There are a number of interesting sites and attractions within a short distance of Calgary. These include natural attractions, amusement parks, museums and small towns to name a few.
A tour of the Badlands starts from Calgary city center on the TransCanada Highway 1, branching off after 30 km (19 mi.) on to Highway 9 to the north. Passing through rich, partly irrigated arable and pasture land with flat hills it arrives at Drumheller in the valley of the Red Deer River. Some 25 km (16 mi.) west of the town, in the deeply-slashed Horseshoe Canyon, can be seen for the first time the erosion forms so typical of this part of the Red Deer River and known as the "Badlands"; the complete lack of vegetation makes a lasting impression. It is wise to obtain brochures about the various tours on offer from the Tourist Information Office when arriving in the town.
Bragg Creek, Canada
The town of Bragg Creek located just east of Calgary is a pleasant spot for a day trip. Easily reached either by car or, for the adventurous, by bicycle, the town is a great spot to see some trees (which Calgary has very few of) and soak up a bit of the country side.Numerous shops provide souvenirs, and some interesting galleries are located throughout the town. Many restaurants feature outdoor patios and they are a great spot to linger and pass the afternoon away.The town features a 2 km / 1.25 mile walkway that meanders through the trees and along the Elbow River. Also nearby is a golf course, and in the winter, a ski hill.The area around Bragg Creek is popular with mountain bikers.
About 10 km (6 mi.) west of the city - take the TransCanada Highway and then the Springbank exit - lies the largest adventure park in the whole of south-west Canada. Coach-loads of visitors come to enjoy the numerous attractions, including roller coasters and an artificial watercourse, as well as colorful evening entertainment programs.This is an excellent family facility. From the park, and especially some of the rides, there are good views to the mountains. Visitors can enjoy the 33 rides, 19 food locations, 27 games and 4 attractions. There is also live entertainment with their 2-3 stage shows per year.
Address: 245033 Range Road 33, Calgary, AB T3Z2E9, Canada
Always opened on: Labor Day - Canada (1st Monday, Sep)
Entrance fee in CAD: Family $75.00, Adult $31.95, Child 6 & under $25.00, Senior over 50 $23.00, Child 2 & under FREE
Useful tips: Children ages 7 and up pay adult admission prices. Hours vary throughout the season, call ahead for information.
Pioneers first settled in the Nanton area in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The town is named for Sir Augustus Nanton, a partner in the financial firm, Osler, Hammond and Nanton, of Ontario. He was sent west to investigate investment in farm mortgages and was renowned for his sound judgment. The small town of Nanton is located just 40 minutes south of Calgary at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 533. Of interest here are the Big Sky Garden Railway and the Lancaster Air Museum.
Bomber Command Museum of Canada (formerly Nanton Lancaster Air Museum)
The Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton has expanded over the years. Originally the museum was little more than a tour of the interior of the four-engined Lancaster bomber. It was designed largely to honor those associated with Bomber Command during WW II and commemorates the activities of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Alberta. Over the years the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum (Bomber Command Museum of Canada) has acquired a number of aircraft and other artifacts, as well as aviation art. The facility now has a 20,000 sq ft hangar for aircraft and and additional 3,000 ft for other artifacts.
Big Sky Garden Railway
Big Sky Garden Railway in Nanton features 22 miniature trains running outside on 3000 ft of track. The trains travel over miniature bridges, lakes and a 9 ft high mountain in the gardens. The landscaped garden area, which is sure to impress any horticulturalist, has a European and North American layout. Layouts at Big Sky Garden Railway change every year. There is also an outdoor play area for children.This is a very unique attraction and kids love it. The company also sells children's products related to trains.
Vulcan - Vulcan Trek Station
The Vulcan Trek Station is a Star Trek themed tourism station with a Captain and crew who can answer your questions about the town of Vulcan and the Trek Station. A replica of the original starship Enterprise was unveiled in 1995.Interactive games and a colouring station for children are available along with the mountains and craters of the planet Vulcan.
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