explore your passion
From peaks to plains, Alberta has one of the finest settings ever handed to a province. The snow spackled Rocky Mountains. Shimmering wheatfields. Northern lights. The Calgary Stampede. West Edmonton Mall. Guest ranches. Sunny skies. Canadian Badlands. Powder-perfect ski resorts.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration, action or relaxation – explore Alberta your own way by delving into this Vacation Guide. Tailor your holiday according to interest or region – each comes with its own unique feast of holiday ideas. Scenic road trips, a massive festival guide, a handy map, cost-saving tips and local wisdom – everything you need to design an extraordinary holiday.

Cattle drive, south of Calgary

In this guide you will discover a host of holiday ideas in our six regions. Each one captures particular experiences and adventures across Alberta.
Edmonton & Area
Known as Canada’s Festival City, this bustling metropolis has always put its arts and culture on centre stage. TravelAlberta.com/Edmonton


Calgary & Area
Home of the Calgary Stampede, this cosmopolitan dynamo is also the natural gateway to the Canadian Rockies. TravelAlberta.com/Calgary

Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies are legendary for their breathtaking beauty, charming villages, backcountry lodges and alpine castles. TravelAlberta.com/Rockies

Calgary Stampede

Herbert Lake, Banff National Park

Alberta South
Loaded with natural and cultural wonders, southern Alberta is famous for the Canadian Badlands, buffalo jumps and dinosaur bone beds. TravelAlberta.com/South
Hoodoos, near Drumheller

Alberta Central
Checkered with golden prairies, grassy foothills, shimmering lakes, sandy beaches and rural charms, Alberta’s heartland is a naturalist’s paradise. TravelAlberta.com/Central
Crimson Lake

Alberta North
Can’t decide between remote lakes and the comforts of home? Have both, as well as the longest daylight hours in the summer, prime birdwatching and historical sites. TravelAlberta.com/North

Golden Eagle Resort, Fort McMurray

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Wonders of Alberta .............2–3 Natural Discoveries............ 4–5 Outdoor Adventures ......... 6–7 Western Ways .................... 8–9 Families Matter .............10–11 Cities & Towns ...............12–13 Dining & Shopping ........14–15 Golf Getaways ...............16–17 Waterways .....................18–19 Spas & Wellness ............20–21 Winter Escapes ..............22–23 Resort to Perfection ......24–25 Festivals & Events ..........26–27 Travel Essentials ................. 82
Official Alberta Vacation Guide

wonders of alberta
Waterpark, West Edmonton Mall Columbia Icefields, Jasper National Park

Edmonton & Area You weigh your options carefully. Swim with sea lions. Bungy jump over the world’s largest indoor wave pool. Watch hockey under a glass dome. Barrel down a 14-storey, triple loop roller coaster. They all sound like a gas. And that’s before you discover there are 800 stores and services, 13 movie theatres, a casino and a colony of African penguins at West Edmonton Mall (WEM). And now you can explore this mammoth place by hopping on a nifty battery-operated Segway. In a flash, you’re weaving and bobbing between the throngs of faces trying to decide where to start. And then you hear it ... duelling keyboards at the new Red Piano Cajun Bistro where you must order a lobster Po’Boy and some Louisiana Crab Cakes. Sometimes you just have to indulge every urban need and there is no better place than at WEM. Would you expect anything less from North America’s largest shopping and entertainment complex?

Calgary & Area It’s early July and the Calgary Stampede has revamped its streets with hay bales, wooden fences and free pancake breakfasts. After you scarf that freebie down, you’ll realize you’ve got to look the part so hustle off to Alberta Boot for the right footwear, Smithbilt Hats for an authentic cowboy hat and Lammle’s for some serious western duds. Now that you’re geared up, swagger down to Stampede Park, nab some rodeo tickets and head for the midway. Cap off the day with a feast of prime Alberta beef in a suite at the Lazy S club or join the masses for Beef on a Bun on the midway. Then it’s back to the stands for the No. 1 crowdpleaser, the chuckwagon races, before the fireworks that end every Stampede evening with a literal bang. Still want more of our western ways? Join the cowboys headin’ to Ranchman’s and two-step until the cows come home.

Calgary Stampede

Canadian Rockies Begin your day with a hefty feed of bison sausages and free range eggs in Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper and then head out to the Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic drives on Earth. Tumbling glaciers, lacy waterfalls, meadows, saddles, cirques and tarns – this drive alone comes with its own distinct alpine language. You’ll learn these terms at the Columbia Icefield Centre, located at the toe of North America’s most accessible “living” glacier, the Athabasca. A specially designed all-terrain coach, the Ice Explorer, takes you on a guided tour up the glacier’s belly as it slowly and imperceptibly recedes into history. Snow that fell thousands of years ago crunches beneath your feet, at times 300 m (984 ft) thick. You’ll see miles of snowy icefields, recessional moraines, a few of its 30,000 crevasses and the dramatic effects of global warming.


TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA

purple. Think of yourself at Mother Nature’s drive-in movie theatre … that’s what a northern lights blockbuster looks like. there’s one. Learn the ways of some of our First Nations people.Alberta South Leave the arid. No. When you’re in the bow of your boat and round the leafy corner of the river to see the peak of the fort. Gold. Alberta Central We’re not suggesting you paddle the 66-day voyageur route from Rocky Mountain House to Old Fort William that David Thompson did some 200 years ago – but you wouldn’t be the first! Canoeing in these parts is still an ideal way to see vast stretches of untrameled wilderness. binoculars. reminding us of the last ice age that ended some 13. coulees and hoodoos was once a lush tropical Eden for dinosaurs. near Drumheller Elk Island National Park Jasper National Park . guides will convince you that today’s swirl of canyons. Be sure to stop in at the interpretive centre for a cup of lavender tea. just as Thompson did. Assumption Reserve Hoodoos. Alberta North Cuddle up next to the other star gazers in your party and blow snow rings into the frosty night air. extra toques and loads of local lore. Except that you’ll likely get hot chocolate instead of popcorn and your guides will come with telescopes. However unlikely it seems. known as Rocky Mountain House. the ways of the dinosaurs and these peculiar land formations will only be heightened by a guide on a day dig or a week-long field experience. green – the entire night sky glows with the mesmerizing brilliance of pulsing light. Independent paddlers can canoe many stretches of the North Saskatchewan River (Nordegg to Rocky Mountain House is very popular) or you can join a voyageur canoe outfitter for a multi-day paddle on this historic waterway. that’s two explosions you see. lunar-like landscape of today’s Canadian Badlands and tiptoe back 75 million years to the land the dinosaurs once roamed. Look for this green symbol throughout this year’s Vacation Guide and you’ll discover bargains galore – from free museum passes to pancake breakfasts. electrifying. otherworldly these lights in Alberta’s northern skies will dazzle you with one of nature’s most glorious performances. some Métis fiddling and jigging. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 3 Northern Lights. Everyone is spellbound as that taut. crocodiles. Sit on the lip of Horseshoe Canyon today and marvel at the history of this place – it’s all laid out for you in stripes of bedrock. Time travel is what you get on a hike or an archaeological dig at either the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller or Dinosaur Provincial Park. Ah yes. Wild. red.000 years ago. While you can hike independently through some of the badlands your appreciation for fossils. it’s an emotional moment for it’s a sight that hasn’t shifted much since the days of Thompson. black Alberta sky bends and stretches with strings of colour that dance across the largest screen you’ll ever find. sharks and turtles.

It’s about conserving habitat for massive flyways used by hundreds of thousands of boreal birds. It’s about seeking the delicate balance between wildlife demands and tourism needs in Banff. It’s about inviting visitors to dig up our past in dinosaur beds in a manner that follows rigorous environmental principles. It’s about being culturally sensitive to spiritual sites run by our First Nations people. Kananaskis Country . It’s about being a responsible traveller with every step you tread. sustainable tourism is about protecting our five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and our network of 500 parks and protected areas.com 1-800-ALBERTA Big Horn Sheep. 4 TravelAlberta. Go softly.In Alberta. Canada’s first national park.

this park is home to 250 species of birds and herds of free-roaming plains bison. and you’ll get in for free! All gate entrance fees are waived. From food foraging to animal tracking – in places such as Fort McMurray. Hiking How-To Parks Canada provides interpreters who run programs throughout the summer. owls. Every June. You’ll often see elk. July 1. An estimated 27. All three parks surround charming alpine villages. Some of Alberta’s signature parks include: Dinosaur Provincial Park. Private guides and knowledgeable tour operators span the province offering bird watching (Grande Prairie. moose. Blackfoot and Cree thought the huge pillars of wind-blasted sandstone (hoodoos) were petrified giants who came alive after dark. which cradles nine provincial parks. Be warned – it’s a contagious condition. ranging from lakeside strolls to full day hikes. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and Kananaskis Country. including warblers. they’re talking about being love struck with the place. wildlife safaris. the shores of Lesser Slave Lake twitter with thousands of songbirds that the townspeople celebrate in a weekend Songbird Festival. “I get to work at Lake Louise – what many say is the most romantic place in Canada. When people talk about getting gripped by Rocky Mountain fever. ospreys. Elk Island National Park Less than an hour from Edmonton. mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Lesser Slave Lake and the Lakeland area are birding bonanzas). woodpeckers. zoom in on the largest herd of free-roaming wood bison in the world – and discover other conservation projects such as the remarkable return of the whooping crane. wood bison. Waterton Lakes and Jasper National Parks First established as sanctuaries for wildlife.000 shorebirds and 250. deer and elk. these parks are crisscrossed with hiking paths and horse-packing trails allowing visitors unparalleled accessibility. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 5 . Lesser Slave Lake and Lac La Biche. the Peace River area. Provincial Parks With more than 500 protected sites and parks throughout Alberta. the Canadian Badlands provided protection for Aboriginal peoples as well as for gangs of outlaws – mostly renegade horse thieves. HooDoo You Believe? For centuries. deer. Want to loll about in powdery sand and bask in warm water? Head north to Cold Lake or Moose Lake provincial parks. Eco-adventure guides can add an Aboriginal angle to an adventure and are found in the north.Wood Buffalo National Park From a bush plane. Bruce Bembridge Grizzly Bear Mountain Goat. full moon night hikes and other nature-related activities. and discover the rehabilitation work at the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. This is the place that artists. one of the most endangered habitats in Canada. visit the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation. Mother Nature’s Frequent Flyers Hold a trained falcon. turkey vultures and bald eagles. The park protects aspen parkland. Birders also flock to many of the 250 lakes found in Alberta’s Lakeland region – prime habitat for more than 230 resident and migratory birds. the Hoodoo Trail). owl or eagle. Jasper National Park Banff.k. home to many of Alberta’s most luxurious resorts and innovative restaurants.” head to a national park on Canada day. the list is too lengthy to repeat. poets and writers describe as having the perfect composition. While you’re in this neck of the woods. Pacific and Central. the only place on Earth that studies boreal birds exclusively. Jasper National Park Banff National Park NATuRALIST Athabasca Falls. These oddly capped and twisted pillars are scattered all over the badlands with some of the finest examples along Highway 10 South (a.000 waterfowl pass over the tiny northern town of McLennan at the confluence of three major migration paths – the Mississippi.a.

com 1-800-ALBERTA Rock Lake.If you can walk. From a mellow natural history hike with a park interpreter (available for free at many of our national and provincial parks) to a teahouse tromp in the Rockies. history buffs can follow the era of steam train travel in northeastern Alberta. Ridge walks. Or. near Hinton . 6 TravelAlberta.485 mi) of trails in our Canadian Rockies. Independent hikers can just lace up their boots and trek along classic. multiday backpacking routes such as Jasper’s Skyline Trail. Banff’s Nigel-Jonas Pass Trail and Waterton’s Tamarack Trail.000 km (2. Alberta has a vast network of hiking trails. you can hike. once used extensively by homesteaders and European explorers. And one of the best ways to experience our parks is to abandon our highways for the tranquillity of our backcountry. by hiking. high alpine meadows full of wildflowers and above-treeline rambles can be found on the 4. cycling or horseback riding along the Iron Horse Trail.

Canmore Lake Louise.” these experts will regale you with local legends. Athabasca. Operators are equipped to rent or guide multi-day trips to prime fishing spots. or. Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience On a 6 km (3. Hire a qualified mountain guide (through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) who will help you summit a peak in the Rockies. heli-hike. the longest in Canada at 20. built for the XV Winter Olympics. Within a 30-minute walk from my door in Canmore. Whether you use Canmore. I can hike. the Weeping Wall. Blaze New Trails Hop on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a 4X4 and take advantage of some of the most spectacular landscapes in Alberta. Independent cyclists can do the same and bed down at numerous hostels that operate between Banff and Jasper. also home to the second longest. And don’t forget how cheap camping is! Devils Thumb. with stays at charming lodges and resorts along the way. 75 minutes southwest of Edson. they will. wildlife viewing areas. Lake Louise Will Gadd ICE CLIMBER Official Alberta Vacation Guide Cox Hill. the granddaddy of the lot is the Castleguard Cave. Be forewarned: many of these caves require technical rock climbing skills. and nearby Rat’s Nest Cave. alpine lakes. If they can use a chopper to get you to some remote wedge of wilderness. Where the light is right. Grande Cache or the area around Nordegg. But it’s best explored in the winter as the cave often floods during summer. Banff National Park Gear Up Riders of all levels will find the perfect mountain bike ride amidst thousands of trails zigzagging through the mountains. Grab the Roof of the World Climbers can scale dozens of routes at the Wasootch Slabs. waterfalls – even sand dunes – from the Rockies to the Red Deer River. Rat’s Nest Cave. St. you’ll find helicopter operators equipped to transport you to a world where you can heli-ski. near Canmore 7 .2 km (12. Canada Olympic Park in Calgary and Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area near Edmonton are other places with extensive mountain bike trails.5 mi).” don’t be shy – if you see a Parks Canada interpreter out on a trail. Where the Sun Never Shines Explore 14 fragile caves in the Crowsnest Pass area. boasts an exhilarating 70 km (43 mi) tumble of trails. kayak. the vibe familiar and the mountains always welcoming. Hostel to Hostel Road Trips On what is considered one of the world’s most scenic drives – the Icefields Parkway – you’ll see many international bike touring companies guiding cyclists along its wide shoulders. deepest cave in Canada (Yorkshire Pot). Crowsnest Pass. ask them a question. the backside of Lake Louise and Mt. dubbed “rovers. Or venture into the many chambers in Cadomin Cave. Waterton Lakes National Park. However. a specially designed all-terrain coach glides you up the glacier’s belly. lore and the park’s unique history.Fly High Get a bird’s-eye view of icefields. Kananaskis Country. The Canmore Nordic Centre. wildlife and the majestic Canadian Rockies by helicopter. a guide and permission from the Alberta Speleological Society. the Canmore Caverns. heli-fish.7 mi) long chunk of ice known as the Athabasca Glacier. climb. Paul up to Fort McMurray and beyond. There are about 600 km (373 mi) of designated trails – including fire roads or old logging roads – in the mountain parks. “Alberta is home – it’s where I feel the most comfortable. ski and throw rocks in Quarry Lake with my daughter. Yet I can be at an international airport within 90 minutes. even do heli-yoga or heli-paint.

You’ll ride lonesome trails. volunteer at a farm where you’ll gain free food and lodging for labour. . round up cattle and learn about the cowboy way of life from local families. you’ll realize you’re enjoying one of the most authentic sustainable tourism experiences you can have in Alberta – a stay at a working ranch. when you’re swapping yarns around a crackling fire. Discover more at Alberta Country Vacations Association. More than 30 Alberta farms 8 TravelAlberta. if you just can’t get enough of our western ways.After a long day in the saddle. Driftpile Powwow Or.com 1-800-ALBERTA are part of the worldwide Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) organization that matches volunteers with farm vacation experiences.

Then I like to go riding in the sunshine when the grass is turning green and the crocuses are starting to come up. home to a herd of bison and a cluster of log cabins. eggs. Rootin’ Tootin’ Rodeos Sometimes it’s best to lean back and watch how the pros do it. Bar-U Ranch National Historic Site. Almost every small town in Alberta hosts a summer weekend rodeo. Grimshaw Bow Falls.ca Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village kootenaibrownpioneervillage. Some stays include guided trail riding through secluded canyons and over mountain-top ridges and lodging in heritage log cabins. Banff National Park Mac Makenny hOMEPLACE RANCh Chuckwagon Racing.com Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies whyte. corn dogs and Tom Thumb donuts were the foods that settled the West. The Cowboy Trail From Mayerthorpe to Cardston. Farm Tours If you thought Stampede grub such as cotton candy. western art shops and small-town rodeos. The Rockies are known for their multi-day camps that combine lodge stays with base camps. And then breakfast – coffee. a Hutterite colony. Certain expeditions are co-guided by professionals who may be grizzly bear experts. And remember – there’s also the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton each November and the Ponoka Stampede. toast. fruit and more coffee.. Summer is in front of us and life is going on . In the south..org Heritage Park Historical Village heritagepark. Vermilion Alberta Central “My favourite time is springtime in the foothills. a country fair or two. drive this 700 km (435 mi) scenic route and you’re guaranteed to spot cowboys ropin’ cattle. on the shores of Whitefish Lake.org Wild West Shooting Centre shootingcentre. an award-winning First Nations interpretive centre. a tipi village and numerous programs run by the Siksika people. The Lowdown on our Western Ways Alberta’s Forts northamericanforts.com Big Valley Jamboree bigvalleyjamboree. bacon. “ Royal Alberta Museum royalalbertamuseum. Daylong trips organized by the Calgary Stampede. features a museum. include a visit to a berry farm. Feeding horses at 6:30 in the morning. Aboriginal Adventures Tipi sleepovers are popular in the summer at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. tootin’ cowboys or two-step till the cows come home. Elk Island Retreat and Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.com Official Alberta Vacation Guide 9 .Calgary Stampede Don’t miss this 10 day summer whoop-up. dozens of medicine wheels. Superb historical sites such as Rocky Mountain House Museum. In the north.ca Spirit of the Peace albertaaboriginaltourism. known as the “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.com Glenbow Museum glenbow. you’ll find the Kikino Ranch. the Narrows Cultural Resort on Lesser Slave Lake. you definitely need to go on a farm tour. rope lightning-fast calves and hold on for life atop buckin’ broncs. the Remington Carriage Museum and Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village also line this route.” where you can pony up to the bar with rootin’. you’ll find the classic western movie ranch experience. Watch real cowboys wrestle snorting steers into the mud.com Calgary Stampede calgarystampede. ranch and dairy farm. pancakes. saddling and grooming until breakfast.com North Peace Stampede. The latter. Authentic Aboriginal programs offered in the north are spots such as Métis Crossing. professional photographers or botanists – depending on the theme of the trip. O’Kimaw Peya ‘sew skwao traditional cultural camp near Lac La Biche – plus there’s a fascinating network of museums known as the Spirit of the Peace. Home on the Range For real western hospitality. where you learn about the origins of good food.com/ experiences The Galt Museum galtmuseum. book a night at a guest ranch.org Remington Carriage Museum remingtoncarriagemuseum. The proximity to the Canadian Rockies means you’ll also witness a great diversity of wildlife and scenery. Alberta’s second largest outdoor rodeo and chuckwagon event.

marks on a doorjamb as the children grow. In Alberta. For family togetherness. intimate encounters with wild things are common. Calgary Zoo . when they’re old enough to sit on a horse. try camping in a tipi at one of our five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. certain holidays are like yardsticks.com 1-800-ALBERTA Sleepover. Although you could do that too! 10 TravelAlberta. Next. a stay at West Edmonton Mall. Perhaps you start off on a half-kilometer ramble or a sleepover at the Calgary Zoo. and children can learn firsthand about animals and places they otherwise might only see on TV or in zoos – and you don’t even need to charter a bush plane.In many families. Or take them to Alberta’s equivalent of Disneyland. you might go on a multi-day horsepacking expedition.

motels and Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) throughout Alberta offer family plans. a ride that brags of having the highest G-force on the planet.Wet and Wild Wonders Besides West Edmonton Mall’s World Waterpark and Sherwood Park’s Millennium Place. a Zorb) that lets you roll down the slopes like an insect in a cocoon. But the ultimate family-friendly dream lodging goes to the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton for its theme rooms such as the Truck Rooms. scream down the Mindbender roller coaster. In Calgary. hands-on galleries. Young fishers should make a beeline to Cold Lake. Sleep with the Wild Things Sleep next to an elephant or a giraffe in the Destination Africa pavilion – at one of the Calgary Zoo’s popular sleepovers. Last summer. available at the YMCA’s Camp Chief Hector and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. plus welcome packages. Family Friendly Stays Hotels. The days still end around a campfire where everyone now roasts Mom. special exhibits – the TELUS World of Science in both Edmonton and Calgary has fun down to a science. fall asleep in a tipi while listening to the coyotes howl at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. ALBERTA TOuRISM. visit the Wild Rapids Waterslide in Sylvan Lake (home to 16 slides including the zero-gravity Sidewinder). Boredom Busters Starlabs. “When our four boys were little we camped a lot as a family – usually on lakes where they could waterski. a giant bubble-like contraption (a. Whether you find yourself eye to eye with a giant hippo. and so forth. home to some of the best trout fishing around as well as sailing. Find five interactive galleries in Edmonton’s science centre plus an Imax theatre. kids’ check-ins and menus.k. the Douglas Fir Resort in Banff (romp around its new four-level indoor play structure) and the TransAlta TriLeisure Centre in Spruce Grove are other popular bets with kids. Or. Sylvan Lake is also a great place to windsurf. operated by the Friends of Jasper. Sports Rooms. No time? Then just marvel at the 1. Also new is the 3. Meet the Pirates of Hollywood at Sea Lions’ Rock where daily interactive shows feature the antics of California sea lions and take an underwater Sea Life Cavern tour in the world’s largest indoor lake. Igloo Rooms. rooms of LEGO. or jump on the spinning roller coaster. Hoodoos. leisure centres in Calgary. my boys joined me on our Parks Tour in northern Alberta where we discovered a fantastic seven-lake canoe loop in the Lakeland area and the thrill of quadding. water skiing and diving. Official Alberta Vacation Guide Canada Olympic Park 11 . sail or make sand castles on one of Alberta’s best beaches. just like elite ski jumpers.000-plus animals that inhabit the various ecosystems on display. Drumheller Sea Lions’ Rock. North America’s fastest zipline rockets you through the air up to 140 km/h (86 mph). where activities and guides arrange the works. and experience an adrenaline rush that will knock your breath away.3 m (10 ft) Z-pod. The Collicutt Centre in Red Deer. Royal Tyrrell Museum. and fewer marshmallows!” If you’ve got a junior naturalist (aged 6-10) on your hands check out the free program at the Whistlers Campground. exhibits that are part of the 2011 Project Prototype Lab are now rolling out.a. babysitting services. PARkS ANd RECREATION West Edmonton Mall Bounce upside down on a bungy cord over a massive indoor waterpark. West Edmonton Mall Cindy Ady MINISTER. Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park or at Elk Island Retreat. feeding an elephant or giggling over a gorilla – try to tear away from Africa for a peek at the Canadian Wilds. jet skiing. Drumheller Teen Awakenings Fly off the 90 meter (295 ft) ski jump tower at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park. a safari-type area devoted to many of the mammals that call Alberta home. Other unique stays include family camps. Galaxy Orbiter. windsurfing.

