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Compiled by the Highway Journey Alberta crew
Final up to date on August 26, 2023
As residents of southern Alberta, we are going to all the time resolutely contend that this space of the province has essentially the most to supply relating to historic and cultural significance to the realm and western Canada. It’s residence to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Websites, picturesque landscapes, and a number of other small cities that pack a giant punch of appeal! And no different city gives this greater than Fort Macleod. Situated simply an hour’s drive south of Calgary, not solely does it provide stellar surroundings – sitting completely between prairies and mountains – however there are an unbelievable variety of enjoyable issues to do in Fort Macleod.
From studying in regards to the space’s wealthy historical past, sampling a powerful array of native meals and brews, and providing buying you gained’t discover elsewhere – Fort Macleod may be very a lot price your consideration. There are lots of wonderful explanation why this city has Hollywood’s consideration to make use of as a backdrop for a lot of motion pictures and TV – and it’s about time you came upon for your self.
The Greatest Issues to Do in Fort Macleod
Spend Time at The Fort Museum
Location: 219 25 St
Among the best issues to do in Fort Macleod – and undoubtedly one of many city’s most well-known sights – is The Fort Museum. Devoted to preserving the historical past of the North West Mounted Police and the First Nations of Southern Alberta, this residing museum is a recreation of the unique 1874 fort from which the city will get its identify. Discover the standard tools, clothes, instruments, and a lot extra in an assortment of displays, together with recreations of the buildings you’ll have discovered on the time of the unique fort.
Each summer time, the Fort Museum is bursting with exercise, identified most famously for the NWMP Musical Trip (a recreation of the famed RCMP Musical Trip) that runs 4 occasions day by day. The household enjoyable is continuous, seize a museum scavenger hunt for teenagers, and in addition don’t miss out on reserving a spot within the “Groom A Horse” program. Youngsters will get to decorate in a rider’s serge, groom and prep one of many NWMP musical trip horses, get VIP seating, and extra!
Go to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Leap World Heritage Web site
Discovered 18 kilometres west of Fort Macleod, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Leap is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site that shouldn’t be missed while you’re in Southern Alberta; it’s one of many best-preserved soar websites within the Northern Plains. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Leap was a spot the place buffalo runners dressed as wolves would sneak up on big herds of bison and trigger a stampede that was orchestrated by slender drive lanes resulting in a cliff, inflicting the herd to fall to their loss of life. The bison stays would supply meals, clothes, instruments, and shelter for the Plains folks, and did so for generations, beginning over 6,000 years in the past.
Paying homage to the Indigenous peoples of the North American Plains, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Leap has an unbelievable interpretive centre with galleries and interactive displays; plan for not less than an hour or two to wander via the in depth constructing. There may be additionally the Cliff High Viewpoint to stroll to, the place you possibly can see the well-known soar website.
Be Entertained on the Empress Theatre
Location: 235 24 St
For each a little bit of tradition and a little bit of historical past, head to Empress Theatre. Open since 1912, the Empress Theatre is likely one of the greatest historic websites to go to in Fort Macleod; for over 100 years, it has hosted reside theatre, music, cinema, non-public occasions, festivals, workshops, and a lot extra. Be sure to examine their upcoming occasions to see should you can catch a movie or efficiency while you go to the city.
Scout Film Set Areas
Do you know that there are tons of film areas in Alberta – and that many motion pictures have been filmed within the city of Fort Macleod? Due to its historic downtown in addition to its distinctive prairie panorama, quite a few movies and TV exhibits have been shot in Fort Macleod and the encompassing space, together with Brokeback Mountain, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Let Him Go, Interstellar, Fargo (the sequence), and the hit HBO sequence The Final of Us. Attempt to see if you’ll find a number of of the spots which have been featured round city in your journey to Fort Macleod!
