With sunsets that go on forever, forests where you’ll feel like you’re the last two people on earth, and cities full of culture and fine dining, you won’t have to search far for a romantic getaway in Alberta. All you need to do is look out your front door.
1. Ranch VacationsKick off the Sunday shoes and pull on the cowboy boots! Take your sweetheart to the heart of Alberta with a getaway to one of the many working ranches in the province. Consider such locations as Sierra West outside Lundbreck, Wildhorse Ranch near Rocky Mountain House, Rocking R Guest Ranch by Strathmore, or many more! While there, saddle up and take a trail ride, learn what it means to work on a ranch, eat fantastic down home cooking, take in the sun setting across the fields, watch for wildlife in the mountains, or relax with your favourite cowpoke by your side.
2. Water Valley
Have you heard of Water Valley? They’ll forgive you if you haven’t. It’s a pretty small place – but a great one for a romantic weekend away with a surprising amount to do. The Fallen Timber Meadery is a family-fun business that makes wine and beer out of the honey they foster and collect and welcome visitors for a taste and a tour. The Water Valley Golf and Country Club is a lush course with a fantastic restaurant. Local shops feature handcrafted souvenirs to remember your trip. But make sure to check out the Back to Nature Retreat, voted as one of Travel Alberta’s best unique stays. With various accommodation, including a tree house built by TV’s Timber Kings, you’ll find the perfect place to get away from it all.
3. Crowsnest Pass
With breathtaking vistas and adventure around every corner, Crowsnest Pass is great for a weekend with your favourite adventure seeker. Conquer the mountains with hiking, caving, fly-fishing, skiing, and snowmobiling, then come back into town for an evening of culture and talent with a visit to the Artist’s Collective Studio or with live music in various venues. Visit the B&B On Main – a historic site popular with movie makers and history buffs. Consider staying at York Creek Bed and Breakfast, quickly getting a reputation as a perfect place for a romantic getaway! If that’s not your style, there are plenty of different options to choose from.
Romance in Edmonton is much more than the iconic – though pricey – Hotel MacDonald and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It’s in the river valley sunsets and strolls through Mill Creek Ravine. It’s in cozy brunches at the historic Little Brick Café and delectable desserts at the award-winning Duchess Bake Shop. It’s learning to dance the night away at Sugar Swing with swing and even the lindy hop and getting creative at Paint Nites, taking place in bars across the city every night of the week. It’s finding a home away from home at one of the many bed and breakfasts or vacation rental by owner that are available across the city. And best of all, it’s finding out that you can connect just the two of you in the province’s big capital city
5. Sylvan Lake
There’s nothing like a trip to the beach under the hot summer sun for a getaway with your favourite sunscreen lotion-applier. The best-known beach in Alberta is the best place for that! Head to Sylvan Lake (sylvanlake.ca). Lie on the beach and take a dip in the fresh water whenever the sun gets too warm. For more adventure, rent a boat and cruise the waves or ski behind in the wake. Relax together with a massage at Sylvan Steam & Spa, walking distance from the beach. Stay in the town’s only boutique hotel, Lost Harbour Inn, or rent a cozy place just for you, like Couples Tourist Home or Alice’s Sylvan Lake Cottage.
Visit one of the most precious places in the world with the most precious person by your side. The Town of Banff is known for its location in the mountains, but it is much more than the gorgeous views (but head up the gondola for the best ones!). Banff has a thriving arts and culture scene, home to cultural gems such as the Banff Centre and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, as well as multiple smaller public art and music venues for the cultural couples – or those who want to become more so. Find cozy B&Bs, intimate inns, and full-service hotels for whatever will make you feel at home.
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7. Aspen Crossing
Aspen Crossing has worked hard over the last 13 years to become one of the major destinations in Southern Alberta. Take a train tour to get the lay of the land and see the prairies stretching out in all directions; you can even take wine tasting tours and dinner theatre trips on the train for a great date night. The campground was carefully designed, but if that’s a little too close to nature for you, consider the luxurious – and unique – caboose cabins. The 1887 Diefenbaker Dining Car Restaurant, with its Friday prime rib dinner, will deliver an unforgettable meal.
8. DevonJust 20 minutes southeast of Edmonton, Devon has much more to offer in a romantic getaway than you might think. Designated as one of Alberta’s “Special Places,” the Clifford E. Lee Sanctuary is a 300 acre nature preserve with established walkways allowing you to explore and watch for a variety of flora and fauna preserved in the marshes and wetlands. Devon Voyager Park is a great place to visit with a picnic basket in hand to eat under the picturesque gazebo. The big draw of Devon, however, is the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. An authentic Japanese garden, it’s home to rolling hills covered with thousands of unique plants creating a stunning landscape. There are regularly scheduled date nights, such as movies under the stars, that you won’t want to miss.