Our cities and towns may not have appeared on road maps before the 19th century but our First Nations people left carvings and indicators of settlements as far back as 11. From wagon rides to Gasoline Alley to a lesson in a one-room schoolhouse – this is a family favourite. pre-1914. take a trek through the Glenbow Museum – western Canada’s largest museum with over one million objects or visit the newly expanded Heritage Park Historical Village where you’ll stumble on life in Alberta. 12 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Alberta Legislature Building. Discover our rich Aboriginal culture at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton and then complete your history lesson with afternoon tea at the handsome Rutherford House – a stunning Edwardian home that hosts special events throughout the summer. Edmonton .000 years. In Calgary.

theatre buffs will find Shakespeare in the Park (in both major cities). in either Calgary (at the Pengrowth Saddledome) or Edmonton (Rexall Place). Fort McMurray’s Interplay Festival and the unique Passion Play in the badlands. We’re lucky because we can take detours to mountains. Grab hold of the spirit that rocked this city in 1988 when it hosted the Winter Games by starting at the Olympic Hall of Fame at Canada Olympic Park. pubs – and certain streets (The Red Mile in Calgary/The Blue Mile in Edmonton). but the season doesn’t stop then – it just moves outside and takes on a different beat. rockets and astronauts in my art. current events and things that are playful. The Play’s the Thing Prime time for dance and theatre performances is typically October through May. From Whimsy to World-Class If you want to see just how big visual arts projects can get. the Heritage Festival and the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival. The Banff Centre Official Alberta Vacation Guide Grande Prairie Provincial Building.” Buy an Experience Alberta’s history Pass and receive unlimited admission to 18 provincial historic sites and museums in Alberta for one year! 2008 Ballet Prefigured Effect. horses. the largest concert organ in Canada. Come spring and summer. Banff PAINTER Calgary Flames. in Calgary and Edmonton/St. all internationally recognized galleries renowned for their western art collections as well as contemporary exhibits. Edmonton’s Fringe Festival (North America’s biggest). Do the same with blue and you’ll be an instant Oilers fan – the point is to attend a hockey game. Drumheller’s Rosebud Theatre. Hockey Night in Alberta Streak your face with red paint and you’ll be baptised into the Calgary Flames club. the Centre for the Arts in Lethbridge and the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod. Canada has only six National Hockey League teams so both cities are wildly passionate about their players. badlands and beautiful landscapes. “I’ve lived in Calgary all my life and I love city life. The biggest events include the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. you must head to Capital EX and Edfest for one of the country’s largest summer fairs. or get an icy blast on a skeleton run at the Ice House. It’s no wonder people come here to see what I have! I’m interested in pop culture. But for flat-out massive. dean Stanton Shakespeare in the Mountains. Described as one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in Canada. one of Canada’s top orchestras performs at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Grande Prairie 13 . The province’s large resident theatre companies perform at the EPCOR CENTRE in Calgary (home to four theatres) and Edmonton’s Citadel (with five halls). Exit. visit Edmonton’s Art Gallery of Alberta (slated to open its $88-million renovation in early 2010). the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. even when it gets hectic. international arts festival and Mountain Film and Book Fest in the fall) and on a smaller scale.Cultural Capital Edmonton’s renowned as Canada’s Festival City. Albert). on the western fringes of Calgary. Stage Left Step outside our main urban hubs and you’ll also find top-notch facilities at The Banff Centre (don’t miss its summer-long. It houses the $3 million Davis Concert Organ. Calgary’s Glenbow Museum and the Art Gallery of Calgary. the International Children’s Festival (every May. the TransAlta Arts Barns and the Francis Winspear Centre. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. During the fall and winter you’ll find the Alberta Ballet and both Calgary and Edmonton’s opera companies perform at the Jubilee Auditoria in both cities. You’ll find cowboys. the Winspear Centre is home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and hosts a wide variety of shows every year. always evident at the post-game recaps which take over bars. Pengrowth Saddledome Olympic Legacy If you didn’t nab tickets to the 2010 Olympic Games – you can enjoy Olympic history any time in Calgary. Jump on a bobsleigh and barrel down the very track Olympians train on.

In Edmonton.Alberta is a province that knows how to eat – and more than just the regular cowboy fare of beef. In Calgary. as well as locally raised succulent game. Today you’re as likely to find fresh-from-the-field produce as you are creamy goat cheeses and award-winning homemade Belgian chocolate. Such exotic fare is served in equally eclectic spots. Calgary towers. . from hip martini bars to casual bistros and classic steakhouses. flapjacks and beans.com 1-800-ALBERTA 17 Avenue SW. known as Restaurant Row. you’ll find more than 60 restaurants in the funky neighbourhood of Old Strathcona plus more highbrow treats in the downtown forest of glass 14 TravelAlberta. amble down historic Stephen Avenue Walk. where handsome 100-year-old sandstone banks and hotels have become home to the hottest young chefs and über creative restaurant concepts.

Official Alberta Vacation Guide Calgary Farmers’ Market 15 . Market Mall and the Calgary Eaton Centre. 100 eateries. silky filet mignon. head south from Calgary to Nanton where you can pick up an Antique and Art Walk map of the area. Boutiques and art galleries line 17 Avenue SW. Albertans don’t want to serve a beef dish that’s anything less than magnificent. If you’re hunting for an enormous bargain bin head to South Edmonton Common. Calgary is also a great spot to pick up unique western goods from cowboy boots to Stetsons. Retail Therapy Nothing will yank you out of the doldrums faster than a day at West Edmonton Mall (WEM). Remember. beef in Alberta is linked to pride. you’ll find all-star chefs galore – with recent awards piling up at The Bison in Banff. Edmonton Gail hall FOOd ACTIVIST ANd CONSuLTANT For samples of Alberta’s freshest fare and a chance to meet locals. Entrance is free.000 vehicles). and Banff’s über-swanky International Wine & Food Festival. pop by our farmers’ markets in Calgary and Edmonton. an annual event held every fall that toasts what we grow. Chinook.” visit the newest covered mall to be built in Alberta in the past 20 years – the massive CrossIron Mills in Balzac. Many of Calgary’s shopping malls have been themed. Go Beyond “the” Mall After you’ve shopped at WEM.” Adventurous foodies can sample dozens of tasty morsels from more than 30 restaurants during summer festivals such as A Taste of Calgary or A Taste of Edmonton. “I step out of my door and into Alberta’s oldest farmers’ market. In keeping with “big. For a day trip to a town that’s been revived around its antique finds. marinated bison steaks. Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood. held every October in Banff. whether it’s sliced or skewered or tucked into pita bread. Both have hundreds of booths. Kensington Road and the Mission area. Samples are cheap. Antique buffs should make a beeline to Inglewood. from food to furniture to fashion with the latter ruling at Southcentre. also in October. the Post Hotel in Lake Louise and the Trough in Canmore. more than 800 stores and services plus two hotels. making it the largest open-air retail development in North America. wave pools and water parks. three postal codes. Calgary The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. now in downtown Edmonton. Calgary and Edmonton. artisan wares.In the Canadian Rockies.676 m2 (2. Imagine a space with 58 entrances. hit Edmonton’s bohemian. the world’s largest car park (holds 20. Melrose Cafe & Bar. City Hall. Barley-fed porterhouse steaks. penguins and of course. Graze Around Alberta Regional specialties can be sampled anywhere in Alberta – but loyal foodies still love the sizzle of Dine Alberta. Enjoying the Fountain. buskers and are great spots for food-for-the-road and Made in Alberta gifts. packed with one-of-a-kind shops that sell everything from handmade shoes to Aboriginal art. I run cooking classes up in the loft and we start by shopping at the market which is so full of fantastic Alberta produce – from awardwinning cheeses to Alberta beef. it will span 213. little food stands. boutique-laced Whyte Avenue in the neighbourhood of Old Strathcona. Edmonton Made in Alberta More than 70 per cent of Canada’s $15 billion beef industry comes from this province and half of the cattle are exported to nearly 70 markets world wide. or Edmonton’s Old Strathcona area. Other culinary events include the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. 13 movie theatres. When fully developed. it is a very exciting time to be involved in food. bolo ties and blue jeans. Now. locally ranched caribou and elk – people travel from afar just for a taste of what’s grown among the wheat fields in the shadow of our Rocky Mountains. belt buckles. because of the move toward nurturing local producers.3 million sq ft) of retail space.

Alberta golf burst onto the world stage in the 1920s when the Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club opened for business. far-away greens aren’t necessarily greener. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts operates Jasper and its famous cousin.Albertans know that when it comes to golf. these two Stanley Thompson masterpieces provide players with a formidable one-two punch in the world of golf. and most importantly. playability. its fun and 16 TravelAlberta.1 golf resort in Canada. it’s billed as the No. The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course . The Banff Springs Golf Club. Wedged between Waterton Lakes Golf Club in the south and the Athabasca Golf & Country Club in the north are more than 350 courses – more per capita than any other province in Canada. Players praise Jasper for its scenery. Devil’s Cauldron. Today.com 1-800-ALBERTA relaxing atmosphere. Combined. by Score Golf.

the Royal Canadian Pacific is the ever-popular Royal Clubhouse Golf Excursion.Fairways to Heaven Golfing at a historic Stanley Thompson creation goes beyond the game. southeast of Edmonton. Designed in 1929. this course has recently been restored to its original splendour. golf trip includes daily rounds at some of Alberta and B. Paul Golf Club. with nights spent on board a most unique “clubhouse” that’s hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II. which is fun.048 m (10. not too tough and brags of mountain vistas.” Want to squeeze as many rounds of golf into a long summer’s day? head north where you can tee off as late as 9 PM. This six day.000 ft) peaks behind them. to create epic tee shots. William Lyon Mackenzie King. golf Stewart Creek. home of long ball champ. Kananaskis Country Dinosaur Trail Golf & Country Club. Kananaskis Golf Course. on the skirts of Ponoka. installing a waterfall. trees and abundant wildlife.5 million into its course. Stop in at the clubhouse. But Alberta has so many different land masses that golf experiences here are incredibly varied. While you’re in Canmore. on the outskirts of Calgary. Ryan Vold GOLF dIRECTOR “Purists say a links course. Two other new favourites in the Calgary golf scene include the River Spirit Golf Club. ranked as one of North America’s most challenging courses. Jamie Sadlowski. a pro shop and upgrading its landscaping. Blackhawk Golf Club is tucked along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River just 10 minutes west of Edmonton. With a backdrop of Rocky Mountain peaks. loaded with par 4s and a thoroughly modern design. is the only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Alberta. high-end. nearly 183 m (600 ft). which last year earned the reputation of having the best and truest greens in the city and the Sirocco Golf Club. which just opened a swanky new restaurant. visitors away. where sand is the base. Northern Bear Golf Club. was designed by Rod Whitman and has aptly transplanted Scottish traditions into a stunning and surprising prairie landscape. try your clubs at the St. Drumheller Official Alberta Vacation Guide Shaganappi. Jagare Ridge Golf Club has bumped up the golfing landscape of Edmonton to that of the Canadian Rockies. The par 3 Devil’s Cauldron (#4) is considered one of the best golf holes in the world. Other notables like the Kananaskis Country Golf Course include two 18-hole Robert Trent Jones designed courses – Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd – named for the 3. constructed of glass and featuring a seven m (23 ft) waterfall. Another Thompson work of art is Waterton Lakes Golf Course.S. On Par with Palace on Wheels On the roster of the ultra-luxurious railway line. King George VI. RedTail Landing Golf Club in the Edmonton area is a high-end links-style public course designed for all levels of players. Canmore 17 . Calgary Silvertip. Photographers say the 14th tee box at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s course rivals Pebble Beach for natural golfing beauty. we blow many U. is where the grass grows best and what you can do the most with in terms of design. That’s what Rod Whitman did on my father’s land when he designed Wolf Creek – built entirely on a natural sand belt. Be sure to lunch at The Fairmont Banff Springs’ charming clubhouse with spectacular views of the castle-like hotel that looms over the 14th hole. Silvertip is another big hitter.C. the Royal Mayfair in Edmonton sunk $3. The Links of GlenEagles. This carts-only course exploits the site’s dramatic elevation changes. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The Wolf Creek Golf Resort 27 hole course. was another stop on the circuit in 2003 when the Professional Golf Association’s Nationwide Tour was held here. City Greens In preparation for the 2007 CN Women’s Open.’s top courses. Or.

18 TravelAlberta. fancy our waterways. jet boat or go whitewater rafting? With 600 lakes.Our waters run deep in Alberta. But if canoeing isn’t your thing.com 1-800-ALBERTA Two Jack Lake. For thousands of years Canada was traversed by our First Nations people and French-Canadian voyageurs via birch-bark canoes and so we have well developed “voyageur highways” in Alberta. rent a cottage on a northern lake. Whatever your fancy. Want to water ski. Banff National Park . a cabin on an alpine pond or check into a fishing lodge. 245 rivers and 315 creeks to choose from – this province is a water-fed dream.

Cruise Control If you love the leisurely days of bygone paddlewheels. lake whitefish and northern pike (in the 9-13 kg/20-30 lb range). The leisurely three hour Miss Mermaid Cruise on Sylvan Lake combines cruising and dining on a 40 seat houseboat as you glide from the Sylvan Lake marina to Honeymoon Bay and back. then for a bike ride over the ski hill and back to my parents for a barbeque. After that I often go golfing with friends.Mellow canoe excursions can be arranged at some of the most photographed lakes in North America – namely Moraine and Lake Louise. Other top mountain lakes to paddle include Two Jack. Buck. WORLd ChAMPION WATERSkIER Northern lakes such as Colin. perch and lake whitefish.S. Wind/Kitesurfing Legendary winds can whip across Alberta’s all-star lakes – Keho. Red Deer. paddle the Lower Red Deer River to Dinosaur Provincial Park. slip onto the S. this province is a dream. lake trout and Arctic grayling. glass-roofed pool in the Sally Borden Building. walleye. Moose and Pinehurst – catch pike. the Peace or on Lesser Slave Lake (Alberta’s largest auto-accessible lake). the Oldman Reservoir. the world-famous Bow River is loaded with brown and rainbow trout. Travers Reservoir and West Castle River. Kananaskis and Slave. Rated as one of North America’s top 10 trout streams. mysterious petroglyphs. emerald shiner and yellow perch are in the south – the Crowsnest River. you can use a jet boat or a float plane to deposit you at the put-in. Minnewanka and Vermilion in Banff plus Pyramid. by Reader’s Digest magazine. Moyie in Calgary or the Edmonton Queen Riverboat and enjoy the gracious elegance of another age. To view the Rockies by boat. the Oldman. Patricia and Maligne lakes in Jasper National Park. Ryan and Barrow lakes. Easy spots to haul in trout. Maligne Lake. To access rivers such as the Clearwater. you can cruise among the towering peaks on Waterton Lake. where you can go on a guided hike through ancient fossil beds amidst the hoodoos. Tightwads know the cheapest dip in Banff is at the Banff Centre’s never-crowded. Most of Alberta’s fly-in fishing lodges are in the north. My perfect day is waking up early and having a cup of hot chocolate on the deck of my parents’ house that overlooks Dodd’s Lake. Prime walleye pickings can be found at McLelland. the Maligne. For a lazy canoe trip. Lake Minnewanka in Banff or to Spirit Island on Maligne Lake in Jasper. home of North America’s largest collection of ancient. Abraham and Cold Lake – up to 100 km/h (62 mph). Lake Newell. on lakes full of back-snapping pike. Burstall and Charles are famous for their lake trout. If you love fishing. perch. winner of the “Best Cruise in Canada 2007” award. burbot. Massages are also available.” Official Alberta Vacation Guide 19 . Then I like to go for a ski when the water is like glass. Waterton. northern Alberta Hooked on Alberta For a world-class fishing holiday. “The Lake of Kastyn Stone is one of the finest places I have ever skied. float down the Milk River through the badlands to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. luring windsurfers and kitesurfers galore. Wild and Woolly Whitewater Enjoy white-knuckle river rafting on the mighty Smoky. circle Alberta on your map – it attracts both novice and expert with its waterways. Sheep Creek and Kakwa Rivers or tone it down a notch on the still-roiling waters of the Athabasca. Jasper National Park Red Deer River Waterton Lakes National Park Jaret Llewellyn Paddle Power For a northern wilderness venture. walleye. join a guide for either a sea kayak or canoe expedition down spectacular rivers such as the Clearwater (Alberta’s first “heritage” river). Margaret Lake. In central Alberta – on numerous lakes such as Gull. Cornwall. Beauvais. Or.

As for treatments. Wildrose scrubs. The Fairmont Banff Springs . 20 TravelAlberta. Alberta is a healthy place. Urban spas. Photofacials. Thalassotherapy wraps. Alpine spas. Day spas. Be prepared to be dazzled by the sort of spa experience you can have in Alberta. For a higher state of consciousness. From our bike paths and yoga studios to our gyms galore. they’re equally as dizzying. Whether you’re at a spa or on a fitness retreat. Destination spas.com 1-800-ALBERTA Willow Stream. Organic spas. consider a heli-yoga holiday in the Rockies. Hammams. Reiki. Rolfing.Medi-spas. a wellness getaway in Alberta will refresh your spirit and nurture your soul.

kim Wiebe yOGA INSTRuCTOR “Alberta is a great place to be in the health and wellness industry. They often have them outside in a local park – or sometimes in their very shop! Banff Upper Hot Springs Rimrock Resort Hotel.” Om Sweet Om Whether you subscribe to Bikram or Ashtanga yoga – you will find a host of facilities. Urban Day Spas Back in Alberta’s two main urban centres are scores of spas. ranging from the spacious high-end Stillwater Spa. You’ll find spas in the North. as well as Swizzlesticks. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and the Beloved Natural Healing Centre in Jasper as well as Waterton’s Bayshore Inn. Banff Depending on the spa. Verde in Canmore. and even on our mountaintops where I’ve led a heli-yoga practice. It was in the late 1800s that three railway workers (near the present-day townsite of Banff) spotted a plume of steam curling out of some rocks and discovered a cave bubbling with hot springs. The Rocky Mountain towns of Canmore. Heli-yoga practices and overnight stays usually depart from Banff. you can slip back to those steamy days in the historic Upper Hot Springs in Banff or Jasper’s newly renovated Miette Hot Springs. in our parks. Other notables include Edmonton’s Carrie’l Salon & Spa – a multiple award winner for best salon team and other services. weekend workshops and overnight retreats aimed at this white-hot sector. reflexology and a multitude of esthetics. Asian techniques may be emphasized or a clinical approach such as at Calgary’s Santé Spa (Canada’s first medi-spa) may be taken. The yoga community here is very strong – you feel it in studios. which often include various massage therapies. with the highest concentration of facilities found in Calgary and Edmonton. such as those in Grande Prairie’s Podollan Inn and Holiday Inn as well as others in Fort McMurray.Bow Lake. Grande Prairie 21 . Canmore and Cline River. Destination Spas We mean overnight indulgences when we use this term. discover The Inn & Spa at Heartwood Manor in Drumheller that boasts of body polishes. Drop-in classes are standard. with salons in both Calgary and Edmonton. courses. so to speak. If you’re visiting Banff in the winter. warm up with a desert heat wrap at the Rimrock Resort Hotel or an Alpine Aroma-Detox at the Temple Mountain Spa in the Post Hotel in Lake Louise. wellness soaks. Banff and Jasper are other spa hubs. in Calgary’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. Today. Although Albertans work hard. microdermabrasion and photofacials – some of these treatments can only be performed by their physicians. In central Alberta. at Banff’s Red Earth Spa. Be sure to test the waters. which uses natural ingredients in their Essence of Canada treatment. Official Alberta Vacation Guide Spa. Banff National Park Canada’s First Spa So historic are Alberta’s hot springs that most Canadians know precisely the link between our natural hot pools and how Banff National Park was established. to Edmonton’s Dtox Natural Hair and Skin Care. Other spas in the Rockies include the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. hot stone therapy and numerous facials. All of these day spas offer individual treatments as well as full day packages. This salon is for clients concerned with allergies or who have sensitivities to the chemical components often found in cosmetics. There’s also the Eveline Charles Salons & Spa group. they’re also very aware of health and fitness and have the disposable income to invest in their health. At The Fairmont Banff Springs is one of Canada’s largest spas. still partially fed with the natural mineral waters that first put this town on the map. laser skin resurfacing. both of which have spawned a huge spa industry in Alberta. knowing you’ll find many “destination” spas in hotels or resorts. Pop by a yoga shop and inquire about free classes. allowing travellers the flexibility to pick and choose a class across the province. Here services go beyond the conventional to include Botox injections.

dogsled. discover the heart-pounding thrill of a bobsleigh ride. specifically Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards . snowshoe. skate.. Alberta lets you step into its photo frame with plenty of winter adventures. Have you always wanted to soar like an eagle.com 1-800-ALBERTA The Lake Louise Ski Area. From our legendary Rocky Mountain ski resorts to the lonely beauty of a frozen lake in a northern forest. just like Eddie. and rocket off the 90-meter (295 ft) ski jump. Banff National Park . You may not be an Olympian but in Alberta you can certainly pretend – this is where going for gold is a winter pastime! 22 TravelAlberta. the Coke-bottled Brit who stole the hearts of millions during Calgary’s ’88 Winter Olympics? Then. snowmobile or lounge under a twinkling tarp of northern lights. Ski. strap into North America’s fastest zipline at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. ice fish. ride..Alberta may look like the land of a million Christmas trees but it’s more than just a pretty picture. While there.

