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  • Last Updated: 29th July 2014

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Alberta lifestyle & culture

With its abundance of natural resources, Alberta is one of Canada’s wealthiest provinces. It has the country’s highest GDP growth rate and one of the lowest unemployment rates. It’s also known for its safe cities and towns, beautiful natural environment, thriving arts and culture scene and wide range of recreational opportunities.

As in the rest of Canada, people in Alberta tend to be friendly and enjoy a comparatively relaxed culture. They also enjoy a good time out, with a wide range of festivals and events held throughout the year. The theatre is hugely popular, and Edmonton and Calgary have their own symphony orchestras.

Alberta dining

Although Calgary has some of the best beef in the world, dining in Calgary most definitely isn’t just about steakhouses. Try Model Milk, which was voted top restaurant for 2014 by Avenue Magazine. Housed in an historic dairy, its menu focuses on high-quality, fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Also try La Brezza Ristorante for fabulous Italian food, The Himalayan for Nepalese food, NOtable for good Canadian fare along with an open wood-burning grill. Then there’s the family-run 7 Seas Seafood and Grill Restaurant, for friendly service plus great seafood, steak and a range of Filipino dishes.

Edmonton includes an even more international selection of top restaurants and eateries. Head to Pagolac on 54 Avenue for the best Vietnamese food such as pan-fried lemongrass with pork and egg rolls. Padmanadi in China Town serves terrific vegetarian food, and four outlets of New Asian Village provide good Indian food buffets. Also try the charming Chianti Café for affordable Italian fare, or head for the upmarket Hardware Grill.

In Banff, the classy Storm Mountain Lodge offers freshly prepared food, including local game meats like elk, amid beautiful surroundings. Popular in Jasper are the Raven Bistro, for steak, lamb and a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options, and Tekarra, for beautifully presented gourmet food, including a range of dishes that feature local game. If it’s something more casual you’re looking for, The Bear’s Paw provides excellent baked goods and sandwiches. Breweries in Jasper, Banff and Canmore are certainly worth a visit, they all offer great beer and amazing food./p>

Alberta nightlife

Alberta’s main cities, including Edmonton and Calgary have active nightlife scenes, with plenty of bars, lounges, pubs and clubs.

Among the most popular clubs in Edmonton are Halo and The Druid, both on Jasper Avenue; Lucky 13 on 82 Avenue and The Edge Nightclub and Sports Bar, at the Quality Inn, Whitecourt. Generally the most popular zone for nightlife is the Whyte Avenue, or 82 Avenue strip, between 109 Street and 99 Street. It includes a concentration of restaurants, bars and clubs. Among the most popular nightclubs in Calgary are The Roadhouse, Studio 82 Rock Lounge, the Bamboo Tiki Lounge and Habitat.

The Rocky Mountain town of Banff has a surprisingly vibrant nightlife scene, with a number of pubs, bars and clubs. The best club is the Aurora Nightclub, known for its excellent DJs, playing house and dance music. The Hoodoo Lounge is popular for its drinks specials, dance floor and nightly special events, and the St James Gate Irish Pub is a great traditional pub. Jasper has less nightlife than Banff, but includes a range of pubs and even a few nightclubs – key among these being the Atha-B Nightclub in the Athabasca Hotel.