Cease on the Ale Path at Stronghold Brewing
Location: 230 24 St
In the event you’re a fan of beer, you merely have to go to Stronghold Brewing Co. in downtown Fort Macleod. Fort Macleod’s solely craft brewery, Stronghold has implausible decor, energetic occasions, and, in fact, scrumptious craft beer. You possibly can even have Fort Macleod Pizza delivered proper to your desk! Don’t fear, there are additionally non-alcoholic drinks accessible so that everybody can benefit from the area. Strive the Pink Guava Pils on a scorching day, whereas the Interstellar Stout – with its wealthy notes of chocolate and low – is the right drink for an Alberta winter.
Take pleasure in Glorious Coffee and Snacks
In the event you’re after a candy deal with or a caffeine break, strive Homestead Bakeshop or Blackwood Espresso Co, each are conveniently situated within the centre of city. Homestead Bakeshop (228 24 St) was opened in 2017 by Kimberly Vanden Broek and Julena Schipper, two girls enthusiastic about baking. Head right here for artisan-style baking in addition to native merchandise, together with pork from Broek Pork Acres, honey from Denbok Household Farms, and low from Crowsnest Espresso.
And Blackwood Espresso Co (206 24 St) opened not too long ago and is one other stable alternative for a cease in Fort Macleod. Pop in for a snack or a deal with, or head there for breakfast or lunch on the go; they’ve a wonderful number of sandwiches, muffins, egg bites, gluten-free choices, and extra. However most significantly, don’t neglect to strive the espresso, because it’s a number of the greatest on the town and southern Alberta!
Eat Scrumptious Meals
Fortunately, Fort Macleod has a wide variety of eating places. We love Macleod’s Restaurant & Lounge (particularly their 2-for-1 pizza), Digbee’s Diner (for a homestyle breakfast or lunch), Johnny’s Restaurant (for tasty Chinese language meals and different cuisines), Fort Macleod Pizza (one other scrumptious pizza possibility and different quick meals), and the Silver Grill Restaurant (with over 100 years of high quality Chinese language meals), to call a number of.
Go to River Valley Wilderness Park
Discovered throughout the MacKenzie Bridge to the north of Fort Macleod, River Valley Wilderness Park is a good looking spot to get pleasure from nature and spend a while outdoor. Dwelling to a lot of wildlife – together with beavers, deer, muskrats, moose, and bobcats – this day-use park additionally has nice alternatives for birdwatching and mountaineering. Strive the River Valley Wilderness Park Loop, a simple path of roughly 5 kilometres. Wander via the cottonwood forest and comply with the river for a part of the path, which may be very peaceable; it’s undoubtedly the most effective issues to do in Fort Macleod.
Fish or Float on the Oldman River
The Oldman River snakes via Southern Alberta, and it runs alongside the north perimeter of Fort Macleod. Reap the benefits of this implausible setting by getting out on the water, whether or not that’s via fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and even floating on an interior tube! Just a few out of doors gear outlets in Fort Macleod can type you out (we like Fulcrum Outside) and set you on the suitable path. In the event you’re up for a drive and an journey, there’s additionally Little Bow Provincial Park, about an hour away, which additionally has entry to the river.
Summers Imply Farmers Market on Principal
Market on Principal runs throughout July and August, on Wednesdays from 5:30 to eight:30 p.m. Cease by to load up on native artisan merchandise, together with meals and crafts!
Strive a Historic Strolling Tour
Among the best methods to get to know a spot? Take a strolling tour, in fact! Fortunately, two strolling excursions of Fort Macleod will be downloaded via the interactive app On The Spot. Alongside the strolling excursions, you’ll discover over 150 historic photographs of Fort Macleod with detailed descriptions of the significance of the companies, buildings, landmarks, or landscapes featured.
The app permits you to retrace the footsteps of the individuals who lived right here in occasions previous, witnessing the dramatic transformations the city has been via because the Fort was established.
Spend Time in Centennial Park
Location: 568 26 St S
Excellent for households, Centennial Park gives lots; there’s a brand-new skatepark for skateboarding, a playground, a sprig park, a xeriscape backyard, and extra. Usually filled with locals on the weekend, it’s an incredible place to cease for a relaxation or to have a picnic, particularly when you have little ones who have to get some power out. Youngsters will particularly love the spray park, which is tons of enjoyable on a scorching day! And if you wish to park your self in some shade, there’s additionally a lined picnic desk space, making it an ideal roadside cease.