walls and chambers of ice glow pearly shades of iridescent blue and literally pop and hiss with beauty.5 mi) tumble of snowy hills at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Plenty of operators run services out of Canmore. (See more on page 54. Or. Slave Lake and Grande Prairie. Ice Fishing. don’t stop. Sunshine Village brags of Canada’s longest ski season with a new wing of suites just opening at the base of its runs. Just remember – where there’s a major ski resort. Harness the Huskies Dogsledding will thrill every historical bone in your body.) Nordic Skiing Nordic racers from around the planet annually flock to the Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival (every February). Largest in the Canadian Rockies. home of the XV Winter Olympics. welcoming snowmobilers to award-winning playgrounds all over the province. Whether it’s a southern loop in the Crowsnest Pass area. Banff. The mountains were plastered with snow and I felt like my eyes couldn’t handle so much beauty. skate for free through a frozen ice castle on Lake Louise. Jasper and Rocky Mountain House – and will take you into the backcountry for a gourmet picnic or a mug of hot cocoa ’round a ripping bonfire. Guided walks in Banff’s Johnston Canyon and Jasper’s Maligne Canyon can be organized through most hotels and outdoor hubs. Certainly the biggest Nordic terrain can be found in the 70 km (43.000 km (3. legendary for its hang-on-tight steeps and proximity to Banff. Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail or on one of our frozen winter roads in the North – the variety of snowmobiling terrain in Alberta is enough to rev up any engine. Anglers – Drop Your Line If you just can’t get enough of fishing in the summer. Lake Louise. Crawling the Canyons Canyons that roar with whitewater fury in the summer and are utterly inaccessible get transformed in the winter into wonderlands of ice. I was overwhelmed. Farther west is Ski Norquay. Named for a Norwegian family renowned for saving the life of a crown prince by skiing 55 km (34 mi) over three mountain ranges. it’s the biggest classic Nordic race in North America. Official Alberta Vacation Guide Waterton Lakes National Park Rocky Mountains 23 . is the northern lights. Wabamun Lake “Almost every day in Canmore is a perfect day. Just west of Calgary lies Nakiska. Fort Chipewyan. She was inside my jacket and it was cold and icebergs were floating down the steaming river. nordic skiing.” Lake Louise. Winter is when anglers build temporary sheds or simply drill holes and drop lines in popular lakes such as Spray Lake (near Canmore) and Upper Kananaskis Lake (stocked with rainbows). Rev Up Those Engines Every winter Alberta grooms 5. Star Gazing One of the most spectacular sights that link together many northern towns such as Fort McMurray. But one that I will always remember was walking along the Bow River a week after my daughter was born.107 mi) of white carpet into two fine lines. Banff National Park Sara Renner OLyMPIC SILVER MEdALIST CROSS COuNTRy SkIING Jasper in January is a bargain fest that discounts everything from hotel rooms to lift tickets. Curtains. special events and attractions. the setting for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games and where the world’s fastest cross country skiers will compete on February 5 and 6. there’s a terrain park. to qualify for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. ice climbing and winter camping. held in Edmonton and Strathcona County.Downhill Skiing/Riding Deep in the south lies an unknown powder hound’s heaven with basic slopeside accommodation called Castle Mountain. in Jasper National Park. Veer north and you’ll find the family-friendly resort of Marmot Basin. Combine a unique fly-in ice fishing trip with snowmobiling on North Leland Lake. Various eco-tourism lodges offer multi-adventure packages that combine ice fishing with ski-joring. Tours are available out of Fort McMurray and other northern communities. Lake Louise consistently wins “best scenic views” of all Canadian resorts.

with more than 1. Engadine Lodge. B&Bs. CPR bungalow camps.Whether you fancy a basic campsite or an über-luxe suite at a resort. near an alpine meadow in Kananaskis Country. fly-in fishing resorts.com/ accommodation. 24 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Prince of Wales Hotel. Waterton Lakes National Park . cabins.200 annually inspected properties listed online. Start here and discover eco-friendly lodges like Aurum. 1 go-to site. on the cliffs of Abraham Lake or Mt. even tipi stays and canvas-sided tentcabins in spectacular wilderness settings are detailed at TravelAlberta. Charming backcountry properties. the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) should be your No. cottages.

Shovel Pass. Most are owner operated and offer intimate surroundings. Bunk Down with History Historic backcountry lodges reflect Alberta’s mountaineering roots.com Alberta Country Vacations albertacountryvacation. the coffee always tastes better when brewed in a tin pot and bed-time snacks are always best when they’re gooey s’mores. in alpine towns or in our national parks. alpine lakes or tucked in the crevices of rocks. small villages and sometimes in the middle of nowhere. heritage centre. influenced by Swiss guides and early explorers.com Whether it’s a front. at the toes of glaciers. skiers and hikers. Most have been converted into clusters of charming log cabins. than the focal point.Living the High Life Three of Canada’s most iconic properties have been built in Alberta. Berwyn “Any type of tourism development changes the nature of a place. usually cradling a main lodge and dining facility.com The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. We didn’t want to change the character of the area. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge have recently been revamped to hold either a spa. it leaves an impact. at hostels in Lake Louise and Banff (both are on the top 10 list of hostels in North America). operated by the Alpine Club of Canada.ca Alpine Club of Canada alpineclubofcanada. The Fairmont Banff Springs. but Alberta’s campgrounds provide numerous options depending on your style of camping. right in the middle of this urban park. complete with boardrooms and licensed restaurants. Charming Inns and B&Bs You’ll find them in cities. Others. Yes. while those along the Icefields Parkway have been strategically positioned for cyclists. Alberta is laced with numerous affordable options. ski. We wanted our lodge to follow environmental principles of sustainability – but be more of an accessory to the untouched wilderness around it. History buffs should hop on a horse-drawn carriage at Fort Edmonton Park and check into the Hotel Selkirk (a 1920s-style hotel). the mountaineering program at the Chateau and golf at the Lodge. a floor of boutique suites or a conference centre… all are considered destinations in themselves and offer unique attributes such as the spa at the Springs. snowshoe or horseback into these remote spots.com Charming Inns of Alberta charminginnsofalberta. Typically they cater to those looking for a humble property that will launch them into remote adventures. Historic Backcountry Lodges Legendary lodges such as Skoki. such as those in Calgary and Edmonton rely on their convenient locations. Happy Campers Whether you’re hoofing it with your household on your back or loading up a luxurious RV. Banff National Park Peace Valley Guest Ranch.com/accommodation Alberta Bed & Breakfast bbalberta.or backcountry campsite you want. Shadow Lake and Sundance require stamina.” Hostelling International hihostels. you can even rent a tipi or a tent with all the trappings – from sleeping bags to lawnchairs and cots. Lodging Options Alberta Hotel & Lodging TravelAlberta. Hostel Territory You’ll find architectural wonders. At certain sites. hearty fare and the opportunity to meet other travellers. as you must hike. There is a series of 13 rustic alpine huts found on glaciers. Banff National Park Alan and Madeleine Ernst AuRuM LOdGE Shadow Lake Lodge. matters not – for camping in Alberta is not only about stripped-down pleasures. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 25 . From Baker Creek in Banff to the Whistlers in Jasper are historic CPR bungalow camps that run along the most scenic highways in Banff and Jasper national parks.

........ November 11 ........................ August 1 Labour Day ................... July 1 Heritage Day ..........................................May 23 Canada Day .......................................... April 25 Victoria Day ....................August 2 ...............January 1 ..........November 11 Christmas Day .......................................................................December 25 ...................................................... December 26 26 TravelAlberta...........................May 24 ..................................................................April 5 ................. December 25 Boxing Day .......................................................................................................................................................... April 22 Easter Monday ........................................ February 21 Good Friday ..September 6 ...................................................................... February 15 ........................................................ January 1 Alberta Family Day ........ September 5 Thanksgiving Day ......................April 2 ................................ July 1 ......October 11 ...............................................................................................December 26 ....com 1-800-ALBERTA Canada Day.......................................................................................Alberta Public holidays Holiday 2010 2011 New Year’s Day .....October 10 Remembrance Day .................... Edmonton ...........

Fort McMurray Golden Walleye Classic. Lloydminster Canadian Pony Chuckwagon Races. Grande Cache Mary Reimer Memorial Rodeo. Camrose Voyage Days. Wetaskiwin Ponoka Stampede Ukrainian Pysanka Festival. Drumheller Rum Runner Days & Thunder in the Valley. Albert The Works: Art and Design Festival Freewill Shakespeare Festival Edmonton International Street Performers Festival Rexall Edmonton Indy Edmonton’s Capital EX A Taste of Edmonton Edmonton Heritage Festival Edmonton Folk Music Festival Cariwest-Edmonton Caribbean Arts Festival Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival Symphony Under the Sky Festival Edmonton International Film Festival Canadian Finals Rodeo Grey Cup Festival Jun 1-5 Jun 25-Jul 7 Jun 29-Jul 25 Jul 9-18 Jul 23-25 Jul 23-Aug 1 Jul 23-Aug 1 Jul 31-Aug 2 Aug 5-8 Aug 6-8 Aug 12-22 Aug 20-22 Aug 20-22 Sep 3-6 Sep 24-Oct 2 Nov 10-14 Nov 28 Expo Latino Calgary Highland Games BBQ on the Bow Festival Spruce Meadows. Mallaig Jul 31-Aug 1 Aug 28-29 Sep 3-5 Sep 10-12 Apr 30-May2 Thunder in The Valley. Masters Calgary International Film Festival WordFest. Hinton Canmore Folk Festival Behind the Scenery Wildlife Festival. Lac La Biche History Road. Drayton Valley Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association Finals. Jasper 20th Annual Canmore Highland Games Banff Mountain Book and Film Festivals Jan 15-31 Jan 22-24 Haying in the 30’s. North American Calgary Stampede Fiestaval Latin Festival Calgary Fringe Festival Calgary International Blues Festival Afrikadey Global Fest Calgary International Reggae Festival Apr 1-30 May 25-29 May 30 May 30 Jun 21-27 Jul 7-11 Jul 9-18 Jul 16-18 Jul 30-Aug 7 Aug 5-8 Aug 9-14 Aug 20-28 Aug 21 Christmas in November – Nov 6-19 Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Winterstart Festival. Slave Lake interPLAY Festival. Peace River Alberta Open Sand Sculpture Championship. St. Banff & Lake Louise Nov 27-28 & Dec 4-5 Jul 1-2 Spruce Meadows. Crowsnest Pass Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Whoop-Up Days. Vegreville 22nd Annual World’s Pumpkin Fair. Fort McMurray Arctic Winter Games. Red Deer Big Valley Jamboree. Waterton Lakes National Park The Medicine Hat JazzFest The Canadian Badlands Passion Play. Lethbridge Jun 4-6 Jun 19-26 Riverboat Daze. National Jun 9-13 Alberta South Spectrum Festival. Vegreville Westerner Days Fair and Exposition. Grande Prairie Reel Shorts Film Festival. Slave Lake Jul 8-10 Jul 9-10 Jul 17 Aug 6-8 Sep 4-5 Jun 21-27 Jul 9-11 & 16-18 Jul 16-19 Calgary Folk Music Festival Jul 22-25 Jul 28-31 Aug 24-28 Official Alberta Vacation Guide 27 . Metis Crossing Mar 6 Jun 12 & 13 Jun 28-Jul 4 Jul 2-4 Jul 21–25 Jul 29-Aug 1 Nov 26-Jan 2 Canadian Rockies Jasper in January Ice Magic International Ice Sculpture Competition. Hinton Parks Day. Medicine Hat Waterton Wildflower Festival. Smoky Lake Banff Summer Arts Festival May 1-Aug 31 Jun 4-6 Jul 9-11 Jul 18 Jul 31-Aug 2 Jul 31-Aug 2 Jul 31-Aug 2 Aug 29-30 Sep 5 Oct 30-Nov 7 Sept 10-12 Oct 2-3 Alberta North Alberta Pond Hockey. Peace River Winterplay Festival. Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park Magnificent River Rats Festival. Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo Aug 27-29 Sep 4 Sep 4-5 Sep 8-12 Sep 23-Oct 3 Oct 12-17 Alberta Central Kinsmen on the Pond Hockey Tournament. ReynoldsAlberta Museum.Edmonton & Area International Children’s Festival. High Prairie Feb 11-14 Feb 26-28 Mar 6-13 Apr 19-25 Jun 5-6 Calgary & Area High Performance Rodeo Jan 7-31 Enbridge playRites Festival Feb 3-Mar 7 of New Canadian Plays Calgary International Spoken Word Festival Calgary International Children’s Festival 4th Street Lilac Festival HSBC Calgary Marathon Calgary C-Jazz Festival Spruce Meadows. All National Parks Canadian Death Race. Grande Cache Wild Mountain Music Festival. Grande Prairie Slave Lake Songbird Fest. Athabasca Peace Fest. Lake Louise Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival Wild River Rendezvous.

com/ Edmonton 28 TravelAlberta.Edmonton & arEa TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Edmonton Folk Music Festival .

Sports buffs should check the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers and the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos for game schedules.com Attractions.com TELUS World of Science edmontonscience.ca Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium jubileeauditorium.com Santa Maria. Sir Winston Churchill Square anchors the Downtown Arts District. the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. Take advantage of the largest urban park system in North America.ca Edmonton Corn Maze edmontoncornmaze.ca West Edmonton Mall westedmall. the Edmonton International Jazz Festival. Edmonton is known for off-leash sites. the Citadel Theatre and the newly expanded Art Gallery of Alberta. This funky area is lined with galleries.ca Telephone Historical Centre telephonehistorical centre.com Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village tprc. won’t cost you a king’s ransom – Alberta is the only province without a provincial sales tax. playgrounds. outdoor its historic neighbourhoods.com Devonian Gardens devonian. The dynamic 3. Drawing world-class performers.com Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre leducnumber1. Framing the square are cultural centrepieces such as the Francis Winspear Centre for Music.alberta.ca/uchv Valley Zoo valleyzoo. a short distance away from the downtown core. Museums & Art Galleries edmonton. West Edmonton Mall EdMONTON & AREA Oh Naturale Visit a steaming jungle and a hot desert under the Muttart Conservatory’s four glass pyramids located in the heart of Edmonton’s spectacular river valley.ualberta. arts and cultural festivals. You’ll also find an Imax Theatre in this pleaser continues to be West complex as well as five interactive mind-boggling Edmonton Mall. the No.gc. cafes and bookshops – precisely why the Gallery Walk was formed which promotes both art and artists of merit. superb skating as well as 150 km (93 mi) of walking and biking trails. a one-stop shop for Edmonton’s top entertainment tickets. And adrenaline junkies should inquire about the Canadian Finals Rodeo (largest indoor rodeo in western Canada) and the Rexall Edmonton Indy.ca Rutherford House rutherfordhouse.com Alberta Legislature assembly. loaded with creative programs. picnic sites. It’s also home to Tix On The Square.ca Elk Island National Park pc. Fringe Festival Muttart Conservatory Official Alberta Vacation Guide 29 . gaze museums and lengthy roster of upward at the stars in the largest planetarium dome festivals. And shopping here galleries. however.ca/elkisland Fort Edmonton Park fortedmontonpark.96 mi) race track at the city centre airport makes this one of the most thrilling stops on the Indy Car Series calendar. the Heritage Festival and the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival.Capitalizing on Culture Edmonton is Canada’s Festival City with more than 30 annual music. they include: the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Walk through 190 acres of gardens and natural areas at the University of Alberta’s Devonian Botanic Garden near Devon.ab. Art lovers should make a beeline for 124 Street.ca Muttart Conservatory muttartconservatory.com/ northern Northlands northlands.ab.ca Royal Alberta Museum royalalbertamuseum. Edmonton Attractions Alberta Aviation Museum albertaaviation museum.com Old Strathcona oldstrathcona. Pulsing with more than 20 major parks in the river valley offering cultural events. Some of the biggest crowd pleasers take place in the Downtown Arts District and in Old Strathcona. There are heart of the province. At the TELUS World of Science. 1 crowdin Canada. recently redeveloped as a prime entertainment hub. with a special focus on Canadian artists and their work.1 km (1.ca Art Gallery of Alberta artgalleryalberta.ca/visitor Alberta Railway Museum railwaymuseum. 22 Alberta’s capital lies in the geographic times that of Central Park in New York City.

downtown Edmonton pulses with free performances by internationally known street acts – from magicians to comics – for 10 days during the International Street Performers Festival. 1905 and 1920. The Eskimos were playoff contenders for 34 consecutive years – from 1972 to 2005 – a record for a North American professional team. making this Edmonton’s premier entertainment centre which hosts more than 2. 22. Want to rest your weary feet? Take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon. Former Edmonton Mayor Bill Smith also played for the Eskimos. Fort Edmonton Park is one of the largest living history parks in Canada where you can glide back in time by strolling through the streets of 1885.500 annual events. rules the day. • The first outdoor hockey game in National Hockey League history – the Heritage Classic – was played in Edmonton on Nov. Next should be a walk around what was formerly the residence of the first six Lieutenant Governors. it’s amazing we’re not all artists!” Many of Edmonton’s festivals are meant for those on a shoestring budget. Known as the Alberta Government House. noted for its outstanding coaching and drive for athletic excellence. A Capital Tour Begin with a stroll through the Alberta Legislature. The Spectrum and Rexall Place. you can drop in on weekends to view its collection of Canadian art. Capital EX. a horse race. “When I performed at Capitol Ex in 2008. Armchair quarterbacks should try to nab tickets to the 2010 Grey Cup or an Edmonton Eskimos game at Commonwealth Stadium. the province’s foremost historic structure is set amidst beautiful gardens and water displays. boutique hotels and loads of eclectic restaurants. blue skies. • Figure skating stars Jamie Salé and David Pelletier. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see how sports is woven into the very fabric of Edmonton: • Two former premiers of Alberta were members of the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos: Peter Lougheed and Don Getty. attracting more than four million visitors every year. With the number of festivals.All-Star Capital Edmonton and sports go together like hot dogs and baseball. they’re all at Northlands. This area is home to eight theatre companies. antique stores. where grass.com 1-800-ALBERTA Fort Edmonton Park Royal Alberta Museum kreesha Turner SINGER/SONGWRITER . Pick up the pace with a ride on the steam train that was renovated to accommodate the filming of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Its fountains are a very popular place for getting your feet wet on warm days. Visit the Royal Alberta Museum next door and take a peek beneath the surface of the prairies. not artificial turf. concerts and performances always going on under our big. Kurt Browning and Kristi Yamaguchi all have ties to the city’s Royal Glenora Club. there was such energy in the crowd. What about rest for your weary head? You can stay overnight at the Selkirk Hotel (first built in the 1920s) – featuring 30 new private guest rooms and a 65-seat dining room. I had forgotten what love there is in my hometown. 2003. The massive grounds house the AgriCom. Step Back in Time Old Strathcona Historic Area is ranked as one of the top 10 shopping districts in Canada. a repertory cinema (the Princess). 30 TravelAlberta. a stage coach or an old fashioned street car. inside our Aboriginal Grand Prix Home to Thousands If you want to see a concert. The interpretive centre and gift shop is a favourite stop before or after a free guided tour. Canada’s national rodeo championships or an NHL Edmonton Oilers game. where the Edmonton Oilers took to the ice against the Montreal Canadiens as part of the celebrations of the Oilers’ 25th NHL season. Once the site of the original Fort Edmonton. Built from 1907 to 1912. Every hockey fan should pay a trip to Rexall Place – home ice for the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers and the very arena where Wayne Gretzky led the Oilers to a string of Stanley Cup victories. the spectacularly landscaped gardens of this impressive Beaux Arts building are the perfect spot for a picnic. Edmonton’s an easy place to be an artist – any kind of artist.

EdMONTON & AREA The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Official Alberta Vacation Guide 31 .

