The Province of Alberta has high plains landscape and amazing national parks. Jasper National Park and Banff National Park are located in the western region of the state where the Rocky Mountains form a natural barrier between Alberta and British Columbia. The top one-third of Alberta is covered in dense forests. It is a region where it is not unusual to have frost free weather for less than 3 months of the year. It is the lower region of the state that is suitable for farming and cattle grazing. And this is where the Calgary Stampede originated. The majority of the towns are located south of the Athabasca River and east of the Rocky Mountains. The main cities are Edmond and Calgary. Located within the state are numerous Indian Reserves which cover over 1.6 million acres. Their ancestry originates from the Algonquian, Athabaskan or Siouan tribes.

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Alberta Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Canada

Known for its cowboys, country music and the Rocky Mountains, Alberta is truly a great place to enjoy a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The province sits in the Prairie region of Canada, and although known for its raw natural beauty, the province itself has something to offer for everyone. From nature lovers to those who love to shop, Alberta is home to it all. In this article, we are going to be looking at the geography, the culture, the history and of course some great landmarks that you need to visit when you travel to Alberta. Now make sure you have your dancing shoes on, because if you time it right we might be heading to ‘berta during Stampede!

Alberta Geography

Alberta is one of ten provinces in Canada, and sits between the westernmost province British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the east, Northwest Territories sits to its north, and to the south is Montana in the United States. The province is home to a diverse biology and features mountains, glaciers, foothills, lakes, rivers, forests, badlands, wetlands. The north is heavily forested, and the ground is rich with peat moss. The south enjoys grassland which makes for great farmland and cattle pastures. The west features the Rocky Mountains and its many wonderful natural features. The east is home to parkland and is rich with tradition. The population is centrally located in the two major cities, Edmonton and Calgary, both great communities that are just over a million people each. Alberta has it all, and if you are looking for a truly amazing experience, Alberta is where it can happen

Alberta History and Culture

"The Spirit of Alberta" is something that the province has focused on for its culture. The program celebrates the plain first nations, as well as the various ethnic groups that now call Alberta home. More than a dozen languages can be heard being spoken along the streets of any Alberta town. Albertans, for the most part, can be described as strongly independent and entrepreneurial.
The cowboy culture is something that is not only found in Alberta, but the people of this rich province have been celebrating this way of life for years. The culture of the cowboy brings with it a strong relation to the horse, and of course the cattle that they are ranching. Alberta beef is the pride and joy of many in the region and is some of the best beef you will enjoy north of Texas. In fact, every Summer the best show on earth overtakes Calgary, the Calgary Stampede. Home to chuckwagon racing, bull riding and a whole host of other rodeo events, the Stampede is always a guaranteed amazing time.

Another thing that is on the rise in Alberta is the culture of distilling. If you are one to love whiskey, Alberta is quickly becoming known for its amazing small-batch distilleries. You will need to search them out, but once you discover what Alberta is hiding in the foothills, you will quickly see why so many have discovered this hidden gem.

The First Nations of the area have called Alberta home for years, and the plains first nations continue to enjoy a more traditional way of life. These people did not have permanent settlements, but rather they followed the buffalo herds and found places to camp over the winter. This way of life dominated modern day Alberta for years, until the first contact with the Europeans. By the mid 18th century, Alberta was home to a growing fur trade that employed French, English and First Nation communities to support the fur industry back in Europe. However, Alberta continued to be a bit of a wild west area with the various gold rushes, and fur trading industries in its heartland. By 1885, the CPR was nearing completion across the country, which opened up modern-day Alberta to a large number of settlers looking for spots of land. Large groups of German, Ukrainian and Scandinavians soon made their home in the foothills of Alberta and their effect is still felt today. Alberta joined the dominion of Canada in 1905, and since then Alberta has been an important part of Canadian development over the past hundred years.

Alberta Landmarks

Rocky Mountain National Parks
Alberta is home to Banff and Jasper National Park, and although separate national parks, they are both worth a visit. The historic towns of Banff, Jasper and Lake Louis offer a quaint experience within the Rocky’s that allows for even the most seasoned skier a great experience. Make sure to visit the famous chateaus and enjoy an afternoon tea while enjoying the some of the best sights in all of the country. For those who like to be a little more adventurous, cat and Heliskiing are always a great option on the mountains that surround these amazing little towns.

Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology
No matter if you are a kid, or a kid at heart, the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology will be an enjoyable experience by all. You will get to experience one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs, as well as witness active digging sites alongside the Alberta badlands. If you are super lucky, you might be able to jump on a dig with some other volunteers for the day searching for the next great Palaeontology find!

Beaver Hill Dark Sky Preserve
This 300-square kilometre dark sky preserve is a once in a lifetime experience for those who are not used to seeing the sky without artificial life. Just a short drive away from Edmonton, the Beaver Hill Dark Sky Preserve encompasses Elk Island National Park and the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Park to give you the best view of the night sky in the province. Whether you are taking in the beauty from a campfire with smores or attending the annual Star Party in September, Beaver Hill will provide you with a sight like no other. If you are in Alberta for a bit, a trip to Beaver Hill is always worth it on a clear summer night.