When it comes to providing a vast array of exciting experiences, Alberta never fails. A province that lays claim to some of the most astounding natural scenery in the world, as well as thriving, modern metropolis’ – whether you’re looking for intrepid adventures out in the wilderness or a relaxing break in a world-famous city, you’re sure to get what you came for. We’ve got a list as long as our arms of things we’d like to do in Alberta (Lake Louise and a road trip down the Icefields Parkway both popular choices) but we’ve picked out and written about a few, lesser known experiences that we’re sure you’ll love, to try and inspire you to see it first-hand. A trip to Alberta is one you just have to take and, as the saying goes; there’s no time like the present.
Helicopter Ride Over Banff National Park
Just seeing the Rocky Mountains is great, but seeing the Rocky Mountains from above is even better. Board your private helicopter and have your camera ready, for as soon as you ascend into the air over Banff National Park you’ll find it hard to believe just how wonderful the world looks from up there. Hour long tours over the Marvel Pass are a particular favourite of ours. Starting in Canmore, you’ll be flown over the Three Sisters and Marvel Pass before being dropped off close to Cabin Lake to stretch your legs 7200 feet above sea level. A popular spot for proposals and other special occasions, when you’re all done your captain will take you back up into the air for the flight down to where it all started.
Discover the Jurassic Era
Who knew that Alberta was the world’s real-life Jurassic Park? Well, we did, and it’s about time you did too. Whilst there are no living dino’s running around, there are a huge amount of fossils and digging grounds that’ll be sure to pique your interest. In a place like Alberta, whose landscapes are awe-inspiring, it’s quite easy to imagine you’ve been transported back in time by a few (hundred) million years. Take a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the richest fossil areas in the world. After you’ve had a wander and absorbed the enchanting badland topography, head over to the visitor centre and get up close and personal with some of the fossils that were discovered within the park. You’ll soon realise that there’s a budding palaeontologist residing within all of us.
White Water Rafting in Kananaskis
The Kananaskis River runs through Western Alberta, just 45 minutes outside of Calgary, and is a popular choice for those wanting to have a go at white water rafting. One of the tamer rivers to be found in the province, Kananaskis is a safe bet for families whilst also providing exciting runs for the more experienced rafter. An authentic mountain experience without being too hair-raising; if you’ve decided to travel with the little ones then this is the summer activity for you.
Star Gazing in Jasper National Park
Welcome to the largest dark sky preserve in the world. Jasper National Park, since 2011, has been officially protected from the effects of light pollution by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. So what does this mean for you? Well, if you like the idea of staring up to a sparkling sky full of stars, you’ll love Jasper by night. Our worlds are so illuminated; it’s easy to forget what true darkness is really like. Visit this incredible national park after sunset and you’ll suddenly remember. To see only by the light of the moon and the stars is a special experience you won’t want to miss.
Food Touring in Calgary
If you’re spending a few days in Calgary or Edmonton (you really should be, they’re incredible cities), then you’ve got to make time for a walking food tour. Both are at the forefront of Canada’s foodie scene and are brimming with farmers markets, classic bistros and gourmet restaurants. And yes, the tours involve a lot of tasters to keep you sated as you wander down charming streets towards your next tasty pit stop. Delicious food and sightseeing combined – the best way to see a new city? We think so.