32 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Fringe Festival .

and did we mention Edmonton’s new Capitals baseball team and the Oil Kings junior hockey teams. this region was home to the largest Ukrainian settlement in Canada. Albert. Bon Accord Jetting About Take a jet boat tour through the heart of Edmonton or blast up the Peace River to a guest ranch. transforms acres of corn into an elaborate maze that can keep families lost for hours. home of a top-notch International Children’s Festival and the site of western Canada’s largest farmers’ market. A-maze-ing Fun Sure. Devonian Botanic Garden Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village Royal Alberta Museum Official Alberta Vacation Guide Royal Alberta Museum dId yOu kNOW that Edmonton’s first industry was actually fur. Alberta’s first menonly spa. just south of Leduc. it’s corny but we’re not talking about a few lonely cobs here. Or. home to more than 100 exotic and native species. grit and flames of open wheel racing? The Rexall Edmonton Indy revs into high speed every summer in the capital. Always a hit with the small-fry is a visit to the Valley Zoo. as well as deer. and the fact the Edmonton region boasts more than 70 golf courses? Just a Short Drive Away Elk Island National Park is one of the finest spots to view wildlife in Alberta and it’s just a 30-minute drive east of the capital. technology and progress. You’re bound to spot a few of the 1. Spanning more than 10 acres. right below the downtown streets. found at the Edmonton Corn Maze. followed by coal? Take a walking tour of the capital and learn that much of the original coal seam remains unmined. It’s all in the Game Streak your face with blue paint and start the wave at an Edmonton Oilers hockey game. moose and beaver that call this place home. In the early 1900s. The Great Prairie Corn Maze. Another immensely popular corn maze is the Amazing Field Maze. As can the five-km creation of twists and turns that resembled a curler (at the Roar of the Rings event) in 2009. High Level Street Car Fort Edmonton 33 . various messages get cut into the corn each year.history or deep below the snow pack at the Wild Alberta Gallery. The 30 historic buildings on site are originals.700 elk. EdMONTON & AREA Sky high Most people don’t even know there are streetcar bridges in Edmonton – let alone one that travels over the world’s highest streetcar bridge! The High Level Streetcar operates spring through fall giving visitors a trip over the High Level Bridge – built in 1912. Numerous exhibits salute Alberta’s oil industry with information on its history. moved here and restored to preserve their heritage. Take up a 9-hole round of golf in the park and then wind down with an overnight in an authentic tipi at Elk Island Retreat. just east of Bon Accord. Men-Only Spas Relax in the “Executive Lounge” at The Board Room in Edmonton. Corn Maze. Oh. Venture south of the city to the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre where oil production began in 1947 at the Leduc #1 Historic Site. 600 plains bison and 375 wood bison. While you’re on the fringes of the capital take an amble through St. rip it up over the thumping beat of a lacrosse game with Edmonton’s Rush or at a football game starring the Edmonton Eskimos. Prefer the roar. The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village provides costumed interpreters who play historic characters and recreate day-to-day activities which you can join – from churning butter to painting eggs.

plant sales. be sure to visit the Kurimoto Japanese Garden and the Sensory and Healing Garden. or even a canoe for a leisurely held in Edmonton and Calgary. developed by the University of Alberta. the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society is a terrific resource. Besides the historic buildings perched above the Sturgeon River is St. trips through the centre of the city. the city of St. Other highlights in St. is set to rise from the rubble as a new structure wrapped in curvy steel ribbons. Green Thumbs Up The Devonian Botanic Garden. Less than a Tank Away In the northwest wedge of Edmonton is one of Alberta’s oldest settlements. Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller. as there are operators and prime fishing holes within the urban edges of the provincial capital. seeped in French heritage. Cyclists should check out Velocity Cycle and Instant Mountain Bike Rentals. Albert include its massive Saturday-only summer market. designed by Randall Stout Architects. Rather than Canada announced that in 2012. local produce – every Saturday from July to September. Inside is the Musée Héritage Museum. Discover Canada’s most northerly botanic garden. Opening shows include major works by Edgar Degas. Indoor show houses. and special events are yours to discover. The paddle down the North Saskatchewan River. rent World Junior Championship will be a bike or a Segway. a contoured brick building designed by Douglas Cardinal. the World Figure Skating Championships Change Gears The best way to experience the and the World Championships in dozens of urban parks and recreation areas that Athletics? Just recently hockey meander through Edmonton is – slowly. who was a central figure in the area’s early days. Yousuf Karsh. dId yOu kNOW that Edmonton has hosted the Commonwealth Games. Backcountry Bliss Dip deep along a perfectly designed three day backcountry canoe circuit near Lac La Biche. the trail system at Red Willow Park and the Woodlands Water Play and Skateboard Park plus its many historic murals. the race through these green belts in your vehicle. 31. Slated to open Jan. Historic attractions here include the Father Lacombe Chapel.Go Fish Even city slickers fish. Albert.com 1-800-ALBERTA The Art Gallery of Alberta Segway Tour Father Lacombe Chapel. built in 1861 by the pioneering priest and his Métis helpers. From Mennonites to single operators. Old is New Again The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA). you’ll find more than 200 vendors selling fresh. 2010. tours. Albert The Francis Winspear Centre for Music . the gallery space has nearly doubled and will showcase three floors of exhibitions. Capital EX Fort Edmonton Park 34 TravelAlberta. lies just southwest of the city. When there. For maps and bike events. facilities the public gets to use after Options for canoeists include guided or unguided these events are remarkable. It’s also the burial site for Lacombe. Midway. Edmonton Canoe offers a series of canoe programs and rentals. 80 acres of display gardens and 100 acres of natural areas. Albert Place. St.


Cariwest Caribbean Festival


Rutherford House

Old Strathcona



What a cool way to see a city wake up – by jet boat. Next to their little coolers, fishermen cast their lines into the North Saskatchewan River. Cyclists pedal to work. Families of ducks and geese snooze in the reeds. Even kayakers and canoeists seem to use the river as an early morning playground. Rented a cool, new Segway and am now cruising through downtown and parts of the North Saskatchewan River Valley; biggest urban park in North America. The path system meanders from parks to golf courses, across historic bridges, past ponds and through forests.

Too nice to dine inside so I found a great outdoor bistro in Old Strathcona. I think this is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in all of Canada. Poets are gathering next door… what’s “blink” poetry? I’ve been seduced. I was trying to decide which show to attend at the Fringe Festival when someone on stilts started rapping about jolly cows and lonely canola fields. Now I’m in a parade heading toward an outdoor stage and he’s way off in front, like a mad Pied Piper. Someone swooped out of a tree and started doing the bunny hop. No one is seated any longer. We’re all hanging on to the waist in front of us, jumping forward. Then backward. Then, a-1-2-3. I’m laughing with absolute strangers. Hundreds of them.

Was able to nab some tickets for an outdoor concert tonight at Hawrelak Park so I’m wolfing down an early dinner, overlooking the river valley where I cycled this morning. The Cornish game hen with a juniper berrysauce is crispy, almost like Peking Duck. It’s sitting on a nest of white asparagus, crunchy beets and roasted pine nuts. Sublime. I know the Saturday afternoon blues jams at the Commercial Hotel are an institution but the nights give you lots to groove to, as well. Blues on Whyte is exactly what you’d expect from an über-swinging, Chicago-style blues bar. Hot. Thick air. Sultry music. Big Dreamer brought down the house.

Official Alberta Vacation Guide

River Valley







6 4 3 5

Elk Island National Park


1 2


Beaverhill Lake




36 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA

TELUS World of Science

Cultural and heritage Loop


Distance: 300 km (180 mi) Travelling time: Two to three days by car Begin: Edmonton End: Edmonton


Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Where can you experience the world’s largest indoor triple-loop rollercoaster, eat a platter of perogies dished up by a ukrainian Baba, see bison up close and take in more festivals than you ever thought possible? Edmonton. use the capital as a base and fan out on short jaunts.
1 From Edmonton head east on Hwy 16 to Elk Island National Park. Get there

early as prime time for wildlife viewing is in the morning when the 1,700 elk, 600 plains bison and 375 wood bison are up and about. Whether you drive, bike or hike through Canada’s smallest national park, there are plenty of interpretive plaques and points of interest that explain the park’s historical importance.
2 Follow the signs to nearby Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Costumed

interpreters lead you through more than 30 restored historic buildings and then let you loose to experience numerous hands-on activities and games.
3 Make your way back to Edmonton and in keeping with our historic theme,
Fort Edmonton Park

visit Fort Edmonton Park. At one of Canada’s largest living history parks, discover how our pioneers and fur traders lived, take a ride on a steam train or relax on a ferris wheel, 1920s style.
4 Take a free tour of Alberta’s magnificent Legislature Building and marvel at

Royal Alberta Museum

its Beaux Arts details and its elegant outdoor gardens and fountains. Next on your urban tour, visit the Royal Alberta Museum where you’ll gain a sense of the scope of Alberta’s natural and human history. In the evening, poke around Old Strathcona, beloved for its bohemian ambiance and terrific shopping. Dine at one of the area’s eclectic restaurants and then finish up your night with a guided ghost tour.
5 Drive south on Hwy 2 to Leduc where oil was discovered on Feb. 13, 1947.

This very find transformed Edmonton into the Oil Capital of Canada – neatly explained at the Leduc #1 Historic Site and the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre and Hall of Fame. Here, you’ll also find a replica oil rig, drilling equipment, photos and hands-on displays. Head back to Edmonton on Hwy 60 and stop at the Devonian Botanic Gardens. Blissfully serene, a walk through its Japanese Garden and around its extensive collection of native and alpine plants is always a lovely escape.
6 Spend a day at West Edmonton Mall. Here, you can splash around the

Bison, Elk Island National Park

world’s largest indoor waterpark, flip around Galaxyland (home of the mindbender, the world’s largest indoor triple loop rollercoaster), or enjoy the one-stop shopping experience at the 800 plus stores and services and re-energize at one of the 100 dining establishments.

Official Alberta Vacation Guide


calgary & area
TravelAlberta.com/ Calgary


TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA

Stephen Avenue Mall

renowned for its spectacular Destination Africa pavilion and the Canada Wilds area as well as its sleepovers. a permanent exhibit at Calgary’s Glenbow Museum.com The Military Museums themilitarymuseums.ca/parks/ naturecentre Kananaskis – Calgary’s Mountain Playground tpr. jogging and roller-blading.ca CALGARy & AREA Official Alberta Vacation Guide Public Art Calgary pulses with a youthful.alberta.asp Lougheed House lougheedhouse. You can almost hear the rumble of buffalo hooves barrelling across the dusty prairies as you discover thousands of years of history of First Nations people at Nitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life. Ever wanted to wear a Northwest Mounted Police uniform or spend time in a turn-of-the-century jail? Step right up to Fort Calgary Calgary Attractions Bar U Ranch pc. listen to an elder whisper tales of ancient ways. Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta where the story of our colourful province is told through the eyes of 48 mavericks. the TELUS World of Science.Downtown Skyline Savour the City Get your bearings with a panoramic sweep of the city from the observation deck of Calgary’s premier landmark. tours. Taste the city’s cosmopolitan cuisine downtown or at any number of multicultural restaurants in eclectic neighbourhoods.ca/parks/ kananaskis/flashindex.ca TELUS World of Science calgaryscience. demos and underwater viewing hippo pool. a lovely historic strip of handsome sandstone buildings and high-end restaurants.com Glenbow Museum glenbow. Can you Hear the Drums? From the floor of a tipi. less than an hour’s drive away. Or.alberta. famed for regional cuisine.ca Downtown Calgary downtowncalgary.org Heritage Park Historical Village heritagepark. you’ll even see people fishing for trout in the Bow River – on their lunch hour! Glenbow Museum Calgary Tower 39 .com Eau Claire Market eauclairemarket. And be sure to tour the Glenbow’s innovative gallery.ca/parks/ fishcreek Fort Calgary Historic Park fortcalgary.” employed by an organization that rates attractions. Enjoy the dynamic arts and music scene at a variety of stages including the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts and the Grand Theatre.ca Calgary Stampede calgarystampede. Time it right and you could dine at its newly renovated. Shakers Fun Centre and Butterfield Acres (a hands-on working farm). entrepreneurial energy yet it still respects its humble roots – most evident in the 10 day July whoop-up known as the Calgary Stampede. Calgary Spaceport. Other big hits with families of all ages are Canada Olympic Park (hop on the fastest zipline in North America or try out its new Zorbing attraction where you roll down a hill in a giant plastic bubble).org Canada Olympic Park canadaolympicpark. free feedings. Then zip down for an amble along Stephen Avenue Walk.com Calaway Park calawaypark. Calaway Park (western Canada’s largest outdoor amusement park).com Calgary Attractions calgaryattractions.ca/lhn-nhs/ab/baru Butterfield Acres butterfieldacres. Top marks go to the Calgary Zoo. Child Friendly Calgary Look for the bright yellow sun and green streak of grass if you want the official seal of approval by “kid critics. where you can dare to teeter across its glass floor at 160 m (525 ft).com Calgary Farmers’ Market calgaryfarmersmarket.com Calgary Zoo calgaryzoo. for an in-depth dining experience take a two-hour guided Urban Safari Tour that blends unique restaurants. the Calgary Tower.gc. Amble down one of the longest urban pathways in North America and rub elbows with folks who are cycling. galleries and shops. hotels and events in Calgary according to children’s needs.com Calgary Tower calgarytower.ca Inglewood Bird Sanctuary calgary. restaurant in the air – Sky 360.com Spruce Meadows sprucemeadows. The city is known as the gateway to the Canadian Rockies.com Fish Creek Park tpr. ever-revolving. with a little architectural soupçon and local insight into the regional food scene as well as the history of the city. the Aerospace Museum.

Kensington and 17 Avenue SW – and are led by a guide in a black cape with a proverbial lantern. Military Museums – full of vintage tanks.” • Calgary is committed to green spaces. canoeing. 40 TravelAlberta. • White settlers first arrived in Calgary in the late 1700s. Then march through another chapter of our history at the also newly expanded. looking for fish.000 years ago by glacial ice. weighing in at 18.did you know? In addition to being one of Canada’s largest cities. Other nuggets you need to know: • Americans make up 10 per cent of Calgary’s one million plus population. and Okotoks itself were named for this giant rock dragged from the Jasper area and deposited 10. including all parks. And the clear water of the Bow River plus the easy access to mountains where I love to hike and backcountry ski. In 1875. Which is the Biggest Rock of all? Just south of Calgary in the town of Okotoks is the largest glacial “erratic” in the world. Inglewood. through the foothills of the Rockies. maybe just tepid? Consider a night of ghostly entertainment that dips into the mischief. boasting of more than 3. Another must-see is the $65 million expansion of Heritage Park Historical Village. One of my favourite things to do in Calgary is snorkel down the Bow. mayhem and murders of Calgary. bird watching. • Calgary has the longest continuous bike path in Canada with 635 km (394 mi) of paved paths. hiking. heli tours and a world-class hotel. More of our Western Ways You could be having a Mojito at a sun-kissed rooftop restaurant in Calgary over lunch and be ridin’ a snortin’. miles of cross country ski trails and a 36-hole golf course are all less than an hour west of Calgary.com 1-800-ALBERTA dId yOu kNOW the Caesar cocktail was first created in Calgary in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell? Today.700 restaurants. An Olympic downhill ski hill.000 years ago. an antique midway. an old-fashioned bakery. overnight pack trips. The Adventures of “K Country” Take a short drive west of Calgary. 40 regional parks and a total of 7. buckin’ bronco 30 minutes later. guest lodges.1 selling cocktail – more than 250 million Caesars are downed every year. where an arena is open year-round to put wannabe bronco Take Calgary’s CTrain (a light rail transit system) downtown and you won’t pay a cent. Spruce Meadows for a chance to relive the Wild West. near Balzac. candy store and school house – all staffed by highly trained interpreters. “When I’m away from Calgary I miss the space and freedom we have here. replete with a spiffy new car museum. rafting. Big Rock. Jump to It! Spruce Meadows is one of the world’s top equestrian facilities that hosts 15 major horse jumping competitions annually and offers more than $6 million in prize money.500 hectares of open spaces. • Calgary’s elegant Stephen Avenue Walk became a National Historic District in 2002. nobody stayed put until about 300 years ago when the Sarcee and Stoney natives moved down from the North and began warring on this turf. the Caesar is Canada’s No. • Although Native Blackfoot moved through the area of Calgary approximately 2. • The city has a healthy culinary scene. Fort Calgary was built at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers.” CALGARy zOO . Calgary is also one of the youngest and fastestgrowing. All four ghost tours focus on historic neighbourhoods – Downtown Calgary. a remote village on the Isle of Mull in Scotland and is said to translate from Gaelic to “garden in the cove. We have 29 major parks. Discover horseback riding. steam train rides. • The name “Calgary” comes from Calgary Bay. A Calgary brewery. Heritage Park Brian keating Spine Tingling Fun Want to dazzle your guests or family with an unusual history lesson that might actually make their blood run cold… well. carriers and WWI paraphernalia. you must try one when you’re here. The route along 7 Avenue is a free-fare zone. fishing. to Kananaskis Country. Your western fantasy lies just 15 minutes north of Calgary.000 tons.

CALGARy & AREA Seven Restolounge Official Alberta Vacation Guide 41 .

42 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Calgary Stampede Midway .

TELUS World of Science riders through their paces. a fantastic swath of land that tells the tale of how massive and powerful “corporate” ranches were. Can’t get enough of our western ways and stunning high ranch country? Just south of Longview is the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. Chow down on buffalo burgers. Cross. A. All-Star Workouts You might just find yourself working out next to an Olympic athlete at one of North America’s biggest athletic centres. making this Centre of Sport Excellence the new home of Hockey Canada. personal experience into our wild and woolly past. back in 1912.E. Be sure to scoop up a cone from Mackay’s Ice Cream parlour while you’re there. Get Bucked is the second course. it was also renowned throughout North America as a leading breeder of Percherons – some of these draft horses run free today on the ranch’s tumble of foothills. Another area that celebrates Calgary’s western roots is the nearby town of Cochrane. First. Nearby is Diamond Valley. “The Heart of the Cowboy Trail. Other popular athletic facilities include the speed skating The Bar u Ranch Visit this national historic site in Longview and discover our rich ranching history. Millarville (great farmers’ market on Saturdays in the summer) and Longview (pop into Ian Tyson’s Navajo Mug for a coffee and some country tunes or pick up a chewy wedge of beef jerky made right on the premises of the Longview Jerky Shop). Calgary’s Talisman Centre or Canada Olympic Park (COP) – future home of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Use a branding iron. not just during July’s 10 day shindig? Explore the grounds and you’ll discover who the “Big Four” were. you’ll discover the legacy left by the XV Winter Olympics with its luge. Black Diamond. is Bull Riding 101 – a classroom-based. Mini-golf. controlled environment. The Big Four were: George Lane. Fantasy Adventure Bull Riding is the world’s first bull riding school that provides a gritty. boutiques. ultimate Amusement Calgary’s Calaway Park is western Canada’s largest outdoor amusement park. home to 33 rides including the Samba Spin as well as the Dream Machine and Falling Ace. At COP. live shows. antique shops and craft galleries. Other Nearby Nuggets No time to drive the entire Cowboy Trail? Settle for a sample by popping into Bragg Creek.J. behind-the-chutes look at the sport of bull riding.” which includes Turner Valley (tour the Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site). A.000 head of cattle driven north from Montana. in their day. skeleton and ski jumping facilities where Olympians from around the planet still train. MacLean and Patrick Burns. These heroes are constantly mentioned in Calgary for they were the four businessmen who bankrolled Guy Weadick for $100. a funky “western” town. This quaint hamlet is full of restaurants. You’ll spot even more elite athletes in the near future as WinSport Canada’s $276 million expansion rolls out. This is where you get to test your skills on the back of a mechanical bull. just 50 km (30 mi) southwest of Calgary.000 so he could kickstart the Stampede. Calgary Stampede Midway Kananaskis River 43 . aimed at graduates who have demonstrated enough chutzpah to ride a live bull in a relatively safe. CALGARy & AREA Okotoks Erratic Rock Fruit Stand near Bragg Creek Official Alberta Vacation Guide Canada Olympic Park dId yOu kNOW that you can rove around Stampede Park any old time. Once stocked with 3. a midway and an RV park/ campground are part of the complex.

Even little coffee joints such as the Dairy Lane Milk Bar in the neighbourhood of West Hillhurst have made it big – in this case in the recently shot. Calgary Stampede The 10-day summer shindig. based on a Nora Roberts novel. Here you’ll find cowboys from all over the planet showing off their skills at the world’s richest outdoor rodeo. Calgary Stampede 44 Calgary Stampede Midway dId yOu kNOW that Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada. bulls.” is more than just a midway or a rodeo. Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Racing. location. check out the roster of games and concerts held at the Pengrowth Saddledome – home of the NHL Calgary Flames. if Heritage Park looks familiar it might be because Brad Pitt shot a scene there featured in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. luring kitesurfers to this spot. big-act concerts and a nightly grandstand show complete with fireworks. where more than 100. hay days Experience a dry float in a heated hay bath inspired by Alberta’s cowboy country. winds always howl across Ghost Lake. McMahon Stadium. TravelAlberta. Or.com 1-800-ALBERTA Pengrowth Saddledome Wild Pony Race. Blue Smoke. Saddle Bronc. The corporate city of more than a million shuts down. and then expand your awareness with pulsating light at Calgary’s Sublime Spa. This is exactly the time where you can pony up to a bar with rootin’ tootin’ cowboys or two-step till sun-up. known as the “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. location – that’s precisely what movie makers seek when they’re preparing to shoot. there’s a very good reason. Platters of “prairie oysters. . made-for-TV movie. Streets are lined with hay bales. while parties rev up.Winds and Wakes Whether it’s summer or winter.3 mi) of them.93 days of sunshine each year? And the downtown core is crisscrossed with elevated. enclosed sidewalks? They call them Plus 15s as they’re 4. Free pancake breakfasts happen daily. are multi-use. Calgary Stampede “Oval” at the University of Calgary and numerous municipal pools and recreation complexes – many of which. like the Calgary Rotary Challenger Park. averaging 332.000 people converge each day. Plus a staggeringly large midway. Hollywood North Location. where the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders play. There are about 15 km (9. While the entire city gets gripped by Stampede fever the epicentre is Stampede Park. say in a place such as Ranchman’s Cookhouse (Calgary’s top honky tonk dance hall).5 m (15 ft) above street level. museums. steers and corner saloons. Calgary Stampede Bull Riding. Or. If you’re more of a spectator.” get slurped back as people celebrate our woolly past – when life was full of buckin’ broncos. Pinstripes get traded in for Wranglers and shiny belt buckles. That’s precisely where the saloon scene in Brokeback Mountain took place. barrier-free facilities. just like those Stetson-wearing cowboys once did. agricultural shows. But the Stampede is also about the “New West” where oil barons and entrepreneurs flourish. restaurants and office buildings. linking malls to hotels. If you experience déjà vu. just west of Calgary.

to the east. Over the lip of the basket I can see the rocks in the clear ribbon of water known as the Bow that winds through Calgary. on North America’s fastest zipline. Scrambled on to this sternwheeler and got a great history lesson while we cruised around the Glenmore Reservoir and then I checked out the new Gasoline Alley. but that only lasts a couple of moments and then all is silent as we drift over our hotel. so we put on our western duds and went to this cookhouse and dancehall. crimson. Moyie was about to leave the dock. The days are long here in the summer so we were able to enjoy a patio table at the River Café until very late. Even though it was more than 20 years ago that Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics. Bought a bag of cowboy popcorn for the road. And those sod huts pioneers lived in – with their chandeliers and pianos they brought over from their homeland – must have been so chilly in the winter. Raced over to the Calgary Farmers’ Market and wolfed down the juiciest Greek Souvlaki I’ve ever had.. closed my eyes and yes.. Some friendly local at dinner said we had to learn to two-step at the Ranchman’s. What’s that? A deer in the city? Dozens roam freely in Nose Hill Park. I jumped . I was so close that I just popped over to Heritage Park where the S. Of course I had to order Alberta beef but the view of Prince’s Island Park and the lagoon and the downtown skyline were just as tasty. Canada Olympic Park Heritage Park CALGARy & AREA Morning Afternoon River Cafe Evening The whoosh of hot air blasting into an enormous balloon is surprisingly loud.S. I knew if I got to the Glenbow Museum I’d never want to leave so I saved it for last. The Aboriginal section is superb. Canada Olympic Park Children’s Day Camp. but what a hoot. staining those tidy fields of wheat with streaks of purple. the Canadian Rockies. and then finally gold. I look west and all I see is a wall of snow-kissed peaks. the spirit’s still very much alive at Canada Olympic Park (COP). Official Alberta Vacation Guide 45 . The sun begins to sneak over the prairies. We missed the free dance lessons but how often do you to get to ride a bull? Sure it was mechanical. I stood exactly where Eddie the Eagle did on top of the 40 m (120 ft) ski jump. Tipis were such an ingenious design.CALGARy IN A dAy Ski Jumping.

com 1-800-ALBERTA . Longview 46 TravelAlberta.com/roadtrips Bar U Ranch National Historic Site.MAYERTHORPE 1 EDMONTON North DRAYTON VALLEY Saskatch ve ewan Ri r 22 ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE RED DEER Banff National Park 2 SUNDRE 22 COCHRANE CALGARY 22 Bow River BLACK DIAMOND LONGVIEW Kananaskis Country 3 BRAGG CREEK TURNER VALLEY 22 Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump 3 Crowsnest Pass 4 6 PINCHER CREEK Visitor Information Centre UNESCO World Heritage Site Airport Waterton Lakes National Park 5 5 CARDSTON TravelAlberta.

