Western Canada is home to two of the country’s most spectacular provinces, British Columbia and Alberta, both of which offer a wealth of things to do, from world-famous events to outdoor adventures and cultural attractions. With such a long list of options, it can be hard to figure out which to squeeze in during a short vacation, which is why you might want to consider searching through some of the Calgary homes for sale. Of course, if that’s not an option, this list of top things to do will help you narrow it down a bit.
Attend the Calgary Stampede
Every July the 10-day Calgary Stampede takes place in Calgary, drawing visitors from across the globe to experience the “Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.” It’s the ideal opportunity to discover the Wild West through cowboy culture, complete with concerts, rodeos, chuckwagon races and much more.
Hike Banff National Park
Banff National Park is not only Canada’s very first national park, but it’s also the most popular, with the latest statistics revealing nearly 4.2 visitors arriving in 2017-2018. It’s renowned for its stunning mountain, lake and waterfall scenery and one of the best ways to experience it is to get out and hike the trails. There are miles and miles of options here, from easy treks on designated trails to big challenges in the backcountry.
British Columbia’s west coast and islands offer opportunities for some of the world’s best whale watching. One of the very top spots is Vancouver Island, from the beautiful B.C. capital of Victoria to remote Telegraph Cove near the north end. Between March and October every year there are thousands of whales migrating through the waters that surround the island, and during the peak of the season, many outfitters guarantee sightings. Southern resident and transient orca whales, humpbacks, gray and minke whales can all be spotted along with a wealth of other wildlife from bears to bald eagles.
Whistler is famous for its skiing and boarding, hosting many events during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Its two mountains, Blackcomb and Whistler, are linked together by the Peak 2 Peak gondola and attract snow sports lovers from around the world. Blackcomb is the preferred pick for strong intermediates and experts, providing an extreme skier’s paradise, but there’s something for everyone here. Whistler Blackcomb spans more than 8,100 acres featuring long mountain trails, terrain parks and other activities like dog sledding and tubing. After a day out in the snow, relax in Whistler Village, which hosts a wealth of restaurants and bars.
Experience Stanley Park in Vancouver
British Columbia’s largest city is one of the world’s most beautiful, tucked between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It’s also home to one of the best city parks – Stanley Park covers a thousand acres and is encircled by a 5.5-mile-long seawall. By walking, biking or running it, you can take in spectacular views of downtown, Lions Gate Bridge and the North Shore Mountains. There are a number of interesting landmarks along the way like a mermaid sculpture called the “Girl in a Wetsuit.” It’s also home to an aquarium, outdoor water park, a heated outdoor pool and a miniature train that will bring you through more than a mile of scenic forest.
Have you visited Western Canada or have other top activities to share? Let us know in a comment below.