With travel restricted this year, let’s spend some time getting to know what makes our province such an attractive tourist destination. Here are five places you can check out this week that people from across the globe fly in to see.
Edmonton Valley Zoo: Edmonton, AB
Situated in the river valley, this zoo boasts more than 350 animals. The focus of the Edmonton Valley Zoo is conservation. This means the practice of captive breeding (not bringing in animals from the wild) and species reintroduction. The zoo is open during the pandemic with restrictions in place. Currently (please check as guidance from AHS changes) guests must remain masked, indoor/high touch exhibits are closed, and food like sandwiches and ice cream are available for takeaway (no seated meals). There is plenty to see, including Zeus, the one-winged eagle that loves to “chat” with visitors and play with her caretakers.
Fallen Leaf Art Gallery: Canmore, AB
Want to see Canadian artists? You’ll find their works here in Fallen Leaf Art Gallery. Painting, glass, oil, acrylic, watercolor and more – all the mediums are represented. View works from established and emerging artists as Fallen Leaf celebrates a wide range of talent across a broad array of styles including impressionism, landscapes and photography. Like what you see? Many of the works are available for purchase. All of this is in what the gallery calls a “comfortable, luscious environment,” so you can spend time browsing with ease.
Anchor D Guiding & Outfitting: Black Diamond, AB
An hour out of Calgary brings you the horseback adventure of your dreams. Live like a cowboy or cowgirl with a short guided trail ride, or a horseback vacation that lasts seven days. No experience? No problem! A variety of horses are in the stable to be matched with the abilities of the rider. What if you want the wild west adventure without a horseback ride? In that case rent an on-site cabin and enjoy relaxing in nature. Anchor D is open during COVID and following recommended guidelines. Guests are asked to distance, bring their own masks, and groups are restricted to immediate household members only. Spots book up fast, so you’ll need to pre-book your adventure.
Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum’s Bonebed Tours: Wembly, AB
Drumheller may get all the glory when it comes to dinosaur fossils, but the giant beasts didn’t concentrate in central Alberta. They roamed the province. A great place to go back in time is up north in Wembly, Alberta. The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bonebed tours continue to operate (with restrictions). Guests must book online, wear a mask, distance, and enjoy the tour in groups of six or less. As AHS guidelines allow, the museum will reopen too, so stay tuned to their website for the latest developments.
The Beaverlodge Beaver: Beaverlodge, AB
What better way to create a landmark in Beaverlodge than with a giant beaver? The animal, which was created to increase town spirit and encourage tourists to visit, took 90 gallons of polyurethane, 13 gallons of paint, and 18 blocks of foam to bring to life. Now the gentle giant resides on the main highway corridor surrounded by signage that educates guests about beaver habitats and behaviours. If your travels are taking you up to the Alaska Highway, make sure you visit Beaverlodge and its famous giant resident.
Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.