Tsuu T’ina Nation Rodeo and Powwow. 3 Small-town charmers include Bragg Creek (loaded with artisan and antique shops plus hiking and mountain biking loops). Just south of Longview lies the Bar U Ranch – full of original buildings. Turner Valley (it was here that Canada’s first major crude oil discovery was made).The Cowboy Trail CALGARy ANd AREA ROAd TRIP Distance: 735 km (457 mi) Travelling time: Three to five days by car Begin: Mayerthorpe End: Cardston Saddlebronc Riding. near Pincher Creek Official Alberta Vacation Guide 47 . Black Diamond and Longview. oldest and best preserved buffalo jump – plus a fascinating museum. Cardston ventures into the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve. travel south and then veer east on Hwy 5 to Cardston where the Remington Carriage Museum houses one of North America’s largest collections of carriages. hospitality and culture. buggies and wagons. Here you’ll find the world’s largest. ending at this very site. Wild West. It’s a spectacular example of another era … the Wild. Windsor Ridge. food. using Calgary as a logical fly-in gateway. 4 At the junction of Hwy 22 and Hwy 3 you’ll find Pincher Creek where you Tsuu T’ina Nation. Bragg Creek Explore Alberta’s historic Cowboy Trail and discover how the West was really won through its art. The trail begins in Mayerthorpe (northwest of Edmonton) and ends in Pincher Creek – a nudge above Montana. most people carve it into little two and three day loops. While it’s possible to drive the entire distance. Millarville (home to a massive farmers’ market held on Saturdays throughout the summer). Bragg Creek can poke around Kootenai Brown’s Pioneer Village and then jog north to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). 1 Head south on Hwy 22 from Mayerthorpe and be sure to stop in at Rocky CALGARy & AREA Mountain House. Paddle back in time in a voyageur canoe that will guide you down the North Saskatchewan River. home to a newly expanded national historic site that re-enacts the story of Canada’s fur trade and rugged voyageur life. history. 5 To complete the official Cowboy Trail. ongoing archaeological digs and intriguing exhibits. 2 Head south and use Sundre as a base for wilderness trips or horseback Remington Alberta Carriage Museum.

Jasper National Park .CANADIAN ROCKIES TravelAlberta.com/ Rockies 48 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Tonquin Valley.

nestled at the foot of Victoria Glacier. two theatres. Canadian Rockies destinations Banff banfflakelouise.641 km2 (2. theatres.hinton. horseback riding and campgrounds. plus plenty of wildlife without the crowds. Known as The Banff Centre. Sandwiched between Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country. pristine glacial-fed lakes. ski resorts and a magnificent Stanley Thompson-designed golf course – all in a protected national park setting. in sang I Can See Clearly Now. camping and world-class accommodation such as two magnificent. historic Fairmont properties.ca/Banff Canmore tourismcanmore. a summer arts festival.com Banff Centre banffcentre.ca Lake Louise banfflakelouise. of Canada’s biggest summer arts festivals and a Joni Mitchell.gc. Clarity is November. your bike. wildlife.ca Jasper jaspercanadianrockies. a rock climbing wall. flanking the east side of the town of Banff. was on about when she unique mountain film and book festival. the Canmore Nordic Centre and festivals galore translate to something for everyone. hikes. one now know what Alberta-born folkie. Look for award-winning restaurants. Icefields Parkway. superb golf courses. museums.Banff Upper Hot Springs Kananaskis Country – Cradles Nine Parks Less than an hour’s drive west of Calgary lies “K Country.ab.. Jasper National Park CANAdIAN ROCkIES Art Matters At the base of Tunnel Mountain.com Willmore Wilderness Park willmorewilderness park. Canmore – has Three Sisters Framed by one of the world’s most spectacular mountain ranges. hiking trails.ca/jasper Kananaskis Country kananaskisalberta. Banff – is that a Castle in the Peaks? Located 130 km (81 mi) west of Calgary. and art studios. From innovative jazz and poetry readings to Indie band performances. your golf clubs .gc. horseback riding.ca Banff National Park pc. bike loops. art galleries. Lake Louise – What Makes it that Colour? Find out why Lake Louise. theatre. spas.” and Lake Edith Cavell. making it an ideal base for a family vacation. in music. classical all around – in the crisp air. The entire park occupies nearly 6.564 sq mi) of land in which lie the charming town of Banff and hamlet of Lake Louise. this “kingdom” began in 1933 as a two-week drama camp. artists’ talks and workshops – this place is one the whitewater froth of the Bow River of Banff’s artistic cornerstones.. Banff National Park Official Alberta Vacation Guide Lake Louise and in all this Rocky Mountain space. you’ll see a cluster of buildings – like a kingdom unto its own. Canmore has plenty of condos and homes to rent.ca Hinton town. the town’s most scenic you’re at the top of Tunnel Mountain. artist-in-residence cottages. theatre.ca Icefields Parkway icefieldsparkway. breathing in pine-scented air. tiny Kananaskis Village has everything you need: a couple of fine hotels. (and cheapest) swimming pool. ballet. Jasper National Park 49 . galleries. Good thing you brought your boots.com Grande Cache grandecache. Banff National Park is a UNESCO site that offers hundreds of hiking trails. Canmore lies an hour west of Calgary – another gem in our crown of Rocky Mountain splendour. in the charm of a pretty town called Banff.” While most of that swath is wilderness. Since then it’s grown into an internationally recognized arts complex that houses a conference centre (where visitors can stay overnight if attending a performance).com Jasper National Park pc.com Tonquin Valley. mountain bike trails. Loads of restaurants. a ski resort. is known as the “Jewel of the Rockies. golf courses.

Sunwapta Falls.” . About a four-hour drive west of Edmonton. Stop in at Peyto. Jasper National Park Murray Morgan Take the High Road The Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) stretches 230 km (143 mi) from Banff National Park to Jasper. High in the foothills of the Rockies. laid-back pubs and great museums. Lake Annette. Riverside Trail Networks. Another must-see is the Columbia Icefield. Banff Gondola. Marvel at seven mountain ranges from the top of the Jasper Tramway.Must-see in Jasper National Park Athabasca Falls. “Like so many of us transplants. Visitors keen to hike. The Canadian Death Race. Hoodoos. Jasper – the Biggest of the “Jewels” Jasper National Park is Canada’s largest mountain park. Vermilion Lakes. eclectic dining. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. wildlife watching. Punch Bowl Falls. JASPER AdVENTuRE CENTRE The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is one of the most photographed lakes in North America (along with its neighbour. Switzer Provincial Park. Switzer Provincial Park. Banff Park Museum. It starts at 6:30 AM when I pick up our guests. Cougar Canyon. Bankhead. or mountain bike on the endless trails surrounding the town. you’ll find world class accommodation. Columbia Icefield. Kananaskis Village. Medicine Lake. Jasper Tramway. My favourite tour is something we call the Sunburst Canoe Program. Johnston Canyon. water ski or bike won’t want to miss William A. Grassi Lakes. Mount Edith Cavell. Hinton Nordic Ski Centre. Built on a mountain plateau. Both offer Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Maligne Canyon. Or. due to deposits of glacial silt. 325 km2 (125 sq mi) of ancient glacial ice. cycling and hiking. Lake Agnes Tea House. Moraine Lake). endless outdoor adventures plus interpretive tours about coal mining. Highwood Pass (highest road pass in Canada). The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. hike to the base of the Athabasca Glacier or take a tour on a specially designed coach. Whyte Museum. Jasper is known for its canoeing. Must-see in kananaskis Country Bow Valley Provincial Park. Canmore Museum & GeoScience Centre. A Jasper Motorcycle/ Sidecar Tour. built in the ’30s. fish. kayaking. Trek to an historic log teahouse such as the one at Lake Agnes or the Plain of Six Glaciers. I came to Jasper for a year and never left. The Fairmont Banff Springs. Sulphur Gates. Rocky Mountain Fringes Veer beyond Jasper and you’ll discover lesser-known hubs for outdoor enthusiasts such as the town of Hinton.878 km2 (4. Better yet. History Bubbles Up Two of Canada’s most historic Fairmont Banff Springs and The hot springs are in Banff and Jasper. Must-see in Banff National Park Bow Valley Parkway. Ride a gondola. spanning 10. Lake Edith. lace up your cross country ski (or hiking) boots and venture off into the nearby wilds for a quintessential 11 km (7 mi) trek into Skoki Lodge.” OWNER. coffee and fresh croissants and head out to Pyramid Lake where we have a picnic on an island and watch the sun wash over the Colin Range. Spray Valley Provincial Park. skiing. Hinton Mtn. Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks. Sheep River Provincial Park. Maligne Lake. Bike Skills Park. Rugged scenery. Hector or Bow lakes and marvel at the peculiar colour of water. Banff Upper Hot Springs. the “Ice Explorer. some of which you can see from the highway. Miette Hot Springs. Must-see in Canmore Canmore Nordic Centre. Natural Resources Interpretive Park. forestry and natural resources surround this town on the Athabasca River. the town of Grande Cache has a panoramic view of 21 mountain peaks and two river valleys.com 1-800-ALBERTA Medicine Lake. Lake Minnewanka. Bow Falls. Cave and Basin National Historic Site. In the town of Jasper. Willmore Wilderness Park. Banff Summer Arts Festival. jaw-dropping views of peaks and valleys that appear and stunning surroundings? The 50 TravelAlberta. Ski at one of North America’s most scenic resorts or simply write postcards while having “high tea” at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. camp. take a cruise to picturesque Spirit Island. Must-see in Grande Cache. sweeping staircases excellent centre for outdoor adventures. Cascade Gardens. Grande Cache dId yOu kNOW that two of Canada’s faces south toward the Continental Divide and the most iconic hotels look like castles – pristine Willmore Wilderness Park and is another with their turrets. Pocahontas. William A. Brule Sand Dunes.200 sq mi). Pyramid and Patricia Lakes. fishing. hinton and Area Grande Cache Tourism & Interpretive Centre. past a chain of massive glaciers and waterfalls that tumble down the Continental Divide.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Banff National Park CANAdIAN ROCkIES Official Alberta Vacation Guide 51 .

52 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Banff Avenue .

1 mi) ridge walk that’ll stagger you with range upon range of snow kissed peaks. Sunshine Village. was built to prevent wildlife from crossing the busy road. bear. But others take sweat. you can go on guided multi-day horsepacking trips with bear experts. the Wildlife Museum in Jasper. Near the entrance to Willmore Wilderness Park. Lake Louise and Jasper. What’s that you hear? If it’s autumn and you’re on a golf course in the Rockies. you’re high on a mountain pass listening to twigs snap in the woods.8 ft) high fence that stretches along the Trans-Canada Hwy. CANAdIAN ROCkIES Banff National Park Wildlife Fence That 2.. Look for the latter at the Banff Park Museum in Banff.4 m (7. Wherever you are. Here are a few breathtaking vistas where you’re likely to burn through batteries.000 times since 1996. Also in Jasper is the multi-day hike along the Skyline Trail that places you on a 5 km (3. All-Star Views Sometimes it’s effortless to zoom in on a dazzling view – just drive the Icefields Parkway. Plenty of operators. between Banff and Lake Louise. Num-Ti-Jah Lodge (along the Icefields Parkway) and the Fairmont properties in Banff. north of Jasper. Lake Louise and Jasper that’ll whisk you to the top of a peak in minutes. look for the Sulphur Gate Lookout which offers stunning views of the sheer cliffs along the confluence of the Smoky and Sulphur Rivers. Jasper and Grande Cache. Big Horn Sheep. Those who crave the jaw-dropping views but can’t hike the distance can always take a gondola ride in Banff. For wildflowers. the lobby bar at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the lakefront deck at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Horse Sense Twist around in your saddle and marvel at the windswept ridges that tumble into each other under a taut. Rockies Lake Louise A Feast with a View Best views from restaurants include the posh Three Ravens at The Banff Centre. a memory card and your quads! Peer over the ledge of Ha Ling Peak in Canmore and spot Calgary’s bumpy skyline – about 100 km (62 mi) away. That’s a lot of wildlife! dId yOu kNOW that Banff is a Mecca for artists? Guess that’s why there are so many art galleries! you’ll probably see more black and white photos shot by Byron harmon than any other photographer. cougars. do watch for animal crossings as many golf courses have widened their designs to accommodate wildlife. the five-diamond Eden in the Rimrock Hotel in Banff. By 9 AM you’d packed your gear and learned why you throw a stick in a cup o’ joe when you’re brewing a pot over a snapping fire. Want something divinely decadent? Go heli-hiking and stay in a backcountry lodge. You’ll find them clanking their racks and locking their egos during the fall rut. If you cycle along the Bow Valley Parkway. the slog up Jonas Pass in Jasper National Park is worth every gasp. Yes. Lake lovers will adore all the tarns and little lips of pearly blue lakes along the backcountry route from Lake Louise to Skoki Lodge. wolves and caribou are far less likely – apart from seeing them displayed in a museum or in a heritage property.3 mi) long corridor filled with delicate alpine flowers and the occasional caribou. there are at least 15 good reasons to stop – the precise number of interpretive panels that connect visitors to the area! Official Alberta Vacation Guide 53 . The Upper Hot Springs in Banff also offers spa facilities and the newly renovated Miette Hot Springs in Jasper is more noted for its nearby hikes and interpretive trails. blue Alberta sky. guest ranches and themed “educational” horsepacking trips can be found in Canmore. horse whisperers or just plain ol’ cowboys. he was an American who arrived in Banff in the early 1900s and made it his mission to shoot every major peak in the Rockies. biologists. between Banff and Lake Louise. it’s likely a bull elk bugling for a mate. At the pass you’ll see a 15 km (9. Wildlife Wonders The chances you’ll spot bighorn sheep. mule deer and elk in our Rocky Mountain parks are almost a given. you were helping “cookie” fire up a campstove. However.to tumble around them. the new tourism and interpretive centre in Grande Cache. Research says that 11 species of large mammals have used the 24 underpasses and overpasses more than 94. Lake Louise. You’ve worked hard for this view. searching for signs of grizzlies. Sun up. And now. Banff. sightings of moose.

com Ski Norquay The Lake Louise Ski Area. Nakiska is the closest of the “big” mountain ski areas to Calgary and is an Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) Training and Race Centre. a night-lit terrain park. At the vanguard of responsible tourism is Banff National Park where you’ll find Canada’s first all-hybrid electric transit fleet. the longest magic carpet in Alberta. Jasper National Park Nakiska Ski Resort.com 1-800-ALBERTA Sunshine Village.514 ft). Ski Norquay offers well-groomed trails.com TravelAlberta. Continually rated as “North America’s most scenic resort.Make Green the Colour of your Next Adventure Choose an Alberta-based adventure company that applies sustainable business principles to their activities. Roam.010 m (3. Sunshine Village is known to have Canada’s best all-natural snow. These new hybrids reduce emissions and encourage tourists to park their cars and jump aboard Roam.’ In four years they reduced their water usage by 29 per cent and their water-related operating costs by 40 per cent. Haig. elk. Ski destinations Castle Mountain Marmot Basin Just two-and-a-half hours south of Calgary. In 2006. the world’s fastest eightpassenger gondola lift. a 503 m (1. What most fans of the World Cup circuit. skibanff. 28 runs. Whether they offer kayaking. lies Castle Mountain. as well as a wide variety of pricing options including hourly rates – a bonus for families. Castle has long been a Mecca for hardcore skiers. Marmot Basin is one of the least crowded family friendly ski areas in North America. There’s also a newly renovated lodge on the hill.ca Nakiska Located in Jasper National Park.com . Kananaskis Country Ski Green Wind turbines may not be powering our ski lifts. skilouise. there’s a whole lot more terrain for beginners and intermediate skiers.” this internationally renowned ski destination is an early season mainstay on the World Cup Downhill circuit. which typically opens its season at Lake Louise Mountain Resort don’t know is that every night segments of the race’s fencing are removed allowing wildlife to roam in the area.com Sunshine Village Home of the longest ski season in Canada. biking or horseback riding – ask if they use local suppliers for goods and services and if each activity is led by a well-informed interpreter/guide. Low-flow toilets. a. Seven lifts (including the longest. Banff National Park Site of the 1988 Winter Olympic ski events.a. Lake Louise has 139 runs and a vertical rise of 1. Sunshine Village Ski Resort was awarded the Silver Eagle award for ‘Excellence in Water Conservation. Nakiska boasts six lifts. rafting. Regular monitoring confirms these openings are frequently used by deer. 54 Located 10 minutes from the town of Banff.365 ft). serviced by 11 lifts (including five quad chairs and one six-passenger gondola). near the town of Pincher Creek.070 m (3. skicastle. with a wing of new suites that just opened. yet. but an increasing number of Alberta’s ski resorts are turning a green leaf.412 ft) vertical rise. and has accommodation just moments from the daylodge. 107 runs and a vertical rise of 1. the Canadian Rockies Express. in Alberta’s Rockies) service 84 trails. goats and wolves. skimarmot. skinakiska. instead.com The Lake Louise Ski Area Canada’s single largest ski area offers 18 km2 (11 sq mi) of terrain on four distinct mountain faces. a 735 m (2. a great ski school. hiking. Located 20 minutes from the town of Banff. Sunshine Village encompasses three mountains. Upgraded snow making systems at most resorts means less water and better energy efficiency. new highspeed quad chair. 28 runs. all four buses are painted with wildlife imagery of grizzlies. Impossible to miss. Banff National Park Marmot Basin. seven quad chairs. banffnorquay. automatic shut-off devices and organic food items have become standard fare. coyotes and elk. powder hounds and riders but with the opening of Mt.650 ft) vertical rise. Known for its groomed fall line skiing.k.

Banff National Park The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Eddie Burger Bar. surely I can do it once. What should I order – steelhead trout with a mango salsa or Alberta beef? My waiter tells me there are more remarkable hikes that fan out from this valley . Fossils embedded in their stone staircases. Decided I wanted more so I drove to nearby Moraine Lake where I sat outside listening to the lodgepole pines creak and moan in the breeze. Could have spent all day there. The concierge told me I could run up Sulphur Mountain and take the gondola back down. Jumped on a Roam (one of Banff’s hybrid-electric buses) and was at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in moments. I took all those switchbacks up to the log charmer at Lake Agnes and then took the high traverse over to the original tea house at the Plain of Six Glaciers.000 ft) to the summit? It’s supposed to have panoramic views of the Bow Valley and a cool little boardwalk to the Sanson Peak Meteorological Station. First. A golf course so stunning I wish I played. Banff Top of Banff Gondola. muffins and dozens of types of tea are available at both! Evening The sun was sliding over Victoria Glacier when I got back down to Lake Louise so I just nabbed a window seat in the Lakeview Lounge and soaked it all in.000 m (3. Let’s just agree that Norm was extraordinarily fit! Decided to go for a dip in the historic Upper Hot Springs as they’re just at the base of the gondola. Knights in armour tucked in niches. No need to pack much – hearty soups. Banff National Park CANAdIAN ROCkIES Morning Afternoon How often do you wake up in a castle? I arrived late last night so I had no idea how big and sumptuous The Fairmont Banff Springs actually is. If Norm Sanson hiked up here thousands of times – even into his ’80s – to record the weather. but I wanted to see Banff’s wildlife so I hurried over to the Banff Park Museum. loaves..BANFF ANd LAkE LOuISE IN A dAy Moraine Lake. I love mountaineering legends so I ambled through the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. perhaps I should stay another day? Official Alberta Vacation Guide 55 .. Can I actually run up 1. Perfect antidote for sore muscles. Who knew that Banff once had a zoo? And that grizzly bears could be blonde or almost black? Grabbed a burger in Banff and drove to Lake Louise where I went on a tea house tromp. This is a great little museum that tells how the discovery of the hot springs turned into Canada’s first national park.

com/roadtrips 56 TravelAlberta.Willmore Wilderness Park Sm ok y 1 40 HINTON Riv er Brazeau Ri ver 2 CA NA DI AN JASPER Ath a McLeod TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge H TIS BRI GRANDE CACHE To Edmonton 40 BIA UM COL Jasper National Park 93 NORDEGG bas ca RO CK Y 3 M COLUMBIA ICEFIELD CENTRE Abraham Lake r ea er Riv er at w Banff er Riv IC EF IE LD Bo wR Cl ive r National Park To Calgary AR 93 OU KW 4 LAKE LOUISE AY NT AI NS 5 1A FIELD BANFF S P 6 CANMORE 40 Visitor Information Centre UNESCO World Heritage Site To Kananaskis Country .

