You might have noticed recently on social media that Travel Alberta Tourism brought over some pretty amazing content creators through to our neck of the woods and the amazing photos below have me really itching to do the same local tour of our incredible province! I took some inspiration from their tour and photos to bring you the ultimate guide to ‘Amazing Alberta’, or ‘Berta as it is lovingly called by locals. If you have ten days lying around, you might want to hope in the car and #TourBerta according to our tips below!
[bctt tweet=”Do you want to #TourBerta?! Follow these tips! @travelalberta @exploreedmonton ” username=”theglobediary”]
Arriving in Alberta:
Where to fly into?
The two main cities to fly into are Edmonton (our hood) or Calgary — and be sure to spend time in either city or both if possible! Obviously, we’re slightly biased towards our home haunt, Edmonton, and we have tonnes of information on our blog about this vibrant, booming, cultural city. That said, we have spent our fair share of weekends off in ‘Cowtown Calgary’ and we do definitely love it too!
The day that most of these inspiring creators landed in Edmonton, they were being hosted at the Fairmont Macdonald the same night we had our staycation. Eeek, how exciting to be so close to such creative minds! But Travel Alberta had them pretty busy on their one night stay with several local activities including the Ice Castles; Dinner at Baijiu and Elk Island National Park. Read what World Of Wanderlust got up to while in Edmonton (also known as YEG)! We tend to agree with all her foodie suggestions: Duchess and Little Brick are both must-dos!
Driving to The Mountains:
Where to start?
If you’re driving from Calgary, your natural start would be to head towards Banff, stopping off in Canmore before you enter the park and then onwards to Lake Louise and Jasper. If you’re driving from Edmonton, you’ll head towards Jasper first and do the above itinerary in the reverse. I’m just going to assume you’re starting off in Edmonton! 😉
Stop #1: Jasper:
The drive from Edmonton to Jasper takes about 4 hours and there are lots of options on how to get there: by car, bus or train. Just note that upon entry of the national park, you will have to pay a fee (You can find a detailed list of the tariffs here). Once you get into the park, I suggest you check into the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, then head off to tour the frozen falls of Maligne Canyon which you can book here. Marmot Basin is where you will want to go if you know how to hit the slopes! (See ski pass prices here). If all that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you’re sure to find something else on the Jasper Tourism site. We loved visiting Lake Maligne (at dawn) and Pyramid Lake, so be sure to read up about those activities on our blog post below!
Stop #2: Icefields Parkway Drive
The Icefields Parkway Drive has been on my list to do since we moved here. People have said it’s the most scenic drive in the world! Here are some of the sights you will come across on your drive. Be sure to get out grab some good snaps of the scenery! #WeLoveWinter
Stop #3: Lake Louise
Lake Louise is every bit picture perfect as it seems in photos. This winter wonderland never disappoints. A 45-minute drive away from Banff, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a must if you can afford it. Sidenote: they currently offer a special rate for Alberta and BC Residents — Yay! The activities available here are endless: explore their ice castle sculpture on the frozen lake, ice-skate on the lake, go on a sleigh ride, dog-sledding or even snow-shoeing!
Stop #4: Banff
This place will always hold a special place in our hearts. It is, after all, where we got engaged two Christmases ago! Banff is every bit as magical as it appears in the postcards. The little town is surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of mountains. But take in the view from the top — grab the Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Fairmont Banff Springs is by the far, the most magical place to stay at — the castle towers on the hill surrounded by mountains. That said, there are other, far more reasonable accommodation options too!
Stop #5: Canmore
Canmore is the perfect town to stay in if you can’t get accommodation in Banff or Lake Louise, and usually at a fraction of the price! Even a luxurious hotel like the Solara Resort and Spa can come in a little cheaper than most in the Banff Town (sometimes even advertising slightly cheaper on Groupon!). If you’re looking for a foodie stop in this town, you won’t be disappointed with the fancy, not-so-fancy dinning experience at Crazyweed. If you’ve got a bigger appetite and more time, go on a Food Tour!
Stop #6: Calgary
I have said it before, but being only 3 hours away, Calgary is our go-to weekend getaway when we feel like something different. It’s also a completely different vibe to Edmonton, so if you have time to spend in both cities, you should! Here’s our take on foodie spots you have to try.
Is All This On Your Bucket-list?
Then go ahead and tweet this below:
[bctt tweet=”These photos are #travelgoals in Alberta, Canada! @travelaberta @exploreedmonton” username=”theglobediary”]
Big News For Next Weekend:
We’re actually heading out to the mountains next weekend!! Craig sister (and my sister-in-law and bestie) is coming along with her boyfriend, all the way from South Africa and we cannot wait to show them our incredible province! I wonder how much of the above we can tick of our bucket-list?! Follow along on Instagram as we share our adventure!
Till next time!