Jan 05 2014

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Winter in Alberta, Canada!

Canada in the winter for seniors? Who knew? While most people cozy up in front of their fireplaces, that’s the time that the fun is just
starting for many Canadians. I had the opportunity to see for myself, and while I was only able to visit the cities of Edmonton and Jasper in the province of Alberta, both offer diversions galore that will have Americans booking flights to their northern neighbor.

Edmonton has more than 30 festivals each year, everything from street performers to accordion players. The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is centrally located and a great location to explore the city. It also overlooks the North Saskatchewan River Valley and is the longest urban park system in North America.

The Edmonton Mall is the largest indoor mall in North America. In addition to retail shops, restaurants and kiosks, you will also find a sea lion exhibit, roller coasters and a huge water park. Also on site is the Fantasyland Hotel featuring 140 themed rooms (with everything from a Roman emperor’s digs to a Polynesian paradise).

I took VIA Rail train to Jasper (sleeper car was fantastic) and I was treated to some of the most spectacular scenery of the Canadian
Rockies. Once I arrived, I stayed at the Jasper Park Lodge where guests stay in individual log cabins, making it feel that you are living in a cozy home rather than a hotel.

Some of the best winter activities in Jasper include the Maligne Canyon Ice Walk (#1 on Trip Advisor) and Marmot Basin for some of the best skiing in the country. FTC Disclosure: All accommodations, airfare, attractions, and food were sponsored by the providers mentioned in this article as well as Tourism Alberta, Tourism Edmonton and Tourism Jasper.

For more info on Alberta, please visit their website at Alberta Canada website.

Ron Stern is a photojournalist and our Travel the World column writer.

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