Points of interest include Sunwapta Falls. or have tea and a spa treatment at the luxurious Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. between Jasper and Lake Louise. hike or overnight). Trek to backcountry tea houses. Moraine Lake. Jasper National Park stopping at Baker Creek and Johnston Canyon (great spots for a picnic. follow the spectacular Icefields Parkway south to Banff National Herbert Lake. you could hike the half-day Bald Hills loop.” The Icefields Parkway.600 km2 (1. ice-blue lakes and wildlife. Banff National Park Park. actually. golf. Lac Beauvert. take the scenic Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A) to Banff. let it be the Columbia Icefield Centre. 3 From Jasper. cyclists. anglers and skiers plus there are numerous places to camp in this park. or simply relax in the newly restored Miette Hot Springs. take Canada’s most scenic boat tour (according to Reader’s CANAdIAN ROCkIES The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Digest magazine. 5 From Lake Louise. the parkway can be driven year-round. Then use the town of Banff as a base and explore its past by starting at the Cave and Basin Centennial Centre. Panther Falls and Peyto Lake Lookout.000 ft). Just remember – if you make only one stop. zigzagged by crevasses. hop on the Banff Gondola or take a boat ride on Lake Minnewanka. you can hop on a specially designed Ice Explorer for a tour up the icy tongue of the Athabasca Glacier. near Hinton. At Hinton take a stunning side trip north to Grande Cache. 2 While in Jasper. subalpine meadows. home of the Canadian Death Race and the gateway to the spectacular Willmore Wilderness Park: 4. anyone who enjoys gazing at grandeur. rent a canoe for a leisurely paddle across these lakes or hire a guide for a technical climb – the roster is rich for outdoor enthusiasts and. more than 100 glaciers. Then again. 4 In the tiny village of Lake Louise. hikers. Jasper National Park Ride the “backbone of the continent. These caves are the best known in Alberta. lateral moraines and ice that formed 400 years ago. join a multi-day horse pack trip along the Skyline Trail. boasts mountain peaks as high as 3. explore the old mining town known as Pocahontas. A small village with two hotels and a hostel serves as a great base for golfers. 1 Head west from Edmonton on Hwy 16 to the Cadomin Caves.840 sq mi) of mountain wilderness accessible only on foot or horseback. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 57 . In the summer. Here. Culture buffs should check out the summer-long arts festival at The Banff Centre. 2007) on Maligne Lake. squeeze in more outdoor adventures in Kananaskis Country.The Icefields Parkway CANAdIAN ROCkIES ROAd TRIP Distance: 230 km (142 mi) (Parkway alone) Travelling time: About two to five days by car Begin: Edmonton End: Calgary Columbia Icefields. you will find two of the most photographed lakes in the world – Lake Louise and its neighbour. Parker Ridge. Considered one of the world’s top 10 most scenic drives. 6 As you head east to Calgary.300 m (11. a sharp detour south off the Trans-Canada Hwy.

com 1-800-ALBERTA Milk River.com/ South 58 TravelAlberta. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park .ALBERTA SOUTH TravelAlberta.

rent an Italian Surry – these romantic bicycles built for two are complete with four wheels.ca/parks Drumheller traveldrumheller. In the rolling foothills nearby. the 20-storey-tall Saamis Tepee. amble down into the Seven Persons coulee. cattle roundups. In the tiny town of Waterton.ca/parks Dinosaur Provincial Park tprc. mountain biking and whitewater rafting. then its three uNESCO World heritage Sites just might. available every weekend in the summer in Hill Spring. From here. The Remington Carriage Museum takes you back to the horse and buggy days with carriage rides and the largest collection of horse drawn vehicles in North America. all-inclusive fly fishing operations are popular on the Old Man. a jaunty bench-like seat. such as Rosebud. Famous for its old-fashioned dinner theatre productions you can chow down on a country style meal in the Mercantile Dining Room with live music and then enjoy a first-rate play. tiptoe in the footsteps of the dinosaurs and see where complete dinosaur skeletons have been unearthed.ca/pn-np/ab/ waterton Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Tread Softly Leave lighter footprints by taking local transit. The Tenderfoot’s Almanac Other family favourites are fossil hunting with a guide from the Royal Tyrrell Museum near Drumheller. horseback riding in Waterton and camping near the hoodoos in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.gc.org Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park tprc. horseback ride – or just listen to the wind moan through the hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands. Crowsnest and Castle rivers.S. There’s no need to hustle back to a large urban centre – plenty of charming rural towns offer a wide range of accommodation. Straddling the Canada/U. the newly renovated Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology has an extensive display of dinosaur skeletons and a huge roster of special programs. Ranches offer horseback riding. At the heart of Dino-land is Drumheller – just two hours from Dinosaur Provincial Park – which offers all the conveniences of a modern town and all the intrigue of 70 million years of geological history. Peek over a buffalo jump. a UNESCO World Heritage Site. a town established in 1887 by Mormon pioneers who travelled from Utah in one of the last great covered wagon migrations. If its ethereal evening light doesn’t seduce you. Want to haul in a monster fish that predates dinosaurs? Then join a guided sturgeon fishing trip on the South Saskatchewan River. Fly fish. this park has exceptionally rich plant and mammal life. steering wheel and hand brakes. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 59 . Then step outside and if the endless prairie sky doesn’t make your head wobble.alberta. Just shop around. Southern Alberta can turn you into a happy shutterbug.com Crown of the Continent crownofthecontinent. At Dinosaur Provincial Park.ca Canadian Badlands canadianbadlands.com Medicine Hat tourismmedicinehat. Explore the history of the clay industry in Medicine Hat and see the world’s largest exhibit of Medalta pottery and Hycroft china (once used exclusively by CPR-owned hotels). Just outside Drumheller.com Lethbridge chinookcountry. ALBERTA SOuTh Dinosaur Provincial Park Great Canadian Barn dance For a toe-tappin’ good time mosey up to an old fashioned barn dance and enjoy a hearty beef dinner. Paddle past ancient petroglyphs and pictographs.com Waterton Lakes National Park pc. Guided. another UNESCO World Heritage Site. visit Cardston. Alberta South destinations Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park blackfootcrossing. Beyond the Pavement Southern Alberta is a Mecca for fly fishers and ranch-goers.Historical Highs Nowhere is the transition from prairie to peak more dramatic than at WatertonGlacier International Peace Park. Bed down in a tipi. an enormously rich archaeological site where experts believe some 83 million artifacts lie buried! Where the Dinosaurs Roamed Prepare to be awed by the eerie beauty of the Canadian Badlands. border.com Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump head-smashed-in.alberta. certainly will.

including astronomy. Discover more about the “Hat. Download a walking tour at: tourismmedicinehat. A newly renovated interpretive centre is loaded with local anecdotes. resulting in a unique ecosystem. The air I breathe is the same as what ran through my ancestors. this eco-friendly museum – Canada’s largest Aboriginal museum – is artfully decorated with Blackfoot symbols from a buffalo-jump entranceway to an eagle-feather fan above the doorway. No one knows the exact dates of this place. So is the old beehive kiln. It’s who I am. the factory tour – where there were once 18 kilns – and funky galleries. fate and how those in the mine were spared. is the only park to straddle two provinces (Alberta and Saskatchewan) and is the highest point between the Rockies and Labrador. Frank Slide from Bellevue Underground Mine. just a 90 ton jumble of jagged boulders that the wind hopscotches around. This is where the famous Treaty No. parkland. artifacts. guided walking tours. Even the Blackfoot call it Ayin’eep (“It Has Been Written”) because it existed before they came. pummelling the town of Frank (pop. bizarre warning systems. Inside you’ll find the requisite museum. Cypress Hills received its “Dark-Sky Preserve” status – because of its programs that profile the night skies. a groundbreaking agreement that allowed the peaceful settling of traditional Blackfoot territory.The Turning of Time Hold an original plate in your hand and you might be spirited back to the ’20s when Alberta Clay Products and Medalta Potteries were shipping stoneware all over the globe. the entire face of this mountain peeled away. Starry Night Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. foothills and boreal forest have been recorded here. paddle down the Milk River in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and listen to the wind hiss through the coulees and canyons of the Canadian Badlands. an hour east of Calgary. This is also where Chief Crowfoot is buried. this $33 million historical park overlooks one of the most significant sites in Canadian history. A Starry. In 2008. Crowsnest Pass “I love Alberta for this land is my book. INTERPRETER AT hEAd-SMAShEd-IN BuFFALO JuMP Buried in History Drive through the Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta and you immediately feel tiny and inconsequential when entering the shadow of Turtle Mountain.000 years. it’s also close to the public library where there’s free Internet access. The sweat that ran though their pores is the same as mine. theatre. Members of the Blackfoot Nation believe this is the place where their ancestors were brought to die. The bodies were trussed to the branches in big cottonwoods lining the Milk River while others were lodged in caves in the nearby eroded sandstone cliffs. 1903.” by ambling through its historic downtown and along the Esplanade. luck. 7 was signed in 1877. are legendary in these parts. Bellevue. visual exhibitions – even tipi sleepovers. art gallery. It’s also a great place to connect with old-timers who are still thrilled to tell the tales of Frank. night hikes. award-winning films and a seismic monitoring system. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Perched on a windswept bluff on the Siksika Nation Reserve. four ecological zones. and nocturnal wildlife ‘watching.’ Conrad Little Leaf Blackfoot Crossing historical Park Rock Stars Under a full moon. 600).” . Today the site contains the largest collection of native rock art in North America.000 pieces. its collection of 30. Located near the Esplanade. gift shop. where people have lived for 10.pdf In the shape of a stylized tipi. The warm breezes that blow off the prairies nuzzle your back just as they have for thousands of years. The Medicine Hat Historic Clay District’s 150-acre working industrial museum is massive and its new visiting artist program is very innovative. 60 TravelAlberta. killing 92 people. I thank the Great Spirit for the beautiful place he’s laid out for me. The tales of survival. com/documents/ HISTORICAL WALKINGTOUR2. On April 29. It’s my history. at 4:10 AM. Hoodoos rise out of the sandy shores as though sculpted by the hands of fairies into otherworldly shapes. Play chess for free on Medicine hat’s giant chess board. 37 species of mammals. The language I speak comes from this land. restaurant. The rocks are the size of condos and the slide still looks fresh… there’s no vegetation.com 1-800-ALBERTA Horseshoe Canyon. Some 400 plant species.

that date back 5. Blackfoot elders who operate many of the programs at this site say it earned its name when a young brave stood at the bottom of the jump to watch buffalo barrel off the edge of the cliff. Turns out it’s the oldest operating theatre in the province and once had vaudevillian acts from as far away as New York and Australia. near Fort Macleod ALBERTA SOuTh Morning Afternoon Woke up to the smell of bacon and coffee and drifted back again. I wanted to curl up on one of their love seats and watch tonight’s show but I’m camping at the Jump. I leaned against an authentic backboard and listened. and best-preserved buffalo jump on Earth. some 11 meters (36. to an elder whisper tales of Napi and other mythical creatures that ruled our First Nations people for centuries. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Couldn’t get enough of the views so we took the scenic boat tour that stops in the United States. The low thud of drums and distant yelp of coyotes stirred something deep inside me. largest. Of all the experiences that have connected me to our Aboriginal people. They buff them with floor polish. Learned how those Mounties get their boots so shiny. Really. Fort Macleod Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park Waterton Lakes National Park Powwow Teepee Village. This 305-meter-long (1. Must have been the fluffy duvet and crisp mountain air in the town of Waterton because I rarely sleep in. Popped into Fort Macleod for a bison burger.TWO uNESCO SITES IN A dAy The Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police. Posted a memo for peace on their park bulletin board and scanned the shores for grizzlies on the way back.700 years. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 61 . as I slunk deeper in my sleeping bag. I might get a pair custom made for me (at Calgary’s Alberta Boot store). Evening While the wind whipped the flaps at the top of our tipi. Got lucky and wandered into the Fort Museum when the Mounted Police Musical Ride was about to start. I finally made it to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and can see why it’s a UNESCO site. The area on top of the cliff is where it all began … the Blackfoot’s intricate system of stone cairns that formed drive lanes forcing the bison to stampede off the precipice. a stay in an authentic tipi on these hallowed grounds is IT.000 ft) jump is the oldest. en route to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump but got sidetracked at The Empress Theatre. The crowds started thinning so I ambled along the grassy cliff tops peering over into the scrub where archaeologists claim skeletons lie. really listened.09 ft) deep.

S. Ports of Entry TravelAlberta.Badlands Circle Tour See page 65 56 HANNA D Red Reel Adventures See page 65 27 TROCHU eer THREE HILLS Rive 27 9 2 r DRUMHELLER 9 21 ROSEBUD STRATHMORE 1 1 4 3 56 9 OYEN 41 10 36 CALGARY 24 CLUNY 5 BLACKFOOT CROSSING Dinosaur Provincial Park Red Deer River WAN SASKATCHE BASSANO LONGVIEW VULCAN Lake Newell 22 NANTON 2 23 w Bo 36 VAUXHALL CLARESHOLM Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump COWLEY GRANUM PICTURE BUTTE 25 Oldm er Sou an Riv th Sa sk 2 23 McGregor Lake 884 MEDICINE HAT BOW ISLAND 3 7 atc h HIGH RIVER BROOKS ew an WALSH COALHURST 3 COALDALE TABER CROWSNEST PASS Wa ter ton FRANK SLIDE CENTRE 3 PINCHER iver R CREEK 3 FORT MACLEOD Ri 6 LETHBRIDGE 5 RAYMOND FOREMOST 2 52 61 Pakowki Cypress Lake Hills MAGRATH 4 Waterton 6 Lakes National Park CARDSTON 62 MILK RIVER 5 Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park PORT OF WHITLASH PORT OF CHIEF PORT OF MOUNTAIN PEIGAN WEST GLACIER PORT OF DEL BONITA SWEETGRASS PORT OF WILD HORSE M O N TA N A Visitor Information Centre UNESCO World Heritage Site Airport U.com/roadtrips 62 TravelAlberta. near Fort Macleod Provincial Park ve r H IS IT BR M LU CO A BI tle Lit 41 .com 1-800-ALBERTA Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

2 This stunning ranch country has been the backdrop for numerous westerns ALBERTA SOuTh Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park – just ask the folks at the Longview Jerky Shop while picking up a pack of chewy beef.5 mi) west of Drumheller. as Clint Eastwood discovered when Waterton Lakes National Park filming Unforgiven. While on Main Street. The town of 3. Next. while you’re in Fort Macleod do as Ennis did and have a meal at the Java Shop. Cassie’s Bar. head to the Photo Plus/The Source Apartment Building where you’ll spy the staircase leading to Ennis and Alma’s apartment. While in Drumheller do what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie did when filming Jesse James and take your children to the Royal Tyrrell Museum.Reel Adventures ALBERTA SOuTh ROAd TRIPS Distance: About 400 km (249 mi) Travelling time: One to two days by car Begin: Drumheller End: Fort Macleod Royal Tyrrell Museum. They served Clint Eastwood while Unforgiven was being shot. on Hwy 9. where some Brokeback Mountain scenes featuring Jack’s 1950 GMC truck were filmed outside the town’s fire hall. Stettler and Longview (along the Cowboy Trail). 1 There’s plenty to see around Drumheller. Stop at this national historic site that is steeped in the history of the Blackfoot people and then carry on westward to Hwy 22 and then drop south to Longview. On this road trip we sneak behind the camera to look at places featured in classics such as Unforgiven and Brokeback Mountain. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 63 .000 has maintained its historic Main Street where you’ll see the Red Coat Inn. built of sandstone in 1903. Western fans will also find more scenes from Unforgiven in Brooks. Just down the block is Alberta’s oldest theatre. The streetscape was used in Passchendaele to represent 1917 downtown Calgary. For more Reel Adventures. near the Greyhound Depot and don’t forget to tour The Fort – Museum of the North West Mounted Police. the temporary digs for the cast and crew for both movies. look for the “Brokeback Mountain was filmed here” plaque. While here. Of course. Drumheller Alberta has been a popular backdrop for hollywood for decades with southern Alberta’s style of frontier history and unspoiled wilderness an all-star favourite.com. Next to the valley was the location of Morgan Freeman’s shack in Unforgiven. A poster commemorates the controversial Brokeback smooch scene. head east on Hwy 3 past the wind turbines near Pincher Reesor Lake. Head south on Hwy 56 from Drumheller to the Trans-Canada and then veer west to Cluny where you’ll see signs for Blackfoot Crossing. About 17 km (10. Inside is the dance-floor locale. his Oscar-winning western. visit albertamoviemaps. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Creek to Fort Macleod – the backdrop for several scenes in Brokeback Mountain and Passchendaele. from Brokeback. the enchanting Empress. which still runs movies and hosts top stage presentations. the prairies dissolve into the spectacular Horseshoe Canyon in the Drumheller Valley. look for the Queen’s Hotel. In the Savory Suite Café on Railway Avenue in the post office building. 3 From Cowley. head south along the Cowboy Trail to the tiny town of Cowley.

com 1-800-ALBERTA Hoodoos.64 TravelAlberta. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park .

Chief Crowfoot’s gravesite and a tipi village where you can camp overnight. The Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park Field station (where 35 species of dinosaurs have been found) offers guided walks and popular badlands bus tours. a 48 km (30 mi) route through the Drumheller Valley. Here you can visit the world’s tallest tipi and tour the Medicine Hat Historic Clay District. At this point zigzag south to Cluny. 1 Whether you begin in Calgary or Edmonton. Listen to the wind whistle around canyons. Travel further west on Hwy 9. interactive galleries and innovative programs. Blackfoot Crossing historical Park and enjoy remarkable dinner theatre. described as being able to seat Chin Reservoir. Continue north to Horsethief Canyon for a spectacular view of the badlands. Then head back to Calgary or Edmonton via Hwy 2 or Hwy 22. 2 Continue west to the Little Church. Outside you’ll find medicine wheels. Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur Heritage Museum in Warner and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park near Milk River. Head west on the Dinosaur Trail. a 25 km (15. Explore the newly excavated 61 meter (200 ft) long tunnel at the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. follow signs to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 65 .Badlands Circle Tour ALBERTA SOuTh ROAd TRIP Distance: Distance varies with loops Travelling time: About three to four days by car Begin: Drumheller End: Calgary or Edmonton Refer to map on page 62 Royal Tyrrell Museum. the Windmill Museum in Etzikom. explore ancient bone beds. aim for the world’s largest dinosaur in Drumheller. East Coulee along Hwy 10 which takes you to Canada’s most complete coal mine experience. marvel at Alberta’s two-billion-year-old geological history – on full display in the lunar-like landscape known as the Canadian Badlands. The information stop at this attraction doubles as the Drumheller Tourist Information Centre and is the perfect starting point for several short drives. cross the Red Deer River on the Bleriot Ferry. 3 Next. head west on Hwy 9 for Horseshoe Canyon – a picturesque pocket of ALBERTA SOuTh badlands representing 70 million years of history. 7 Stay east on Hwy 1 to Medicine Hat. 6 Head east on Hwy 1 and north to Dinosaur Provincial Park on Hwy 36. one of the last remaining cable-operated ferries in Alberta. then south on Hwy 840 to Rosebud for dinner theatre. near Taber thousands but only six at a time. Drumheller On this excursion. 5 From Cluny. Head back to Drumheller to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. look for the Hoodoo Trail.5 mi) drive east Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. home of more than 35 dinosaur skeletons. A stylized tipi serves as the interpretive centre where ancient legends are told through innovative methods. Other diversions include Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. 4 Back in Drumheller. Then.

com/ Central 66 TravelAlberta.com 1-800-ALBERTA Abraham Lake.ALBERTA cEnTRAL TravelAlberta. near Nordegg .

000 to 5. also known as the church capital of North America. featuring natural grasslands and dozens of species of birds. than anywhere else on this continent.gc. where you’ll find 47 churches – more. The landscape gives way to boreal forests. proud to cast a beam from the world’s tallest lamp. Interpretive displays offer a glimpse into the lives of Thompson. This area. Alberta Central destinations Alberta’s Lakeland albertaslakeland. mammals and amphibians uncommon to other Rocky Mountain passes. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 67 .722 sq mi) swath of rich farmland in one of Canada’s oldest Ukrainian and East European settlements.000 km2 (7. white sandy beaches. southwest of Nordegg. hunting. Further west and south. canoeing and kayaking. 3.ca Camrose tourismcamrose.com Brazeau Regional Tourism brazeautourism. named after the explorer who was one of the world’s most prolific cartographers and fur traders. includes Lamont County. Known as the Bodo Archaeological Site. explore the historic churches and other sites in a 20. near Wainwright Lac La Biche Larger than Life Every province has them – those wacky. Don’t forget Andrew. one of the earliest western hubs of the fur trade (1798) and home of the oldest sawn lumber building in Alberta. Kalyna Country. Pick Away at our Past Just south of the town of Provost lies a massive area studded with arrowheads. fishing.sylvan-lake. crosscountry skiing. rafting. tacky icons that make for goofy photos. Within this area lies: Bighorn Country.com Lacombe Tourism lacombetourism.ab. buffalo bone fragments and shards of pottery that date back 3.ca Red Deer tourismreddeer. famous for its 700 km (434 mi) of hiking trails. the world’s largest Ecomuseum. Alberta’s Lakeland.Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site Central Wonders Alberta Central is massive.com Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site pc. home to the world’s largest mallard duck and Donalda.com Kalyna Country kalynacountry.ca Boomtown Trail boomtowntrail.asp Sylvan Lake town. the centre is open to visitors until the end of August. per capita.com Lloydminster lloydminstertourism. Want cultural and geographic diversity? you just found it – magnified – in Alberta Central. lonely grain elevators and checkered fields.ca/lhn-nhs/ab/ rockymountain/ index_e. down heritage rivers that david Thompson paddled to forts once lined with beaver pelts and striped hudson’s Bay blankets. horseback riding. Retrace those Early Footsteps Can’t get enough of David Thompson – even if you did spend time delving into his life at the newly expanded Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site? Then head to Lac La Biche.com Prairies to Peaks Tourism prairies2peaks. home of the giant mushrooms or St. Paul.ca Nordegg West Tourism travelnordegg.net Rocky Mountain House whereadventure begins. for it stretches from the tumble of the Rockies in the west to the prairies in the east. David Thompson Highway. Poking out of the rich ranchland and charming towns are distinctive “onion-domed” sanctuaries of the Ukrainian pioneers that reflect architectural traditions that hark back to Byzantine Christianity in Eastern Europe. with new programs slated for 2010. near Elk Point. Line up at Vegreville for a shot with the world’s largest Easter egg or head to Vilna. Southeast. Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.com ALBERTA CENTRAL Battle River Trestle. the voyageurs and natives affected by the posts.com Lac La Biche Region laclabicheregion. where you’ll find the world’s first UFO landing pad.000 years. Call 1-780-753-6353 to book a tour. constructed side by side in 1792.200 campsites and 400 km (248 mi) of trails. From the dizzying heights of the Rocky Mountains you drop into central Alberta. lies Fort George-Buckingham House – two rival trading posts. Hwy 11. tree-lined lakes.ca Trail of the Buffalo trailofthebuffalo. aptly named for its 250 lakes.

turning it into an adrenaline addict’s dream. More Central diversions Sylvan Lake’s sandy beaches have made this resort one of Alberta’s favourites since 1901. The other must-see is a visit to the Stephansson House Provincial Historic Site. No banana spiders or snakes will eat us for lunch – the worst thing we have are mosquitoes and they never last long. Edmund’s Blue Church. 68 Even Stephen Halfway between Edmonton and Calgary is Red Deer. TravelAlberta. Many Icelanders today make the pilgrimage to Markerville to visit Stephansson’s house. Lloydminster: Canada’s only two-province city has a divided population. beaver. Serious birders who wish to join a mountain bluebird banding program can do so at the Ellis Bird Farm (available in June and July). Snowmobile racing.Wildlife Guaranteed Just east of Edmonton lies tiny. Big Valley “One of my favourite lines I’ve ever written is ‘wherever I go I find the last place on that dirt road is the first thing on my mind. Stephan G. held annually in early August. Others will enjoy the self-guided trails. grasslands and the badlands what I miss when I’m on the road is the lack of fear we have here. Cold Lake and Lac La Biche. elk. take a free 60-minute guided tour of a sawmill or pulp mill through the Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce. One of the highlights is the Markerville Creamery (circa 1932) which illustrates how butter was made in earlier days.” . Canada’s biggest country music festival. motorbike and ATV racing plus a pond hockey tournament also takes place. where more than 6. a modern. coyotes and a variety of birds. See for yourself at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. including a unique flatiron building. fenced-in Elk Island National Park – an “island” of conservation for bison. In Innisfail on Wednesday afternoons in the summer. Visit Lac La Biche in March when the Winter Festival of Speed takes over the frozen expanse of the lake. boating. where numerous colonies of blue herons reside. near Barrhead. In Carstairs. the town is lined with Edwardian edifices. the oldest Danish settlement in western Canada where you can visit the Dickson Store Museum. It’s now just as famous for its waterslide park.000 artifacts of sports history. Cold Lake: Visit Canadian Forces Base 4wing. educational programs.000 large mammals. where he raised eight children. the rest in Saskatchewan. tea room and wildlife habitat. watch a demonstration at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre – the only one of its kind in Canada. Other beaches worth the drive include the ones in Bonnyville. With approximately 3. visit PaSu Farms – a working sheep farm that also has a large restaurant and boutique full of exhibits that focus on wool and sheepskin products. especially during Maple Flag where you can view the crews in training and watch simulated air combat drills. beautifully restored to appear as it did during the 1930s. Lacombe: Named after the famous priest and diplomat. Or. 60 per cent live in Alberta.’ Besides living within two hours of mountains. thriving city where half the folks cheer for the Edmonton Oilers and the other half for the Calgary Flames. A century ago. Another great base for birders is Thunder Lake Provincial Park. moose. In the summer. Father Albert Lacombe. the park is one of the best spots in Alberta for wildlife watching. Just south of Markerville is Dickson. settlers from Iceland and Denmark cleared and drained this boggy land to create farms and unique communities. full of local railway heritage and an archive library. To book. Stephansson (1853-1927) was a farmer by day and a prolific poet by night. deer. SINGER/SONGWRITER St. Unique Urban Landscapes Camrose: Tour the downtown district lined with 100-year-old buildings. call 1-780-778-5363. poke into the 1911 Camrose Railway Station Museum. trivia and games reflect their love for anything athletic.com 1-800-ALBERTA Sylvan Lake Marina Ben Crane Scandinavian Surprises The lovingly restored buildings in the tiny towns of Markerville and Dickson provide a remarkable trip back to the pioneer days of central Alberta. Country music fans should bring a blanket or a comfy chair for the four-day Big Valley Country Music Jamboree. campgrounds and scenic cruises aboard the Miss Mermaid. You’ll find chuckwagon races and livestock shows at Westerner Days plus a reconstruction of a fort originally built in 1885 during the Riel Rebellion at the Fort Normandeau Historic Site and Interpretive Centre.

