8 Winter Getaways in Alberta

Jan 19 , 2022 · 10 min read

When it’s time to beat the winter blues, a vacation can be just what you need. The beautiful province of Alberta is the perfect place to swap everyday life for some time in a snowy winter wonderland. If you like snuggling up in a cozy cabin or exploring the great outdoors, Alberta has the snowy spot for you.

We’ve written all about the best eight winter Alberta getaways to inspire your next trip. Read on to find out about some awesome Alberta destinations, from the stunning Banff National Park to the lovely Grande Prairie to the charming area of Kananaskis.

Banff National Park

Everyone has heard of Banff National Park with the lovely towns of Banff and Lake Louise. That is because the area is jam-packed with beauty and tourist activities that are especially wonderful in winter. Staying in a luxury ski resort is highly recommended if you are into snowboarding or skiing. Then it’s easy to get the info you need, book ski slope passes and gear and be close to the slopes. 

If you aren’t into skiing, there are plenty of nice hotels, rustic resorts and cute cabins as accommodation in the Banff National Park. Many come with excellent service, hot tubs and hearty menus that make you love winter even more. 

Banff National Park

Ride the Banff Gondola to the peak of Sulphur Mountain for the most epic views of the snow-capped landscape. When you reach the top, you can walk along a boardwalk to Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, which is designated a national historic site of Canada. 

There you can learn about the history and culture of the area at the interpretive centre and have a meal at the restaurant before making the chilly journey back to the base of the mountain.

Grande Prairie

Grande Prairie is a city in northwest Alberta with wide-open spaces to enjoy all winter offers. It is a modern metropolis with all the facilities and surrounding you need for the perfect winter getaway. 

Tobogganing is popular here, with many hills to choose from for all levels of skill and fitness. Mission Heights and Thrill Hill are our top picks. Around the city, you can find walking and hiking trails for wintery adventures, with the 4 km look of Crystal Lake and 2.5 km loop of Pinnacle Ridge Trail being easy enough for families with children. 

Grande Prairie in Alberta

Skating, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and wildlife spotting are more outdoor activities to check out in Grande Prairie. If you want to venture inside, there are shopping, dining, spas and art galleries to discover. 

The Grande Prairie Museum and Heritage Center are also worth a visit. Through interesting exhibits, interpretive displays and educational events, you can learn about the local history of Grande Prairie and the surrounding area. 

Another great museum is the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, entertaining for the whole family. The museum showcases short films and has a unique display of replica dinosaurs that will inspire you to go back to your hotel to watch Jurassic Park again.


As the biggest city in Alberta, you can be sure to find plenty to see and do if an urban winter escape is on your mind. Stay in the downtown area to be near the iconic Calgary Tower, Bow Building, Peace Bridge and Glenbow Museum. The shopping is great and there are plenty of trendy cafes, bars and restaurants to warm up in between shopping sprees. 

At WinSport Tube Park, you can go tubing with a magic carpet to take you to the top of the runs. Prince Island’s Park is a favourite spot for ice skating with tourists and locals alike. If you prefer to watch, the winter action catches the Calgary Flames at an exciting ice hockey game.

Calgary in Alberta

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Calgary is home to many spas where you can get a massage, beauty treatment, or soak away the winter chills in a jacuzzi. The food scene in Calgary is outstanding, with a host of amazing restaurants, bars and cafes to indulge in some wintery beverages and meals to warm your heart.


If you want somewhere a bit quieter than Banff National Park but equally as beautiful and nearby, Kananaskis should be on your list of possibilities. Book a charming lodge in the mountains as a base for your snowshoeing and cross-country ski adventures. Or simply take a brisk hike followed by a homemade hot meal back in the cabin to get your fix of fresh air, exercise and cozy cabin life.

Kananaskis in Alberta

Since the area is so remote, it is great for stargazing, and there are tours, so you have an informative guide to entertain you and ensure your safety at the same time. For winter getaways in Alberta, you have to consider Kananaskis.

Red Deer

If you like ice skating, you are spoiled for choice with 77 indoor and outdoor natural and artificial rinks to choose from. The pond rinks are lovely, while the indoor rinks are great if not everyone in your group is participating. There is plenty more to do in winter in this city located between Edmonton and Calgary.

Check into a ski resort and go skiing, snowboarding and tubing with all the gear easily available for rent. Some resorts offer night skiing for an exciting under-the-stars experience.

