The Ultimate Alberta Bucket List: 100 Adventures to Truly Experience Alberta

By Emil Tiedemann

I know just how lucky I am to have been born and raised in Alberta, one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse regions in all of North America. My home province has some of the most stunning scenery you'll find not just in Canada, but around the world, no matter what season we're in. But, despite this, there is so much of Alberta that I have never experienced, and that's just not acceptable. 

I decided to put together "The Ultimate Alberta Bucket List," so that anyone who is interested can use it as a guide to experience the best of what our province has to offer. But also as a way to motivate MYSELF to see and do more in my very own backyard, one sprawling with lush boreal forests, picturesque mountaintops, epic badlands, and legendary lake views. 

This "bucket list" is not perfect, of course, as I've listed off a limited amount of entries (100), but I feel like I've (hopefully) captured the true essence of Alberta in all its glory. There will be omissions, of course, because this list would be endless if I tried to include EVERYthing there is to see and do here! So, as impossible a task as it was, I had to narrow the list down to what you see below (in NO particular order). 

And I purposely left certain experiences off of this list for any number of reasons. For example, I did not include trying any local meat dishes, even though Alberta is famous for its beef and bison, because there are a lot of people who don't eat meat. I also didn't want to fill this list out with a bunch of expensive encounters (for obvious reasons), though there are some entries that are a bit on the pricey side. And although there are going to be a number of these experiences that will be difficult or even impossible for some people with disabilities to participate in, I tried to be as inclusive as possible. 

I know there are going to be a lot of upset Albertans who feel like I should have included this or that, but I believe I found a good balance of our province's natural resources, man-made experiences, and Indigenous roots. I would be honoured if YOU decided to take on this bucket list and challenge yourself to the ultimate Alberta adventure. In fact, to make it easier, I made a downloadable PDF that you can print off and then check off as you go, if you like. 

For any of you who do choose to take on "The Ultimate Alberta Bucket List," please share your experiences here or on social media, and feel free to use the hashtag #ultimateABbucketlist. Happy adventures!!

~ The Ultimate Alberta Bucket List ~

1. Canoe or skate on Moraine Lake

Banff's Moraine Lake (Photo by Nick T.)

Edmonton International Fringe Festival (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

3. Visit the Drumheller Hoodoos

Drumheller Hoodoos (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

4. Go to the top of the Calgary Tower

Calgary Tower (Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno)

Corn maze in Bon Accord (Photo by Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm)

6. Experience the Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis (Photo by Vincent Guth)

Green onion cakes (Photo by Jennifer Bain)

8. Have tea at the Lake Agnes Tea House

Lake Agnes Tea House (Photo by Lake Agnes Tea House)

Cave & Basin National Historic Site (Photo by Kim Payant)

10. Selfie with the Vegreville Pysanka/Easter Egg

Vegreville's Pysanka/Easter Egg (Photo by Wallace Bentt)

11. Raft in the Athabasca River/Falls

Athabasca Falls (Photo by James Kody)

12. Attend a local powwow

Alberta powwow (Photo by Travel Alberta)

St. Albert Farmers' Market (Photo by SAFM)

Columbia Icefield Adventure (Photo by Columbia Icefield Adventure)

15. Gaze at the stars of Jasper Dark Sky Preserve

The stars over Jasper (Photo by Joshua Woroniecki)

Homemade perogies (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

17. Camp at one of Alberta's 600+ lakes

Camping (Photo by Josh Hild)

18. Explore West Edmonton Mall

WEM's World Water Park (Photo by West Edmonton Mall)

19. Spot bison at Elk Island Park

Elk Island Park (Photo by Jonathan Brown)

20. Selfie with Glendon's Giant Perogy

Glendon's Giant Perogy (Photo by Paul Swabey)

The Sulphur Gates in Grande Cache (Photo by David Hebert)

22. Float down the Pembina River in Entwistle

Tubing the Pembina (Photo by Immo Wegmann)

23. Tour "haunted" Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Fairmont Banff Springs (Photo by Zachary Kyra-Derksen)

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park (Photo by David Thielen)

25. Explore Jurassic Forest near Gibbons

Jurassic Forest (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

26. Stroll the UofA Botanic Garden

UofA Botanic Garden (Photo by University of Alberta)

27. Explore the Scandinavian Trail

Scandinavian Trail (Photo by Visit Central Alberta)

28. Traverse the Muttart Conservatory

Muttart Conservatory (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

29. Visit Calgary's National Music Centre

Calgary's Studio Bell: National Music Centre (Photo by Studio Bell)

Vulcan's Starship Enterprise (Photo by Lyle Magnuson)

31. Embark on a "prairie safari"

Alberta wildlife on a "prairie safari" (Photo by Brian Holdsworth)

32. Eat at one of Alberta's "BEST" restaurants

Biera Restaurant (Photo by Biera)

33. Relax on the beaches of Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake (Photo by Town of Sylvan Lake)

34. Have drinks at Wayne's Last Chance Saloon

Last Chance Saloon in Wayne (Photo by Last Chance Saloon)

35. Scuba dive or kayak in Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka (Photo by James Donovan)

36. Participate in an Alberta Polar Plunge

Polar plunging in Henderson Lake (Photo by Tijana Martin)

37. Book a Rocky Mountaineer train ride

Rocky Mountaineer train (Photo by Rocky Mountaineer)

38. Photograph an Albertan grain elevator

A grain elevator in St. Albert (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

39. Take the UofA's free Indigenous Canada Course

The University of Alberta's Indigenous Canada Course

40. Selfie in a canola field

Albertan canola field (Photo by Priscilla Du Preez)

41. Visit the Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

42. Experience the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage

Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage (Photo by Grandin Media)

43. Tour East Coulee's Atlas Coal Mine

Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee (Photo by Travel Alberta)

44. Go fishing in the Bow or North Saskatchewan

The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton (Photo by Darby P.)

