Alberta may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of awesome summer destinations, but we think it’s because these places are so cool, people are trying to keep them a secret. Here we will share with you some of the very best Alberta has to offer so you can have a full list of places to hit before fall sweeps in!
1. Banff National Park
As a seasoned Albertan, you already know Banff is famous for its panoramic views of the mountains and its mind-blowing clear water lakes. You also may already know the bustling town of Banff offers great food, shopping and unlimited things to see and do.
If you’re looking for something more interactive and less for the tourists, consider heading out to Banff for a guided hike. Not only are guides available year round, but they’ll actually enhance your hiking experience (and maybe show you one or two things you didn’t know).
2. Lake Agnes Tea House Above Lake Agnes
This is an excellent hiking stop for those who are already in the Banff and Lake Louise area. The Lake Agnes Tea House is right above the scenic Lake Agnes named after the first Prime Minister of Canada’s wife. The tea house features over 100 types of tea, but expect to sit down as they do not offer any to go. They have sandwiches, soups and even desserts to fill you up after your hike!
3. Jasper National Park
Did you know Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Rockies? Like Banff, Jasper is famous for its boutique shopping and delicious restaurants – but it’s also the place to be if you’re looking for a whitewater adventure. Jasper’s rafting and canoeing excursions are uniquely Albertan and are sure to appeal to your inner thrill seeker.
If you prefer to live dangerously on the dry side, we recommend taking a walk out onto the Jasper Park Skywalk.
4. The National Music Centre
The National Music Centre in Calgary is every music fan’s dream, offering historic pieces and many exhibits on varieties of music. With items from many celebrity performances such as Neil Peart’s “Hockey Night in Canada” drum kit, Randy Bachman’s guitar, and Elton John’s songwriting piano.
5. The Settler Steam Train
Ever wanted to know what it would be like to be part of a railway robbery? Well, now you can find out by visiting Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions. This excursion takes you on a five-hour tour of the Alberta prairies. They offer many acted out scenes, but the most popular is by far the robbery – where you may be saved by the Metis hero, Gabriel Dumont. No need to arm yourself, though. Handing over your cash is voluntary and all proceeds go to charity.
6. Waterton National Park
The Waterton Lakes National Park is where the mountains meet the prairies here in Alberta. Waterton Lakes National Park is unique because it’s known as a World Heritage Site and is perfect for people who want that small town feel while they explore nature.
Here you can explore the Red Rock Canyon, take a boat tour, visit the park’s many cascading waterfalls, or even spend the day on the beaches of Waterton Village.
8. St. Paul UFO Landing Pad
The first and only of its type, the St. Paul UFO Landing Pad is as interesting as a landmark as it is an exhibit. Built in 1967, this flat concrete landing pad weighs over 130 tons and contains a time capsule to be opened on its 100 year anniversary. Whether you believe in extraterrestrials or not, you should add this quirky place to your list of places to visit this summer.
Even for the most seasoned Albertan, the above adventures are sure to add a little extra fun to your summer. Best of all, they’re all right in your own backyard!
Photo credits: woman, lake agnes, train