Northern Lights (Alberta)

Hotels & Destinations

From million-strong Edmonton, the capital, to Calgary, the quintessential cowboy town, to treasures like Banff National Park, Alberta is proud of its superlatives. The province serves as home to Canada's largest national park (Wood Buffalo), its largest mountain national park (Jasper), and its oldest park (Banff). They've got the largest ski area in Canada (Lake Louise), and for anyone still not satisfied, they've also got the one-time world's largest shopping and entertainment complex, the West Edmonton Mall. Alberta lies just north of Montana. The eastern edge of the Rockies crosses into Canada along Alberta's western boundary. Calgary and Banff are located in the southern part of the province; Edmonton is near the center. North of Edmonton it's a vast, open expanse of relatively remote plains. Alberta has cold winters, but it also has lots of sunshine. Summers are dry and sunny, with temperatures averaging in the mid-70s, so outdoor meetings and activities are an obvious option. Winter (November–March) has average high temperatures in the 20s. A useful organization to start off with is Travel Alberta (travelalberta.com), which provides tons of useful information about accommodations, camping, recreation, parks, tours, driving suggestions, maps and packages. Travel Alberta has three dedicated sales people, who can help with RFP's and other needs,working in the meetings market in the U.S. The town of Canmore (canmorealberta.com), stands at the entrance to the Rockies between Calgary and Banff, and has a number of lovely lodging options, including the quaint Georgetown Inn (georgetowninn.net), which can host up to 40 people. And about 45 minutes away from Banff, for example, is Kananaskis (kananaskisalberta.ca). For a very focused meeting, it is an amazing, beautiful location, but without a lot of the distraction of a town or a city,� says Travel Alberta International's Belsher.

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