Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Alberta

Written By: The Planet D

Alberta is Canada’s most beautiful province. I may be biased since I was born there, but it’s hard to compete with the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, and the glistening glacier lakes.

So since we love it so much, we want to share the most beautiful places to visit in Alberta to let you judge for yourself!

Beautiful Places in Alberta

We have traveled a lot of Alberta during every season and can honestly say, it is an amazing year-round destination and one of the most beautiful places in the world! Whether you visit Alberta in winter, summer, spring or fall, you are going to be stunned by its natural beauty.

There are so many iconic places to see in Alberta, it can be difficult knowing where to start, but we are here to help.

These are the most beautiful places in Alberta that we’ve visited with pictures to prove it!

Let’s get started.

Banff National Park

places to visit in alberta winter view of banff
Vermilion Lakes at Sunrise

Banff was Canada’s first National Park and has attracted visitor’s to its hot springs ever since.

Located in the middle of the Rocky Mountains there are incredible views, glacier lakes, and backcountry adventures to be had.

Vermilion Lakes

beautiful places to visit in alberta | vermilion lakes

Visiting the Vermilion Lakes at sunrise in winter creates one of the most beautiful scenes we have ever witnessed. The sky is ablaze as God fingers just out from behind the mountain peaks.

Photographers line up daily for this view and with good reason.

Lake Minnewanka

beautiful places in alberta to visit | lake minewanka
Stargazing at Lake Minewanka

Don’t miss photographing the Vermilion Lakes at sunrise for awesome reflections of Mount Rundle and Lake Minnewanka at night for astrophotography.

Where to stay in Banff:

Lake Louise

alberta places to visit | lake louise
Lake Louise is one of the most popular places to visit in Alberta

Lake Louise is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Alberta.

It is also one of the best places in Alberta in Winter with so many winter activities like snowboarding, dogsledding, pond hockey and snowshoeing.

With Victoria Glacier looming over the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, it is the most photographed place in all of Canada!

No visit to Lake Louise would be complete without hiking out to Moraine Lake, it’s unforgettable scene is featured on the back of the Canadian $20 bill.

Where to Stay in Lake Louise:

Tunnel Mountain

places to visit in Banff

We took a photography tour of Banff in winter and our guide took us out to the famous tunnel mountain where the train tracks curve through the wilderness.

It’s one of Alberta’s most iconic scenes.

Icefields Parkway

best places to drive in alberta | icefields parkway
Icefields Parkway is one of the best places to drive in Alberta

The best way to work your way north in Alberta is to drive the Icefields Parkway. It truly is one of the greatest road trips in the world.

There are so many places to see on the Icelfield’s parkway you’ll want yourself a couple of days to explore it.

Don’t miss stopping at the Athabasca Glacier one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world and take in the view at the Icefields Skywalk.

Columbia Icefield Skywalk

things to do in alberta | icefields skywalk
Columbia Icefields Skywalk

The Columbia Icefields Skywalk has quickly become the most epic viewpoint in Alberta.

The glass-bottomed walkway over the Columbia Icefields dangles 280m (918 feet) above over the canyon surrounded by glaciers and mountains creating an awesome view!

Two Jack Lake

places to drrive to in alberta | Two Jack Lake

Located in Banff National Park, this is a beautiful lake to visit at sunset or late at night for the night skies. Alberta has some of the best skeis in the country, and Two Jack is the places to see them!

Bow Lake

reflections of Bow Lake Alberta Canada
Beautiful Reflections of Bow Lake

There are countless pullovers and viewpoints on the Icefields Parkway to see iconic Alberta lakes such as Peyto Lake, and the stunning reflections of Bow Lake.

Located at the foot of Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake has the most beautiful lake reflection in all of Alberta.

You can hike around the lake or pause to stay at Num ti Jaw Lodge located directly on Bow Lake. It’s a great place to make a base.

Where to Stay on the Icefields Parkway

  • Num Ti Jah Lodge – Historic Lodge located directly on Bow Lake. One of the most unique places to stay in Alberta.

Jasper National Park

things to do in alberta canada | drive the icefields parkway
Incredible drive up the Icefields Parkway

Jasper National Park is a place you cannot miss visiting in Alberta. It is almost more beautiful than Banff National Park if you can believe it!

There are so many places to see in Jasper National Park that you need to spend a few days up here.

Pyramid lake

beautiful places in alberta

Highlights of Jasper include a visit to Pyramid Lake at sunrise, a hike to Sunwapta Falls, and stopping to view the gorgeous Athabasca Falls.

Aurora Borealis at Lake Annette

auroa borealis in Jasper national park

Jasper is known for its dark sky festival and. is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Alberta.

Maligne Canyon

things to do in central alberta canada | malign canyon hike
Maligne Canyon waterfall

Maligne Canyon is a gorgeous river canyon walk that plunges 50 metres (154 feet) into the earth.

Arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds!

Also, this will give you enough time to drive out to Maligne Lake. It is the longest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies.

And the top thing to do here is to take a boat cruise to Spirit Island for a picture-perfect photo opportunity.

Where to Stay in Jasper National Park

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge beautiful views of Lac Beauvert with options to stay in log cabins, huge lake houses and main building hotel rooms.

