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Road trips aren’t like they used to be. With the selection of luxury, glamping and spa offerings in Alberta, you can experience the most luxurious five-day winter road trip ever by simply following our route below. You can thank us later.
Fly into the newly renovated YYC Calgary International Airport and stay at the brand new Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel . Not only can you check into your hotel without leaving the airport, but there is a full-size gym, pool and multiple lounges to enjoy in the morning and evening. Once you are ready to start your road trip, rent a car from the airport and hit the road. First stop is UNA Pizza & Wine on 17th Ave for lunch. And when we say lunch we mean the best pizza you have ever had paired with a tasty glass of wine. And don’t worry if pizza isn’t your thing they have noteworthy salads. After lunch, explore 17th Ave (between 2nd and 14th st SW) for some shopping and then grab dinner at Pigeonhole for some world class vegetarian dishes. Is shopping not your thing? Why not check out The Calgary Tower instead and take in the best sights of the city. Once you are satisfied head to Le Germain Calgary, get a treatment at The Sante Spa and a good night’s sleep. If you are looking for a more rustic accommodation, why not drive 45 minutes south of the city to Aspen Crossing where you can glamp in the converted train cabooses.
Time to get on the road and head to Banff. But before you leave, stop by Phil & Sebastian for a morning pick me up for the scenic, one and a half hour drive. Once you arrive, check into The Fairmont Banff Springs and go to their famous weekend brunch buffet (it is out of this world good). Once you are good and full, join the afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk (they will pick you up right from the hotel).
If you aren’t into exploring the canyons head downtown for some shopping and a free distillery tour at Park Distillery (free tours daily at 3:30 pm). When you get back from the day head to dinner at Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar and then back to your hotel to warm up and relax at the Fairmont Banff Springs Spa.
Wake up early, grab a coffee from Whitebark Café and hit the pavement towards Jasper. The total drive is three and a half hours but you can break it up by stopping at Lake Louise Ski Resort for some morning turns. Once you are done grab a bite at one of their many eating establishments in the main lodge and continue north to Jasper. Make sure you leave early as the views on this stretch of highway are some of the best in Canada. You might even just see some wildlife right outside your window. When you arrive, check into the Overlander Mountain Lodge and stay in for a night by the fire.
Check out of your cabin and head into the town of Jasper for breakfast at Coco’s Cafe. After, join up with Cold Fire Creek Dogsledding and experience a truly unique way to see Jasper. Once you have gotten your adrenaline fix for the day hop in the car and hit the road for Edmonton (the drive takes about four hours). When you arrive, check into the Matrix Hotel and go to Rge Rd for a farm-to-table dinner worth writing home about.
Did you know that Edmonton is the largest northern city in North America? This city is bustling with amazing culture, an eclectic food scene and an Instagram-worthy river valley. Head to Little Brick Cafe for breakfast and then to Elk Island National Park to snowshoe and marvel at a herd of roaming plains Bison just a hop, skip and a jump from Edmonton (35 Kilometres, to be exact). After you get your fill of winter fun, head over to Duchess Bakery (the macarons are a must-try). Once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, head to the Edmonton International Airport to return your car and catch your flight back home.
What to bring:
Bring lots of layers, a warm coat, a toque and some gloves. Be sure to pack warm winter boots with good traction and a camera. If you don’t have ski/snowboard gear it can be rented at the ski resort. Some of the outfitters can provide warm boots and gear, simply call ahead to see if the one you chose to do offers this add-on.
How to book your car:
Book your car online ahead of time and be sure to get an SUV with 4wd just in case there is some weather while you are in town. Remember to select the pick up at the Calgary Airport and the drop off at the Edmonton Airport. Tip: Google search for discount coupons on rental car companies, you never know if there is a special going on.
Be sure to call ahead to all your hotels and activities to book in advance. Alberta is a popular place to visit year-round and you want to make sure you can do everything you want to do while you are visiting.
Like this post? Check out The Ultimate 3-Day Alberta Road Trip For Yoga-Loving Vegetarians and 10 Top Sights And Hikes In Alberta, too!