Start your trip to Alberta in the cosmopolitan city of Calgary. Nicknamed “Cowtown” for its pioneering past, it still hosts events like the Calgary Stampede – Canada’s largest rodeo and agricultural festival, which gives the city just a little bit of that non-nonsense, honky-tonk appeal. Yet, in direct contrast, you’ll also find this city has become one of the nation's trendiest cities, filled with high-end restaurants, swanky cocktail bars, and upmarket boutiques. All in all, it's the perfect place to base yourself for exploring Alberta’s internationally-renowned wilderness. Head northwest to Banff, Canada’s oldest national park, covering over 4000 square miles of countryside, this stretch of land features pristine forests, mirrored lakes, and the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains. You can swim in the turquoise waters of the legendary Lake Louise, explore glistening glaciers, or unwind in Miette Hot Springs. Then take the Icefield Parkway north through dramatic snow-capped mountain peaks to Jasper National Park. Along the way, you’ll pass the impressive Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains. Here, you can see Maligne Lake with its exquisite colour, go the iconic Spirit Island, or marvel at Maligne Canyon with its steep limestone cliffs. On your adventure, you may also spy wild animals like grizzly bears, cougars, or wolves.