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The Best Things to do in Alberta, Canada

Whether you visit Alberta in winter or summer its beauty shines through. We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Alberta on several occasions in all seasons and trust me, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied year-round. In fact, a lot of the province comes to life in the dead of winter. We have rounded up the best things to do in Alberta, Canada from our half-dozen trips to our favourite province in Western Canada.

Top Things to do in Alberta, Canada

We have broken down this Alberta travel guide into different areas so you can plan your trip in an easily organized manner. This guide shares the very best things to do in Alberta that we have done over the past 10 years of traveling to all corners of the province.

Things to do in Banff National Park

Best Things to do in Banff alberta

Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park and its most beautiful. This year-round destination has countless outdoor activities from hiking trails into the backcountry, ski resorts, glacier lakes, and a great food scene. The Banff Springs Hotel was opened in 1888 to attract tourists to the area and has continued to draw visitors from around the world making Banff Alberta’s most visited tourist attraction.

Canoe Lake Louise

Best Things to do in Banff alberta

Lake Louise is the most famous of all tourist attractions in Alberta and the first place most people stop when visiting Banff. Victoria Glacier and the surrounding mountains are reflected in the still turquoise waters making it truly one of the most beautiful places in Alberta. The legendary Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise sits on its shores, and one could spend hours just taking in the views. A bucket list item for anyone visiting Lake Louise is to rent a canoe and experience a true Canadian tradition. When visiting Alberta in the summer months, this is a great way to take in the fantastic scenery away from the crowds. Read more: Canoe Lake Louise and Banff National Park, Alberta

Pond Hockey on Lake Louise

What to do in Winter in Canada Pond Hockey

There is absolutely nothing more Canadian than playing pond hockey on a frozen lake. When the temperature drops, Canadians seek outdoor activities like pond hockey and if you visit Alberta in winter, you better skate on the world’s most beautiful skating rink! Imagine dropping a puck surrounded by Canada’s most impressive scenery. Located directly in front of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, the rink attracts visitors from around the world whether they can skate or not! You can rent hockey gear from the hotel or from Wilson Mountain Sports.

Moraine Lake

Best Hikes in Banff National Park
The Valley of the Ten Peaks at Moraine Lake

Located just a short distance from Lake Louise within the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is considered one of the most beautiful places in Alberta. With hiking trails leading to views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks, it is not to be missed. Plus, a fun fact, Moraine Lake is the famous lake that was on our 20 dollar bill! Moraine Lake can be very busy in the summer months, so get there early to avoid the crowds. For more hiking trails in Banff and information on Moraine Lake Read: 12 Best Hikes in Banff National Park

Lake Agnes

things to do in alberta - lake agnes trail

The Lake Agnes Teahouse has been serving tea since 1905. The teahouse was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901 as a place where hikers could stop and rest. In 1905 it started serving tea and hasn’t stopped since. This popular hike starts out on a paved path before getting into the rugged forest. The Lake Agnes Teahouse hike is a 4.5-mile hike is considered a moderate hike and you can get to it from Chateau Lake Louise which is a mile outside of Lake Louise village. The trailhead is right off the parking lot of Chateau Lake Louise. 

Backcountry Lodges

Stay in a backcountry lodge things to do in Banff Alberta

There are several backcountry lodges in Alberta that make for an amazing active adventure that ends with a luxurious stay in a remote lodge surrounded by snow-capped peaks. We visited Sundance Lodge when exploring Banff and fell in love with the beauty of the area.

In the winter you can head out to lodges by cross country skiing or snowshoeing. In the summer you can hike or go by horse. Whichever season you visit Alberta in, a backcountry lodge is an experience you’ll never forget. Read more: Where to Stay in Banff

Explore Cave n’ Basin

Things to do in Banff Cave and Basin

Discovered by railway workers back in 1883, Cave n Basin is where Canada’s National Park System began. To attract visitors to Banff, Canada opened the first National Park and visitors flocked to swim and relax in the hot springs. Soon after the Banff Springs Hotel opened and the rest is history. Today it is a national historic site and there is no swimming in the pool to protect the endangered snails that inhabit the pool. Read: 16 Best Canada National Parks – That We’ve Seen

