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Alberta named one of the most breathtaking places to travel to in 2023

Red chairs offer pretty view of Astotin Lake in late summer. (Wildroze via Getty Images)

Inching closer to the end of the year, National Geographic has curated a list of the 25 most breathtaking places and experiences for 2023, and one Canadian destination made the list, Alberta.

Some may assume hearing Alberta and “breathtaking” together this time of year has something to do with the cold weather in the region, but it’s quite the opposite.

“Alberta is celebrated for such natural wonders as the Athabasca Glacier and Banff National Park, both high in the Rocky Mountains; its wide-open prairie vistas; and the glass-and-steel modernity of cities like Calgary and Edmonton,” National Geographic wrote.

“Experience how long-held traditions and contemporary perspectives intersect, with Indigenous tourism outfitters in Alberta, Canada.”

A pair of wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) grazing near a snow covered lake in Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada
A pair of wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) grazing near a snow covered lake in Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada

National Geographic highlights visiting Elk Island National Park, just east of Edmonton, which fosters cultural history dating back 8,000 years, including guided hikes, hands-on interpretive programs with prehistoric stone tools, and Cree crafting workshops. There are also hundreds of free-roaming bison you can catch a glimpse of.

Northern Lights and terrestrial light from Edmonton 30km distant, duke it out over Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park.aurora borealis, green, pink, curtains, pillars
Northern Lights and terrestrial light from Edmonton 30km distant, duke it out over Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park.aurora borealis, green, pink, curtains, pillars

The park is part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, a great location for stargazing, including seeing the Aurora Borealis in the winter.

Unique Hoodoo rocks straddle the Milk River at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada. The area contains the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the great plains of North America.
Unique Hoodoo rocks straddle the Milk River at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada. The area contains the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the great plains of North America.

Visitors can also see rock carvings and paintings on sandstone formations and rock spires of the UNESCO World Heritage site Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai'pi of the Milk River Valley.

Another place to visit is the Edmonton River valley, where you can skate the Victoria Park Iceway. It winds through tree-lined paths and is lit up in rainbow patterns at night.

Alberta is also a great choice for a place to visit if you want to try snowshoeing. Haskin Canoe offers snowshoe tours and rentals in Edmonton, so you can explore more than 150 kilometres of trails.