Picture Taken from Drumheller Tourism Board
Edmonton has so much to do, from the numerous amounts of festivals the cities hosts every year, to the great nightlife and the awesome restaurants, as well as its art galleries and music concerts, there really isn't a shortage of things to do while in Edmonton. That being true, there is something to be said about taking a little vacation from it all, and what better way to do that than to visit the amazing province Edmonton is located in: Alberta. Alberta is home to world famous natural landscapes, from the glorious rocky mountains to the amazing and awe striking terrain of the Alberta badlands. While there obviously is so much to see in Alberta (the province is bigger than most European countries), we have managed to create a small list of must –do trips for UAlberta students who just need to get away from it all.
Drumheller (Dinosaur Country)
Drumheller is a town that is located about 3.5 hours away from Edmonton. The area that Drumheller is located, called the Red Deer River valley, is often referred to as Dinosaur Valley because of the amount of significant fossils that have been found in the area and Drumheller itself is home to the world famous Royal Tyrrell Museum which is home to Canada’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils. The museum itself takes up a lot of time to look through because everything is just so interesting, but make sure to take some time to explore the beautiful badlands landscape the surrounds Drumheller. Also it is imperative that you visit the “World’s largest Dinosaur”, which is a 26.2 meters (86 ft) high fiberglass Tyrannosaurus rex that can be entered for a view of the Badlands. The pictures you will take home from this trip alone will be well worth the drive from Edmonton.
There is no way that you can live in Alberta and not see the rocky mountains at least once a year. They are absolutely breathtaking, and the scenery is world famous for its beauty. While Banff is known for its winter sports, the area does offer a number of other excursions and things to do for those who do not necessarily like to ski or snowboard. You can relax in the Banff Hot Springs, shop around Banff’s scenic main strip, white water raft in the summer, take in the mountainous beauty first hand by hiking, or even do a dog sledding tour of you’re up to it!
Edmontonions jokingly like to think there is never a reason to visit their city rival, Calgary. Originally Edmonton and Calgary were both considered at one point to be the capital of Alberta, with Edmonton winning out in the end. While Edmonton is pretty great, making a weekend trip to Calgary can be fun. Taking in their many museums and interesting night life makes for an eventful weekend and make sure to make a stop at the Calgarian favorite Pete’s Drive In which offers the thickest milkshakes around, with hundreds of different flavors, perfect for the road trip back home to Edmonton.
About a 30 minute drive from the city of Banff, Lake Louise, named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta who was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, boasts majestic sceneries that include a crystal clear turquoise lake that finds its source in old glaciers in the beautiful rocky mountains that flank it. Visitors come from all over the world to ski around Lake Louise and in the summer it becomes a hiking hotspot. The world class Fairmount Hotel that is situated right on the Lake Louise lake front is well worth the splurge, and even if you can’t stay the night be sure to go in an enjoy a nice cup of hot coco while looking out into the beautiful scenery.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Going to Waterton would most definitely requires a long weekend as it is about 5 hours away from Edmonton, but the distance you would have to travel is well worth it as Wateton is the only place in the world that has status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserve. Unlike Banff, where you are apt to see many tourists, Waterton has still managed to remain fairly free of crowds and your more than likely to see more wildlife than your are people during your trip.
By: Nathalie Batres