Here is a guide to the Best Calgary Day Trips around. Road-trips are a quintessential Canadian experience. The starting point is almost always a Tim Horton’s drive-thru, where the driver and passengers alike stock up on fuel for the adventure with double-doubles, donuts and breakfast sammies. The next step is of course picking the best road-trip sing-a-long tunes, and assuming you were ill-prepared and feeling the whim of spontaneity – a destination.
Here we have broken down some amazing options for your spontaneous out of town adventures, for any direction you start driving.
1 hour, 40 minutes
Albertans flock to Sylvan lake each summer for a fix of lake life. There are activities for everyone – from golfing, go-karting, mini golf, paintball, and a plethora of water sports for the kids, and big kids alike. If you’re looking for an action-packed weekend, or a relaxing day on the beach, this is the perfect of many Calgary day trips for the whole family.
1 hour, 20 minutes
Sundre is a small town where the mountains meet the prairies – from chasing waterfalls on beautiful hikes, to trail riding and adventuring their pioneer museum, there is truly something for everyone.
1 hour, 10 minutes
If you are northbound and looking for a quirky adventure, try to visit Torrington’s Gopher Hole Museum, which highlights the history and townspeople of Torrington, using dioramas of stuffed gophers. It won’t disappoint.
Aspen Crossing is a super fun, train-themed day-trip destination. Stop for a bite to eat on one of their 2 patios with daily specials, a gift-shop that will have you giggling, greenhouses for the guests with a green-thumb, not to mention their railway cars and campground, and an amazing view of the starry sky after dark. Try one of their train excursions for a true immersive experience!
1 hour, 40 minutes
The “Dinosaur Capital of The World” is well known for it’s amazing jurassic findings and the epic Royal Tyrell Museum, but if you have been there, done that, there is so much else to see and do! A suspension bridge, a coal mine museum, amazing hiking through the canyons, and of course the unique geographic hoodoos, all must be on your Drumheller day trip to-do!
Okotoks is Calgary’s largest commuter city, but has it’s own country charm and exciting things to do and see. From a day of golf to their winding river pathways, you can plan a relaxing, sunny day. Or, if you are the mood for a bit more adventure, Chinook Honey Company offers hands-on beekeeping experiences and mead-tastings! Their store is full of sweet honey goods, from edible treats, to body and skin care products. On your way back to the city, stop in at Big Sky BBQ for their authentic Texas eats, or bring home your own to ‘cue up at home from their butchery.
And there is so much more to see when you drive South West of the city! Here are some highlights;
- Turner Valley has Eau Claire Distillery with amazing spirits to take home, or try to catch a distillery tour!
- Black Diamond has Marv’s Classic Soda Shop with fun eats, retro vibes and unique treats.
The Kananaskis area is an adventurer’s heaven. With truly endless possibilities, a few recommendations include a scenic drive down the winding road, stopping for a hike big or small. After your fix of fresh air, the Kananaskis Lodge is a great stop for weekend getaway, or a beer and a bite after a day of adventuring. If you are looking for a rejuvenating day-trip, wake-up extra early and visit the Knordic Spa to experience their alpine sanctuary.
1 hour, 15 minutes
Canmore is a mountain paradise and the perfect Calgary day trip- with amazing views in each direction, and incredible eats, this is the perfect day-trip from Calgary to experience the mountain town. With so many hikes in the area, you can easily get your steps in and find an amazing view, then drive down main street for something to eat. Rocky Mountain Bagel Company has amazing sandwiches, coffee and pastries for the perfect top-of-the-mountain treat, or a hearty post-hike reward.
Wherever West you’re adventuring, we always recommend stopping in Cochrane for a scoop of MacKay’s Ice Cream on your way home from any of your Calgary day trips. With 48 flavours ranging from green tea to Rocky Road, and everything in between, you will find your perfect scoop!
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