As the snow begins to melt and the daylight extends into the evening, many of us are anxious to hit the road and take in the fresh spring air after a long winter spent cooped up indoors. While you may be reserving your international vacation plans for the summer holidays, this time of year presents the perfect opportunity to get away for a weekend and immerse yourself in nearby local haunts. For Calgary locals, there are numerous places to visit for a weekend–all located within a few hours drive. Pack your bags, fill your tank, prep your playlist, and get ready to hit the road!
Just three hours north of Calgary lies another Alberta metropolis, the province’s capital city, Edmonton. There are a number of great activities and sights to explore during a weekend in Edmonton. You can indulge in a little retail therapy at West Edmonton Mall, take in the charm and character of the boutiques and cafes along Whyte Avenue, and explore the blooming blossoms around the river valley. In addition, the summer season is packed with world-renowned festivals like the Fringe, Taste of Edmonton, and Folk Music Festival.
This charming town resides only 40 minutes from Downtown Calgary, but once you arrive in the city centre ‘Old Towne’ you will feel transported to another time and place entirely. With over 100 years of history, the Old Towne is filled with historical buildings and is also home to a variety of quaint boutiques and eateries. While it may be close enough to drive home in the evening, we recommend booking a hotel for the night to get the full getaway experience.
If you’re an ice cream fan (who isn’t?), a trip to Cochrane is in order even if just for a scoop. Mackay’s Ice Cream has built up a popular following across the province thanks to their delicious ice cream offerings and wide selection of flavours. Opened in 1948, Mackay’s is located within Cochrane’s historic downtown area. Test out flavours like Buttery Butter Brickle and Coconut Delight and explore the town–with ice cream in tow of course.
How many places can call themselves the Dinosaur capital of the world? Drumheller can!
This incredible town is only a 1.5-hour drive from Calgary and boasts an impressive list of sights and activities that are entirely unique to the area. Visit the local museums and enjoy the incredible dinosaur bone structures and fossils, go for a hike and take in the breathtaking rocky landscapes of Drumheller’s Badlands, take a dinosaur walk, and don’t miss your chance to behold the grand to-scale replica of the world’s largest dinosaur.
If you’re looking for an active weekend getaway a visit to Crowsnest Pass is in order. With picturesque hiking trails, a variety of mountain biking trails, and a beautiful golf course you can spend the weekend enjoying the wonders of the great outdoors and soaking in all Crowsnest has to offer. Crowsnest Pass is 2.5 hours south of Calgary and also makes for a great stopover option if you’ve set your sights on Fernie as your final destination.