alberta tourist attractions alberta tourist attractions

Beyond Banff: 15 Most Famous Alberta Tourist Attractions

A total of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites are present in Alberta and some of Canada’s most beautiful landscapes. Here, the mountains and the prairies converge, the skyline is dominated by stunning peaks covered in snow, and there are many attractive Alberta tourist attractions.

Millions of tourists visit the province each year for its summer attractions, which include the ice sheets and emerald lakes in the national parks of Banff and Jasper.

The best skiing in Canada is available at several of Alberta’s premier ski resorts, which are located in these parks. The badlands and plains to the east are home to significant cultural and historical sites.

Alberta’s two largest cities are Calgary and Edmonton. They are popular tourist destinations. Calgary is a contemporary city with a wide range of activities. The yearly Stampede in Calgary is its most well-known event. A major shopping mall in Canada, West Edmonton Mall, is located in Edmonton, the provincial capital, which is further north. There are other further cultural attractions as well.

You must include a trip to Alberta on your schedule for western Canada. See our list of the top Alberta tourist attractions for more information on the region and suggestions for things to do.

Here are the 15 Most Famous Alberta Tourist Attractions:

1. Banff National Park

The most popular tourist destination in Alberta is Banff National Park, which is often regarded as Canada’s best national park and one of the top Alberta tourist attractions.

The region, which is about 130 miles west of Calgary, is home to stunning mountain scenery, significant ski areas, gorgeous lakes, as well as the vacation destination of Banff. Black bears, grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, and elk are just a few of the many species of wildlife that can be found here. Many of these may frequently be seen along the park’s main road.

There are numerous front-country and back-country hiking trails to select from in Banff, where hiking is a well-liked summer sport. Many visitors to the park drive around it in their cars, a halt at the many roadside lookouts that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes, mountains and glaciers.

The Sulphur Mountain Gondola is among the most popular sights in Banff. Take a ride to the top and revel in the breathtaking panoramas that await you, made even more impressive by recent construction upgrades.

It stands to reason to stay a couple of nights at a hotel or set up a camp tent at one of the best campgrounds in Banff National Park because there is a lot of landscape to cover. This historic Banff hotel, constructed in 1888, has long entertained renowned visitors.

2. Lake Louise

The crowning glory of Banff National Park, Lake Louise, is renowned for its stunning blue water, which reflects the Victoria Glacier and the mountains in the area. This lake is one of the most beautiful Alberta tourist attractions.

The lake is a straightforward day excursion from Calgary, as it is only a brief drive from the town of Banff to the north. A stunning view of the entire lake may be had from the opulent Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Visitors have a beautiful area to take a stroll and take in the scenery, thanks to the path that goes down the shoreline. You may also rent canoes which are offered for individuals who like to paddle around the lake.

Excellent hiking trails may be found from the lakeside walk that head either upwards of the mountain or past the lake in the direction of the glacier. The climb to the Lake Agnes Tea House is one of the most well-liked hiking routes.

The lake is frozen throughout the winter, and the trails are heavily snow-covered. This time of year, a lot of people travel to Lake Louise to take advantage of the popular adjacent Lake Louise Ski Resort.

In Lake Louise Village, which is near the lake, there are a few shops catering to tourists, small eateries, and coffee shops. Beyond the central square, there isn’t much to see, though. A sizable campground with a beautiful natural setting is close by.

3. Columbia Icefield and Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway connects Lake Louise and Jasper and is among Canada’s most scenic highways. 230-kilometer long this highway route passes mountains, waterfalls, lakes and glaciers with rest stops along the way so that travellers can get out and explore the surroundings. This location is among the most incredible Alberta tourist attractions.

Many of the hiking routes along the way are day walks that lead to beautiful overlooks of the glaciers or lakes nearby. The Icefields Centre is one of the major sights along the Icefields Parkway.

This expansive visitor center overlooks the Athabasca Glacier and has great exhibits on the Columbia Icefields. Models and pictures in the center provide a distinctive perspective that makes it easier to understand the shape and magnitude of the icefields than it is from the road.

You can stroll right up to the glacier’s toe across from the center. Alternatively, trips are offered that take guests up the glacier in specially equipped buses.

The Glacier Skywalk, a sizable viewing area, is one of the area’s newest attractions with a glass floor and rails that soars 280 meters over the valley below. From the Icefields Center to the Glacier Skywalk, a bus is available.

The Columbia Icefield Tour may be taken from Banff in a full day and consists of the Glacier Skywalk an excursion on a vehicle equipped for off-road travel onto the glacier, and a magnificent drive through the Icefields Parkway.

You’ll probably require a couple of days to thoroughly explore this region; most visitors stay in the neighborhood of Lake Louise.

A significantly less expensive option is to go camping. There are many great campgrounds along a stretch of the Icefields Parkway, some of which have breathtaking vistas and fantastic walks close by.

4. Sunshine Village Ski Resort

In addition to being a popular ski resort in Alberta, Sunshine Village is also a charming place to hike and wander in the summer. It is close to the town of Banff.

