A great deal of attention should be paid to the choosing of a vacation destination. The choice of the destination can make or break a vacation. For one of the best out of the way destinations in the entire world, there is no better place to trek to than the province of Alberta in beautiful Canada. Alberta has a great many attractions to offer ranging from the famous West Edmonton Mall to the less famous but incredibly beautiful Banff area. Whatever a vacationer’s reasoning for choosing Alberta as their destination of choice, they should reassure themselves that they did in fact make the right choice. Here is a look at just five of the must see attractions in Alberta, Canada.
The entire Banff area is a destination filled with wonderful things to do, but one of the best things to do is ride the Banff Gondola. This gondola takes visitors high above the natural scenic beauty of the area, giving then the kind of views and photographic opportunities that are sometimes unbelievable. The ride is quite thrilling too with a steady altitude change as the vehicle gets higher and higher. The ride can be enjoyed in and of itself, or it can be combined with other features like a short hike at the top of Sulphur Mountain. The hike can be done by people of all skill levels as much of it is across boardwalks and up stairways. The view from the top of the mountain is very dramatic and is sure to be one of the highlights of visiting the Banff area, or the province of Alberta as a whole. A trip up to Sulphur Mountain via the Banff Gondola is an essential thing to do for anyone coming to the area.
The Calgary Stampede and Stampede Park
The Calgary Stampede is one of the best celebrations or events to go to in all of Alberta. This celebration has been taking place for a very long time and the community is very adept at making it a welcoming event for locals, longtime event-goers, and first time attendees from outside the area. The entire event is worth the effort in going, everything from the opening parades and celebrations to the later events and competitions.
Contrary to what many people who have never been to the Calgary Stampede may think, there is much more to the celebration than the rodeo related events. Visitors can enjoy great tasting fair food, amusement park rides, and live entertainment too. The event is billed as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and lasts for ten days every year in early July. Other competitions are hosted at the event too including agricultural, food, and craft related ones. Stampede Park is a great facility for this event, as it offers plenty of space for parking and attractions, as well as the Pengrowth Saddledome, an indoor facility that has hosted rodeo events, National Hockey League contests, as well as hockey and figure skating events for the 1988 Winter Olympics. If at all possible, anyone visiting the Calgary area in early July should do all they can to at least sample the fun and excitement that surrounds the Calgary Stampede.
One of the most interesting places to visit in Alberta, especially in terms of first hand experiences, is the Athabasca Glacier. Here, visitors can get suited up in the appropriate gear and venture out onto an actual glacier. It is not often in this world that vacationers have the opportunity to hike across the face of a real glacier. For those not wishing to attempt to hike across the glacier, a great option is to take the snowcoach that is offered to transport visitors across the attraction via a motorized option.
The guides that lead the visitors out on this trek are extremely knowledgeable and very safe. They can impart their wisdom related to the glaciers themselves and the surrounding area too. The memories made crossing an actual glacier will stay with the traveler for a very long time. This is just one of the many attractions found in the Banff area of Alberta, an overall great place to visit for anyone with any interest, but especially for those with an interest in the outdoors or scenic views.
For those wanting to get out and experience some of the beautiful natural surroundings that are offered in Alberta, a visit to Johnston Canyon is a must. In this scenic canyon, there are a number of impressive and gorgeous waterfalls available for view. Most of them are extremely easy to access to, thanks to there be very little altitude change so that the hiking involved is across mostly level ground. Another feature that makes the waterfalls easy to access is that much of the trail system in the canyon is paved. Because of this, large amounts of this area are even accessible to those using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
The walls of the canyon are beautiful themselves with much of them covered by moss and other vegetation. There is dense forestland in the area as well that offers shade from the hot sun as well as beautiful natural vegetation. One of the most popular features, especially for those looking to take photographs, is a cave on the lower falls that allows for a view of the waterfall itself. A visit to Johnston Canyon is just one more reason that the province of Alberta, and the Banff area in general, are so popular with tourists from all over.
Miette Hot Springs
Another great place to visit in Alberta is Jasper National Park. Popular with those who appreciate everything there is about the great outdoors, Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. One of the neatest areas to go in all of Jasper National Park, and it is a huge place, is the Miette Hot Springs. The drive to the hot springs takes visitors through some of the densest forestland in the area. There are a number of opportunities to see scenic vistas, beautiful lookouts, and even waterfalls along the way. Once there, depending on both their interests and the season, travelers can go hiking, snowshoeing, birdwatching, picnicking, and more. The number one attraction there at the Miette Hot Springs is the hot springs themselves. The pools are filled with water straight from the springs and are very clean and well maintained. There is plenty of room to swim and play, and also quiet enough spots to relax and enjoy some quiet time too. For those with an open schedule, staying at the hot springs for a night or two is highly recommended, the accommodations are very modern and at the same time honor the natural surroundings well too.
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There are a number of truly fantastic things to do, see, and experience while traveling to or through the province of Alberta. There are large urban areas like Calgary and Edmonton that feature many of the trappings from home, and then some. There are wide open spaces and small communities that are very welcoming to visitors from outside the area. One of the best things about visiting Alberta though is the enormous amount of natural and scenic areas there are to be appreciated by nearly any traveler that comes that way. A visit to Alberta can be the perfect vacation for nearly anyone, but especially for anyone with a deep appreciation for the great outdoors.