1. The National Parks are FREE for all of 2017!
It’s a pretty well known fact that Canada has some of the most beautiful National Parks on Earth and the majority of those are located in or close to Alberta. Our personal favorites are:
- Banff National Park
- Jasper National Park
- Waterton National Park
But seriously, everyone gets free access for an entire year and you might as well take advantage of it. Those annual passes are normally $160 a pop.
2. Alberta has the bluest lakes
You’ve probably seen photos of Moraine Lake and Lake Louise plastered all over Instagram and noticed how exceptionally blue they are. No, it isn’t Photoshop (for the most part). That crazy blue color comes from glacial silt suspended in the water. Most of the lakes in Alberta are glacier-fed and therefore freezing, but hey – at least they’re gorgeous!
Our other favorite blue/green lakes are:
- Emerald Lake located in Yoho National Park
- Peyto Lake located on the Icefields Parkway
- Bow Lake located on the Icefields Parkway
3. Alberta has the craziest hikes
We’ve written a lot about our favorite hikes in Banff (check it out here) but Alberta is literally FULL of amazing trails. There’s something for everyone:
- Like crawling through tunnels? Try the Crypt Lake hike in Waterton
- Want to traverse across a narrow cliff band holding onto a chain? Check out Mount Yamnuska in Kananaskis
- Looking for a hike where you can grab a bite at the top? Stop by the Lake Agnes Teahouse in Lake Louise
- The list goes on but one thing is for sure: Alberta hikes are never boring
4. Alberta is home to the Stampede
Without a doubt the craziest 10 days of the year, the Calgary Stampede is known as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and it’s definitely just as exciting as it sounds.
For an entire week and a half you can try the most ridiculous foods like:
- deep fried butter… and deep fried pretty much anything (deep fried oreos are actually delicious)
- cricket pizza
- taco in a bag
- pizza on a stick
(check out the ridiculous list of last years food here)
At Stampede you can dress like a cowboy, watch the rodeo and party all the way into the sunrise.
The Stampede isn’t for everyone but it’s definitely helped put Alberta on the map. Also, big name Canadian artists come to play the Coca-Cola stage every year for a FREE concert.
5. Alberta has so much wildlife
Remember that photobombing squirrel that went viral a few years ago? He was Albertan. And he’s got lots of friends and family in Banff National Park.
Check out our Rocky Mountain Animal Checklist and see how many of these creatures you can spot on your adventures!
6. Albertans are extremely friendly
I guess that’s just Canadians in general, but still… who doesn’t like being greeted with a smile everywhere you go?
7. Alberta is gorgeous in all seasons
Alberta is extremely versatile in that it looks absolutely beautiful in any season. I could explain or I could just the photos do the talking.
8. Have you had Alberta beef?
I didn’t realize how spoiled I was with Alberta beef until I tried ordering a steak elsewhere. You can seriously taste the difference.
Do yourself a favour and try one while you’re out here. Banff does some crazy Steak Tuesday deals starting at $6 around town:
9. Alberta is extremely affordable
Compared to our neighbour to the West, Alberta has a much more reasonable tax rate at just 5%. Food and gas are also cheaper so your dollar goes a longer way. I mean, who doesn’t want a cheaper trip?
10. Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year!
Happy birthday, Canada! We’d love for you to come celebrate with us and what better place to do it than in Canada’s oldest and first national park? Yes, I’m talking about Banff.