Alberta hasgreat contrasts. The Canadian Rockies, renowned for ski resorts, wildlife andwinter activities are juxtaposed against the desert Badlands with prehistoricgeology and dinosaur fossils. Excitement abounds in this wild place: spotting grizzlybears or wolves, digging for dinosaur bones and walking amid stone giants of theHoodoo Rocks.
Edmontonand Calgary are the gateways to Alberta. Explore the province’s history at theRoyal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. Learn about gemstone geology, local dinosaurfossils and the ancient cultures of Alberta’s aboriginal people. Whatever timeof year you’re visiting, the “City of Festivals” offers celebrations of theseasons, music, film and food.
Alberta’smost well-known festival, however, is in Calgary. The 10-day-long CalgaryStampede celebrates the rustic skills of rodeo riding and chuck wagon racing andhas been held annually since the 1890s. Get a view over the city while relaxingin the lush green of Prince’s Island Park in the Bow River before samplingfantastic local beef or Alberta cheeses with Rocky Mountain wines.
Drive tothe Badlands to see desert landscapes dotted with eerie mushroom-shapedsandstone structures called Hoodoos. In the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, digfor dinosaurs and learn about the fossils found here. Immerse yourself in earlysettler life at the Pioneer Village and Museum in Hanna. Keen Star Trek fanscan have their picture taken in a Trekkie uniform in Vulcan, in a scaled-downEnterprise ship at the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station.
Alberta’smain winter attractions are its powdery slopes, mountain scenery and skiresorts with buzzing nightlife. Lake Louise, Banff and Sunshine are the best-knownslopes, but there are plenty more throughout the province to experience. Tryyour hand at dog-sledding or take a sleigh ride. In warmer months, hike peakscovered in alpine wildflowers in Banff National Park or take a wildlife tour tosee and photograph wild grizzly bears, huge elks, wolves, bighorn sheep, cougarand lynx.