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Visit these Canadian Rockies Towns
Looking for a unique and charming small town to visit in Alberta, Canada? You’ll be spoilt for choice with these 9 great options. From exploring the outdoors to enjoying the best shopping and dining in the province, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next adventure today with our list of the best small towns in Alberta!
A (Brief) History of Alberta, Canada
Alberta is a province in western Canada. Its capital city is Edmonton, and its largest city is Calgary. Alberta is the fourth most populous province in Canada with a population of 4,067,175 as of 2016. It is bordered by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the U.S. state of Montana to the south. Alberta is one of three Canadian provinces and territories to border only a single U.S. state and is also one of only two landlocked provinces in Western Canada.
Alberta’s economy is the sixth largest in Canada, with an estimated GDP of $158 billion in 2015. Alberta is home to the second largest oil sands deposit in the world, behind only Venezuela, and the province has the third largest reserves of crude oil in the world. The energy sector makes up a large part of Alberta’s economy, and the province is a major producer and exporter of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and electricity. Other important industries in Alberta include agriculture, forestry, tourism, and manufacturing.
The first people to inhabit what is now Alberta were the Blackfoot, Cree, and Assiniboine. The area was explored by Europeans in the late 18th century, and it became a part of the Northwest Territories when they were created in 1870. When the Canadian government opened the west for settlement in the late 19th century, Alberta was one of the first areas to be settled. The province was originally named “District of Alberta” and was a part of the Northwest Territories until 1905 when it became a province.
Alberta has a diverse landscape, with mountains, forests, prairies, and badlands. The province is also home to Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, is the cultural and governmental centre of the province. Calgary is Alberta’s largest city and is the economic engine of the province. Other major cities in Alberta include Lethbridge, Red Deer, and Medicine Hat.
Alberta is a province with a rich history and a bright future. The province is home to some of Canada’s most important natural resources and is a major contributor to the country’s economy. Alberta is also a beautiful place to live, with a diverse landscape and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you’re interested in its history, its economy, or its natural beauty, Alberta is a province that has something to offer everyone.
The List of the Best Small Towns in Alberta
Having the great fortune to travel throughout the Canadian Rockies, there are 9 towns within reasonable distance of one another that I’ve found to be perfect destinations. If you only have a limited time in the Rockies, these towns are ideal for enjoying at least a week in the mountains and the badlands.
Banff: Located In The Heart Of The Canadian Rockies
Banff is a beautiful town that’s perfect for those who love the great outdoors. From hiking and biking trails to camping and fishing, there’s no shortage of things to do here. And, of course, you can’t visit Banff without taking a scenic drive or two through the stunning mountain landscape.
Whenever I am in Canada I try to visit Banff with its population of 7,500 and its stunning placement inside a ring of majestic mountains. There are so many things to do in Banff, not the least of which is eating in some of the over 200 restaurants! Banff is inside a national park, which regulates the township’s ability to expand, keeping it quaint and livable. Only two hours ride from the Calgary Airport, Banff is a snap to reach once you’ve landed.
One drawback for me is during the peak months of July and August when the shops and attractions are flooded with visitors, as bespeaks a good resort town. The winter months can also be busy with skiers who find that Banff’s easy access to the slopes at Norquay, Sunshine, and Lake Louise make it an ideal base camp. You can get a Tri-Area Lift ticket for all three of these great ski locations and enjoy yourself with a variety of downhill challenges. If you don’t ski, winter is still great in this town, as there are many other types of activities to participate in.
Accommodations are easy to find and prices vary, so you are sure to find something that fits your budget.
Note to potential traveler: If you are interested in hiking the west end areas of Banff National Park, such as Paradise Valley, Beehives, Lake Agnes, Larch Valley, and the Plain of Six Glaciers, realize that you will be a bit far if you are staying in the Banff townsite, which is located at the east end of Banff National Park.
Canmore, Alberta: Why You Should Visit This Cozy Town
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Canmore is the perfect place for you. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, this small town is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities. Canmore is just outside the national park and as such, provides reasonably priced accommodations. The town has about 10,000 inhabitants and is a bit less touristy than the neighboring Banff townsite. Only 1 ¾ drive from Calgary Airport, Canmore is easy to reach and well worth the stay. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a picnic in one of the many parks, you’re sure to fall in love with this place.
Note to potential traveler: During the winter months ski shuttle buses are fewer in Canmore than in Banff townsite. You will also be farther from prime scenery and hiking trails that are prevalent around Lake Louise. If you have rented a car, this should be no problem as all areas are highly accessible during summer, spring, and autumn when the roads are safe and clear.
For more information on Canmore, please go to CanmoreKananaskis.com.
Jasper: A Nature Lover’s Paradise
Jasper is a great little mountain resort town, with a population around 4,500. It is actually one of my favorite towns in the Canadian Rockies, with amazing scenery, great things to do, and the sensation that you can get to know everyone if you lived there for a few months. The only problem I have with Jasper is that, like Banff townsite, it can become very crowded during July and August and you need to make reservations for a place to stay well in advance.
