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Explore Alberta by train
From effervescent urban areas to charming mountain towns, Alberta has everything to offer - and you can discover it all by train. Explore this province rich in cultural attractions and natural splendours, home to the majestic Rocky Mountains.
The capital of Alberta and the northernmost metropolis in North America is a vibrant city with unique features. Prepare to get your share of excitement!
- Attend one of the 50 (yes, 50!) festivals Edmonton holds each year. If you travel to the capital in June or July, don't miss the Freewill Shakespeare Festival's innovative productions, shown in theatres and parks all around town. Celebrate contemporary nonfiction writing at LitFest Alberta in October, or experience the unique atmosphere of a real Western agricultural fair at Farmfair International in November.
- Take a guided tour of the Alberta Legislature to learn more about the province's prominent political figures, admire magnificent art and take a closer look at cultural objects, including the Assembly's gold and silver ceremonial Mace. Head to the Royal Alberta Museum, Western Canada's largest museum, to explore 82,000 square feet of exhibits and artifacts related to Alberta's heritage. Make sure to spend some time at the Art Gallery of Alberta, an impressive building of zinc, glass and steel, home to more than 6,000 works produced mostly by Canadian artists after 1950.
- Looking for entertainment? The ICE District in downtown Edmonton is the place. Experience a vibrant nightlife, try your luck at the Grand Villa Casino or book a seat for an Oilers game at Rogers Place. You can also taste inventive dishes at a local restaurant (Edmonton is known for its booming culinary scene!) and sip on a delicious craft beer in one of the many taprooms.
- Get a shopping and entertainment experience like no other at the West Edmonton Mall, that spans the equivalent of 48 city blocks. Features include lots of popular shops, the world's largest indoor amusement park, a three level race track, a waterpark and a spectacular skating rink.
- Explore Edmonton's River Valley parks, North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland with a surface 22 times wider than that of Central Park. Walk, bike or snowshoe on more than 150 kilometres of trails along the North Saskatchewan River and get your share of nature without leaving the city.
- Take a day trip to Elk Island National Park, 35 kilometres east of Edmonton, and get the chance to watch roaming Plains bison up close, as well as moose, deer, elk and over 250 species of birds. You'll also see wood bisons and pygmy shrews, the largest and smallest terrestrial mammals in North America.
Edmonton is full of amazing attractions, but there are hidden gems in its vibrant communities which tell a different story. Discover four hot-spots that remain highly respected amongst locals and help shape the city’s grassroots identity.
Located at the heart of Jasper National Park, one of Canada's 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this former railway town has a unique, timeless charm. You're in for an unforgettable stay!
- Explore Jasper National Park. With its clear lakes and waterfalls, shiny glaciers, majestic peaks, deep canyons and evergreen forests, Canada's largest park in the Rocky Mountains offers plenty of options to practice your favourite activities - including 1,200 kilometres of hiking trails. Challenge yourself to an alpine day hike or take a casual stroll, try some mountain biking, spend an afternoon paddling or go on a skiing excursion in the winter.
- Prepare for some exciting wildlife viewing. Jasper National Park has one of the highest concentrated black and brown bear populations in Canada, and is home to an abundant wildlife. Keep an eye open for elk, moose, coyotes, wolves, caribou, mountain sheep and goats.
- Head to the Columbia Icefield, one hour away from Jasper by car, to see glaciers up close. Hop on one of the sturdy Ice Explorers for a ride on the Athabasca Glacier, or experience the Glacier Skywalk, a one-kilometer interpretive walkway leading to a glass-floored viewing platform 280 meters above Sunwapta Valley.
- Take a seven-minute ride up Whistler Mountain with the Jasper SkyTram to learn more about the unique natural sites around Jasper and take in one of the best views on the entire Rocky Mountains.
- Enjoy starry nights like you've never seen before. As the world's second largest Dark Sky Preserve, Jasper National Park offers breathtaking celestial views when the sky is clear.
- Do you like golf? Get a unique experience at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Canada's best public golf course according to SCOREgolf. Designed by the renowned golf course architect Stanley Thompson, the 18-hole layout offers a high level challenge and spectacular mountain vistas.
- Discover Jasper's thriving food scene. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Walter's Dining Room, relax with one of Jasper Brewing Company's well crafted beers or enjoy a first class dinner with a stunning view a The Pines Restaurant.
There are upwards of 70 different restaurants in Jasper National Park, that range from bistros and pubs to pizzerias and bakeries. Here are some top picks to help you make your choice.
A 4-hour bus ride away from Jasper, the bustling town of Banff is a must for a getaway. Discover this awe-inspiring mountain destination at the heart of Banff National Park.
- Hike, bike, ski or snowshoe on the park's mountaineous terrain, paddle on the crystalline lakes, and take in unforgettable views on high peaks, lush meadows, whitewater rivers, shimmering glaciers and scenic valleys.
- Make sure to visit Lake Louise, located in the park. Known worlwide for its turquoise lakes, soaring peaks and proximity to Victoria Glacier, this small hamlet is a haven for hikers, skiers and adventure lovers.
- Explore Lake Minnewanka, a 21-kilometre long glacial lake located five kilometres away from the town of Banff. In the summer, rent a canoe or a kayak, hike or bike on the rocky shores, or take a guided cruise to learn more about the rich history and local legends surrounding the area. In the winter, go on a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing excursion, and keep your eyes on the sky at night to watch the mesmerizing dance of Northern Lights.
- Head to the Valley of the Ten Peaks to spend a day at Moraine Lake. At an elevation of 1,885 metres, this stunning blue-green lake gets its unique colour from the reflection of the sun on the rock particles that flow into it with the waters from the surrounding glaciers. The lake itself is open to the public from June to October, and its area is a destination of choice for hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.
- Hike or take a gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, named for the two sulphurous hot springs on its lower slopes. Take in a 360-degree view of six mountain ranges, the Bow Valley, and the town of Banff, and make sure to enjoy a relaxing soak in those hot springs while you're there.
- Take time to explore the town of Banff. Get a lofty view of the town on the 4.3-kilometre trail up Tunnel Mountain, treat yourself to some local shopping on Banff Avenue and Bear Street, and taste regionally sourced Rocky Mountain Cuisine in one of the many great restaurants. Depending on what time of year you travel, you can also attend one of the town's special events, including the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, Banff Marathon and Banff Yoga Festival.
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