Winter Weekend Vacation Spots That Are Close to Calgary

Posted by Justin Havre on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 11:02am

Weekend Vacation Road Trips Around Calgary

Need a change of scenery? Tired of the hum-drum work routine? Although summer has not yet arrived, there is plenty of opportunity for you to get in your car and take a road trip for a mini winter weekend vacation close to Calgary! Because who says a vacation has to include a flight? And even then, are you limited to Banff, Kananaskis, and Canmore, or is there an opportunity to find something new and exciting to do in places you may not have thoroughly explored? 

There are plenty of amazing cities and towns less than 6 hours away that have unique activities, fun tourist attractions, and local events that will keep the whole family entertained while we wait for the snow to melt! Ready to mix things up? Take a look at these places close to Calgary where you can go for a perfect weekend vacation!

Golden, BC

Average Drive Time from Calgary: 3 Hours

Golden Weekend Vacation Near CalgaryDoes a weekend of fresh mountain air sound like the perfect way to unwind and recharge? Then Golden, BC is the best Banff alternative for your next weekend vacation that is close to YYC! Described as a “hiker’s paradise”, the close proximity to the mountains and the lush forest areas make it one of the best places to get active outside. The city is proud to offer a variety of well-kept trails as well as other exciting outdoor activities like Heli-Hiking, cross country skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, and more! Need to relax after all that exercise? Book a vacation rental, find a local bed and breakfast, or kick back in a lodge that suits your fancy, then reserve a local spa and wellness treatment to help you rest even further. Here are some of the local hot-spots and incredible things to keep you busy in Golden:

  • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – Lodging, Spa, 
  • Grizzly Bear Interpretive Centre
  • Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre
  • Rotary Trails 
  • Chatter Creek
  • World’s Largest Hand Paddle
  • Golden Nordic Ski Club
  • Spiral Tunnels
  • Art Gallery of Golden

Lethbridge, AB

Average Drive Time from Calgary: 2 Hours

The ‘Windy City’ of Lethbridge may not sound like a new or far-off getaway, but if you haven’t had a chance to truly spend some time here exploring, there is still a lot for you to see! As the fourth largest city in Alberta, a mini weekend vacation will allow you to find a little bit of everything to do here in the winter! Although the flowers have not yet bloomed, you can still visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and take a moment to breathe and take in the garden’s architecture. Want to learn more about Canadian history? Then be sure to check out the handful of national and local parks, such as Indian Battle Park which features the Incline Railway and other historic markers. Otherwise, hit up the many escape rooms or take your kids to the trampoline park! Here are some of the local hot-spots and incredible things that will keep you busy in Lethbridge:

  • Lethbridge Weekend Vacation Near CalgaryNikka Yuko Japanese Gardens
  • Henderson Lake Park
  • Indian Battle Park
  • Nicholas Sheran Park
  • Elizabeth Hall Wetlands
  • Galt Museum and Archives
  • Lethbridge Military Museum
  • Local events at the Exhibition Park and Enmax Centre

Whitefish, MT

Average Drive Time from Calgary: 5 Hours

Whitefish Weekend Vacation Near CalgaryWant to travel outside of Canada, but not interested in an expensive flight? Travel across the border into Montana! Our close American neighbour is a great place to venture, especially for those seeking more chances to play in the snow. Whitefish is where the snow bunnies and nature enthusiasts rejoice! Grab your passports, and take a scenic road trip out for a change of pace to immerse yourself in mountain-activities surrounded by nature and wildlife! Alternatively, stay cozy indoors with spa-treatments and check out local eats. Here are some of the local hot-spots and incredible things that will keep you busy in Whitefish:

  • Whitefish Mountain Resort
  • Glacier National Park
  • “Going To The Sun Road”
  • Flathead Lake
  • The Lodge Spa at Whitefish Lake
  • Glacier Distilling Company Tour
  • Dog Sled Adventures
  • Visit Kalispell just outside of the Whitefish area
  • Shop and eat at Whitefish’s historic downtown area along East Second Street
  • Snowshoeing, skiing, and winter hiking in numerous locations around Whitefish

