We love living in the big city but sometimes, you just want to get out for a few hours and see or do something different! We hope you’ve got a killer playlist because we’re taking a drive! Fuel up and grab some road snacks, here are the 15 best and most unique day trips you can take in Alberta – that aren’t to Banff, Jasper or Canmore.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Visit Sylvan Lake (@visitsylvanlake)

Sylvan Lake has all the makings for a perfect day trip if you’re legitimately looking for a day in a lake town. This popular spot is only an hour and a half outside of Calgary and is an excellent place to grab a bite to eat, browse quaint little shops, hit their iconic ice cream shop, and still be home before dinner!

Where: 5012 48 Avenue Sylvan Lake, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 159.5 km
Distance from Edmonton: 162.6 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jurassic Forest (@jurassicforest)

Located in Gibbons, Alberta, just south of Edmonton, The Jurassic Forest opens in May and is unlike anything else in the province. With 40 acres of fun, this provincial playground has a mini-golf course, 60 life-sized critters, and 2 km of boardwalk trails.

Where: 23210 Township Road 564 #2, Gibbons, AB
Distance from Calgary: 346.9 km
Distance from Edmonton: 41.0 km


Love dogs and have a day to spare? We know you do. Have an interactive cuddly afternoon with the biggest and most beautiful breed of pup at the Yamnuska Sanctuary. Get up close and personal with a pack of wolves, listen, learn and tour the sanctuary with an expert guide.

Where: 263156 Range Road 53 Cochrane, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 50.0 km
Distance from Edmonton: 320.2 km

Recent Posts:
“It’s out of control”: Luke Combs just gushed about this Alberta destination on Joe Rogan’s podcast
Lights, camera, action: 6 shows and movies filming in Alberta this spring



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bushkin Travel Tech (@bushkintraveltech)

Live long and prosper! With a humble population Vulcan, Alberta has actually become a provincial hot spot for sci-fans. From parades to a replica Starship Enterprise and even an entire museum dedicated to Star Trek, it’s pretty clear that this town is proud to share a name with Spock’s home planet.

Where: See directions here
Distance from Calgary: 128.1 km
Distance from Edmonton: 418.9 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Timothy J. Campbell (@hysbyswr)

Photo Via Last Chance Saloon / Facebook

What’s up, adventure seekers? 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
Distance from Edmonton: 294.7 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nanton Chamber of Commerce (@visitnanton)

Like Sylvan, the quaint Town of Nanton has a ton to offer. There’s a really good chance you’ve seen already seen photos of the Paradise Hill sunflower field, and with good reason! Also in town? A historic, candy shop, a flight museum, a train museum and a miniature museum. They also have a beautiful lake, restaurants and stunning gardens.

Where:1907 21 Avenue P.O. Box 609, Nanton, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 92.1 km
Distance from Edmonton: 382.9 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Robin – YYC Photographer (@motherpixels)

Kananaskis has something for everyone, and we mean everyone. Check out the Nordic Spa, go dog sledding, caving, heli-skiing, sightseeing, or hiking! The fresh air will go straight to your head, the sun will warm your skin, and the mems will be one for the books.

Where: 1 Centennial Dr, Kananaskis
Distance from Calgary: 75.1 km
Distance from Edmonton: 298 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Travel Drumheller (@traveldrumheller)

Play paleontologist for a day during one of our favourite day trips! The valley of Drumheller is best known for its Royal Tyrrell Museum, where you can come face to skull with dinosaurs found after over 200 million years and even take a guided hike through the badlands to search for fossils. But that’s not all! The town itself has really run with the whole dino theme, which is really cool. In fact, they have the largest dinosaur in the world! Here, among the cacti and sedimentary rock, it’ll be easy to forget that you’re in Alberta – and to us, that’s a day trip well done.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 135.2 km
Distance from Edmonton: 280.2 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cowleys Rafter Six (@raftersixranch)

Ride horseback through Canada’s Rockies, white water raft through rushing mounting rivers, take a wagon ride and get your heart pumping on their ropes course. Rafter Six Ranch will fill your entire day with unique activities and beautiful views.

Where: Rafter Six Ranch, Exshaw, AB
Distance from Calgary: 78.8 km
Distance from Edmonton: 367.1 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kali Hennessey (@kaliwali14)

This unique-to-Alberta experience might give you a case of the “spookies,” but you’ll be glad you made the trip. Overlooking Canada’s deadliest rockslide, the Frank Slide interpretive centre makes for an incredibly eye-opening day trip. Learn why, when, and how half of a town and its residents got trapped under hundreds of thousands of rocks, in one of the country’s worst accidents.

When: AB-3, Crowsnest Pass, AB
Distance from Calgary: 217 km
Distance from Edmonton: 507.2 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Maddy Gervais (@pushpathmaddams)

Thanks to the incredible preservation efforts of this 6,000-year-old site, visitors can now see the incredible landscape, wander the exhibits and learn about the cultural significance of Alberta’s Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump to the Plains People.

Where: 18 km NW of Fort Macleod on Highway 785, Fort Macleod, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 184 km
Distance from Edmonton: 474 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Columbia Icefield Adventure (@columbiaicefieldadventure)

This is an Alberta must-visit. On this one-of-a-kind adventure, visitors can walk along an actual glacier, and feel and drink fresh mountain water. Grab a bite to eat, then finish the day with a strut, or a crawl (we don’t judge) across a glass-bottom skywalk on the edge of the cliff and you’ve just had the perfect day trip!

Where: Highway 93, Icefields Pkwy, Improvement District No. 12, AB
Distance from Calgary: 310 km
Distance from Edmonton: 


Natural Water slides at the Yaha Tinda from Justin Graham on Vimeo.

Running along the Red Deer River, Ya Ha Tinda Ranch is the only federally operated horse ranch in the country. There are around a dozen trails leading from the ranch, but our favourites lead to Hidden Falls and the Scalp Creek Waterslides, which you can visit in the summertime. Trail riding AND natural waterslides?? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Where: Clearwater County
Distance from Calgary:  182 km
Distance from Edmonton: 338 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gopher Hole Museum (@worldfamousgophers)

Sitting out in Torrington, Alberta, the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum is closed until later this spring but is a MUST for anyone into unique experiences. What’s there? 50 scenes that are set up featuring stuffed gophers doing very human things like barbecuing, getting married, and more. Check it out!

Where: 208 1 St SW, Torrington
Distance from Calgary: 119 km
Distance from Edmonton: 224 km



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Museum of Fear and Wonder (@museumoffearandwonder)

Looking for weird and wonderful destinations in Alberta? Featuring a collection of cursed-looking objects, The Museum of Fear and Wonder 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 – but is only open in the summer for private tours and is sadly booked up for the 2023 season.

Where: Outside of Bergen, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 106 km
Distance from Edmonton: 257.1 km

There you have it, friends. Our picks for the most unique day trips you can take in Alberta. Where will you be heading first?!