Since summer doesn’t seem to last long in Alberta, your weekends start to book up pretty fast. Before you know it, you’ll be going to your friend’s wedding, your family reunion, your brother’s graduation and there will be little to no time left for fun trips. Pick a weekend now and text your friends that you’re doing something fun. Whether you want to drive one hour or several days, check out some of these cool travel destinations not too far from home.
Camping in Kananaskis
Distance: 1-hour drive from Calgary
Get the true outdoor experience by travelling deep into the Rocky Mountains this summer. Kananaskis is home to countless natural, well taken care of campgrounds in provincial parks, like Peter Lougheed and Spray Valley, open for you to book ahead of time or on a first-come, first serve basis depending on the campground’s policies. You will be just minutes away from clear blue lakes, easy, moderate and challenging hikes, local wildlife and the peace and quiet of being surrounded by nothing but trees and a grand mountain range.
Distance: 1.5-hour drive from Calgary
From 9am-9pm, the Royal Tyrell Museum is open daily for you to wander, inspect, learn and gaze up in wonder as you take in dinosaur remains and fossils found right here in Alberta. Read up on specific fossils or explore dozens of exhibits to understand what the world was like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Start off the trip with a hike into the hoodoos, breakfast at WHIFS Flapjack House or a walk across Star Mine Suspension Bridge.
Get Active in Fernie
Distance: 3-hour drive from Calgary
Yes, there are things to do in Fernie besides ski in the winter! This gorgeous town in British Columbia hosts countless activities for you and your date, your girls, your pals or your pup to get out and explore nature. Whether you’re into flyfishing, hiking, biking or whitewater rafting, Fernie is ready to help you take a walk on the wild side this summer.
Bask on Lake Koocanusa
Distance: 4-hour drive from Calgary
This 150-kilometre lake stretches across the Canada-United States border, providing ample room for you to stop on the water’s edge and either dip your toes or cannonball into the warm water – your choice. With countless resorts, campgrounds and cabins lining its shores on both the Canadian and the American side, there is a place here for everyone. Stay on the Canada side to shorten the drive and maintain our dollar or explore the American side for outlet shopping and cheap beer.
Soak in Miette Hot Springs
Distance: 6-hour drive from Calgary
In just half a day, you could be soaking in the hottest natural hot springs in all of the Canadian Rockies. This water flows from the mountain at 54 degrees Celcius, believe it or not, but is cooled to a comfortable 40 degrees for you to rest and relax in a gorgeous setting and their unique mineral blend. Top off the trip with an adorable lunch at Fiddle Valley Cafe, a ride up the Jasper SkyTram or wander the beautiful grounds of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
Get a Thrill at Canada’s Wonderland
Distance: 32-hour drive from Calgary
When you read the word ‘road trip’ in the title of this article, you may have been looking for a longer excursion; well, here it is! Thirty-two hours on the road with your date, your bestie, your sibling – heck, even your beloved dog – could be a challenge. However, with rollercoasters, water-themed rides, cotton candy and buttery popcorn waiting for you at the end, it might just be worth it. Pack your snacks and hit the road.
So, how many of these can you knock out this summer, Calgary?!
Kelsey is the Editorial & Events Manager for Date Night. Monday-Friday she works as an independent Marketing & Communications Contractor, providing writing, editing and digital marketing services for small businesses here in YYC. When she’s not busy writing about our city, you can usually find her trying the newest fitness studio, exploring the Rockies or chasing the sun – whether here in AB or halfway across the world.