Alistair Bear's

Best Kept Secrets in Alberta

 

Day Trips: (1-3 hours from Calgary or spend the night)

 

Bragg Creek:

  40 Km west of Calgary on hwy 22x.

Check out Elbow Falls just past Bragg Creek on hwy 22x. Town is full of shops and restaurants and great B&B's.

High River:

(30 minutes south of Calgary)

Best 50's Soda Fountain - "Memory Lane Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour"

(118 - 4th Ave West). Two films were made in this Ice Cream Parlour in the last 2 years. Disney's "Noah" starring Tony Danza and "Stanger In a Small Town" also called "Nightmare in Big Sky Country" starring Patricia Wettig ("Thirtysomething).

Also check out the many murals painted on the sides of the buildings. My favourite is "Sunday in the Park" and the aviation mural on the side of the Telus building is also impressive. There is also a wonderful gift shop called "Bat -Sheba" (103 - 3 Ave West) .

If you are looking for breakfast or lunch why not dine inside an old CPR dining car. It's located right next to the museum (used to be the old train station).

The Crowsnest Pass:

(About 3 hours from Calgary)

South on hwy 22 and then west on hwy 3. Lundbreck Falls is worth a visit. Also check out Leitch Collieries and do not miss the Interpretive Centre at the Frank Slide. Other towns to visit in the area include Blairmore (nice gift shop on the main street) and Coleman. On you way down hwy 22 stop in at the historic Bar-U Ranch. I suggest you allow 1 full day so helpful if you stay overnight. If you are staying in Waterton you could do this as a day trip.

 

Vulcan:

(1.5 hours south/east of Calgary)

Well of course they sell "Spock" ears. You can't miss the "Enterprise" welcoming you to town. Don't miss the Star Trek/Tourist Information office. They have a few nice displays, a few souvenirs and it's free. Nice building too don't you think?

 

 

 

Cochrane:

(Located 20 minutes west of Calgary)

Best Ice Cream - MacKays Cochrane Homemade Ice Cream

(Located at 220 1 Street)

Don't miss the "Western Heritage Centre" (allow a 1/2 day).

Also for an interesting 1/2 hour check out the "Studio West Bronze Foundry" (tours 9-5 daily, located at 205 2 Ave SE)

 Innisfail:

(Located about 1.5 hours north of Calgary)

Innisfail Historical Village - A collection of restored buildings .Not easy to find. You drive through town and it's your first left before the railway tracks. Follow along past the school and take another left. Allow 1 1/2 hours.

Dr. George Kemp House - Small museum but nice place with a lovely little tea room. Eat indoors or on the porch. Great prices and well run. The Doctor who originally lived in the house was the first Calgary doctor and served the CPR employees as well as the R.C.M.P and the dying Chief Crowfoot. The house was later used as a boarding house.

 

Sylvan Lake:

(2 and bit hours north of Calgary)

If you enjoy a day at the beach where there is lots of sand, waterslides, warm water and lakeside strolls this is the spot. You can enjoy a lovely dinner cruise on Miss Mermaid (reservations required in advance 403-887-2950). There are Go-Karts and Mini Golf and you can rent boats, paddle boats, jet ski's, etc. The sand is ideal for castle building and the water is shallow so you can go out a long ways. Take your inflatable beach toys. Check out some of these great gift shops while you're there.

Lakeshore Trading Co - 110, 5227 Lakeshore Dr

Shear Delight & Tiny Treasures - 5037 50 St

Green Gable II - 108, 5227 Lakeshore Dr

Artisans de Mexico - 5040 50 St

Places to stay: Edgewater Inn - 5217 Lakeshore Dr, 403-887-3535

Places to eat: Chef Francisco Restaurant

 

Torrington/Olds

(45 minutes north of Calgary)

For a really goofy day out why not visit the "Gopher Hole Museum". It takes about 30 minutes and then there is a doll museum about 1 block away that takes another 30 minutes. After that you head for Olds and visit the museum housed in the telephone exchange building. You can do all this easily in a 1/2 day.

 

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