I’m not sure if it’s what I consumed in the Lone Star Saloon or if I’m just thick. served in the old town hall. Flying is so different when the wind is whooshing around you and the cows in the fields far below appear like plastic toys. With a scarf swirled around my head we took off in the museum’s old biplane and swooped around for 10 glorious minutes. It was a checkerboard of colours up there.WETASkIWIN ANd STETTLER IN A dAy Reynolds Alberta Museum Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions. But I’ve just finished “working” on an assembly line for Model T’s and had my photo taken with Tin Lizzie at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 69 . Stettler Morning I admit it – I thought I’d be the last person to find a museum devoted to transportation remotely interesting. Laughed all the way back to Stettler with my new friends (one of them the “murderer”). confused. Afternoon Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions. Wetaskiwin ALBERTA CENTRAL Arrived in Stettler just in time to scoop up our tickets for the Murder Mystery run on the Alberta Prairie Railway steam train. but how they transform these heaps in the restoration studio is what really boggled my mind. Stettler Evening Arrived in Big Valley. but I can’t separate the characters from the theatre company from the passengers. met a Mountie. Reynolds Alberta Museum. Still don’t understand how the lines separating crops stay so straight. I felt like a character in The Great Gatsby or Out of Africa. Before that I saw a 1929 Duesenburg Phaeton Royale Model J (only kind in the world) and a 1913 Chevy Classic Six (oldest known Chevy in the world). Within moments of chugging away we’d witnessed a shoot-out. and spied our first coyote loping across a farmer’s field. We’re all wandering around this cute town trying to solve the mystery by chatting to locals before we settle down to a country dinner.

com/roadtrips 70 TravelAlberta. PAUL Sas kat 28 ELK POINT che wa n Ri Elk Island ve r HINTON 5 47 40 4 EDSON National Park 36 TWO HILLS VEGREVILLE 3 Wabamun STONY PLAIN Lake 41 45 Alberta’s Yellowhead Highway 22 Pembina Riv er DRAYTON VALLEY EDMONTON LEDUC MUNDARE 2 VIKING VERMILION 1 EWAN SASKATCH 39 Pigeon Lake Gull Lake RIMBEY 14 LLOYDMINSTER 14 6 MILLET 21 CAMROSE JASPER 13 WETASKIWIN 26 DAYSLAND WAINWRIGHT 5 BASHAW 53 HARDISTY PONOKA LACOMBE NORDEGG 53 13 Visitor Information Centre Airport TravelAlberta.55 LAC LA BICHE COLD LAKE 33 er Riv WHITECOURT BARRHEAD 36 55 BONNYVILLE 28 18 WESTLOCK 28 MAYERTHORPE sca 45 Ath a ba SMOKY LAKE ST.com 1-800-ALBERTA Abraham Lake near Nordegg IC EF IE LD S PA RK W AY 5 93 11 4 12 20 6 H C COLUMBIA ICEFIELD ROCKY 11 11 MOUNTAIN SYLVAN HOUSE 22 LAKE RED DEER 42 54 R r INNISFAIL ee dD 21 Re BOWDEN 3 4 36 2 STETTLER 1 PROVOST 13 12 41 CASTOR 56 B R IT IS O L U M B 12 BIG VALLEY SUNDRE 27 OLDS 22 CARSTAIRS 2 THREE HILLS 3 ROSEBUD David Thompson Explorer’s Trail See page 72 2 IA CALGARY 1 STRATHMORE The Boomtown Trail See page 73 .

a giant Ukrainian Easter Egg. Next. It’s also historic – teeming with stories of fur traders.270 kg (5. And those are just a start. as well as a 1917 caboose and 1964 Lockheed jet that sits in the RCMP Centennial Park. what you’ll find today is a journey through some of Alberta’s most expansive territories. Just west lies Hornbeck Provincial Recreation Area complete with campground and fishing in Sundance Creek. fishing. noted mostly for its trout. Canada’s largest mountain national park. Jasper National Park 3 Visit the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton and discover 11. this town now houses the Galloway Station Museum. golfing. where Ukrainian pioneer life in east central Alberta is re-enacted. weighing 2. The range of outdoor activities in Jasper is vast: wildlife viewing. is loaded Pysanka Festival. Continue west to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. visit Canada’s largest living history park – Fort Edmonton.000 years and 500 generations of history. 4 Continue west on Hwy 16 past the murals of Stony Plain. gold seekers. Take an unusual tour of a coal mine. 6 Jasper National Park. Vegreville with wildlife. railway workers and intrepid explorers whose tales are told at the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives.000 lb). miners. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 71 . 2 Head west along the Trans-Canada/Yellowhead Highway to Vegreville. 1 Begin in Lloydminster. Edmonton you’ll love what this cultural venture along the yellowhead highway (hwy 16) has to offer. Wabamun Lake Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site and Pembina River Provincial Park to Edson. horseback riding and hiking. 5 Just 20 minutes east of Jasper National Park is Hinton. famous for its Pysanka.Alberta’s yellowhead highway ALBERTA CENTRAL ROAd TRIPS Distance: 613 km (380 mi) Travelling time: About four days by car Begin: Lloydminster End: Jasper Royal Alberta Museum. this area was wholly dependent upon agriculture until 1933 when oil and gas were discovered. rafting. the only city in Canada to straddle two provinces.5 m (18 ft) wide. perch. Once used by early settlers to access the North. Named for a golden-haired trapper. burbot and lake chub. where coal mining ALBERTA CENTRAL and the forestry industry still play major roles in the town’s economy. more than 7 m (23 ft) long and 5. pulp mill or sawmill and gain a unique perspective on Alberta’s past. who once led fur traders through the Rocky Mountains. jammed with artifacts. Pierre Bostonais. Settled by the British Barr colonists.

2 Continue west on Hwy 11 to Red Deer. skimming through prairie farmland. remote wilderness areas and several historic sites. Fort Normandeau. Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site One of the most spectacular gateways to the Rockies is the david Thompson highway (hwy 11). Or. that David Thompson continued his trek over the Rockies into present-day British Columbia. turn south on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) to Lake Louise and Banff. Sylvan Lake waterpark surrounded by sandy beaches. golfing and camping facilities. Kerry Wood Nature Centre and the Red Deer & District Museum. It was from here. the foothills. then to Abraham Lake. where you should visit the newly renovated national historic site – home of an excellent visitor centre. This historic adventure links Stettler with Big Valley.com 1-800-ALBERTA Waskasoo Park. visitors may journey north via the Icefields Parkway to Jasper and then east to Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16).ALBERTA CENTRAL ROAd TRIPS david Thompson Explorer’s Trail Distance: 345 km (215 mi) Travelling time: One to three days by car Begin: Stettler End: Saskatchewan River Crossing Refer to map on page 70 1 Begin in Stettler. Named after one of the world’s greatest geographers. a tranquil alternative to the popular Trans-Canada (hwy 1). Markerville reservoirs. the ruins of four forts and a buffalo paddock. . one of Alberta’s largest 6 Keep west to Saskatchewan River Crossing where this trail ends at the junction of Hwy 93. 5 Continue west to Nordegg. Then the highway enters the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve – precisely the spot where David Thompson traded goods with the Kootenay Indians in 1800. 3 Just west of Red Deer lies Sylvan Lake – western Canada’s largest outdoor 4 Follow Hwy 11 west to Rocky Mountain House. fishing. Red Deer Stephansson House. From Saskatchewan River Crossing. and offers a variety of “themed” excursions. and visit Waskasoo Park. a large marina. where you’ll find one of Canada’s last remaining passenger steam trains operated by Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions. in 1807. 72 TravelAlberta. Heritage Ranch. this “trail” officially begins in Stettler and heads west along hwy 11 to the junction of hwy 93. just inside Banff National Park.

some 12 m (42 ft) high. studded with “boomtown” architecture. Right beside it is the largest collection of oil lamps in North America. where Cree Indians stampeded bison over a cliff some 2. Big Valley famous for their excellent golf courses. where one of the finest examples of an early grain elevator. 2 From Rosebud. This is a good point at which to jog east on Hwy 53 to Donalda where you can see the world’s largest lamp. Now a provincial historic site. weave back to Hwy 21 through towns such as Three Hills and Trochu. a perfect replica of a frontier town complete with two art galleries. Here. complete with hydraulic engine. a tea room. an interpretive centre. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. 1 Head east of Calgary on Hwy 1 to Strathmore. Little craft stores. as well as a handsome B&B. Another nearby side-trip is a jaunt to Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park. famous for its popular dinner theatre and School of the Arts. then zigzag north and east to the lovely town of Rosebud. Parade. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 73 . tea room and barber shop. Ann Ranch & Trading Co. a fudge factory.a. Whether it’s nostalgia for the Wild West or the lure of towns that reinvent themselves. is open to the public. Otherwise you’ll discover Camrose is yet another boomtown on the Trail. a working museum. Rosebud Theatre 3 Next. When you see Hwy 581 jog west on it and follow the signs to the Custom Woolen Mills. history is replayed as raw wool is processed on unique machines that date back to the industrial revolution. Many items such as comforters. 5 From here. Just north on Hwy 56 lies Big Valley. the Boomtown Trail. Also at Trochu is an Arboretum (100 different plant species) plus the St. east of Edmonton boomtown theatre has been restored to its 1915 glory. St. a tiny museum and the actual theatre have breathed new life into a handful of turn-of-the-century buildings. Hivernant Rendezvous. handwoven blankets and sweaters are sold on the premises. head north on Hwy 56 to Meeting Creek. 4 Back on Hwy 21 point your compass north to Bashaw where an original ALBERTA CENTRAL Grain Elevator. meander north and west on to the Boomtown Trail toward Three Hills. Donalda An alternate route between Calgary and Edmonton is hwy 21 a. about 850 of them! Before returning to the Boomtown Trail. first settled by Scandinavians in the late 1800s.The Boomtown Trail ALBERTA CENTRAL ROAd TRIPS Distance: 332 km (207 mi) Travelling time: About one to two days Begin: Calgary End: Camrose Refer to map on page 70 Donalda Lamp Museum. As a tribute.000 years ago. Ann’s features several museums. the Big Valley Jamboree. originally built as a francophone settlement in 1905. you’ll find it somewhere on the Boomtown Trail. a 10 m (30 ft) Viking longship is on display in the Bill Fowler Centre.k. jog north along the shores of Dried Meat Lake or west to Hwy 21 and then north to Camrose. If you time it perfectly (arriving the first weekend in August) you will find yourself at one of Canada’s premiere country music festivals.

com 1-800-ALBERTA Lesser Slave Lake .com/ North 74 TravelAlberta.ALBERTA noRTh TravelAlberta.

quiet campgrounds. snowmobiling. dance and flicker across Alberta’s northern landscape all year-round. a. but most sharply from October through March. wide rivers.ca Wood Buffalo National Park pc. Whatever your motivation for visiting Alberta North. Northern Lights. foothills. canoe/kayak.com Slave Lake lesserslavelake. Grimshaw Modern Amenities to Backcountry Basics En route to the Alaska Highway. a. near Grande Cache Grande Prairie Regional College Fort McMurray Take a tour of the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. you’ll find what so many visitors are searching for these days – “authenticity. the “Shopping Capital of the North.ca Peace River mightypeace.a. designed by learn traditional Aboriginal uses of renowned architect Douglas Cardinal. Experienced of artifacts from dinosaur bones (found nearby) to guides will help you catch the big one.Huge.ca/woodbuffalo Kakwa Falls. meadows. which has a surprisingly large and eclectic collection ATV. framed by mountains. More sunny hours (in the summer) than not. sandy beaches and wildlife. Fort McMurray. streams and rivers. near Grimshaw Peace River ALBERTA NORTh 75 . Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park. Wild and Right Next Door There’s something about the North that elevates the soul and soothes the spirit. Just south. deer. Fort McMurray Official Alberta Vacation Guide North Peace Stampede.com Grande Prairie gptourism. the northern lights. Grande Prairie Go birding and search for trumpeter swans. pioneer and farming implements as well as the see many of its 230 species of birds. In the winter. immense space and dozens of warm lakes. plants. This fully modern city.k.” There’s no room or reason for pretence in this sparsely populated swath of rugged beauty – just boreal forests. The province’s best viewing platform is the fur-trading post. Those visitors wanting the comforts of small towns or urban centres – from Grande Prairie to Lesser Slave Lake. or simply by foot.com Fort Chipewyan woodbuffalo. paved roads and abundant places to rest or relax. thanks to numerous provincial recreation and natural areas and dozens of lovely. Perhaps it’s the fact there are more birds here than people. bears and wolves backcountry experience. Numerous tours take visitors out on guided photo safaris that start late at night when the colours are brightest. More history than anywhere else in Alberta. Marvel at Mother Nature’s Treasures What’s green and white – no – yellow and mauve and purple all over? The aurora borealis. provides a breathtaking bison. fishing and Make northern Alberta the backdrop for an outdoor experience of a lifetime hunting opportunities. Grande Prairie Regional College.ab. jet boat. and now oil capital. many of them on the waterfront. The two must-see attractions are the Grande Prairie Museum in Muskoseepi Park by horseback.a. cross country skiing.ca/ visitors Fort McMurray fortmcmurraytourism.” is loaded with malls. Athabasca. downhill skiing. Alberta North destinations Athabasca athabascacountry. visit Grande Prairie to see trumpeter swans and the Great Northern Casino.k. skating or snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Nestled in a still roam freely.gc. and take you to places where Kakwa Wildland Park. RV travellers and other motorists will find good. theatres and museums plus it offers excellent bird watching. moose. watch the northern lights. Fort McMurray and Peace River – will be pleasantly surprised at the amenities and services available. During the day guests can go dog-sledding.

chopped 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1/4 cup of mayonnaise 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs Mix all ingredients. And the range of lodging is almost as extensive as the species of fish. 67 campsites. roof tops. Lesser Slave Lake haying in the ’30s Every August long weekend. Anything. Discover Dunvegan This historic town in the Peace River Valley is the site of one of Alberta’s earliest fur trading posts and missionary centres. the town of Mallaig recreates Alberta’s past with an event that uses horse drawn equipment to perform tasks from haying and threshing to road construction and shingle making. Dunvegan Provincial Park is laced with paved walking trails. Fry in small amount of vegetable oil until crisp. circle northern Alberta on your map as it attracts both novice and expert with its hundreds of lakes on the Canadian Shield. Choose from houseboats and rustic fly-in cabins to luxurious lodges. only two and a half hours north of Edmonton). majestic valley where three rivers converge. library and squash courts. trappers and explorers. Interpreters dressed in period costume guide you through 19th century log buildings. the town of Peace River boasts excellent cuisine and amenities plus the spectacular beauty of the valley and numerous outdoor adventures from ranch stays to jet boat excursions. Every lake in the North has its water-fed legends – that’s why so many anglers fly from one to another. There’s more water here than any other area in the province. Here’s a recipe from John Semple of Points North Adventures: Fish Cakes 1 lb. hockey rink. meticulously restored.303 m2 (380. Coat with seasoned breadcrumbs.. Fort McMurray’s Must-Visits At Fort McMurray you can canoe or jet boat along the historic routes of Alberta’s earliest hunters. plus its rivers and spring-fed creeks.A Northern Catch Don’t think that all of Alberta cuisine is off the hoof. Hooked on Alberta For a world class fishing holiday. But I still come home to Grande Prairie where I can be riverboating or skidooing within three minutes of town. Just new is the 35. Dip in eggwash.. “When I was growing up.” Highway 2 near Dunvegan dId yOu kNOW that you’ll find everything you need in the North’s urban centres? Grocery stores. minced walleye 1 small can of crab meat. Try the superb walleye fish cakes that are served in fishing lodges all over the North. curling rink. Next to the shopping malls. drained 2 to 3 green onions. Not much has changed . I’m still hucking myself into the air – more air.com 1-800-ALBERTA Near Fort McMurray Ryan Blais CANAdIAN FREESTyLE SkIER . This lake is home to more than 15 fish species which can be caught from shore but the pros say it’s much better to take a boat (rentals available in town). scuba dive or skydive plus enjoy a vast network of hiking trails and spectacular sand dunes. luxe hotels and spas are golf courses where you can tee off at 11 PM (the sun barely sets here in the height of summer). The walleye is said to grow up to 9 kg (20 lbs).000 sq ft) Suncor Community Leisure Centre with two field houses. tipis and camps. all I could do for some air was huck myself off anything – picnic tables. a boat launch and u-pick gardens. Museums. Equally impressive is the entryway – over the longest suspension bridge in Alberta. Experience the Oil Sands Discovery Centre from the seat of a 150 ton truck or marvel at the town’s colourful past at Fort McMurray Heritage Park. the northern walleye up to 4 kg (10 lbs). about 3 minutes each side. Even spas! 76 Fort Assiniboine TravelAlberta. a running track. Let’s dip below the surface of just one lake – Lesser Slave (the largest vehicle accessible lake in Alberta. Form into patties. Camping shops.

near Slave Lake ALBERTA NORTh Official Alberta Vacation Guide 77 .Aboriginal Dancer.

is an astounding 45. kayak. Marvel at murals in the local Roman Catholic Church that were painted with blueberry and cranberry juice mixed with fish oils. 78 Driftpile Powwow TravelAlberta. They keep company with more than one million ducks.com/ fort_vermilion Historic Dunvegan albertaparks. Wood Buffalo National Park. ice fish and golf. Fort Chipewyan is accessible by boat. lived at Athabasca Landing for a time and captures those wild and woolly days in much of his early work. evident in its heritage buildings and its history as a boatbuilding hub. Special annual events include the Sand Sculpture Championship.000 km2 (17. with 108 km (67 mi) of sandy beaches and clear warm water. Bucketwheel Reclaimer.com 1-800-ALBERTA Wood Buffalo National Park Climb the Roof of Alberta The largest national park in Canada. plane and winter road. 150 years ago.ca Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation borealbirdcentre.ab. Lesser Slave Lake and Hilliard’s Bay where you can camp.ca Oil Sands Discovery Centre oilsandsdiscovery. Discover more about the Dene people with an interpretive tour focused on fishing. More than 200 years of history are on display at the Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum.100 sq mi) of protected land. wildlife viewing and native cooking. Songbird Festival and the Elks Pro Rodeo. He told them the First Nations people used the gooey stuff to waterproof their birch bark canoes. Sink your chops into a tasty bison “smokie” with coleslaw. Launch your Wood Buffalo adventure from Fort Chipewyan (Alberta’s most remote community) on the western shores of Lake Athabasca. this is where paddlewheelers and scows came to be repaired before loading up with furs for their return journey. the renowned poet. All for free – every Wednesday during summer at Grande Prairie’s Visitor Information Centre. eastward. geese and swans that migrate through the park each year. Marten Mountain. fish. Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park . Endangered species such as the whooping crane and peregrine falcon also call the park home. Just a couple of hours northwest of Athabasca is Lesser Slave Lake. the largest recreational lake in Alberta. Indeed. boat.com Sticky Business Oh. It’s bordered by two beautiful provincial parks.” But it’s far more than that. the things that stick! Oil in Alberta was first reported in 1719 by a Cree Native who brought samples of the tar sands to Fort Churchill. This UNESCO site boasts the biggest herd of wood bison in the world (about 5.000) where these magnificent beasts still roam as freely as they have for thousands of years. Wood Buffalo National Park Northern Adventures Thanks to the “Magnificent River Rats Festival.ca Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum woodbuffalo.ab. hunt. Fort McMurray Hilliards Bay Provincial Park Salt Plains.ca/ visitors Fort Vermilion Heritage Centre geocities.” historic Athabasca is fast becoming known as Northern Alberta’s “Festival Town. Robert Service.More Northern Grandeur Alberta Professional Outfitters Society apos. pickles and lemonade. potato salad.

