You can literally see the Canadian Rocky Mountains as your plane lands, so it’s tempting to skip Alberta’s largest city and head straight for the hills—it’s less than two hours from the airport by car.
Lake Louise is an impossibly blue lake just a short drive from Banff town, and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
The Parkway runs all the way up to Jasper National Park, which is at least as worth a visit as Banff, if you have the time.
Canadians know of Alberta as the country’s Wild West, but you might find the fact that Alberta is where you find Canada’s Badlands a bit more surprising.
Drumheller, the largest town in the Badlands in Southern Alberta, provides at least a full day of quirky fun, if only because Alberta is home to the world’s largest (fake) dinosaur.