Red Deer in Alberta

Sledding is a fun way to hit the slopes more casually. The Rotary Picnic Park is one of the best places for sledding, while Riverside Meadows and Rosedale Greenspace are perfect for tobogganing.

For a more relaxed wintery activity, you can head to Heritage Ranch for a private horse-drawn sleigh ride. Riding through the woods decorated with lights is a special occasion that can be romantic with the right person. At certain times of the year, the Northern Lights are visible in Red Deer and imagine seeing them while on a horse-drawn sleigh ride!

Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake near Red Deer was established in 1891 when Theodore Reder built a dam (the Sylvan Lake Water Dam) across Sunday Gulch Creek. In winter it is a wonderland with lots to see and do.

Ice skating in Sylvan is fun, especially at the free ice skating rink with lights under the ice that turn on after dark. Another unique Sylvan Lake activity is flying down an ice slide. 

It is constructed every February and is free for kids and adults. Then you can rent ice fishing gear and attempt to catch dinner at Sylvan Lake that even has heated ice shacks equipped with fish cams. You might hook walleye, whitefish, or perch and are guaranteed a fun time even if the big one gets away.

Sylvan Lake in Alberta

You can rent snowshoeing gear and book tours of the local area in the town. At the lake, there are plenty of experiences, including snow karting. An ingenious combination of go-karts and snowmobiles, these tough vehicles can handle any terrain and are perfect for cruising around the lake in winter. 

Don’t miss visiting the lake at night when the sparkly lights come on. From December through March, you can see the pretty light display with many areas to walk around the lake, making the “Glitter Walks” a beautiful way to start or end an evening. 


Edmonton, the capital city of scenic Alberta, is popular for travellers looking for winter getaways in Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is pretty every season, especially winter. The vibrant metropolis has festivals and a big Christmas and New Year celebration during winter and many activities, including ice skating and hiking. 

A highlight of your trip to Edmonton will be visiting the hand-crafted Ice Castle that attracts tourists from around the world. The castle with icicles, frozen waterfalls and caves is a true work of art that is as fascinating as it is photogenic.

Edmonton in Alberta

Edmonton is renowned as one of the best places in Canada to spot the elusive northern lights which further makes it a great place for an Alberta getaway. Look north around midnight and you might get to see the colourful lights dancing across the Alberta skies. 

You can join many tours, from ice fishing to food tours and more. If you feel like shopping, the biggest mall in North America is in Edmonton, with an ice skating rink and over 800 stores.

Jasper National Park

Welcome to the biggest national park in the Canadian Rockies and one of the most beautiful winter Alberta getaways. The Jasper National Park is part of UNESCO’s Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. It is also the second-largest dark sky preserve globally, so you should stay up late to go stargazing at least once during your vacation.

Jasper National Park in Alberta

The national park covers a massive area with notable landmarks being Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, Pyramid Island, Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls.

You can miss the awe-inspiring Mount Columbia, the province’s tallest mountain and will probably see wildlife like mountain goats, elk, sheep and deer. Black and brown bears are also common sightings.

Head to more remote areas to connect to nature and truly disconnect from everyday life. Either way, you have endless opportunities to go skiing, snowboarding, hiking, snowshoeing and also dogsledding in winter. The Jasper National Park has something for everyone.

Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park in Alberta

The Glacier Skywalk is a thrilling cliff-edge glass walkway 280 meters off the ground. After that, you can catch a ride on an Ice Explorer, which is a big vehicle taking tours to the Athabasca Glacier. Make time to head up Whistlers Mountain on the Jasper SkyTram for epic views at an elevation of 2,285 meters.

These winter getaways in Alberta are all fantastic ways to spend an extended weekend or longer.

With some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, a road trip through Alberta can be a blissful trip with many photo opportunities. Or you could live the high life and book an exhilarating helicopter sightseeing tour to see Alberta from the air. Wherever you stop to check into your accommodation, there are sure to be scenics hiking trails with an abundance of nature and spacious views.

Your vacation photo album will be loaded with special memories like ice skating on scenic frozen lakes, admiring spectacular snow-covered mountains and getting warm in quaint cabins with hot fires roaring. Remember the frozen waterfall and the calmness as you walked through the prettiest hiking trails ever seen?

Those are just some of the holiday experiences you can discover in Alberta.

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