The mist is starting to curl off the lake. Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park Kimiwan Lake Birdwalk. Lesser Slave Lake ALBERTA NORTh Official Alberta Vacation Guide 79 . Hopped in my car for a 90-minute drive west to another birder’s paradise – Kimiwan Lake. Evening Added an American red-start. flycatchers. I cracked up.000 birds in its 15 year history. mergansers.000 shorebirds live or migrate through here every year. I worry I might break one in two. Truly. The coffee’s on. It’s so hot here that I just lay down on the boardwalk for a little siesta and it started shaking. That’s when other human-sized “birds” began pecking at me. at the north end of Slave Lake Provincial Park. We caught a flycatcher with an old. A guide tells me that 250. grebes. Alberta Open Sand Sculpture Championship. Then the interpreters (university drama students from all across Canada) punted me off the stage calling me a bird brain and a not-so-fair feathered friend. scaups. We wander down to the banding lab. We can hear the birds starting to twitter and chirp. So far. but I didn’t think they’d haul me up on stage and dress me up like a flying squirrel. chickadees. a Tennessee warbler. I looked up and the sky was plastered with white flapping wings. Recapturing a bird is sooooo rare. McLennan Morning Sandhill Crane I yank on my toque and head lamp and swing out of my bunk bed at The Nest. a red-eyed vireo and a tundra swan to my life list.” close to the town of McLennan. a cool little hostel at the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation on Lesser Slave Lake. mallards. which they say is “The Bird Capital of Canada. I thought I was in a Nat Geo centrefold.LESSER SLAVE LAkE ANd MCLENNAN IN A dAy Devonshire Beach. They’re so small. I have my scope out on the boardwalk and I see geese. Afternoon planks were vibrating. Measuring their wingspan and muscles and snapping a little aluminum band on their spindly legs takes experts less than a minute. The head researcher went wild because he’d put that very band on this bird’s leg 10 years ago. Learned the Boreal Centre has banded 50. twittering with environmental messages and singing wacky songs that were so funny. Placing the first one in a little yellow bag was a struggle but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. All I can see are waterfowl.000 waterfowl and 27. battered band on its leg. the chances are less than one per cent. I’ve caught three little warblers in the net lines. wigeons. pintails. the I heard there were nightly skits at the Marten River Campground.

near Fairview LEGAL MORINVILLE Visitor Information Centre UNESCO World Heritage Site Airport 1 To Edmonton TravelAlberta.N O RT HW E ST Bistcho Lake T E R R I TO R I ES Wood Buffalo National Park Lake Athabasca 58 HIGH LEVEL 58 FORT VERMILION RAINBOW LAKE BRITISH COLUMBIA 80 BEAVERLODGE Lake Claire FORT CHIPEWYAN 5oyer B 697 88 LA CRETE sca Riv er e Riv nch aga r EWAN SASKATCH Chi 35 Peace Ri ver MANNING FORT McMURRAY RED EARTH CREEK CLEARDALE HINES PEACE RIVER GRIMSHAW 88 CREEK 2 Utikuma FAIRVIEW 2 Lake DUNVEGAN GIROUXVILLE SPIRIT 49 RIVER McLENNAN FALHER 64 4 6 49 North Wabasca Lake WABASCA South Wabasca Lake 754 Calling Lake 63 Winefred Lake Lesser Slave Lake HIGH PRAIRIE SEXSMITH GRANDE PRAIRIE 43 3 33 SLAVE LAKE VALLEYVIEW 2 44 ATHABASCA 55 2 55 LAC LA BICHE 2 Athab a Northern Alberta Heritage Trail Dunvegan Bridge.com 1-800-ALBERTA .com/roadtrips TravelAlberta.

the Musée Heritage Museum and a 1909 replica of a train station. where David Thompson arrived in 1799. the heart of French culture in Alberta. include the Old Hospital Gallery & ALBERTA NORTh Museum and the Battle River Pioneer Museum in Manning. Jean Baptiste Church and then on to the famous murals in Legal. 5 Highlights along the Mackenzie. via canoe. Turn south to La Crete. Be sure to tour the Lac La Biche Mission. Fort McMurray Immerse yourself in this spectacular northern landscape by touring its many historic sites that pay homage to pioneering roots that reach back to the 1700s.000 artifacts. don’t miss Grouard. at numerous historic sites. Then travel north on Hwy 2 to St. Zip back to Hwy 63 and then start heading north to Fort McMurray where you’ll find the Heritage Park Museum and the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. once a Roman Catholic mission and later a gold-seeker’s hub. Stay north until High Level (home of the Mackenzie Crossroads Museum) and then head east on Hwy 58 to Fort Vermilion (see the Heritage Centre collection). a thriving Mennonite community reflected in its Mennonite Heritage Village. the original fur trade post at Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park. 2 From Athabasca. 3 Steer west of Athabasca on Hwy 2 into the Lesser Slave Lake region. Beaverlodge Davis. 4 Head north on Hwy 2 to Peace River to see the gravesite of Twelve Foot Guest Ranch. Spirit River’s Settlement Museum. Whatever you do. missionaries and Aboriginals who settled this vast area. End in the historic town of Athabasca and enjoy self-guided tours of the town and riverfront. Alberta’s oldest settlement. Further north is Fort Chipewyan. named for the fortune he made from a 4 m (12 ft) gold claim in the Klondike. 1 Play a round of 1920s-style miniature golf at Fort Edmonton Park or stay a night in the restored 1920s Hotel Selkirk. Hwy 35. Lesser Slave Lake and stop along Hwy 2. Beaverlodge’s Centennial Museum as well as the Heritage Discovery Centre in Grande Prairie. visit the Northern Alberta Historic Railways Museum in McLennan and detour on to Hwy 49 to Girouxville to visit its museum of 5. head east on Hwy 55 to Amber Valley and visit the Peace River museum that celebrates the history of the black pioneers. Sexsmith’s 1916 blacksmith shop museum. jog west and south to Grande Prairie Black Bear. En route.Northern Alberta heritage Trail ALBERTA NORTh ROAd TRIP Distance: Varies with route Travelling time: About seven to 12 days by car Begin: Edmonton End: Fort McMurray. Continue north to Morinville to the St. 6 Drive south on Hwy 35 to Grimshaw. museums and interpretive programs tell the tales of the heroic pioneers. Pop into the Fairview Pioneer Museum. Churches. Grande Prairie or High Level Chez Dube Country Inn. Albert for a tour of the Father Lacombe Chapel. full of role-playing interpreters who’ll spirit you back 150 years. Official Alberta Vacation Guide 81 .

For more information in Canada: call 1-800-668-4748. mace. banks and currency exchange offices. hotel bellman and estheticians. Passport Canada ppt. Easy access to Alberta from more than 100 cities world wide is available with most major airlines and charter companies. Hwy 1 crosses Alberta in the South and the TransCanada Yellowhead Hwy (Hwy 16) crosses Central Alberta. Rocky Mountaineer offers service from Calgary. nearest Canadian Consulate or Embassy cic. and the electrical current is 110 volts. Motorcoach Travel Special tours and services are available throughout Alberta including the Rockies. Clarify your coverage before entering Alberta through your personal insurance carrier.ca. call 1-902-432-5604. Banff and Jasper to the West Coast of British Columbia. proof of identity or other travel documents. outside Canada. Reservations can be made at private campgrounds and at certain parks.8 liters = 1 U. or visit: TravelAlberta. Canadian Border Services Agency cbsa-asfc. Most automated teller machines (ATMs) accept one or more of the following networks: Interac. stop in at a visitor information centre.gc.62 miles Speed: 100 km/h = 62 mph Volume: 3. national parks and provincial parks. Monday to Friday.gc. In the U.gc.Travel essenTials u. Drivers and guides offer historical information and insight into the area. or you may want to take the scenic route through the mountain parks on the spectacular Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93). fully automatic firearms and other weapons and self-defence sprays (e. pepper spray) are prohibited entry into Canada.S. There is a four per cent Tourism Levy on accommodation. For specific information on scheduled and charter flights. The Canadian Government charges a five per cent Goods & Services Tax (GST) on most purchases. contact your local travel agent. gas is sold by the liter. Banking hours are generally 9:30 AM to 4 PM. Alberta Public holidays (please see page 26) 82 TravelAlberta. you are at your liberty to do so. however. taxi drivers. For details. Cirrus or Plus. Contact: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative knowyourborder. To obtain information on firearms legislation. tour guides. the health care plan does not cover out-of-province visitors. shotguns) must be declared. one in Edmonton and one in Calgary. temperature is measured in Celsius.ca Rail Travel Alberta is served by VIA Rail scheduled service. Taxes Alberta is the only province in Canada with no Provincial Sales Tax (PST).com/camping Air Travel Alberta is home to two international airports.com Weapons Revolvers. VIA Rail can be booked through AMTRAK at 1-800-872-7245.S. Brewster Vacations: 1-403-762-6700 or in North America: 1-866-606-6700 Greyhound Bus Lines: 1-800-661-8747 Red Arrow Motor Coach: 1-800-232-1958 Banking and Currency Traveller’s cheques and credit cards are accepted at most commercial establishments. Contact your local travel agent for further details. Distance: 1 kilometer = 0. All firearms (e. While it is not required to tip other service staff.gov. To receive a campground guide.ca. The Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) provides a tax rebate to visitors purchasing tour packages that include short-term in Canada. please call the Canadian Firearms Centre inquiry line at 1-800-731-4000.g. Tips are generally given for good service by food and beverage servers in bars and restaurants. These routes through Canada’s Rockies are considered some of the world’s classic rail trips. pistols.gc. call Travel Alberta at 1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782).com 1-800-ALBERTA Rocky Mountaineer . Average Temperatures Summer: June to August 20°C (68°F) Fall: September to November 11°C (52°F) Winter: December to February -11°C (12°F) Spring: March to May 9°C (48°F) health and Travel Insurance Alberta has an excellent health care system. Call 1-888-842-7245 (in North America) or the VIA number in your area for reservations and information. Metric Conversion Canada uses the metric system.. visit: rockymountaineer.ca/tax highway Travel Alberta is accessible from the east and west by two officially designated Trans-Canada routes. or visit cra-arc. Stops are scheduled in Edmonton and Jasper. However. depending on the level and the nature of the service. They are found at banks and in retail areas.S. All highway and traffic indicators are in km and km/h. hunting rifles. North-South travel is provided on Queen Elizabeth II Hwy. Camping fees range from $10-$40 per night depending on services.g. some banks are open Saturdays. tipping may range from 10 per cent to more than 20 per cent. Camping Camping is available throughout the province in private campgrounds and resorts. gallon Temperature: 25°C (77°F) Tipping The average tip in Canada is 15 per cent. Ports of Entry International visitors driving to Canada can use any of the following ports of entry: Alberta Aden Carway Del Bonita Wild Horse Coutts Chief Mountain Montana Whitlash Piegan Del Bonita Wild Horse Sweetgrass Chief Mountain Customs and Immigration Visitors to Canada require a valid passport.

pm@hihostels. financial condition and suitability for any particular purpose. consider purchasing carbon offsets. Canada T5J 2z4 Travel Alberta assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the services listed and provided by the operators. aesthetics or ecology.com Travel Alberta Guides Drop by a Visitor Information Centre for a Travel Alberta Vacation Guide. showers. well-trained staff dedicated to strong principles of conservation. You may purchase insurance at the time of rental. licensed café. Let our specialists help customize your vacation in Alberta. visit: mywildalberta. lodges and restaurants in Alberta’s most popular destinations are ideal sites for conferences and meetings. Hunting is absolutely prohibited in the national parks. call: 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 or visit: cbsa-asfc. To rent a car you must be 21 years old and hold a valid driver’s licence and a major credit card. For details. Some photographs in this publication are courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.com/guides Pets Owners must accompany their pets when entering Canada. Convention & Incentive Travel Guide is also available from Travel Alberta. hostelling in Alberta Hostels vary from basic (bed. heritage. Stop in for a variety of province-wide tourism information including all Travel Alberta guides and official road map. reforestation projects and other carbon-reduction schemes. To complement the provincial information services network. recycling. safe management of waste and toxic materials. especially those of our First Nations’ people. call: 1-800-461-9999 Outside Canada. community involvement.gc. Take time to listen to the people. The full-service resorts. • Buy goods and services from companies that respect the environment. it is recommended that bookings be made three to four months in advance. more than 100 communities across Alberta Official Alberta Vacation Guide 83 . Renting an Automobile All car rental companies have a strong network of outlets in Alberta. Visitor Information Centres Knowledgeable and friendly Alberta specialists await you at the 10 provincial Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centres. • Respect the natural environment of the places you visit. • Choose products that are reusable and recyclable. And after reading this Vacation Guide you’ll be able to customize your trip for two. Kananaskis Country. Accommodation Guide. water and air quality. visit hihostels. Jasper (along the Icefields Parkway). or e-mail: centralres. cuisine. hotels. strategically located along key highways and at border entry points. • Support the integrity of your destination – whether it’s noted for its architecture. Travel Alberta disclaims any liability in negligence or otherwise for any loss or damage that may occur as a result of reliance upon any of this material. All information is accurate at press time but is subject to change without notice. CONTACT Phone Toll-free Canada & U.ca operate local and regional visitor information centres that offer detailed travel information. Travel Alberta provides this publication for information purposes only. Edmonton.ca or contact Central Reservations at 1-866-762-4122. Operating hours at visitor information centres vary. Visit: TravelAlberta. • Choose those (hotels. While every effort is made to ensure the information contained in the brochure is correct. which are able to host meetings and conventions.ca or offsetters. For best rates. Call 1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782) to order any of these guides or do so online at: TravelAlberta. call: 1-888-944-5494.com Fax 1-780-427-0867 Post Travel Alberta Box 2500 Edmonton Alberta. Renting a Motorhome/RV Renting a motorhome is a convenient way to explore Alberta. Encourage local conservation efforts. or voluntary donations. Campground Guide or Official Road Map. A number of these have been recognized as accredited centres that provide a broad range of amenities and services. you can respect our environment by being a responsible visitor: • If you fly to Alberta. All rights reserved. noise abatement. convenience stores and some gas stations.S.ca for more details on carbon offset programs. For more details.you could win a free seven-day holiday to Alberta by simply completing the survey at TravelAlberta. kitchen facilities) to superior standards (family rooms. tour operators and suppliers) who advance energy and environmental conservation. 1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782) International 1-780-427-4321 E-mail travelinfo@ TravelAlberta. prairies or the Rockies. You are advised to make your own inquiries of any person or entity in this publication to determine if he/she/it is satisfactory for your purposes. resorts. laundry facilities. Calgary and Edmonton.com/meetings Fishing and hunting Regulations Fishing licences outside the national parks can be purchased from select sporting good stores. (A small surcharge may apply to drivers under 25 years of age). contact: Canadian Border Services Agency Within Canada. Visit aircanada. sauna). Alberta offers 15 hostels in Banff. For more details on border crossings with a pet.com/survey. There are exceptions made for seeing-eye dogs and puppies or kittens that are younger than three months old. the badlands. airlines. • Become familiar with local cultures and communities.ca Be Responsible Whether you’re in one of Alberta’s urban centres. Independent agencies funnel these carbon offsets. Travel Alberta does not endorse any of the persons or entities listed in this publication or make any representations or warranties as to their reliability. the Canadian Rockies and many of the smaller cities. and many are seasonal. and which provide experienced. Meetings and Conventions There are visitor and convention centres in Calgary. Hunting regulations and special licensing requirements vary depending on the type of hunting. No material may be reproduced from this publication without prior written permission from Travel Alberta. Owners of dogs and cats must bring a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian clearly identifying the pet and certifying that it has been vaccinated against rabies within the preceding 36 months. For everything you need to know about fishing and hunting in Alberta. A Meetings. David Thompson Country. into renewable-energy research.

Prefer to call? Dial 1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782). Late spring and early fall are also lovely times to visit. and a variety of independent “Land Only” packages. Choose from North American and International based tour operators who offer fully escorted tours. Your carry-on bag should contain valuables. Our newly enhanced website has a wealth of information plus the ability to customize your holiday so you can design a vacation where you truly get away from it all. Summer holidays typically revolve around outdoor activities such as hiking.com. fly/drive packages. the focus is on skiing and snowboarding. Package Tours Let a professional tour operator design an itinerary for you. Things to Know Before You Go Most of the nuts and bolts that go into planning a vacation are on the previous page. In winter. fishing and golfing – or our massive festivals from the Calgary Stampede to the Edmonton Fringe. For a complete list visit: TravelAlberta. Winter is marked by fluffy snow and sunny skies – perfect for skiing. What to Pack The diversity in Alberta calls for shrewd packing. dress in layers.Must Attend • Banff Summer Arts Festival • Calgary Stampede • Edmonton International Fringe Festival • The Canadian Badlands Passion Play • Big Valley Jamboree • Magnificent River Rats Festival • Banff Mountain Film Festival We hope this Vacation Guide moves you to new places both physically and emotionally. Apart from a handful of very formal urban restaurants most dining establishments in Alberta welcome casual attire. More Siteful Information This Guide is merely a starting point. Always bring sunglasses and a hat to provide protection from strong sunlight. remember to leave all liquids and sharp objects in your piece of check-in baggage.. Icefields Parkway • Calgary Stampede • Sunset. Columbia 3. From budgetary matters to specific interest areas. Or meet an Alberta Travel expert at one of our Visitor Information Centres. More planning tips to help you . only in North America. com and click on Packages and Tours. reading materials and vital documents. Grande Prairie . You can buy a day pass at a park gate but if you’re intending to spend time in many of our parks consider an annual National Parks of Canada Pass that’s good for one year from the date of purchase and comes with a booklet of discount coupons. National Park Entry Permits are required for entry into any national park in Canada – and Alberta has five. Travel Essentials. National park fees have been waived until 2011 as have fees to historic sites – more good news for budget-minded travellers! Must Experience • Columbia Icefields • NHL Hockey Game • Royal Tyrrell Museum • Spirit Island Boat Cruise • Horseback Riding • Hiking Must Photograph • Lake Louise/Moraine Lake • Fringe Festival. medications.294 ft) • Canada’s oldest national park: Banff Must Eat • Beef jerky • Beef on a bun • Cheemo’s perogies • Big Rock beer • Bernard Callebaut chocolates • Field Stone fruit wine • Prairie oysters • Alberta game/wildmeats 84 TravelAlberta.5 million • Capital: Edmonton • Size: 4th most popular provincial destination • Provincial Flower: Wild Rose • Highest Peak: Mt. biking. Edmonton • Glaciers.747 m (12. Canadian Badlands • Northern lights • You in Alberta Must know • Alberta population: 3. We’ve made it easy for you to link directly to tour operators in the country of your choice. sunny. hot and simply stunning. marked by fewer visitors and lower prices. Travel Alberta will connect you to some of the planet’s most beautiful wilderness areas and fascinating cultural escapes. Visit: TravelAlberta. Summer days are long. When to Go Alberta is a four-season destination but most visitors plan their vacation around the summer or winter.. With airlines tightening luggage restrictions. If you’re heading to the Rockies for any sort of outdoor adventure.com 1-800-ALBERTA Hot Air Ballooning.

Montana May – September 187 km 116 mi 460 km 286 mi GRANDE CACHE 1 HINTON 288 km 179 mi 3 146 km 91 mi 79 km 49 mi Elk Island National Park EDMONTON 250 km 155 mi Visitor Information Centre UNESCO World Heritage Site Airport JASPER Jasper National Park RK W AY IC EF IE 5 Columbia Icefield Banff National Park 158 km 98 mi LLOYDMINSTER XX% 1 2 3 4 5 6 Edmonton & Area Calgary & Area Canadian Rockies Alberta South Alberta Central Alberta North LD S RED DEER 145 km 90 mi 276 km 172 mi PA 232 km 144 mi FIELD 57 km 35 mi LAKE LOUISE BANFF CANMORE 26 km 16 mi 104 km 65 mi DRUMHELLER 139 km 86 mi 189 km 118 mi OYEN Cert no. energy. British Columbia May – October 6 FORT McMURRAY 690 km 439 mi Grande Prairie May – September Hinton May – October Lloydminster May – September Milk River May – October PEACE RIVER 198 km 123 mi GRANDE PRAIRIE 456 km 283 mi 488 km 303 mi Oyen May – September Walsh May – September West Glacier. please refer to the Official Alberta Road Map. . Wood Buffalo National Park RAINBOW LAKE 138 km 86 mi FORT CHIPEWYAN HIGH LEVEL Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centres Canmore Year Round 271 km 168 mi 296 km 184 mi Crowsnest Pass May – September Field.key destinations and driving distances Alberta Map For greater detail. post-consumer waste certified by both the Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council. The 30% recycled content in our pages translates into the conservation of trees. and water as well as a decrease in pollutants. XXX-XXX-000 CALGARY Provincial Park Dinosaur 2 223 km 139 mi 4 140 km 87 mi 188 km 117 mi MEDICINE HAT 169 km 105 mi 54 km 33 mi Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump WALSH 239 km 149 mi LETHBRIDGE 84 km 52 mi CROWSNEST PASS Waterton Lakes National Park MILK RIVER WEST GLACIER The Official Travel Alberta Vacation Guide is printed on recycled.

* Some restrictions may apply.COM 1-800-ALBERTA We want to know how helpful this Official Vacation Guide was in planning your holiday. Rundle. airfare. The area is also a dream for rafters. This incredible $5. All you have to do is: Fill out the survey at TravelAlberta.com/Rockies 86 TravelAlberta. car rental and activities for an extraordinary holiday that only you could create. fishers and hikers.000 vacation for two includes accommodations. Across the Bow River from The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is a series of pocket beaches – cool little spots to picnic or simply admire Bow Falls and iconic peaks such as Sulphur Mountain and Mt.WIN A Trip of a Lifetime!* TRAVELALBERTA.com 1-800-ALBERTA . trail runners.com/survey You’ll automatically be entered into Travel Alberta’s Trip of a Lifetime contest which will award some lucky winner with a seven-day customized holiday for two. horseback riders. TravelAlberta.