It's hard to think of leaving a province like Alberta when it has so much beauty and adventure to offer. Yet sometimes its time for a break, a siesta in the park or a walk among ruins. There are aspects of Albertan culture reflected in destinations around the world. Whether it's a steak in Tennessee or exploring the mountains of the Yukon, there are many destinations to travel to that remind us of and perhaps enhance our Alberta experience.
These destinations are still unique, offering a break and rejuvenation, and add on to things that Albertans already love. Here is a list of nine irresistible travel spots that Albertans can travel to when looking for a break.
Nashville, Tennessee - For The Country-Style Hospitality
You haven’t experienced country music until you’ve walked down Broadway in Nashville and popped into a bar playing it live. Restaurants host live bands that can be spotted through long glass windows and heard from across the street. With music that will have you groovin’ to the rhythm and topped off with traditional country meals, it doesn’t get more country than Nashville. Dine at the city’s top rated burgers at National Underground accompanied by some delicious grilled potato chips. If there’s room for partyin’ after, walk into one of the traditional country clubs and dance the night away.
The Yukon - For The Wilderness
Think Banff National Park is as big as it gets? Think again. With landscapes stretching up to almost three times the size of Yoho and Banff National Park combined, the Yukon will leave you mesmerized. As you drive to Dawson City, the birthplace of the Klondike Gold Rush, or take on an adventure on the irresistible Dempster Highway, remember that you may have a greater chance of running into a grizzly bear than another car. Take in the mountains, eat some sourdough bread and relish the landscapes that inspired works of many artists including the The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service. The Yukon is one of the rare places in the world where you can climb a mountain that hasn’t been attempted before and a land that beckons you to get in lost in it. An ode to the truly vast Canadian landscape, the Yukon is raw wilderness waiting to be explored.
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Montreal - For The Music If there’s any industry Canada is known for (besides Energy and maybe politeness) it's music. And anyone who has hung out at the Calgary Stampede or Edmonton Folk Music Festival, knows we like our music. The Festival Intl. de Jazz de Montreal is the ultimate celebration of Canada’s music scene. With almost 70 per cent of free outdoor shows and a two block radius dedicated to tunes, we know why this festival made the list of being the largest in the Guinness World Records. Not into Jazz music? Don’t fret - 40 per cent of the music isn’t jazz and this festival guarantees to be a party of a lifetime. Top that off with Montreal's authentic French aura and you’ve got the perfect getaway. The festival will be held from June 28-July 17 in 2013.
South America -For The Exotic While there is a lot of beauty to the north of us, taking a vacation to somewhere completely different is a must have on the travel list. Why not venture down south to discover a land truly foreign. Some Spanish, cocoa tea and the mist of the rain-forest can only mean good things. With diverse food for you palette and changing scenery for your eyes, exploring South America means a vacation for all your senses. With the Andes in Chile and sizzling Tango in Argentina to the vivacious rain-forest and breathtaking beauty of Machu Picchu in Peru, you can’t go wrong with a flight down south. And who knows, you may just discover that the land is not so foreign after all.
Amsterdam, Netherlands - For The Cyclist With bike lanes popping up everywhere and local bakeries being the trendy spots in town, a green sub-culture is on the rise in Alberta. As an eco-friendly culture blooms here, Amsterdam is a city that will show you the way. With beautiful canals and thousands and thousands of bike lanes, Amsterdam is an Albertan cyclist's dream. The two wheelers are really the king of the street here, often brushing past pedestrians and traffic. With bike signals, parking lots and everything bike friendly, Amsterdam is the place to be for those who love their two wheels. Enjoy a canal tour while you're there, that lets you wander through the ancient transportation system and revel in the beauty of the quaint houseboats. Or walk through the city where the detailed architecture tells a story of the city's past. Be sure to stop by local bakeries and try the heavenly fries from Manneken Pis., a surprisingly pleasant treat from a simple dish.
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Australian Outback - For A Challenge Maybe its time for the cowboy in you to find a new challenge. And if there is any challenge Australia has to offer to cowboys, its the Outback. Be reminded of the Aboriginal history as you take in the fiery sunsets and sand filled landscapes. Albertans who love camping can find spots to pitch their tent under the stars. Jump on a bull at a local rodeo, drink at rustic pubs and conquer this wild terrain.
Cape Town, South Africa - For The Fishing Alberta is known for being a world-class destination for fishing, thanks to the Bow River and many Albertans can't wait to get out on the water. Known as one the most beautiful cities on earth, Cape Town graciously lives up to the name. With stunning views and a never ending coastline, Cape Town is a vibrant and upbeat place to be. Albertans who love to fish will get to take it to a whole new level here. A coastline brimming with tuna and known for tough fish, this catch will make you proud like no other. Travel up to Table Mountain after for breathtaking views of the city and some time to relax. Say hello to the penguins that roam about at Boulders Penguin Colony before you head out of town for an African wildfire safari. With exotic wildlife and an equally exotic coastline, the only thing that tops it off is the cuisine.
The Baja California Peninsula - For The Driving Albertans love their cars and taking control of the road. With nearly 1,290 kilometers extending from southern United States to Mexico, this wild and isolated land is a driving mecca. A rugged adventure on four wheels, visitors can hit the road for the drive of a lifetime. Go prepared, as gas stations can be sparse and the need for car insurance high. There are many beautiful stops along the way, from hillsides to blue waters and a coral reef along the way.
Hawaii - For Pure Bliss It may sound cliche’, but Hawaii is really one of the most beautiful places on earth and luckily for Albertans, many flight deals are offered to the destination. Hawaii makes this list because its the very opposite of Alberta. If you're looking for a change - of scenery, cuisine and everything in between, fly to the beautiful islands. Once there, you'll walk out of an open air airport, where you can spot palm trees and have a flower in your hair before you know it. You'll find yourself in a region that is as warm as its culture. Hospitality may not have been invented in Hawaii, but it is certainly mastered here. Indulge in Asian inspired regional cuisine and stop by one of Chef Alan Wong’s restaurants, one of President Barack Obama’s favourite chefs. Or hop islands and experience the energetic vibe of Honolulu before you transcend into the bliss of Maui.
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