The Banff Hot Springs

things to do in alberta hot springs

The Banff Upper Hot Springs is world-famous for its natural springs and outstanding view! The upper hot springs are named so because at one time the springs were located lower down the mountain at Cave n’ Basin and the historic pool. Today the springs have moved up the mountain to the Upper Banff Springs. You may also like: Discover Banff Canada – 24 Photos Inspire Wanderlust

The Banff Gondola

Riding the Banff Gondola in Alberta

The Banff Gondola gives you incredible views of the snowcapped peaks and the village of Banff. If you don’t have the chance to ski or snowboard at Lake Louise or Sunshine Resort, this is a perfect way to get up into the mountains. The gondola takes you up Sulphur Mountain and you can either take the hiking trails back down or ride the gondola back. Sulphur mountain got its name from two sulfurous springs at the base of the mountain. It is this spring that made Banff famous. There’s a museum, and restaurant at the top and there are hiking trails to get outside.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Things to do in Banff Alberta Fairmont Hotels
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is one of the most historic hotels in Canada. Even if you are not staying there, make sure to stop in for high tea. You can go inside to see this luxury resort so have a look around, grab a coffee, or book dinner at the hotel if you are not going to splurge on a room. If you want to splurge on a room, we highly recommend it. See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking

Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park

Lake Minnewanka is a popular spot in Banff for hiking, night photography, and for taking a scenic cruise. We took a Lake Minnewanka Cruise and it was a fun way to learn about the history of Banff and see views from a different point of view. The guides are fantastic and you learn all about the monster that drew visitors to this lake in the early 1900s.

Banff Town

The picturesque town of Banff

The town of Banff is located right in the heart of Banff National Park. This tourist town is an amazing place to make a base when exploring Banff with many of the top tourist attractions within walking distance of downtown Banff. There are micro brewpubs, distilleries, plenty of eateries, and countless hotels, hostels, and apartment rentals. Boutiques line the streets and it’s a great place to sit back and relax after a day exploring the Rocky Mountains. Read more at: Where to Stay in Banff in 2022 – 17 Best Banff Hotels

Johnston Canyon

Things to do in Winter in Canada Canyoning Alberta

Johnston Canyon is open in winter and summer and is beautiful no matter what time of year you go. In fact, we think it truly comes to life in the winter! Enjoy the hiking trails through the canyon for gorgeous views of the high canyon walls with waterfalls plunging down. In the winter the waterfalls freeze creating a winter wonderland.

Discover Banff Tours offers guided scenic winter walks and let me tell you, this is one of the most stunning walks we’ve ever taken. The steel catwalk runs 2.5 miles through a picture-perfect limestone canyon.

Things to Do on the Icefields Parkway

Driving the Icefields Parkway in Banff

The Icefields Parkway is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world and with good reason! Surrounded by the Rockies, this drive connects Banff and Jasper National Parks with lookouts at every turn! It is a short drive that can be done in a day, but there are so many things to see and do, it requires a few passes to see it all. These are a few of the must-stop places along the highway. For a full itinerary of the Icefields Parkway read: Driving the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper Alberta

Reflections of Bow Lake

Visit Bow Lake in Banff National Park

Our favourite lookout along the Parkway is Bow Lake with the most extraordinary reflections you’ll ever see. Located at Num Ti Jah Lodge, this is one of the first stops on the Icefields Parkway when driving from Banff National Park. You can go for a hike around the lake to take in different views.

There are plenty of other stops along the main highway to Jasper with hiking trails to lookouts and other lakes such as Peyto Lake, The Saskatchewan River Crossing, Sunwapta Falls, and The Weeping Wall. Peyto Lake is the most popular stop on this drive as people hike up to Bow Summit for views of the surrounding area.

Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield

athabasca glacier alberta
Athabasca Glacier sits within the Columbia Icefield

The Columbia Icefield is North America’s largest sheet of ice and on it, you can discover the Athabasca Glacier located directly on the highway. Take a tour to see this massive glacier in all its glory. You can even drive on a glacier vehicle to go out and witness the giant crevasses up close! There’s a great visitor’s center where you can grab a bite to eat and see the glacier from the viewing platform as well.

