The Best Road Trip In Alberta
Collected by Jeff Bartlett , AFAR Local Expert
Taking in the jaw-dropping beauty of the Canadian Rockies, traversing Canada’s most scenic highway, and connecting Alberta’s two booming cities is the ultimate western Canadian road trip. Just don’t forget to pack a camera, as this road trip goes from the provincial capital, through both Jasper and Banff National Parks via the Icefield Parkway. The road trip doesn't stop there; as it traverses Alberta's western edge of the Great Plains, surrounding Calgary.
54401 Range Rd 203, Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 0V3, Canada
Elk Island National Park, just over 20 miles east of the provincial capital of Edmonton, is one of the few fully fenced national parks in Canada, and home to large populations of elk, moose, deer, coyote, beaver, pelicans, cormorants, herons, as...
10310 83 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 5C3, Canada
The philosophy of the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market—"We Make it! We Bake it! We Grow it! We Sell it!"—has made this a popular stop on Saturdays in Edmonton for nearly 30 years. With approximately 300 vendors spread through 185 stalls, shoppers...
2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, Edmonton, AB T5J 2C1, Canada
Sprawled over three floors, the recently renovated Art Gallery of Alberta—the oldest cultural institution in the province—maintains a collection that exceeds 6,000 objects. Welcoming and diverse, the AGA houses works from a variety of eras using a...
624 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
Opened in 2005, the Jasper Brewing Company was the first brewpub within a Canadian national park. It is now a local’s staple hangout. Seven different beers—like the Rockhopper IPA and Honey Bear Ale—are brewed on location, so make sure to order a...
10640 100 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 3N8, Canada
The Matrix Hotel, located just off Jasper Avenue, is smack-dab in the middle of downtown Edmonton, and there is no better place to stay than its Onyx Suite. The design of the hotel—stylish and modern—suits any style of traveler and most rooms have...
Maligne Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E, Canada
It takes patience and good fortune to create a unique image in a place considered Canada’s second-most-photographed landscape. The Through the Lens Cruise on Maligne Lake gives amateur and professional shutterbugs such an opportunity. While...
AB-93, Alberta, Canada
Unnamed Road, Clearwater County, AB T0M, Canada
Horseshoe Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Alberta but it's managed to stay off the beaten track due to it's location on the David Thompson Highway. The stunning two-tier waterfall is just under one hour east of Saskatchewan...
109 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
Whether it’s after a long summer hike or a winter day on the ski slopes, there is no better place to relax than the Deer Lodge rooftop hot tub. It has a clear view of the Victoria Glacier across Lake Louise. The hotel is gorgeous in a rustic...
1 Sunshine access Rd, Banff, AB T1L 1J5, Canada
Most people travel to Canada in the winter to ski the famous big resorts like Whistler and Lake Louise. But 20 minutes from downtown Banff is a little "hill"—as the Canadians like to call their mountains—called Sunshine Village. The resort,...
100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B2, Canada
This is another fun adventure that's not strenuous in Banff. Take a gondola up Mt. Sulphur. That building in the photo is where the gondola comes in. Then you can walk along a boardwalk up to the summit, from where you have panoramic views of the...
119 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0G8, Canada
While it isn’t uncommon for a hotel, a restaurant and a bar to live under the same roof, it's rather unprecedented that all three are both award winning and local favourites. Contemporary décor and chic styling define Hotel Arts, a...
718 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B7, Canada
Nominated for the Best New Restaurant Canada award in EnRoute Magazine, this exciting eatery hit the radar when its former chef competed on Top Chef Canada. He then relocated to British Columbia, leaving his sous chef in charge of both the market...
Downtown, Calgary, AB, Canada
Stephen Avenue, located downtown, features some delicious restaurants, bars, and unique shopping experiences for the cowboy/cowgirl in all of us. Even I, hesitantly, admitted to being attracted to at least one pair of cowboy boots with matching...
110 Century Dr W, East Coulee, AB T0J 1B0, Canada
Alberta has the interactive museum down to a science. The Atlas Coal Mine, in once rough and tumble Drumheller, the center of both dinosaur discovery and mineral wealth, is an important National Historic Site as one of the few remaining coal mines...
Township Rd 17B and Township Rd 17A, Longview, AB T0L 1H0, Canada
The Bar U Ranch had a hand (and a hoof, and a horseshoe) in shaping life in Western Canada, and today is preserved as a national historic site packed with interactive exhibits, immersive educational programs, and more. If you're lucky, your visit...
Alberta 5, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada
Banff and Jasper are top of mind when it comes to Alberta's Great Outdoors. Travelers flock to Moraine Lake by the busload for postcard-perfect snaps and zip through the province's northern parks on the trail of grizzlies, elk, and moose. Waterton...
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