Daytrips from Calgary: Explore the Badlands
Calgary is a fabulous city to spend time in, and whatever you’re into, there is for sure plenty to keep you entertained. But, it also makes a great base for exploring some other really interesting places, such as Banff, or nearby ranches where you can play out your cowboy/ cowgirl fantasies. You can take lots of neat daytrips from Calgary, and one that should definitely be on your list is the Canadian Badlands, which will take a couple of hours to get to but will be so worth the drive. Here’s why:
The Hoodoos. When you drive across the prairies and encounter the crazy beautiful rock formations that signify reaching the Badlands, it feels as though you’ve entered some sci-fi movie set. (Incidentally, the best time to visit the hoodoos is at sunset, where the light hits the colours of the rock in such a spectacular fashion. It is just gorgeous.)
Drumheller. This small town not only offers up a burger the size of your head at Bernie and the Boys Bistro (as featured on TV show You’ve Gotta Eat Here) but also lots and lots of dinosaurs. From real dino skeletons at the spectacular Royal Tyrrell Museum to a absolutely massive t-rex sculpture with a staircase inside that you can climb to get a great view out over the town (billed as the World’s Largest Dinosaur) and plenty of smaller sculptures located throughout the town.
From big attractions to small, you have to stop at Drumheller’s Little Church which only seats six and is absolutely adorable. It was built by inmates of the local medium security prison in 1991, and is a great place to snap a photo.
Be sure to stop for a drink at the Last Chance Saloon, a historic watering hole in the middle of nowhere (well, what used to be a mining town with a thriving population of 3000 but only has a few residents these days) and serves as pub/ museum.
Just driving through the Canadian Badlands is super cool. You won’t see landscapes like this in many places in the world, and the mix of kitsch attractions and wide open spaces makes this a very special road trip well worth taking when you’re staying in Calgary.
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