The Glacier Skywalk

Visit the Glacier Skywalk in Banff

The Glacier Skywalk is one of Alberta’s newest attractions and it is definitely the most eye-catching. Walk along a glass floor that drops  280 m (918-foot) over the Sunwapta Valley if you dare. You can catch the bus from the Columbia Icefield visitor center and then spend an hour or so admiring the view and daring to walk along the glass floor.

Things to do in Jasper National Park

things to do in alberta  jasper national park

When you come to the end of the Icefields Parkway drive, you arrive at the incredible Jasper National Park. Famous for its dark sky festival and dark sky preserve plus gorgeous rocky mountain views, this is a place to spend a few days. There is an abundance of outdoor activities including amazing hiking trails, backcountry lodges, the Marmot Basin Ski Resort, and beautiful mountain lakes. The town of Jasper is a pleasant small town located within Jasper National Park with plenty of eateries and coffee shops The Rocky Mountaineer train ride also leaves from here. Read: 14 Best Hikes in Jasper National Park – Alberta Canada

Hike Maligne Canyon

things to do in alberta maligne canyon jasper
Stunning Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon is my top recommendation for things to do in Jasper National Park. It is a stunning hike through a canyon dropping 50 meters (154 feet). With waterfalls and bridges, hiking trails, and scenic views, this is not to be missed! Read more: Amazing Things to do in Jasper, Alberta

Maligne Lake

maligne lake jasper alberta canada

Just a little farther along the road is Malign Lake. It is the longest lake in the Canadian Rockies. Take a boat cruise to Spirit Island and witness this beautiful view surrounded by emerald water of the glacier lake. Or go for a walk along the hiking trails lining the lake.

Pyramid Lake

things to do in alberta pyramid lake

Maligne Lake is the top lake for visitors to see in Jasper, but our favourite was certainly Pyramid Lake. With beautiful reflections of a pyramid-shaped mountain twinkling in the still waters, it’s easy to understand how it got its name. Go in the morning at sunrise to see for yourself.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

things to do in albert jasper park lodge

Staying at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is an attraction unto itself. The rustic setting of luxurious and chic log cabins is set on the shores of Lac Beauvert. There are canoes, hiking trails, and wildlife on the premises. You’ll see elk, moose, and whitetail deer scurrying about in the woods. The Queen of England has graced these grounds. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for us!

Northern Lights at Lake Annette

things to do in alberta northern lights in Jasper

Alberta has many places to see dark skies, night stars, and the Aurora Borealis. Jasper is known for its dark sky preserve. It has unrivaled clear skies, and when staying at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, we went to Lake Annette to photograph the night sky. That was when we were treated to the beautiful auroras (northern lights) dancing in the sky.

Side Car Motorcycle Tour

jasper side car tour

Our favourite excursion in Jasper is hands down the sidecar motorcycle tour. This is the coolest way to explore the roads of Jasper National Park. Hop in a Harley Davidson Motorcycle and take off to the high viewpoints of the Rocky Mountains from downtown Jasper. It’s one of the coolest and most unique things to do in Alberta that is for sure.

When driving to Jasper from Edmonton, keep an eye out for animals along the main highway. We saw bighorn sheep, bears and mountain goats on our way. This drive offered some of the best wildlife viewing in Alberta.

Things to do in Canmore

things to do in alberta three sisters
Three Sisters view from hiking trail outside of Canmore

Canmore is located just outside Banff National Park and has turned into a destination unto itself. It can be used as a base to explore Banff National Park and Kananaskis but now Canmore has turned into a tourist town that has a lot of the attractions in Alberta in its own right. There are plenty of hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, and gorgeous viewpoints. There are so many things to do in Canmore you will need to split your time between here and Banff.

Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

alberta things to do wolfdog sanctuary
Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary

The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is a rescue center for wolfdogs to rehabilitate abandoned and neglected wolf dogs. Wolfdogs are part wolf and part dog and often end up being too much for dog owners who don’t realize what is involved in owning a wild animal.