9. Red Deer
Red Deer is often just delegated to being the bathroom and coffee stop on the highway between Edmonton and Calgary, but head off Gasoline Alley to see the beauty of this city that makes it perfect to get away with your special someone. Bower Ponds, Kerry Wood Nature Centre, and City Hall Park are relaxing outdoor places perfect for picnics and strolls arm-in-arm. Split a milkshake (or get one each!) at the famous Pete’s Drive-In, then grab a cupcake for dessert at Babycakes Cupcakery. Take in some culture together at Viewpoint Gallery and Corridor Community Gallery and try to pick out which would be each other’s favourite work of art (or least favourite!). Heritage Ranch, with sleigh rides and on-site restaurant, makes a perfect date location.
10. Black Diamond
Even though it’s just 35 minutes away from Calgary, there’s nothing big city about Black Diamond, which makes it perfect to get away together. Situated on the Cowboy Trail, the town is on the doorstep of Kananaskis Country and offers the best of western lifestyle and fun. Horseback riding, fishing, hiking…all that and more at your fingertips. In a place that savours the slow pace of life and classic hometown feel, it’s no surprise you and your sweetie will find cozy spots to share a meal. Black Diamond Bakery & Coffee Shop provides a variety of breakfasts, sandwiches, and pastries all handmade the same way previous generations have done. Hop back into the ’50s at Marv’s Classic Soda Shop, where, as their slogan promises, you’ll relive old memories and create new ones in the golden era of rock and roll.
There’s nothing like waking up in a tent, your loved one close beside you, and the morning sunlight streaming through the zip. And there’s nowhere like the Jasper Townsite to do so. If you think a night under the stars is romantic is at home, you have to try a night under the stars in Jasper, where the night sky lights up with so many stars you won’t believe it – and if you’re lucky, the northern lights will put on a performance. Maligne Canyon Icewalk in the winter will take you past frozen waterfalls, while going in the summer will take you to sparkling water best seen by canoe. A network of trails allows you to explore on foot, while the highways make for great wildlife-watching journeys.
Take a step into the past in Stettler. Visit the Town and Country Museum and see who knows most local history as you tour 26 local historical sites with artifacts. Pick up a brochure for a self-guided tour of Historical Downtown before stopping by at the Annual Art Walk. Float down the Red Deer River for some time under the sun, or cross country ski across the miles of trails, keeping an eye out for wildlife while you do so. Urban Cottage and Phoenix House Bed & Breakfast are both great options to consider for a cozy night together making history of your own.
The cozy, little lakefront town of Waterton has everything you need in a getaway. Time just seems to pass more slowly there, making it a perfect place to relax and reconnect. You won’t find outlet malls or valets to park your car, but you will find fine dining, unique shops, and such picture-perfect views you’ll find yourself keeping your eye on the horizon. Each corner seems to house a hidden gem that will draw you in, and the many festivals and events ensures that even if mountain activity is not your style, you’ll have plenty to do. From hotels to inns to campgrounds, there is plenty to choose from for accommodation.
14. Lac La Biche Region
It doesn’t get much more Alberta than the Lac La Biche Region! More than 100 lakes to choose from means you won’t run out of waterfront picnics and sunsets to share. Watch the cowboys at local rodeos, taste the farm fresh produce at farmers markets, and try locally owned restaurants like Pelican Grill or Jack’s on Second with your sweetie by your side. With over 100 campsites, pitching a tent or bringing the trailer is the easiest way to find space to yourselves, but there are inns and motels available throughout the region if you need a break from the outdoors (and the bugs…).
Spend the day relaxing, enjoying quaint shops, and seeking out the spirit of adventure in Cochrane. A great place to date on a budget, take your partner out for Italian at The Boot, live music and coffee at The Gentry Espresso Bar, or a scoop of your favourite ice cream MacKay’s Cochrane Ice Cream – try to get there early, though. People line up around the block for this famous frozen treat. Hereabouts B&B is a tiny house, perfect for getting cozy on cold winter nights after a day of snowshoeing or skiing. There is always something going on, so be sure to check out the website for a calendar of events (and coupons!).
Romance may not jump to mind when you think of Lethbridge, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you arrive! It has actually been voted as one of Alberta’s top romantic destinations. Pavan Park is the place to take in the area’s natural beauty, while Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is an authentic, styled landscape whose beauty is tranquil. Romantic dinners area easy to find at restaurants such as Mocha Cabana or Miro’s. Try your hand in the kitchen with a cooking class for a new experience in working and playing together. The Southern Alberta Art Gallery is a must-see for couples who enjoy cultural outings, where the knowledgeable staff can guide you.
