View Full Version : Traveling to Calgary/Edmonton/Banff/Jasper - Ideas?

07-10-2004, 12:04 PM
We're taking a 2 week trip in August making the Calgary-Banff-Jasper-Edmonton-Calgary loop. Looking forward to visiting Canada again as I spent many weekends in Toronto as a child and have had some wonderful visits to other areas since.

If anyone is familiar with the area I would love suggestions on things to do, places to eat, places to shop (bargain hunting? outlets? local specialties? kids stuff?), and good places for a toddler to stretch her legs.

I'll have a few days alone with DD in each city while DH works. Don't know where we'll be in Calgary but in Edmonton we'll be at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. Any suggestions within walking distance or should I take the car?

I'm a bit concerned about all the driving we have planned as DD doesn't enjoy sitting in the carseat for long stretches. Are there good stops along the Jasper to Edmonton and Edmonton to Calgary paths?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Helen & Mirielle 2/25/03

07-10-2004, 06:51 PM
Well I don't live in Alberta, but have done all of the driving you're doing - although not in one loop and not with little kids.

What I can tell you is when you're in Edmonton, the best place to visit is West Edmonton Mall. http://www.westedmontonmall.com/ You and your daughter will find something to do for sure! There's a wavepool with waterslides, amusement park, hockey rink, minigolf and a submarine ride. Plus tons of shopping. I haven't spent much time in the city of Calgary (always driving through) but the downtown is nice. http://www.visitor.calgary.ab.ca/ will help you research a bit.

The many Fairmont resorts (http://www.fairmont.com) are wonderful to visit while on your drive through the park. The Banff Springs, Chateau Lake Louise and Jasper Park lodge are beautiful hotels. They're expensive I've never stayed there we've always stopped for lunch or just a stretch. http://www.canadianrockies.net another tourist webpage for the Rockies.

Stopping at the Chateau Lake Louise is great because it's right on the lake. There is a walking trail on one side of the lake or you can rent a canoe and paddle along the lake if you prefer.

In Banff again the hotel is a neat place to visit. The town is cute, very touristy and not cheap. One thing to do in Banff is go up the tram http://www.banffgondola.com/ Also the hot springs, but I've never been there. http://www.canadianrockies.net/hotpools.html

As for stops from Jasper to Edmonton - well it's mainly small towns along the way. Hinton and Edson are the biggest (Edson is about half was there) with all the stuff you'd expect. Nothing I can write home about, just places we'd stop for lunch.

Edmonton to Calgary. Well the half way point is Red Deer, a major town, you can find everything here. If I can recall correct, it's around 2 hours for the full trip.

I don't know where any outlets are, we don't really have too many of them. Although, anything you buy in Canada will be automatically cheaper because of the exchange.

And to add, if your interested in one more side trip, Drumheller is quite close and has an amazing dinosaur museum. http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/home/ Drumheller's site: http://www.dinosaurvalley.com/

That's what I can think of right now. I hope I was of some help for you.

07-12-2004, 05:21 PM
You might want to double check on the status of the West Edmonton Mall closer to your trip. A large section of the mall was trashed by a freak storm last night. http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/07/12/canada/edmonton_storm_new040712

07-13-2004, 05:49 PM

I am a Calgarian, so hopefulyl I can help a bit. Right now we are in the heart of Stampede, so everything is a bit loopy here, and there are no hotels with vacancies. Later in the summer, you should have no problem with hotels. The equivalent to the Fairmont in Edmonton is the Fairmont Palliser here. We got married there and it is beautiful. They make you feel very welcome and will go out of their way to help you out. You will also do well at the Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton and Westin, if you want to stay downtown.

Shopping - I am not sure what you mean by bargain hunting. There are a bunch of malls and they are nice and big. Check out Chinook Centre - it just went through a massive renovation and has lots of great stores. It is the biggest in Calgary.

Other activities - you will most enjoy the Rockies - everything else just pales in comparison. You can go to the many parkways here (or in Edmonton the Legislature is nice, as are the river pathways). In Calgary, there is Eau Claire Market and Prince's Island Park within walking distance of any downtown hotel. There is the Calgary Tower and Glenbow Museum. The Zoo is one of the best in North America and I would highly recommend it. We go there all the time - they just renovated the Africa exhibits and they are world-class!

What else... if you need any other recomendations, let me know.

07-14-2004, 01:19 AM
Thanks everyone! I appreciate all the suggestions. The malls, parks and especially the zoo sound perfect. I'll do some reading and may be asking more questions later. :)

Helen & Mirielle 2/25/03