The sanctuary rehabilitates the dogs and finds them new homes. Visitors can sit with the wolfdogs and watch them interact and behave in their natural habitat. The wolfdog sanctuary is a magical experience visit their website for more details. Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Rock Climbing

Things to do in Mont Tremblant summer Rock Climbing

Alberta is home to some of the best rock climbing and mountaineering experiences on earth. When in Canmore, be sure to get out on a wall for some great sport climbing routes. Yamnuska Mountain Adventures in Canmore offers guided ice climbing and rock climbing excursions with professional Rock Climbers.

Ice Climbing

alberta things to do canmore ice climbing

If you are looking for an adventure that gives you the ultimate adventure travel bragging rights, ice climbing in Alberta is a must. Canmore is the ice-climbing mecca of the world drawing top athletes to its routes each year to train and explore.

We’ve done both Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing in Canmore and they are both a thrill of a lifetime. Read more about ice climbing at Ice Climbing Adventure in Canmore

Skijoring

Things to do in Winter in Canada Skijoring

What on earth is skijoring you ask? It’s a mix between cross country skiing and dog sledding. Skijoring was invented in Norway, but Alberta has embraced it. We met Russell Donald of Mad Dog and Englishman Sled Dog Expeditions at Spray Lake outside of Canmore.

Skijoring was a thrill of a lifetime as two sled dogs pull you across the lake at breakneck speeds. Looking for more things to do in Alberta that involve dogs? See the Best Place to go Dogsledding in Banff

Scenic Flight

views from heliclpter tour in canmore

Located just an hour from Calgary and a short drive from Canmore or Banff, Rockies Heli is one of the premier helicopter tour companies in Alberta. Our helicopter tour took over Banff National Park to witness the famous peaks like Mt. Assiniboine, The Three Sisters, and Mount Lougheed.

This adventure offers the added bonus of landing on a peak just outside the park to go snowshoeing where nobody else dares to go. When landing a helicopter on the top of a mountain, you can be sure you won’t see crowds of people during your hike! Book your Alberta Helicopter tour with Rockies Heli located in two locations for your convenience

Snowshoeing

things to do in alberta snowshoe in canmore

Canmore became popular as the population grew in Banff National Park. It’s now a town filled with outdoor lovers and very healthy people. You can do a lot of activities directly from town and we went snowshoeing from Canmore. It wasn’t long before we were surrounded by mountains and treated to spectacular views of the Three Sisters. If you are new to snowshoeing, hire a guide to take you out to the backcountry safely.

Things to do in Southern Alberta

things to do inn alberta

The south of Alberta will surprise and delight you. It is completely different from the more popular Banff and Jasper National Parks, but no less breathtaking or exciting. A road trip through this part of Alberta should be put at the top of every Alberta bucket list.

Bar U Ranch

things to do in alberta bar u ranch

The Bar U Ranch is a National Historic Site and a very cool place to learn about Alberta’s Cowboy Heritage. This was once the largest ranch in North America spanning 160,000 acres and had 30,000 heads of cattle. The Sundance Kid worked on the Bar U Ranch and the Prince of Wales loved the setting so much, he bought a ranch right next door! Have a cowboy coffee, try your hand at the lassoo and learn everything about Ranch Life.

Waterton Lakes National Park

what to do in alberta waterton lakes np
Prince of Wales Hotel Overlooks Waterton Lake

It may not be as famous as the national parks of Banff and Jasper, but Waterton Lakes National Park is one of the most extraordinary. This park is unique in the fact that it shares a border with Glacier National Park in the United States. Together, the two parks create the only UNESCO World Heritage Site, International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserve rolled all in one. It is here that you can see herds of buffalo roaming and head out on one of the extraordinary hikes into the foothills of the mountains. Book a night at the Prince of Wales Hotel located within the park for a truly royal experience.

