Alberta is one of Canada’s largest provinces, and supports nearly every type of biome in North America. From lush forests and mountains to prairies, deserts, and all stops in-between, it is no wonder that Alberta is a vacation destination throughout the year. With the summer months quickly approaching, you are looking for any reason to get out of your funk and put several months of cabin fever behind you. Luckily for you, Alberta has all sorts of excuses for you to get out and have an adventure.
The road trip
Tackling Alberta by the road is an ambitious undertaking. But with such a diversity of things to see and do, it might be hard to choose which ones to see otherwise. The best way to connect the dots on your map of Alberta is to take a road trip. Along the way, you’ll see rugged frontier towns, National Parks, wildlife, festivals, and cultural delights to inspire and enthrall you for years to come.
- Edmonton: Edmonton is a nice hub to use on the spokes of your roadtrip. With hotels, restaurants, and all the comforts of civilization, it makes a great jumping off point to see the sights of Alberta in all directions. Festivals and scenery are in abundance in the area surrounding Edmonton and well within reach!
- World Water Park: A crown jewel of water recreation for you and the whole family! The West Edmonton Mall features tubes, slides, and pools the likes of which you have never seen. 17 waterslides to choose from and the largest indoor wave pool in the world are waiting for you to jump right in! The Mall itself features rides, mini-golf, and an aquarium. Not to mention shops, eateries, and all sorts of other attractions year round.
- Elk Island National Park: For a quick getaway 35 minutes east of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park is a great place to get away from it all. Featuring camping, hiking, and being out in nature, Elk Island National Park is a hidden gem of tranquility at the heart of grasslands, forests, and wetlands that will help quiet a restless spirit.
- Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail: Once a section of the Trans-Canada railroad, this 300km trail is the longest finished section of the Trans-Canada Trail. After the railroad tracks and ties were removed, 10 Alberta Communities worked to have this railroad grade converted into an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Linking the towns which once served as whistle stops, this network of trails gives you an excellent cross-section of Alberta, from forests and prairies, to mountains and plains. Just an hour northeast of Edmonton, you can begin your trek along Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail.
- Cold Lake: Cold Lake at at the eastern end of Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail, bordering . Featuring boating, fishing, hiking, and outdoors activities, as well as a variety of museums celebrating the rich cultural and historical heritage of the area, Cold Lake is a proud, yet cozy community.
- Wood Buffalo National Park: In the extreme north of Alberta is one of the largest national parks in Canada. Wood Buffalo National Park is a remote must-see that was established in the 1920s in order to protect one of the last remaining bison herds in Canada. Rivers, wetlands, boreal plains, and forested trails await your adventurous spirit. Whether it is a walk on the salt plains of an ancient sea or canoeing on the Peace-Athabaska Delta, there is something for the heart of every outdoors enthusiast. Wildlife and adventure abound in this out of the way destination, whether it is for two days or two weeks.
- Calgary Stampede: Every July, thousands of cowboys and cowgirls converge to compete in the Calgary Stampede. More than just a rodeo, the Stampede is the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! The Stampede features live shows, craftsmen, artisans, and a celebration of many cultures as well as chariot races, bronc and bull riding, barrel racing and concerts. Extreme sports, agriculture and western competitions, and food vendors tantilize all of your senses. For over 50 years the Calgary Stampede has been captivating visitors and it keeps getting better every year. Be sure to make it one of the stops on your road trip.
- Banff National Park: Absolutely nothing compares to the Canadian Rockies. So much in fact that these lush forests and majestic mountains often typify the Alberta experience. When glaciers carved this area thousands of years ago, they left behind an area so primal, yet so beautiful it must be seen to be truly appreciated. Known for wildlife and breathtaking views, Banff is a must-see on your road trip list. Be prepared for extreme weather changes throughout the summer, and make sure your camera batteries are fully charged.
- Canadian Badlands: A stark contrast to the forests and glaciers of Banff. For something completely different, you can visit the plains and vistas of a land made beautiful by the eons. The source of some of the best Jurassic and Cretaceous era fossils, over a thousand skeletons have been excavated from the area. Drumheller is a destination for fossil enthusiasts and has been the source of some of the greatest dinosaur fossils yet discovered.
- Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden: At the southern end of Alberta, you will find yourself in a hidden corner of a faraway land. The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is anything but the typical vistas of forests and mountains tourists might expect from Alberta. Canada has been no stranger to cultural diversity; in 1967 the Nikka Yuko Garden was built to celebrate the contribution people of Japanese ancestry have made to the area. Beautiful gardens as well as cultural exhibitions, such as tea ceremonies, architecture, and a full calendar of events will give you a destination to look forward to every weekend of the summer months.
More than just mountains and forests, Alberta has something to offer anyone looking to slake their wanderlust. With such a wide range of climates, biomes, cultures, and attractions to explore, Alberta is sure to keep you busy all summer long with what it has to offer.
JD Collision is there for you if anything unexpected happens on your road trip, such as an impact with an animal, your windshield catches a rock and needs replacement, or you get into an accident (hopefully not while being distracted by the beautiful scenery). Contact us for your collision and impact repair needs. JD Collision can help you get your vehicle back on the road and ready for the long haul.
Always remember to travel responsibly and have a great summer adventure! Follow us on Facebook!