Alberta, bordered by the Canadian Rockies and British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, is a favorite destination due to its variety of tourist attractions and varied landscapes. The Northwest Territories loom to the north, and Montana lies to the south. The province was established in 1905, the same year as Saskatchewan. Summers are hot and dry, and winters can be extremely cold due to arctic weather systems. In fact, the north has a subarctic climate, so those visiting northern Alberta will need to bundle up in warm layers. To the southeast, the Canadian Badlands are a great place for tourists to view Alberta's history and pre-history.
Edmonton is Alberta's capital, and it is located near the center of the province. The city has more than 30 festivals every year, including the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. There are more than 84 golf courses, and Edmonton's River Valley is the largest urban park in North America. The West Edmonton Mall has over 800 shops, 10 eateries and 10 attractions, making it one of the top Alberta attractions for visitors who enjoy shopping. The city also has a large and vibrant arts community with 20 theatre companies and many art galleries.
Calgary, the site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, is a food lover's paradise. Held every year, The Big Taste is an event that brings diners to more than 70 participating restaurants to savour new culinary delights. The city is also home to Calaway Park, western Canada's largest amusement park, where visitors can ride roller coasters. The Calgary Tower stands 160 metres over the city and is one of the most popular Alberta attractions.
Banff gets up close with the Rocky Mountains and glacier-fed lakes. The city is located inside Banff National Park, a favorite destination for skiing, snowshoeing and dog sledding. Banff also has its share of festivals, including the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival. Sleigh rides are a favorite activity when visiting Alberta - and a great way to see the town - just bundle up first!