Red Rock Canyon

waterton lakes national park
Beautiful Red Rock Canyon

Make sure to visit Red Rock Canyon, the grand canyon of Alberta. There are some great hikes here and if you pair it with Waterton, you can easily spend a few days here. Read more: Things to do in Waterton Lakes National Park

High Mountain Trail Ride

things to do in alberta horseback riding

No trip to Alberta would be complete without riding a horse. This is horse country and in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, you can take one of the best trail rides you’ll ever have in your life. Sure, you’ve taken a trail ride in other places, but in Black Diamond Alberta, a high mountain trail ride takes you into the foothills. Hop on a sure-footed horse and bushwhack your way up a mountain trail pass to the backcountry of Alberta. If there is one time in your life to go horseback riding, this is it! Read about it here A High Mountain Trail Ride, Black Diamond Alberta

Crowsnest Pass

things to do in alberta crows nest pass
The beautiful Crows Nest Pass

Crows Nest pass is a mountain pass along the continental divide where Alberta meets British Columbia. It is an interesting drive along this route with some cool sites to see! Read more: Things to do in Pincher Creek, Alberta

Frank Slide

things to do in  alberta frank slide

When stopping at the home of one of Canada’s most deadly natural disasters, you really see the power of Mother Nature. In 1903 the town of Frank was buried under 110 tons of rocks that broke off from Turtle Mountain. Looking out from the interpretive center shows just how far the rock slide traveled and how the town never stood a chance. 90 people lost their lives that fateful day. You can walk along paved trails to see the devastation up close.

Photograph the Burmis Tree

things to do in alberta burmis tree
The Burmis Tree in Crows Nest Pass

One of the most unique things to see in Alberta is the lone Burmis Tree standing at the entrance to Crowsnest Pass. This tree is a symbol of endurance for the people of the region. At years old, it is hanging on by a thread. Or I should say wire. The tree died years ago, but residents loved it so much, they saved it by wiring it together with stainless steel brackets to stabilize the roots. See it before it is too late!

Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump

Alberta Road Trip
Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump

Although it isn’t the most exciting thing to see in Alberta, it is a very historic place to visit. Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an interesting stop. 6000 years of history of Plains Buffalo culture happened on this site where prehistoric plains people lured herds of buffalo to the edge of a cliff where they met their fate.

Writing on Stone Provincial Park

Writing on Stone Provincial Park is sacred to the First Nations of Alberta as it is a nature preserve containing many First Nations carvings. Located in the Milk River Valley, these carvings show evidence of life dating back 9000 years. It is a beautiful park with hoodoos and towering cliffs. There is a recreation of an RCMP outpost in the park commemorating the mounted police who patrolled the border in the late 1800s to prevent whisky smuggling

Canadian Badlands

alberta things to do badlands

Often overshadowed by Banff and Jasper when planning things to do in Alberta, the Alberta Badlands are one of the most beautiful places to visit in the province. There are so many attractions in Alberta and these are the best in the badlands!

Dinosaur Provincial Park

dinosaur provincial park fossil

Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing one of the largest dinosaur excavations sites on the planet. Around 75 million years ago, dinosaurs ruled this land. You can take a guided hiking tour to an excavation site to see dinosaur fossils. Be sure to stay in the park in one of the glamorous camping tents. It’s an amazing experience. Read about it here: Dinosaur Provincial Park – Glamping Tour in the Alberta Badlands

Drumheller Valley

things to do in drumheller alberta
The Best Things to do in Drumheller Alberta

One of the best drives in the province is the Dinosaur Trail from Dorothy to Drumheller. Drumheller is a small town located just 90 minutes from Calgary and there is so much to do there. Spend a day or two in town to explore all of the sights of the Drumheller Valley like Horsethief Canyon, the Atlas Coal Mine, and the last chance saloon. This is where you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped into the wild west.

