It’s pretty incredible when the first thing you see when you open your eyes is a grizzly bear. There are few moments in life that evoke fervid emotions and even fewer that entice that moment to linger.
Canada is one of those places that these moments happen multiple times a day, every day. How often can you drive up to an alpine glacial lake, experience rainfall and sunshine and a spectrum of emotions? The answer is every day in Canada. Every day.
Things to Do and See in Alberta
1. Banff National Park
This is why many people travel to Alberta, and fun fact, this was Canada’s first National Park. The lakes in this National Park and some of the most visited in the world and are known for their vivid, striking blue color and snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the background.
If you’re visiting, be sure to stop at Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Two Jack, and Lake Minnewaka — regardless of the time of year. As you make your way to each of these natural sites, you’ll be driving on the Icefields Parkway — voted in the top 10 most scenic drives IN THE WORLD.
For summer vacations, there are endless outdoor activities to be had in Alberta! Hike your way to the top of the Canadian Rockies, paddle by canoe through the glass-like lakes, and take the gondola to the top at Lake Louise to spot wildlife from above.
MORAINE LAKE PHOTO
As we all know, the winter months in Canada are a snow sport lovers paradise. Carve your way down one of the three ski resorts inside Banff National Park; Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay, and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Again, these are some of the best ski resorts in Alberta, and definitely a must do in winter.
For any time of the year, the small towns of Banff and Canmore has so, so much to offer and are exactly what you picture when you’re dreaming of your vacation up in the mountains. Chock full of picturesque cabins, overtly-friendly locals, funky little cafes and eateries and best of all, surrounded by nature.
Walk 3 minutes out of Canmore and the Bow River is sweeping through the landscape and the area has plenty of walking trails for an after dinner stroll, or something more vigorous.
BOW RIVER PHOTO
Just outside of Canmore are loads of hikes. A fairly easy one is to Grassi Lakes. Make your way up there and be rewarded with some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen.
GRASSI LAKES PHOTO
Take a 5 minute drive out of Banff, and there you’ll find the Bow River again, winding its way through the lush landscape with plenty of wildlife. The nearby Vermillion Lakes are a wonderful spot to get to early in the morning to catch a glimpse at some of the wild animals, like moose, elk, otter and bears, splashing through the water and munching on grass. Don’t miss out on the Banff Upper Hot Springs — anytime of year!
Things to Do and See in Jasper National Park
The Icefields Parkway, the same highway that goes through Banff, will take you further north into Jasper National Park.
Depending on what activities you would like to do and what kind of rental car you have, plan your trip accordingly. While many of us would expect clear, sunny skies in June and July, Canada is not called The Great White North just because it sounds cool. Visiting in June, you may still have plenty of snowy and rainy conditions and be unable to get very far up into Jasper without 4 wheel drive. No joke.
MORE HERE AFTER TRIP TO JASPER IN AUGUST