Check into your Calgary centre hotel. A short walk this evening will take us to the Calgary Tower. Experience a spectacular 360Â° view of the Alberta foothills and the majestic Rocky Mountains and then step onto the glass floor for an unforgettable perspective of the busy Calgary streets below. Multimedia tours are now complimentary with admission to the Observation Deck and will take you on a journey through Calgary's past and present. Once at the Observation Deck, the guide provides you with a panoramic view of the city which matches the views from the windows.
Dinner will be arranged at the SKY 360 Restaurant and Lounge located at a height of 155 meters, from where diners get a full view of the city as the restaurant revolves once per hour during dinner service.
This morning we depart Calgary and travel through the foothills before entering the great Canadian Rockies and arrive in Banff National Park, the first National Park in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We start the day with a Banff sightseeing tour with stops at Cascade Gardens and scenic Bow Falls, before riding the gondola up Sulphur Mountain for unparalleled view of the Rockies and the valley below. We also visit the Cave & Basin National Historic Site, which tells the story of the hot springs that drew the first visitors to Banff and led to the creation of the National Park. We also visit the charming town of Lake Louise, a jewel of the Rockies surrounded by glistening glaciers and towering mountain peaks.
After breakfast, we head south to the famous Bar U Ranch National Historic Site where you can discover the life of a ranching cowboy from the late 1800s. The Bar U Ranch has the largest collection of historical ranch buildings in Canada.
Time permitting, we will aim to stop at Turner Valley, and discover Eau Claire Distillery. The new distillery is housed in the circa-1929 Turner Valley Movie Theatre and Dance Hall that in early days served as a town hall, political rally centre, dance hall and community gathering spot. Located in a place of storied history, the distillery can talk to Turner Valleyâ€™s checkered and illustrious past. To the east was a famous house of â€˜ill reputeâ€™, to the west a general store. In the hills, an aptly named landmark feature called Whiskey Ridge hid moonshine stills. On the north end of town was the notorious street called Whiskey Row.
A further 145 km. drive south takes us to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site that preserves and interprets over 6,000 years of Plains Buffalo Indigenous culture. Through vast landscapes, exhibits, and diverse programming, you will learn from a Blackfoot Nations guide about the cultural significance of this cliff to the Plains People. From the Interpretive Centre, you can venture out along a paved trail that leads you to spectacular views of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Cliff, Calderwood Buffalo Jump & Vision Quest Hill to the north, the great prairies to the east, and the Rocky Mountains to the south.
A final 100 km drive south will take us close to the USA border and the Waterton Lakes National Park. A stay at the Waterton hotel set amidst the unparalleled scenic beauty of the Canadian Rockies is the perfect unwind after our dayâ€™s adventures.
After the busy start, we have an easy day to soak in the surroundings. Waterton Lakes National Park has an incredible mountainous landscape. A tour of the park will conclude with a leisurely boat cruise on Waterton Lake. This afternoon enjoys some time at leisure. Thereâ€™s something for everyone at Waterton Lakes: great hikes, horseback riding, canoeing, Red Rock Canyon, and even scooter rentals.
We will drive a short 55 km to the southern Alberta town of Cardston and the famous Remington Carriage Museum. The largest museum of its kind in the world, the Remington Carriage Museum tells the story of horse-drawn transportation in North America and features interactive displays, horses, a working restoration shop, carriages, wagons, sleighs, and fun activities and includes a tour of the horse facilities and a demonstration of horse care.
Continue our drive east 260 km. to the city of Medicine Hat. Time permitting, visit the historic theatre called the Monarch Theatre which is one of the oldest running movie theatres in Canada, The Monarch Theatreâ€™s single screen shows new, unique, and classic movies every Wednesday & Friday to Sunday.
Downtown Medicine Hat is filled with spectacular historic buildings, an incredible Contemporary Art Gallery & Museum, many trendy boutiques, and some unique restaurants. We visit the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre- a marvel of contemporary Canadian architecture on traditional Blackfoot territory, just steps from the South Saskatchewan River. The Esplanade occupies an eminent position on downtownâ€™s elegant First Street South. From its rooftop terrace, you can see Saamis, the shoreline escarpment which is the setting for the story of how Medicine Hat got its name.
Often described as an oasis in the midst of the prairies, the historic city of Medicine Hat has a vibrant art and cultural scene and a down-home atmosphere. We will tour the Historic Clay District â€“ the Medalta pottery made here was shipped around the world. Medicine Hat has also become known for the â€˜Coffee Tourâ€™ on which six friendly, welcoming, independent coffee shops beckon you. Located throughout the historic city centre and within walking distance of one another, we will try to visit many of these independent coffee shops as possible. Each unique coffee shop offers baristas and specialties in a culturally rich oasis.
From Medicine Hat, we drive 90 minutes and 130 km. to the World Heritage Site of the Dinosaur Provincial Park where we will join a park guide on a safari through the badlands for a chance to discover the rich fossil resource at this protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit an "in-situ" fossil site where one can see fossils on the surface and learn how to identify them. We will see small fossils and learn about the diversity of animals that lived here 75 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous Period.
This evening we arrive in Drumheller, the heart of Dinosaur Valley.
No visit to Drumheller would be complete without a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a world-renowned paleontological museum with a collection of more than 130,000 fossils. Departing Drumheller we will stop at the unexpectedly beautiful Horseshoe Canyon viewpoint. This afternoon we arrive back in the bustling city of Calgary and have plenty of time to explore the fascinating Historical Village of Heritage Park.
After breakfast, say farewell to your fellow travellers and depart Calgary with fond memories from a fantastic cultural journey. Or talk to us to extend your stay in Calgary to visit the famous Icefields Parkway and spend time in scenic Kananaskis Country to enjoy a relaxing guided trail ride, or even to visit the National Music Centre at Studio Bell in Calgary. Studio Bell is home to more than 2,000 rare instruments and artifacts, as well as four Canadian Music Halls of Fame. With interactive educational programming, live performances, engaging exhibitions, and in-house artist incubation, the National Music Centre is much more than a museum; it is a hub for music, innovation, and cultural discovery in Canada.