Observe that the spray park is simply open from June to August, 9 a.m. to eight p.m.
For individuals who love antiquing, you’re in luck: Fort Macleod has many implausible vintage outlets! In reality, it’s one thing of an vintage lover’s paradise. Try the Trinkets and Treasures Reward and Vintage Shoppe, The Collective, the Fort Macleod Thrift Store, The Whistle Cease Thrift Retailer, and Samuel Roland Antiques and Collectibles, all of which will be present in downtown Fort Macleod. Who is aware of, possibly you’ll discover your subsequent treasure!
As you stroll across the city of Fort Macleod, you’ll discover that there are many outlets to peruse (on high of the entire vintage and classic shops listed above). With a wide variety of boutique and native shops, you’re certain to search out some great souvenirs or one thing distinctive to take residence, particularly should you try a number of the shops on Principal Avenue. A few of our favourites embody Macleod Dwelling (for lovely residence decor), Wall2Wall Dwelling Furnishings (for Canadian-made, one-of-a-kind furnishings), and Twisted Hummingbird (a florist that additionally carries giftware and extra). Additionally, don’t miss Rafter 99 and Child Ivory.
Play a Spherical of Golf
Location: 270 Lyndon Rd
Discovered straight west of Fort Macleod, the Fort Macleod Golf Course is likely one of the greatest golf programs in Southern Alberta. In reality, it’s truly the oldest golf course in Western Canada! Based in 1890, benefit from the 9-hole format that’s each difficult and delightful; the fourth gap is very well-known resulting from its 173-yard par 3 that requires an correct shot from the tee to keep away from an extra problem. There’s additionally an incredible clubhouse onsite for an after-golf meal.
Take pleasure in Some Out of doors Swimming
Location: 235 21 St
New to Fort Macleod, the Fort Macleod Swimming Pool is now open! Discovered on the Fort Macleod and District Sports activities Centre, you possibly can benefit from the contemporary air and sunshine as you splash and swim, whether or not you’re there for a category or for recreation. There are even non-public pool leases accessible. Test the swimming schedule to know when the pool is open to the general public… it’s a wonderful approach to beat the warmth and luxuriate in a summer time’s day.
Play Hockey (and extra) on the Recreation Centre
Location: 235 21 St
Head to the Fort Macleod & District Sports activities Centre to get out on the ice. Discovered conveniently within the centre of city, the world is adjoining to the brand-new swimming pool. Whereas summertime sees the world stuffed with different occasions – suppose farmers’ markets and extra – in winter you’ll discover many individuals determine skating, enjoying hockey, and curling. Fortunately, there are public skating occasions so everybody can benefit from the rink!
The place to Keep in Fort Macleod
Location: 104 AB-3
Situated on the west fringe of city, Sundown Motel gives a lot of snug rooms, together with some with kitchenettes. With extremely handy entry to downtown Fort Macleod and the close by highways, the rooms are clear and quiet; a light-weight breakfast is obtainable, in addition to free wifi.
Daisy Might Campground
Location: 249 Lyndon Rd
Discovered alongside the Oldman River and inside strolling distance of city, the Daisy Might Campground is a superb alternative for a spot to remain in Fort Macleod. With 110 websites (preferrred for giant teams) that embody full hook-up, energy, and water, log tenting cabins, in addition to non-serviced websites with hearth pits, there may be additionally a heated out of doors pool, scorching tub, mini-golf course, and arcade. Benefit from the river entry, full-service washrooms, and free wifi, too!
River’s Edge Campground
Location: 262048 Lyndon Rd
River’s Edge Campground is an RV park that’s an ideal place to remain for these with their very own RVs, whether or not you select a day by day or month-to-month fee. With the choice for a riverfront view, all websites have 30 amp energy, water, picnic tables, and hearth pits. There are additionally a ton of facilities, together with washrooms with free showers, ice and firewood accessible, and better of all, extraordinarily pleasant service!