Sometimes, the sizzling heat of summer calls for a fresh kind of getaway—one that only the glacial peaks and valleys of Canada can provide.
As it turns out, the western province of Alberta is home to a slew of stops to enjoy for foodies and outdoor adventurers alike—and come summertime, it’s the perfect solution for that much-needed cooldown.
Read on as we take a culinary tour of this Canadian gem, from the cool blast of its glacial lakes and valleys to the warm, cozy hideaways where regional food shines best. Take a look.
Fall in love at Lake Louise
Shining in all its aqua-blue splendor, Alberta’s Lake Louise—nestled among the Canadian Rockies—truly comes alive in the summertime. Since the lake is freshly thawed, the warmer months offer travelers the chance to see the brisk glacial expanse in person—for thrills such as fishing, kayaking or hiking around the water’s edge. Of course, you can’t beat the view of the historic Chateau Lake Louise, an opulent 20th-century resort whose roofs mirror the hue of the water below. Check-in for a weekend so you never have to travel far from the quiet serenity of the lake and the easygoing on-the-water activities it affords.
Exploring Edmonton: Canada’s Festival City
North of Lake Louise sits Alberta’s capital, Edmonton, which also holds the honor of being “Canada’s Festival City,” a prime destination for reveling in—well—just about anything. In July alone, upcoming festivals include the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival (beginning July 10th) and the much-beloved Taste of Edmonton (beginning July 19th), where guests will be able to indulge in some of the region’s most famous and up-and-coming flavors… of which there are many, as we’ll soon find.
A surprising agricultural powerhouse?
Canada may not be known for abundant agricultural production—but of the farm and pastureland it does have, the majority of the acreage is found throughout the Western prairies, like the ones found throughout Alberta. Where there’s not the stunning peaks and valleys of the Canadian Rockies, there are farms (spacious ones, by national standards) and lands for grazing, helping Alberta to become one of the country’s most notable producers—especially of beef, beloved for its tender, juicy texture and signature flavor that stems from a barley-fed diet.
Here in Alberta, it’s easy to indulge in the simple pleasure of chowing down on locally-sourced eats. Agriculture isn’t just something that “happens” out of view but remains an integral part of the prairie landscape—in fact, every August, the province’s Open Farm Days give locals and visitors alike the chance to visit farms around the region and learn more about the farm-to-table process.
Our favorite local bites
What are some of the most beloved Alberta bites? Here’s a medley of picks, including regional gems and national favorites that have permeated the culture of Western Canada.
- Edmonton donairs are hearty, gyro-style sandwiches that are sure to satisfy. Though the “true” donair hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the recipe made its way to Edmonton eventually, where it took on a personality of its own. This regional variant is akin to a burrito or pita wrap, and stands out thanks to the inclusion of fresh, crispy lettuce.
- Puffed wheat treats are Alberta’s sweet solution to an abundance of cereal crops grown in the region. The puffed wheat staple is mixed with a few simple, sweet ingredients (like cocoa powder) to create a tasty treat, common in homes, cafes and family gatherings throughout the province.
- Beef! Whether you opt for a hearty burger or tender, juicy steak, the beef scene here is not to be missed.
- Canadian bacon is a must-have while you’re exploring Alberta, a meat you might have developed a taste for right here at Peach Valley! Of course, here, you won’t order “Canadian” bacon but simply back bacon—a delicious cut perfect for your weekend brunch.
- You’ve had a Bloody Mary… now try the Bloody Caesar! This tangy cocktail hails from the city of Calgary, where it was first concocted back in 1969. The addition of clam broth to the familiar vodka-and-tomato mixture is what makes this drink truly stand out.
- Poutine is, of course, a product of Quebec—but the Western provinces have since caught on, developing a taste for the hearty medley of fries, cheese curds and gravy. Some call this the “National Dish of Canada,” so we say it’s worth a try on your Alberta adventures!
Pack your bags yet? A trip to Alberta is more than enough to satiate both your thirst for adventure and hunger for one-of-a-kind culinary creations… so gear up and enjoy soon!