"Albertans are well-known for their warmth and easy going western hospitality. Visitors can expect to be welcomed like old friends no matter where they go."
From the vast rolling prairies, and the wide open skies of the central plains, to the arid deserts and stunning formations of the badlands, and the imposing Rocky Mountains looming in the west, Albertans do everything big. With so much space, and so many different environments, you'll never run out of things to do. You can hit the slopes in Banff, one the world's foremost ski destinations, or dig for fossils in Dinosaur National Park in the Albertan badlands. Visit a working ranch and be a cowboy for a day, or get swept up in the excitement of the Calgary Stampede, which attracts more than a million people each year.
Calgary is a modern city, which retains much of its history as a frontier town. Hotel saloons, and western bars can still be found all over the city. Known as the 'Nashville of the North" it has become the center of the country music industry in Canada, but there is much more to Calgary than that. Ethnically diverse, it has a thriving Chinatown, and even its own 'Little Italy'. Home to a number of festivals and events, of which is Stampede is but one, Calgary also hosts Carifest, celebrating Caribbean culture, and the Calgary International Film Festival, featuring the best of international cinema.
Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, also has a thriving cultural scene. The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra has been wowing audiences since 1941 and their music sounds better than ever in the brand-new Francis Winspear Center, which also features artists from nearly every musical genre. The Edmonton Fringe Festival, celebrating alternative theatre and dance, is the largest of its kind in North America, with around 150 troupes and over half a million attendees every year. The West Edmonton Mall is another popular attraction. One of the largest shopping malls in North America, it boasts a staggering amount of shops, restaurants, and movie theatres. There's also a full-fledged amusement park inside, featuring rollercoasters, waterparks, and performing marine life.