Wild Rose Country looks beautiful on Instagram and postcards, but we’re so much more than blue water and the Stampede. Contrary to popular belief, Albertans are as strange as they come and we’re hardly shy about it. In fact, all over the province, we have entire towns and monuments in honour of our ‘particular’ interests and passions. Do you live here but aren’t sure what we’re talking about? Well, here are just 10 weird day trip destinations you can find near Calgary.

VULCAN

A town dedicated to Star Trek, Vulcan, Alberta not only has a museum of memorabilia from the show, but it also has an incredibly detailed starship display among other little blink-and-you-might-miss-it oddities. Whether you’re a fan or not, it is definitely worth checking out this quirky town just to see it with your own peepers. Live long and prosper! 

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 128 km

LAKE MINNEWANKA

Now, this might look like just your regular Alberta lake, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Hidden under the surface is actually an entire ghost town that you can actually scuba dive through – if you’re experienced and qualified to do so. Not ready to put your head below the water? They also have a cruise made just that much better by the fact you know what’s hidden under the boat.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 100 km

RED ROCK COULEE

 

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Scattered along the hiking trails of the Red Rock Coulee, this one-of-a-kind destination is revered for its unusual natural spherical rocks. Bring water, a camera a hat and your endurance! it’s going to be quite the trek but we promise it’ll be worth it.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 342 km

THE VAULT

Rated as an ‘easy’ hike by AllTrails.com, this eerie destination is one that’s worth the walk. The short gander through Heart Creek will actually lead you to a large dark tunnel, which is carved into the limestone under Mount McGillivray. What makes it cooler than most ‘hole in the wall’ type places? Well, it was originally meant to protect government records from nuclear destruction during the Cold War. Spooky!

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 87.3km

DRUMHELLER

Alberta’s Drumheller is pretty underrated as far as day trips go. This adorable prehistoric town is all about fossils, dinos, and fun – with a world-famous museum dedicated to the Jurassic era, the world’s largest t-rex and smaller more colourful creatures placed on corners, in front of businesses and beside roadways, this day-trip destination is one to beat.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 135 km

TORRINGTON


How could we do a list like this and not mention the world-famous Gopher Hole Museum? Located in Torrington, Alberta – this unique spot has nearly 50 scenes set up featuring stuffed gophers doing very human things like barbecuing, getting married, and more.

Where: 208 1 St SW, Torrington
Distance from Calgary: 119 km

VEGREVILLE/MUNDARE

Hungry and willing to drive a little farther? Well, we hope so because only a few hours out of Calgary you’ll find neighbouring tiny towns with fantastic food and 2 deliciously supersized menu items. Known for the world’s largest pysanka, a Ukrainian-style easter egg,, Vegreville is about 18 minutes NW of Mundare – another adorable spot accredited with having the world’s largest kielbasa sausage. Press play on your favourite playlist, drive upwards and you’ve got an entire day of eating and snapping pictures ahead of you. Feeling crazy? Along the way, you’ll also pass the world’s largest lamp, skunk, and golf tee.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 402 km

ETZIKOM

 

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Located southeast of Calgary, Etzicom Alberta is the home of Alberta’s historical windmill museum. Here you can interact with some of the artifacts, learn more about life was like as an early pioneer AND wander an exhibit of fossils, petroglyphs, and  Homesteader tools among other things.

Where: AB-885, Etzikom, AB
Distance from Calgary: 241 km

WAYNE, ALBERTA

Are you a fan of the spookier stuff? Have we got a destination for you! Hidden in the Alberta Badlands day-trippers will find the unoccupied town of Wayne, Alberta. Delve deep into old mines, check out the Last Chance Saloon – a snapshot of the old west; wander the old hotel and explore the untouched artifacts and buildings left behind by a once-thriving community.

Where: 555 Jewel Street. Rosedale Station, AB
Distance from Calgary: 147.3 km

MUSEUM OF FEAR AND WONDER

Alright, so this is one is more of a ‘bonus;’ because they actually won’t be open again until 2022 – no thanks to the pandemic. That being said, absolutely keep this on your list if you’re looking for weird and wonderful stuff to find in Alberta. This collection of cursed-looking objects is a collaborative project by curators Brendan Griebel and Jude Griebel. Comprised of what they describe as ’emotionally complicated artifacts’ the exhibit speaks directly to the complexities and harsh realities of the human experience.

Where: Outside of Bergen, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 106 km

There you have it YYC, 10 weird day trip destinations you can find near Calgary. Enjoy yourselves out there and drive safely!