Hoodoos of Drumheller Valley

hoodoos of drumheller

One of the most amazing sites in Alberta is the Hoodoos of Drumheller Valley. There are hoodoos throughout the badlands, but these are the most distinct and perfect hoodoos you’ll ever see in your life. Located directly on the side of the road, these fragile formations are formed over hundreds of years through erosion. This tiny cluster is a wonderful display of the beauty of Mother Nature. Read more about The Hoodoos of Drumheller

Royal Tyrrell Museum

Dinosaurs at the Canadian Museum of Nature Ottawa attractions

One of the best museums we’ve ever been to is the Royal Tyrrell Museum. We’ve seen a lot of dinosaur bone recreations in museums around the world, but this one has the real deal on display! Here you’ll see one of the best-preserved authentic T-Rex skulls in the world among the large dinosaur collection on display in Dinosaur Hall. And there are archeologists working in a lab on sight. Read more: Things to do in Drumheller, Alberta

Things to do in Calgary, Alberta

calgary alberta skyline

Calgary is the biggest city in Alberta and there are a ton of things to do downtown Calgary. It warrants its own article which we have right here: 21 Best Things to do in Calgary, Alberta. This Western Canada city has plenty of outdoor activities, urban adventures, an excellent food scene and it hosts the annual Calgary Stampede. This is a city that you must visit when exploring Alberta.

Bobsleigh – Canada’s Olympic Park

Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta

Who thought they’d ever get the chance to hop in a bobsleigh and barrel down the pipe with an Olympic athlete at steering the sled?  Bobsledders from around the world train at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park and to make some money on the side, they take tourists down their home track! Feel the G-force push you down as you reach speeds of 125km per hour while banking the icy turns as you plunge down the World Cup track. See our experience at Whipping Through the Olympic Village in Calgary

At the park you’ll also be able to ride the world’s fastest zipline. This zipline is so fast you need to pull a parachute out when you land! Taking off from the top of the big Olympic ski jump, this zip line is a thrilling experience! I can only imagine the courage ski jumpers have flying off this ramp. A Zipline was enough for me! We also took the luge down to the parking lot once we finished our extreme sports. There’s mountain biking at the park, a museum and hiking trails, so make a day out of it! Read more: Canada Olympic Park – Fun in Calgary Alberta

Calgary Tower

things to do in alberta calgary tower
View from the Calgary Tower

Like all world cities, Calgary has its own tower that makes for a superb lookout over the city. Make sure to go up and enjoy its view from the top floor. With beautiful views of the city, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Alberta, let alone Calgary. Book this bus tour to see the best of Calgary. This sightseeing tour includes stops at Heritage Park Historical Village, Canada Olympic Park, The Stampede Grounds, downtown Calgary, the Calgary Tower and more!

Calgary Peace Bridge

alberta things to do calgary peace bridge

The Calgary Peace Bridge spans the Bow River from Downtown to communities across the river. It’s become a popular path for cycling and an iconic symbol of the city.

Calgary Stampede

If you are in the city in June, check out the greatest outdoor show on earth. Calgary hosts the annual Calgary Stampede – the world’s largest rodeo has been running since 1912 and is the biggest ticket in town. Besides all the rodeo activities like bull riding and chuckwagon races, there are midway rides, food stands and performances at the grandstand show. Read more: 21 Best Things to do in Calgary, Alberta

Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park Memorial Village Calgary

Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary provides a glimpse into Alberta’s past. The buildings cover four key periods in Calgary’s history from a 1860s fur-trading fort to the 20th century. There’s an old steam engine that you can hop on for a ride around the village to explore a series of historic buildings from the pioneer era with ample costumed interpreters to help you travel back in. Other activities include a paddlewheel tour on the scenic Glenmore Reservoir and a visit to Gasoline Alley Museum.

Things to do in Edmonton

things to do in alberta edmonton

Edmonton is often overlooked when visiting Alberta, but it is worth adding to the list. With the world’s largest indoor amusement park, plenty of outdoor activities including Canada’s largest urban park and cultural activities, you’ll find something for everyone. Plus there is a festival in Edmonton for nearly every week of the year. Read more: The Best Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta

West Edmonton Mall

things to do in alberta west edmonton mall
West Edmonton Mall Alberta

It is North America’s largest mall and probably what first put Edmonton on the map. The West Edmonton Mall is way more than a mall, it’s the lifeblood of Edmonton. If you like amusement parks, you’ll love this mall. With the world’s largest indoor amusement park, The World Waterpark, and an indoor skating rink, it is the original super mall! As Edmonton’s temperatures dip far below freezing in the Canadian winters, this mall is an oasis of warmth and fun.