Jasper is the perfect destination for those who love to explore the great outdoors. With its stunning mountain views and abundance of hiking and biking trails, it’s no wonder this town is a popular choice for nature lovers. In addition to its natural beauty, Jasper is also home to some of the best restaurants and shops in the province, so you can
However because Jasper is 4 hours from Edmonton International Airport and 5 ½ hours from Calgary Airport, many vacationers choose to go to Banff, which is closer. So, although there are many tourists, Jasper is still more quiet than Banff townsite in the summer.
Lake Louise: Discover The Iconic Waters
Lake Louise is a very special resort village, with a population of only 1,000 people. Classified as a “settlement,” this village lacks a school, hospital, or church, but it does have what I consider one of the most important elements for a good travel destination: great restaurants! Besides the good eating, Lake Louise is situated right in the heart of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Canadian Rockies.
There are trails galore, and to take a hike in spring, summer, or fall, is to fall in love with the sublimity of nature’s gifts. In the winter, there are great outdoor opportunities, such as skiing, skating, riding a horse-drawn sleigh, or my personal favorite, going for a dog sled ride. Accommodations are more expensive than in other areas within the Canadian Rockies, and many people find the village too quiet during the winter months. But if you are not daunted by either of these factors, Lake Louise is idyllic. Plus the village is only 2 ¾ hours from Calgary Airport, 3 hours from Jasper, and a 45 minute drive from Banff townsite.
For more information on Lake Louise, please go to DiscoverLakeLouise.com.
Drumheller: Discover The Badlands Of Alberta
Drumheller is a town in southeastern Alberta, Canada. It is located in the Badlands and has a population of over 2,000 people. Drumheller is known for its unique landscape and its many outdoor activities. The town has a number of parks and recreation areas, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
If you’re looking for things to do, you can go hiking or biking in one of the nearby parks, go horseback riding in the Badlands, or take a scenic drive through the Canadian Rockies. You can also go skiing or snowboarding at one of the nearby ski resorts.
In addition to its incredible views, Drumheller is also home to a number of interesting museums and attractions, making it the perfect place to learn about the area’s history and culture.
Lethbridge: Alberta’s Sunniest City
Lethbridge is a city in southern Alberta, Canada. It is the fourth largest city in the province with a population of over 92,000 people and is known for being the sunniest city in the province. Lethbridge is known for its many parks and trails, as well as its vibrant arts and culture scene. There are several museums and art galleries in the city, as well as a variety of live performances to enjoy.
If you’re looking for things to do outdoors, Lethbridge is also a great place to visit. With over 200 parks and green spaces, there’s plenty of room to explore. And if you love to shop, you’ll be happy to know that Lethbridge has several shopping districts full of unique stores and boutique shops.
Waterton Lakes: An Oasis In The Mountains
Waterton Lakes is a national park located in southwestern Alberta, Canada. It is known for its scenic beauty, as well as its diverse wildlife. The park is home to over 60 different mammal species, including bighorn sheep, elk, and mountain goats. Waterton Lakes also has a large number of bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. In addition to its wildlife, the park also offers stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.
And if you’re looking for things to do, there are plenty of hiking trails, canoeing and kayaking routes, and other outdoor activities to enjoy. In addition, the town is also home to a number of great shops and restaurants.
Fort McMurray: A City Unlike Any Other
Fort McMurray is a city in northeastern Alberta, Canada. It is the largest municipality in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the fifth largest city in Alberta. Fort McMurray is known for its oil sands industry, as well as its scenic views of the Athabasca River. The city also has a number of parks and recreation areas, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
If you’re looking for things to do, you can take a walk through one of its many nature trails. The town is home to a number of interesting attractions and museums, including the world’s largest mine, the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, and the Fort McMurray Heritage Park. You can also go skiing or snowboarding at one of the nearby ski resorts.
In addition to its many tourist attractions, Fort McMurray is also a great place to live, with a number of quality schools and a thriving economy.
Medicine Hat: A Unique Canadian Town
Medicine Hat is a city in southeastern Alberta, Canada. It is the seventh largest city in the province with a population of over 63,000 people. Medicine Hat is known for its sunny weather and beautiful scenery. The city has a number of parks and recreation areas, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for things to do, you can visit one of Medicine Hat’s many museums or take a walk through one of its many nature trails. You can also go skiing or snowboarding at one of the nearby ski resorts.
If you’re looking for a place to explore the great outdoors or experience some of the best shopping and dining in the province, Medicine Hat is the perfect destination for you.
Alberta is a province that has something for everyone. From its stunning scenery to its thriving economy, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit this beautiful Canadian province. These are just a few of the many great small towns that Alberta has to offer. Each town has its own unique charm and attractions that make it worth a visit.
Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors or experience some of the best shopping and dining in the province, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for in one of these small towns. So if you’re looking for a place to call home, or just looking for a great place to visit, be sure to check out one of these small towns in Alberta. You won’t be disappointed! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Alberta today!