17. Grande Prairie
The hub of the Peace region, Grande Prairie celebrates every part of life, making it a great place to get away with the important person in your life. Muskoseepi Park in the heart of the city holds 15 km of paved walking trails and the Nitehawk Recreation Area is great for skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Challenge each other to a game of golf at The Dunes Golf & Winter Club, or see what’s on at Revolution Place, a favourite local concert venue. With a variety of hotels and inns available, you’ll have plenty of choice of where to fall into bed after a day of fresh air and exploring together.
Leduc will surprise you when you decide to visit! Get outside and explore over 60 km of paved Multiway Trails, as well as William F. Lede Park by Telford Lake. The Stone Barn and Cultural Village, at the edge of Lede Park, contains fully landscaped gardens that you’ll love strolling through side-by-side. The pride of the city is the Leduc Recreation Centre, offering curling rinks, pools, skating rinks, and more. With a variety of restaurants, local chefs showcase the best the area has to offer. You’ll have your pick of meals that will tickle your tastebuds (and impress your date!).
19. St. AlbertFull of culture and community, St. Albert will welcome you for a weekend getaway. Smell the roses in Alberta’s largest rose garden at St. Albert Botanic Park, and then shop the largest outdoor farmer’s market in Western Canada for great local gems. The Red Willow Trail System through downtown is great for strolling hand-in-hand no matter the season. See what’s going on at Arden Theatre and make sure to stop by the Art Gallery of St. Albert. You’ll find top restaurants no matter what you’re in the mood for, and you’ll feel at home no matter if you stay at an intimate bed and breakfast or a full service hotel.
20. Cold Lake
When is the good time to visit Cold Lake? Any time of year! Whether it’s swimming and soaking in the rays at Kinosoo Beach in the summer, hiking among the warm colours of Cold Lake Provincial Park in the fall, or seeing who can make the biggest catch while ice fishing on Cold Lake in the winter, there’s always something to do. Stay in Cold Lake South to be near to Main Street, perfect for close proximity to shopping and restaurants. The north end of the city, however, puts you closer to the Marina and the Beach. Find the perfect spot for you and your sweetheart to spend time together.
Camrose is a vibrant city, but with a small town feel you’ll feel right at home. There are events taking place throughout the city all year long, so no matter when you go, you’ll find a festival, fair, or event to take in. Several public parks make for perfect picnic spots, whether you make one yourself or pick something up at a local cafe. Cycle, take long walks, or cross country ski with your loved one by your side. Downtown is a premier shopping district, with plenty of local and boutique shops to choose from. Stop by Cloud 9 Spa and Boutique for a massage to completely relax together.
22. Fort Saskatchewan
Fort Saskatchewan is the heart of the heartland – so visit with your sweetheart! Experience a unique blend of urban amenities, historic attractions, and small town warmth. Lovers of craft brew will want to check out Two Sergeants Brewing for something new. Put on the poodle skirt and pop over to the ever popular Downtown Diner for a ’50s style date night with top-notch food and service. Choose from over 10 hotels or a wide variety of cozy bed and breakfasts or vacation rental by owner homes for a place to stay.
23. Strathcona County
Had enough of big city living? Get away from it all with the towns, villages, and hamlets of Strathcona County – close enough to cities to be convenient, yet far enough away to lose track of time on the highway as you visit each location. Visit Antler Lake, Hastings Lake, Collingwood Cove, Ardrossan, Josephburg, South Cooking Lake, and more to really get a taste of small town Alberta. Bed and Breakfasts or vacation rental by owner is definitely the way to go, as larger hotel chains are pretty much non-existent in the area. The Strathcona Wilderness Centre gives you the opportunity to spend time outdoors, or check the local community halls and see what festivals are going on, from Christmas fairs to town and country days. There’s nothing like spending the day behind the wheel with your favourite navigator by your side.
Calgary isn’t just cowboys and skyscrapers. Look beyond the wild west exterior for a vibrant culture, arts, and music scene , full of festivals and theatre performances. See the best of the city’s food scene with Calgary Food Tours, the top guides in the area. If that’s not your style, try the Brewery Tours. People watch on patios, head to Local 510 for after-dinner drinks, and stroll down International Avenue to find where multiculturalism comes to life. Calgary Olympic Park, Calgary Zoo, and Calaway Park offer unique and adventurous date ideas!
25. Smoky Lake Region
The Smoky Lake Region is a great way to see some countryside, especially in the autumn, when the colours of the fall are everywhere. Camping, biking, hiking, and horseback riding are all favourite activities of the locals, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore in the open air, especially on Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail or Hanmore Lake. Time it right to catch the big event of the area: the Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-Off and Fair. Treat your loved one to a traditional country fair for memories that will last a lifetime. Have your photos taken with giant pumpkins, visit the farmers market to pick souvenirs for each other, and top it off with a bang at the great pumpkin drop. Date night will never be the same.
You don’t need much for a great time with your favourite person – but surprising them with a weekend getaway can’t hurt! There are so many places to choose from, so you’re sure find the perfect place for the two of you.
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