Skiers from all over the world come to the mountain in the winter because it has an excellent selection of runs for intermediate and experienced skiers. One of the top resorts in both Canada and Alberta, it offers excellent skiing. Hikers can access the region in the summer after snowmelt. Of all the Alberta tourist attractions, this is one of the best.

To visit Sunshine Meadows, take the gondola from the mountain’s base to the Village terminal. Trails of various lengths lead into the mountains from here. Go hiking on your own or with a group.

5. Waterton Lakes National Park (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park)

Located in the Rocky Mountains is the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. It forms part of the boundary separating Montana in the United States from Alberta. Unlike Glacier National Park, which is in America, Waterton Lakes National Park is in Canada. One of the most spectacular Alberta tourist attractions is this site.

Waterton Lakes National Park
photo by ryan stone from unsplash

The most compact of the two parks, Waterton Lakes, has a beautiful landscape including a lake and mountains.

A National Historic Site of Canada known as The Prince of Wales Hotel has a great view of the lake from its location on the north bank. The town’s tourist attractions are nearby.

Numerous visitors camp, trek the park’s mountain routes or go on a sightseeing trip.

6. Wood Buffalo National Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Wood Buffalo National Park is the biggest park in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Due to its remote location on the border of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, the park attracts fewer visitors despite being home to numerous jewels. This place is one of the most spectacular tourist destinations in Alberta.

The Athabasca-Peace River Delta, one of the largest interior deltas in the world, is spanned by Wood Buffalo, but the park’s wildlife, particularly its wood bison, is what draws most tourists.

The park was created in 1922 to safeguard the last herds of these stunning creatures, sometimes known as wood buffalo, which are now abundant in this area. Whooping cranes breed in the park, along with moose, black bears, caribou, and beavers.

Although the park is accessible year-round and offers a variety of winter activities, the summer season is when the majority of visitors arrive. Wood Buffalo National Park is an excellent location to view the northern lights in the winter because it is a dark-sky reserve.

A rise in the terrain ends at the cliff’s edge on the edge of the prairies. Native Americans in the region have been using this natural feature to push buffalo herds over the edge for thousands of years.

Due to the 11-meter drop, their legs would break, and the injuries would be serious enough for the Blackfoot hunters to approach and kill them.

After processing, the bodies were utilized for food and other things. Other parts of the prairies also employed buffalo jumps, but this is the largest, oldest, and best-preserved site in North America.

The area is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Detailed information on the location and the Plains Buffalo culture can be found at the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Center.

7. Lake Louise Ski Resort

One of Canada’s premier ski areas and a well-known halt on the skiing World Cup circuit is Lake Louise Ski Resort. This ski slope has 164 named runs in addition to a handful through the forest that residents alone are aware of.

Due to its well-regarded ski school, varied terrain, and excellent amenities, Lake Louise Ski Resort is a well-liked family ski vacation destination. It is simple to go to the resort from both nearby and far locations because it is just a short distance away from Calgary International Airport. One of the most remarkable Alberta tourist attractions in this location.

The ski resort runs its gondola in the summertime. It will transport you in just a few minutes to the mountain’s summit, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the valley below and Lake Louise across the valley.

In the winter, grizzly bears graze on grassy, open spaces where the ski runs are located, so if you’re lucky, you might encounter one while ascending.

8. Kananaskis Country

A Beautiful territory known as Kananaskis Country is located about 80 kilometres or so to the west of Calgary. Summertime hikers love this area because it has routes that go to mountains, lakes, and meadows. A well-known golf course and resort amenities can be found at Kananaskis Village.

The campgrounds in Kananaskis Country are a fantastic collection. Typically, you’ll find them nestled among pine trees and close to lakes or rivers that are beautifully clean.

Since they are well-liked during the peak season, make sure to reserve far in advance. One of Kananaskis’ top attractions is Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, especially for visitors looking to spend time in the wilderness.

The park serves as the geographic center of the Kananaskis area, where grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and elk wander freely.

With a total area of 508 square kilometers, the park is a popular provincial park in Alberta at 508 square kilometres. The area’s beautiful mountain scenery, which is crossed by several paths and sprinkled with alpine lakes, draws both locals and tourists in the summer.

9. West Edmonton Mall

There are more than simply stores at the West Edmonton Mall. One enormous, complex houses the World Waterpark, the Ice Palace ice rink, the World Waterpark, mini golf, a bowling alley, an aquarium with live entertainment, indoor electronic go-kart racing, a mirror maze, and movie theatres among the attractions. One of the most epic Alberta tourist attractions in this location.

Shopping is crucial as well. Almost anything you can imagine can be found in a store at the mall. Families can travel to the mall in Alberta, especially in the winter, to get away from the cold and enjoy some indoor activities and shopping.

10. Calgary Tower

One of Calgary’s top tourist destinations is the Calgary Tower. The tower, which dominates the skyline of the city, has the highest 360-degree viewing deck in the entire globe. The views of the Alps are spectacular on days when there is no cloud, a clear view is provided by the glass floor. of the city at all times. One of the most magnificent Alberta tourist attractions in this location.

