Get outta town! Calgary day-trip destinations

Calgary is surrounded by radically diverse geography that’s made for exploration. Within easy daytrip reach you’ll find wide-open prairie, the magnificent Alberta Badlands, the forest and ranch country of the foothills and internationally renowned mountain parks. The following day-trip destinations are but a few of your options.

Royal Tyrrell Museum Of Palaeontology

Take a trip 90 minutes from Calgary and 69 million years (give or take) into the Earth’s primitive past. The impressively primeval Royal Tyrell Museum on the outskirts of Drumheller is home to a host of ancient fossil animals from the towering Tyrannosaurus rex to the shaggy woolly mammoth. Also enjoy an easy and interesting one-hour guided Badlands hike to experience the source of Alberta’s dinosaur finds firsthand.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site

Fort Macleod, AB T0L 0Z0

The better part of a two-hour car ride south of Calgary, Head-Smashed-In is the kind of place you can (and should) return to again and again. A World Heritage Site, its fun, informative interpretive centre is set into the very cliff face where First Nations people hunted bison for centuries. The views from this world-class archeological site’s cliff-top trails alone are worth the drive.

Capture The Flag Paintball

PO Box 260 Stn Main, Cochrane, AB T4C 1A5

There’s something deliciously Canadian about spending the day playing paintball in scenery akin to a Group of Seven landscape masterpiece. Set in the rugged foothills northwest of Cochrane, Capture the Flag Paintball & Airsoft operates year round. It’s many outdoor courses feature buses, buildings and forts backdropped by pine forest and magnificent mountains.

Pasu Farm

PO Box 656, Carstairs, AB T0M 0N0

Established by sheep farmers Patrick and Susan DeRosemond, Pasu Farm is situated roughly an hour’s drive north of Calgary. To say it’s an idyllic shopping and dining destination is an understatement. Pasu’s boutique arts and crafts gallery features wool products, jams, jellies and beauty products all produced on the farm. Its beautiful log-barn dining hall features a mountain view and a unique Afro-Mediterranean fusion menu.

Canmore Caverns Ltd

129 Bow Meadows Cres, Canmore, AB T1W 2W8

Headquartered in the town of Canmore, a little more than an hour’s drive west of Calgary, Canmore Caverns conducts guided cave tours. Excursions of various lengths include an alpine hike up Grotto Mountain, so called for the spring-fed underground grotto you’ll visit in Rat’s Nest Cave. The cave’s eponymous critters, bushy tailed wood rats, are cute as Pikachu.

Moose Mountain Adventures

PO Box 285, Bragg Creek, AB T0L 0K0

Year round, Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures near the hamlet of Bragg Creek conducts horseback day rides. Trail rides depart from the secluded M & M Ranch into gorgeously rugged Kananaskis Country on the southern foot of the Canadian Rockies. Day excursions are tailored to small groups of riders of all skill levels. Ask about larger group rides and multi-day trips.

Rosebud Theatre

Rosebud, AB T0J 2T0

The sleepy hamlet of Rosebud, located less than a one-hour drive northwest of Calgary, is the home of a remarkable theatre school and stage venue. Rosebud Theatre presents popular stage plays and musical performances year round. The old-west theatrical complex includes a dinner-theatre sun deck, an opera house main stage and Wild Horse Jack’s restaurant. Consider making your visit an overnighter at a local B&B.

Alberta Birds Of Prey Centre

2124 16 Ave, Coaldale, AB T1M 1J8

With a mission to rescue and rehabilitate raptors, Alberta Birds of Prey Centre also works to restore wild bird species such as the very cute and very endangered burrowing owl. Situated on a wetland preserve two hours south of Calgary near the city of Lethbridge, the family-friendly attraction also features a roomy visitor centre and gift shop. Visitors can have photos taken with owls, feed ducks and stroll the Hawk Walk where injured birds are rehabilitated.

Alpine Helicopters Inc

91 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, AB T1W 1N8

Departing from Canmore Municipal Heli-port, Alpine Helicopters offers a number of seriously scenic guided heli-hikes for groups of two or more. Starting with a mountain flyover, your pilot can, for instance, deposit you atop Mount Charles Shasta, which overlooks lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park. The post-flight, down-mountain hike is a panoramic pleasure.

There are several paintball and laser tag facilities in Calgary and surrounding area. The action-filled fun and camaraderie of these games makes them especially popular group and party activities. Paint ball places typically rent out all the needed gear and ample ammunition is available for purchase.
Calgary’s public golf courses are well served by the city’s varied and handsome geography. Within the city and surrounding area, many make use of rolling foothills topography as well as several area creeks and the Bow River Valley. Fore!
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