall, one of the world’s largest indoor waterparks, and one of the worlds largest indoor amusement parks. There’s tons of culture in Edmonton as well, which makes for tons of festivals, especially in the summer!
West Edmonton Mall
Once known as the world’s largest mall, this epic indoor wonderland is home to enough attractions to keep you busy for a whole weekend! My favourite place is the waterpark but it’s also home to an indoor amusement park, which houses the worlds largest indoor triple loop roller coaster! There are also more than 800 stores, a cinema, mini golf, and so much more.
Telus World of Science
This broad-based non-profit science centre is the perfect place for those wanting to mix education with fun. We had such a blast learning about the human body as well as learning all about Pixar through their new temporary exhibit focusing on the world’s most famous animation studio.
Things To Do In Drumheller
Known as the Dinosaur capital of the world, Drumheller is home to the world-famous Royal Tyrrell Museum and a variety of amazing badland scenery.
Heartwood Inn & Spa
This beautiful Inn & Spa is located right on the edge of downtown Drumheller. Consistently rated #1 on TripAdvisor, you’ll find eight uniquely-designed guest rooms- some with inviting jetted tubs for two or an over-sized walk-in shower! For families with kids or pets, they even offer “pet-friendly” guest houses with BBQ’s, private yards and fire pits. In addition, the breakfast is amazing and the Signature spa services include therapeutic massage, couples side-by-side pedicures, luxurious facials, scrubs and wraps. Did I mention the breakfast? Zeke’s famous French Toast Breakfast is available most mornings in their dining room for only $10 ($6 for children). Plus, Jackie Chan stayed here. Need I say more?
Royal Tyrrell Museum
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the science of paleontology. In addition to housing one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs, the Museum offers a wide variety of creative, fun, and educational programs that bring the prehistoric past to life. For anyone interested in dinosaurs, this is the best place to go in all of Canada, if not the world.
Things To Do in Calgary
Located right on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is such a beautiful city. Although it’s been my home city for years, there are many things I hadn’t seen before and it was great to explore Calgary as a tourist.
Heritage Park Historical Village
Since opening its doors back in 1964, Heritage Park Historical Village has grown into one of Calgary’s premier tourist attractions and one of North America’s largest and most successful living history museums. There’s an active amusement park, a steam train, a sternwheeler, old-fashioned candy shops, heritage buildings, and a really cool museum featuring classic cars and gasoline pumps. It is the Park’s mission to preserve the history of the early West and to educate and entertain guests of all ages for many generations to come.
Nomad Mobile Gear Rental
Calgary is home to one of the largest urban network of bike paths in North America. There’s also a number of beautiful parks, such as Prince’s Island Park, which is a great place to see some of the city skyline, the Bow River, the famous Peace Bridge, and local lifestyle. Thanks to Nomad Gear Rentals, you can actually rent a bike for the day and have it delivered and picked up at your hotel.
National Music Center
Opened in 2016, the National Music Centre’s Studio Bell has become one of Calgary’s most beautiful buildings and is an incredible place to visit for anyone interested in music, as well as learning about the incredible talent that has come out of Canada. You’ll find over 2,000 rare instruments and artifacts, as well as the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame collections.
As a key cultural cornerstone in Calgary for 50 years, Glenbow has surprised and engaged generations of Albertans and visitors to the province with remarkable connections between art, culture and the world around us. We learned all about Alberta’s history, the Calgary Stampede, some of the people who have shaped the province, and enjoyed one of the largest art collections in the country.
Experience the city from 525 feet in the air. Calgary’s most iconic building is a great place to get a view of the city and the surrounding area. In fact, on a clear day, you can even see the Rocky Mountains. There’s also a glass floor for a birds-eye view of the streets below.
We were so excited to explore our home province. We got to drive on to a glacier, experience the Rocky Mountains in the fall, stand on top of a mountain, experience one of the biggest malls in the world, ride an old-fashioned steam train, hike into a canyon, and learn about some of the best musical talent that has come out of Canada. There’s just so much to do in Alberta and we experienced just a small slice of it.
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