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Lloydminster, Alberta
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Valleyview, Alberta

Alberta: Clawed reptiles and cool cowboys dominate this rugged province

Dinosaurs, cowboys and badlands highlight this adventure-filled trip. See a rodeo, and then marvel at mountain majesty.

Drive 347.1 miles, 7 hours, 25 minutes

1. Calgary

Starting Point

Discover Alberta’s past at Heritage Park Historical Village, Canada’s largest living history museum, where an entire century comes to life in over 180 exhibits and attractions. You can ride an original steam train, meander down an antique midway and motor through Gasoline Alley, home to 50 rare vehicles. The Glenbow Museum proffers history through art exhibits detailing Alberta’s First Nations tribe.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Drumheller

86.9 miles, 1 hour, 56 minutes

Nestled in the Badlands of Alberta, the Drumheller Valley was home to some astounding early inhabitants: the dinosaurs. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a world-class institution dedicated to all things dinosaur, and it’s home to the world’s largest display of dinosaur fossils. You can even walk among life-like replicas of these giants in Dinosaur Hall. Take a guided hike through the Badlands and see real dinosaur remains, learn some palaeontology skills and unearth fossil replicas at a simulated dig site.


3. Medicine Hat

152.8 miles, 3 hours, 3 minutes

This prairie town is the sunniest city in Canada and lies sheltered at the base of granite cliffs along the South Saskatchewan River. The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre focuses on the region’s rich history and culture, providing an art gallery and museum. More than 30,000 pieces of Medicine Hat pottery are on display at the Medalta Potteries National Historic Site, an industrial museum and ceramics studio that once housed a pottery factory.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Lethbridge

107.4 miles, 2 hours, 27 minutes

Alberta’s southernmost city is made up of coulees—rolling hills and deep ravines where water once flowed. Today, the region is alive with culture. Fort Whoop-Up National Historic Site, an old frontier trading post, portrays life in the 1860s, when American fur traders brought whiskey to trade the Blackfoot First Nation tribe for buffalo robes. Kids of all ages will love the Galt Museum & Archives, with a hands-on trip through Discovery Hall.