The Calgary Tower’s enormous torch, which is situated at the top, will be lit according to the occasion or celebration. At a height of 155 meters, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is located just above the rotating restaurant known as The Sky 360.

11. Canmore

Canmore is a bustling small town with restaurants, stores, and services located just outside the Banff National Park entrance. People who want to live a mountain lifestyle are drawn to this expanding community.

There are hiking and mountain bike paths nearby, and the best ski slopes in Alberta are only a short drive away. Many Calgary residents own second houses or condos in the area, which they utilize as a getaway. Some prefer to spend the night in one of the excellent campgrounds nearby. This is one of the most extraordinary tourist attractions in Alberta.

One of the top attractions for tourists is the Canmore Cave Tours. One of Canada’s longest caverns, Rats Nest Cave, is one of the destinations for these tours. It lasts for approximately 4.5 hours.

One of the most well-known and manageable hikes, if you’re captivated by trekking paths, is to Grassi Lakes. In the summer of 2022, the trail was heavily improved, which is intended to make the already fantastic hike much better.

You can also use Canmore as a base to look into the trekking trails in the adjacent Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park.

12. Moraine Lake

Beyond Lake Louise, at the end of a gorgeous 13-kilometer-long winding mountain road, is Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This is another picturesque location, comparable to Lake Louise, with turquoise water and snow-capped peaks. One of the most breathtaking Alberta tourist attractions is this lake.

Moraine Lake
photo by jacky huang from unsplash

One of the most popular sites to take pictures in Canada, it was for a long time the setting for the image on the back of the old $20 Canadian bill.

Ten peaks are each above 3,000 meters high and include the Wenkchemna Glacier encircle Moraine Lake. The Rockpile Trail leads up a short hill to an overlook with a fantastic view of the lake that is close to the parking area.

In the spring, one can hear the distant roar of glaciers or landslides.

From Moraine Lake, a great day hike to Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass can be taken in Banff National Park. The spectacular vista back towards the lake and down into Paradise Valley is the reward for the challenging day trek.

Even into July, the higher part of this trek is frequently covered with snow. The landscape is really beautiful in the autumn when the larches are changing colors. It takes six kilometers and 520 meters of ascent to reach the Sentinel Pass (2,611 meters above sea level).

Because Moraine Lake is a very popular tourist site, parking may not be an option if you arrive in your automobile between spring and fall. The Parks Canada Shuttle departs from the Park and Ride outside of Lake Louise and is the best route to reach the lake.

13. Calgary Stampede

Calgary is especially proud of its cowboy heritage. The annual Calgary Stampede, the greatest event in the city, makes this especially clear. This ten-day event, which takes place in early July, attracts rodeo competitors and more than a million spectators from all around North America.

Calgary attracts the interest of all fans of the Old West with its rodeo attractions, cultural exhibits, country music, and an assortment of other outdoor spectacles.

Along with the activities at the Stampede Grounds, nearby businesses in Calgary also take part in the celebrations by providing free “Stampede breakfasts” every day of the week. Retailers deck out their storefront windows, cowboy hats and boots take over the runway, and midway attractions and makeshift animal zoos appear in parking lots.

14. Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology

About 140 kilometers northeast of Calgary is Drumheller’s little town, which insists on calling itself the “Town of the Dinosaurs.” Numerous dinosaur species lived here approximately 75 million years ago, as evidenced by the numerous fossils found in and around Drumheller. One of the most wonderful Alberta tourist attractions in this location.

Some of the finds are on exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, which also provides a thorough overview of the region’s past.

Badlands dominate the area surrounding Drumheller. Interesting hiking trails wind through unusual rock formations and past hoodoos. Driving past some of the main sights in the region is the “Dinosaur Trail.”

15. Jasper National Park

Like Banff, the name Jasper refers to the national park as well as the town of Jasper, which is situated in the heart of this breathtaking park. The 10,878 square kilometers of Jasper National Park make up Canada’s largest national park. One of the most stunning Alberta tourist attractions in this national park.

Jasper National Park
photo by chris stenger from unsplash

Although it is surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, and forests, it looks somewhat different from the parks and natural areas further south.

In comparison to Banff, both the park and the town of Jasper see fewer visitors and have a more remote ambiance, particularly during the winter when many neighborhood amenities are closed, giving it a much more cyclical nature.

Some of the top attractions in Jasper National Park include Maligne Lake, which is frequently highlighted in advertisements promoting the Canadian Rockies, Mount Edith Cavell with the beautiful Angel Glacier, and Maligne Canyon.

The park is filled with picturesque lookouts and hiking routes. The Marmot Basin Ski Resort is popular among locals all winter long.

One of the best things to do in Canada is to explore Alberta. Alberta is a destination like no other, including five national parks, renowned towns, the Rockies, glacier lakes, and unparalleled beauty. Start making travel plans to Alberta now; you’ll enjoy it.

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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