Alberta Badlands

places to see in canada | alberta badlands
Alberta’s Badlands are beautiful

The Alberta Badlands are a stark contrast to the Rocky Mountains region. The lunar-like landscape is filled unique places to see in Alberta.

There are also some beautiful scenic lookout like Horse Thief Canyon and Horseshoe Canyon.

The Hoodoos of Drumheller are not to be missed.

Hoodoos of Drumheller

unique places to visit in alberta | hoodoos

These ancient hoodoo rock formations are a tiny cluster on the side of the road as you drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park to Drumheller.

Dinosaur Provincial Park is a working excavation site where scientists are still discovering dinosaur fossils and once you reach Drumheller, you can visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum to see all of the dinosaur bones they discovered.

Where to stay in the Alberta Badlands

Waterton Lakes National Park

unique places to stay in alberta | waterton lakes national park hotel

Waterton Lakes National Park (also known as Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park) is an amazing place to visit in Alberta.

It is located on the United States border and shares its land with Glacier National Park.

Together they are the only national parks in the world that are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserve rolled all in one.

You can see a herd of wild buffalo, red rocks canyon, and the Prince Albert Hotel.

Where to Stay in Waterton Lakes National Park

Pincher Creek – Southern Alberta

places to visit in alberta Pincher Creek

Southern Alberta is cowboy country.

Taking you through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the landscape and scenery is as diverse as it gets.

A great place to make a base to explore around Crowsnest Pass for a few days in Pincher Creek/

Burmis Tree

alberta secret places | burmis tree
The Burmis Tree in Crows Nest Pass

When I saw this tree in photographs, I had to make sure I put it to the top of my list of places to visit in Alberta.

Located at Crowsnest Pass (Another must-visit place in Alberta) the Burmis Tree is estimated to be 600 to 750 years old.

Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump

places to drive to in alberta | head smashed in buffalo jiump

Located just 15 minutes from Fort MacLeod is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.

Dating back 6000 years, the early Aboriginal peoples would lure herds of buffalo over the edge of a cliff.

Calgary Peace Bridge

places to visit in calgary

Chances are you’ll be flying into Calgary before you begin your tour of Alberta and it is a fantastic town. There are so many places to visit Calgary we recommend spending a couple of days.

Home to the Calgary Stampede, Calgary is also a chic urban destination with a fantastic food scene.

calgary tourist attractions

It makes for a great base to explore a bit of Cowboy country too.

Some suggested day trips you can do from Calgary are, visit Kananaskis Country, the town of Black Diamond, and the Bar U Ranch.

Suggested places to visit in Calgary: Calgary Tower, Canada Olympic Park, Model Milk,

Where to stay in Calgary:

Canmore

The Beautiful views of Banff Alberta
View of Castle Mountain from a short hiking trail near Canmore

We can’t write about all the places to visit in Alberta without mentioning Canmore. This is the outdoor lovers playground.

It has lots of hiking, biking, and snowshoe trails as well as fantastic viewpoints of the Iconic Castle Mountain.

It’s a great spot for rock climbing in the summer and ice climbing in the winter.

places to visit in alberta in winter | canmore

The Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary is not to be missed and make sure to do some climbing to take in the birds eye views.

Johnston Canyon

banff winter johnston canyon
Johnston Canyon Ice Walk

The scenic Johnston Canyon Icewalk is as beautiful (if not more) in the winter as it is in the summer.

Where to Stay in Canmore

Kananaskis

Sunrise Kananaskis Mountain Lodge

People often overlook Kananaskis for Banff or Jasper but it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Alberta with just as stunning views.

Located between Calgary and Banff, it is a great weekend getaway destination. Be sure to go to the spa at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

Edmonton

places to visit in edmonton

Edmonton is often overlooked when visiting Alberta, but it is a funky town that has one of the the youngest populations in Canada making for a trendy and happening city to visit!

The West Edmonton Mall is a top draw with everything inside you can imagine. It is the size of a small city and makes for a great year-round destination.

Be sure to spend a day or two in Edmonton to take advantage of its burgeoning cocktail bar and food scene, art galleries and museums.

The arts and theatre scene is growing fast with Edmonton hosting the second largest Fringe Festival in the world!

best places to visit in alberta canada
The most beautiful. places to visit in Alberta

Alberta truly is a dream destination. With countless photo opportunities and adventures to be had, it’s one of the greatest places in Canada to visit.

So get in your car and start that Alberta road trip today!

Read More Alberta Travel Planning:

See more Beautiful Places in Canada

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • World Nomads - Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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6 thoughts on “Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Alberta”

  1. I love this guide to all these stunning spots in Alberta! I had no idea Canada had spots like the Alberta Badlands. I can’t wait to make this road trip to see all of Alberta’s beauty in the future. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. First off, the photos look astoundingly surreal and out of this world! It’s like the sceneries were only captured to be viewed on a movie screen! The beautiful art of nature plus great photography equals these masterpieces! Thank you for sharing these beautiful places with us even though it’s only through virtual but you made us inspired and motivated to work our asses off to even just visit this place!

    Reply
  3. Thanks for featuring my province and my hometown of Edmonton! Jasper, Canmore and Banff are my happy places! Truly blessed to have these beautiful and sacred places close to home! Edmonton is finally emerging as a happening place! Great food, theatre, music, shopping and variety of festivals throughout the year!

    Reply