Edmonton River Valley

The North Saskatchewan River Valley Park System covers 18,000 acres combining 20 different parks. It is Canada’s largest urban park. Anything outdoors that your heart desires is available in this green space. Hiking and cycling trails, a golf course, ravines and lakes and if you are into zoos, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is within the parks system. In the winter, there’s cross country skiing and even a downhill ski slope.

Fort Edmonton Park

things to do in alberta fort edmonton park

Time has stopped at Fort Edmonton Park where the streets are frozen in time depicting Edmonton’s early history. The 150 acre wooded parkland traces history from the Indigenous People’s experience to the 1920s. Costumed performers walk the replica of an 1885 street and you can tour an 1846 fort from the days of the Hudson Bay fur traders. If you want a look at bits and pieces of Alberta and Canadian historythe heritage park offers memorable experiences for everyone. This is also Canada’s largest living history museum. Visit the fort for details.

Things to do in Kananaskas

Nordik Spa

things to do in alberta

A great day trip from Calgary or Banff is a visit to Kananaskis Country. Its views rival Banff National Park. You can stay overnight at the luxurious Kananaskis Mountain Lodge and use the spa, hike its trails and enjoy the luxury accommodation. It was one of our favourite places in Alberta.

The spa is a year-round outdoor Scandinavian Spa with hot pools, saunas, and cold plunge pools. It’s the perfect place to soothe travel-weary muscles.

Ski Alberta

Top Ski Resorts in Canada Lake Louise

There is no going to Alberta in winter without going skiing or snowboarding. Banff National Park houses three different ski resorts alone! We love Sunshine Village because it has the Sunshine Mountain Lodge located right at the side of the hill offering the only ski in ski out adventures in Banff. It also has Banff’s largest hotel hot tub where after a day on the boards, you can soothe your aching muscles in the tub. Read more at 15 Top Ski Resorts in Canada For Winter Fun

Lake Louise is Alberta’s premier ski hill with 4200 skiable areas in one of the largest ski destinations in North America and one of Canada’s top ski destinations. There are trails for all levels of Skiing and Snowboarding. Lake Louise is on the World Cup Circuit with a Terrain Park and a Snowcross Course. It was also home to the Calgary Olympics, and you can be sure to carve actual Olympic runs! It’s Epic.

Norquay is the closest ski hill to Banff and is great for a day trip or for families. If you want to try something different, head over to do some snow tubing. It’s the ultimate couch potato thrill ride. You ride the magic carpet to the top, let them put you on the tube, and push you down the hill. All you have to do is hoot and holler all the way down!

Wood Buffalo National Park

buffalo in winter in edmonton's elk island
Wood Buffalo National Park is one of the best places to see bison

If you are looking for out of the ordinary things to do in Alberta, Canada make your way up to the far north to visit Wood Buffalo National Park. It is the largest national park in Canada and it is a national historic site. Established in 1922, Wood Buffalo National Park was designed to protect one of the last surviving herds of Bison.

the Rocky Mountaineer

canadian rocky mountain train wine and cheese

We took the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Calgary, but you can hop aboard in either Banff Town of Jasper. The one-way luxury train journey takes you through the Rockies and it is a rip-roaring good time with fine dining and outstanding views of some of the top attractions in Alberta. Note, you’ll be eating and drinking a lot so get ready!

How Many National Parks are in Alberta

Alberta has five national parks that include, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, and Elk Island.

What are the top attractions in Alberta?

The top attractions in Alberta are Banff and Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, the Icefields Parkway, Waterton Lakes National Park, Drumheller and its hoodoos, The West Edmonton Mall and Wood Buffalo National Park.

Exploring Alberta is one of the greatest places to visit in Canada. With five national parks, world-class cities, the Rockies, glacier lakes and extraordinary beauty, Alberta is a destination that is second to none. These are our favourite things to do in Alberta, but we know we have not yet scratched the surface. What did we miss and what should we do next? Leave your recommendations in the comments below.

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