As summer approaches what is one thing on everyone’s mind? Travel of course! Getting out to discover the world, experience new cultures and grow from within. But you have one problem; your bank account doesn’t agree. With Alberta as your backyard, a multitude of adventures lie at your feet. So, what are your travel destination plans for summer? Road Trips! I challenge you to discover your province. You’ll feel like you’re across the world when you are only a few hours away from home. There is something to discover in every corner. Here are a few to get you started.
1. Love wine?
You don’t have to go to Greece to visit a winery; Alberta is home to Spirit Hills Winery. They are located in Millarville, Alberta, which is only one hour south west of Calgary. Because Canada is not the best climate to grow grapes Spirit Hills Winery’s wines are grape free. Take a drive down to learn about grape-free wine, and experience an array of fruit wines in their European like tasting room.
2. Dinosaurs and Hoodoos
When you were a kid dinosaurs were the name of the game. Now that you are an adult you can actually go check them out and learn about them in a fun and interactive way. Don’t forget to check out the Hoodoos while you are in Drumheller. The landscape is definitely different than that of the mountains. You’ll be asking yourself if you are really in the same province.
3. Rocky Mountains
Speaking of mountains, the Rocky Mountains are an international destination. People literally come from all around the world to hike, ski, snowboard and simply just to see them. Lucky for Albertans, they are in our backyard! Head to the mountains and hike Sulphur Mountain or Johnston’s Canyon for an easy, but beautiful hike. Not only are the views stunning, you’ll be off your butt getting some exercise in as well. Your mind and your body will thank you.
4. We the North
Alberta is huge! Edmonton is only the half-way point. What is in the north you ask? Landscape that is breathtakingly beautiful, which makes it a perfect place for camping. Nature is said to be calming and therapeutic; perfect for a vacation. So grab a tent, some pals and head up north for a camping trip. Just wait until the sun goes down; those stars though! Being that far away from light pollution you’ll be able to see the stars clearly. Who knew there were so many! The north offers 24-hour entertainment and the most expensive part is the gas to get there. Count me in!
5. U-Pick Farms
Get your Martha Stewart on by picking your own berries then baking hundreds of pies! Just kidding, you don’t need to pick that many. There are a ton of u-pick farms across the province. Take a day trip and check out Happy Acres U-Pick or The Blooming Fields. Just make sure you do a quick web search to ensure they have what you are looking for; different farms offer different produce. An added bonus is helping local businesses thrive during the economic downturn.
6. Cave Tours
One of the best parts of traveling to other countries is going on adventure tours. Little did I know, you don’t have to travel across North America to go on an adventure tour! Canmore offers Cave Tours all year long. They have three caves you can check out including Rats Nest Cave, Gargantua Cave and Nakimu Cave. Hiking through caves is definitely not your everyday walk in the park.
7. Zip Lining
Zip line in Alberta, no way? Yes way! Alberta has three locations to zip line including WinSport in Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise. Make a day trip or tack it on to another trip, whatever the case get out there for an opportunity to catch the birds eye view of Alberta.
8. River Rafting
In need of an adrenaline rush? White water rafting is sure to get your heart pumping. Canadian Rockies Adventures offers river rafting the whole family can enjoy. Wear your helmet and hang on tight for the ride of your life; no wet-suits required!
9. Yoga Retreats
Summer is a great time to pursue a journey of self-discovery; isn’t that half the reason we travel? Travel allows for inner growth, and participating in a yoga retreat definitely caters to just that. You’ll enhance the connection between mind, body and soul. The Fairmont Lake Louise offers yoga retreats throughout the year. There is a yoga retreat to suit every need; find one that suits your lifestyle. Namaste.
10. Where’s the beach?
For a low-key, chill day head to the beach. Alberta has an abundance of beautiful lakes. Regardless of where you are in the province it’s a sure bet a lake is only a short drive away. Some of the most beautiful lakes include Sylvan Lake, Devonshire Beach at Lesser Slave Lake, Elbow River, Johnson Lake, Quarry Lake, Herbert Lake and Long Lake Provincial Park beach; just to name a few. Pack a picnic, a blanket, some brews and head out to soak up the sun.
Regardless of what your in to, Alberta has something to offer everyone. This summer you don’t need to leave the province to travel; travel in your own backyard. Who are you going to discover Alberta with?