45. See a local artist at a local venue

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald @ Starlite Room (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

46. Picnic in Edmonton or Calgary river valley

Edmonton's river valley (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

Heritage Park's Ferris wheel (Photo by Heritage Park)

48. Visit Cochrane's Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary (Photo by Yamnuska)

49. Cross the Jasper Skywalk

Jasper's Skywalk (Photo by Andy Holmes)

Lethbridge's High Level Bridge (Photo by Graham Ruttan)

Helicopter tour of the Rockies (Photo by Alpine Helicopters Inc.)

52. Play at Calgary's Canada Olympic Park

WinSport's Canada Olympic Park in Calgary (Photo by WinSport)

53. Try at least 5 Alberta-made beers

Alberta has dozens of homegrown breweries
(Photo by Jonas Jacobsson)

54. Stroll the Maligne Canyon

Jasper's Maligne Canyon (Photo by Max LaRochelle)

55. Check out the Art Gallery of Alberta

Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

56. Visit the Torrington Gopher Hole Museum

Torrington Gopher Hole Museum (Photo by Travel Alberta)

57. Explore the Frank Slide

The Frank Slide in Crowsnest Pass (Photo by Oxana Lyashenko)

58. Attend a pro sports game

Rogers Place in Edmonton (Photo by Tim Trad)

Fort McMurray's Oil Sands Discovery Centre (Photo by Anthony Chim)

60. Selfie with St. Paul's UFO Landing Pad

St. Paul's UFO Landing Pad (Photo by Travel Alberta)

The Ice Castle in Edmonton's Hawrelak Park (Photo by Ice Castles)

62. Walk across Calgary's Peace Bridge

Calgary's Peace Bridge (Photo by Ahmed Zalabany)

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Photo by Ashlyn George)

64. Explore Rat's Nest Cave in Canmore

Rat's Nest Cave in Canmore (Photo by Trip Advisor)

65. Zipline across Kicking Horse River

Ziplining (Photo by Banff Adventures)

66. Try authentic Taber corn

Taber corn (Photo by CFWE)

67. Sight-see in Peyto Lake

Banff's Peyto Lake (Photo by Samuel Robinson)

Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump (Photo by Government of Canada)

Ice bubbles of Abraham Lake (Photo by David Wirzba)

70. Selfie with Drumheller's giant T-Rex

Drumheller's giant T-Rex (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

71. Visit the Royal Alberta Museum

Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton (Photo by Royal Alberta Museum)

72. Explore Johnston Canyon

Banff's Johnston Canyon (Photo by David Kovalenko)

73. Road trip to an Alberta ghost town

Visit an Alberta ghost town (Photo by Kevin M. Klerks)

74. Climb the Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling Peak in Kananaskis
(Photo by Scott Poulton)

Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions (Photo by APRE)

76. Attend the Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede (Photo by Calgary Stampede)

77. Sip high tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton (Photo by Ryan Stone)

Old Strathcona Farmers' Market in Edmonton (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

Wood Buffalo National Park (Photo by Patricia M. Lachance)

80. Selfie with Mundare's giant sausage

Mundare's giant sausage (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

Alberta Legislature grounds in Edmonton (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

82. Admire the Crescent Falls

Crescent Falls in Clearwater County (Photo by Erik Lizee)

Horseback riding (Photo by Ashlyn Smith)

84. Make your own bannock

Homemade fried bannock (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

85. Dip in the Miette Hot Springs in Jasper

Jasper's Miette Hot Springs (Photo by Travel Alberta)

86. Participate in a winter sport/activity

Snowboarder (Photo by Mattias Olsson)

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (Photo by Explore Edmonton)

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge (Photo by Nikka Yuko)

89. Photograph the wild horses of Alberta

Albertan horse (Photo by Emil Tiedemann)

The Saamis Teepee (Photo by City of Medicine Hat)

91. Visit one of the dinosaur museums

Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller (Photo by Royal Tyrrell)

92. Drive the Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway (Photo by Joshua Earle)

93. Hike or cycle the Crypt Lake Trail

Waterton's Crypt Lake Trail (Photo by Michael Olsen)

94. Check out Fort Edmonton Park

Fort Edmonton Park (Photo by Fort Edmonton Park)

95. Watch the sunset/sunrise at Lake Louise

Banff's Lake Louise (Photo by Nikhita Singhal)

96. Pamper yourself at Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Kananaskis Nordic Spa (Photo by KNS)

97. Trek the Dinosaur Trail

Dinosaur Trail in Southern Alberta (Photo by Travel Alberta)

Banff Gondola (Photo by Hayffield L.)

99. Pit stop at Gasoline Alley

The Donut Mill along Gasoline Alley (Photo by Travel Alberta)

100. Listen to the "Ultimate Alberta Playlist"

Fort Macleod, Alberta-born Joni Mitchell (Photo by Jack Robinson)


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