Alright gang, ready to hop off the beaten tourist path this summer and hit up the badlands, the Rocky Mountains and some hidden local gems?! If the answer is yes- then we’ve got just the spot. Not only is it basically right in your backyard, but exploring it this summer may just win you a pretty sweet prize.
The city of Lethbridge is divided by an incredible river valley and coulees, the eye-catching geological formations formed by the retreating glaciers. And with its over 100,000 there’s no shortage of restaurants, shopping, museums and accommodation located right in the city.
But perhaps the most incredible feature of all is that Lethbridge is actually the hub to discover 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Magnificent mountain views? Check. World-class trails? Check. Iconic Canadian history? Check check check! In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Waterton Lakes National Park is an International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserve, makin’ it the only park in the world to hold these three titles. If that’s not enough to sell it- we don’t know what is!
Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Provincial Park
Writing-On-Stone provincial park is unlike anything else on this list. In fact, it’s unlike anything else in the province. From hoodoos and trails to cultural sites, this beautiful spot is incredibly unique and has a ton to see and do!
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Thanks to the incredible preservation efforts of this 6,000-year-old site, visitors can see the incredible landscape, wander the exhibits and learn about the cultural significance of Alberta’s Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump to the indigenous people of the North American plains
Dinosaur Provincial Park
World renown for its abundant fossils, riverside cottonwood groves, and stunning badlands, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world with 49 different Dinosaur species found in the park.
Bonus: The Crowsnest Pass
The Crowsnest Pass isn’t an official UNESCO site, but with its incredible scenery and rich history, we just had to include it on the list. Founded on coal mining, the Crowsnest Pass in southwestern Alberta is where the prairies reach for the mountains. With coal mine tours, Frank Slide fallen mountain, tons of hikes, and skiing at Castle Mountain, there’s no shortage of stuff to check out here.
Starting on July 1st and running ‘til September 15, Tourism Lethbridge is encouraging Albertans to Detour from the Ordinary and explore the city and surrounding areas. Anyone who stays at a participating hotel will be given a Detour from the Ordinary Passport, and will earn stamps at participating businesses, organizations and attractions. It’s that simple! Every stamp in the book is considered an entry into their giveaway, and a chance for you to win a gem from KORITE Ammolite valued at approx $5,000!
Unlike pricey mountain resorts, Lethbridge offers a range of accommodations for all budgets, and the attractions within the city alone are worth the trip.
Ready to start planning? Find participating hotels, rules and up-to-date Passport information on the Tourism Lethbridge website here.
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