Edmonton, AB

Average Drive Time from Calgary: 3 Hours

Edmonton Weekend Vacation Near CalgaryAlthough Edmonton may be our Calgary sports-team rivals, it is still a place worth checking out for a weekend vacation! Once you have completed your drive north on Highway 2, you will arrive in the city central of Edmonton where you can find an abundance of Airbnb’s, hotels, or even stay at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel Macdonald! Then, fill your days with local attractions, and your evenings with fine-dining options and maybe even a concert! This beautiful city is your chance to get out of your normal routine, take part in some unique events, and even hit the oh-so-famous West Edmonton Mall for some extravagant shopping and water-park fun! Here are some of the local hot-spots and incredible things that will keep you busy in Edmonton:

  • West Edmonton Mall and World Water Park
  • Edmonton Valley Zoo
  • Elk Island National Park
  • William Hawrelak Park
  • Art Gallery of Alberta
  • Royal Alberta Museum
  • Rogers Place – concerts, events, sports games, and more!
  • Visit restaurants, shopping, and services on Whyte Avenue
  • Shopping and dining at Old Strathcona Business Association
  • Fort Edmonton Park
  • High Level Bridge Streetcar

Jasper, AB

Average Drive Time from Calgary: 5 Hours

Jasper Weekend Vacation Near CalgaryBeyond Banff and to the north, you will find the stunning municipality of Jasper, Alberta! Amongst the Canadian Rockies, there is no view in Jasper that will disappoint. The area is overflowing with hiking trails, glacier-fed lakes, rivers, forests, and even a sky-high view of it all with the Jasper Sky-Tram. To book your stay here, you simply need to determine if you would prefer to stay in a hotel situated close to eats and activities, or out further away from it all in a cabin or lodge. Then plan what to do with your weekend vacation in the mountains! Will it be skiing and sightseeing?  A day of arts and culture? Or the daring and breath-taking walk on glass hundreds of feet above the valley with the Columbia Icefield Skywalk? Here are some of the local hot-spots and incredible things that will keep you busy in Jasper:

  • Jasper National Park
  • Jasper Sky-Tram (Just reopened: March 20, 2020)
  • Athabasca Falls
  • Jasper Planetarium 
  • Jasper Discovery Trail
  • Maligne Lake
  • Columbia Icefield Skywalk
  • Mountain Galleries upcoming exhibitions

Drumheller, AB

Average Drive Time from Calgary: 1.5 Hours

Most commonly known as t location where you can see dinosaurs, Drumheller is a nearby place that is filled with adventure! Aside from the famous Royal Tyrell Museum and walking amongst the stunning snow-covered hoodoos there is plenty of history to uncover in this small town. Make it a game to see who will spot the most dinosaur figures (hint: some hide in plain sight, while others may be in windows or up on the roofs!), climb up the World’s Largest Dinosaur, or venture just outside of the town to visit Wayne, Alberta where there is the vintage 1900’s Last Chance Saloon – a great place to grab a bite to eat or even stay the night! Here are some of the local hot-spots and incredible things that will keep you busy in Whitefish:

  • Drumheller Weekend Vacation Near CalgaryRosedale Suspension Bridge
  • Royal Tyrell Museum
  • Horseshoe Canyon
  • Star Mine Suspension Bridge
  • Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Sight 
  • World’s Largest Dinosaur
  • Hoodoos Trail
  • The Little Church
  • Bleriot Ferry (runs April until November)
  • Fossil World Dinosaur Discovery Centre (reopening March 19, 2020)
  • Drive the Dinosaur Trail scenic route

Ready to hit the road and explore new things in great places? Time to pack your bags, book your accommodations, and make your mini weekend vacation travel plans! Because adventure is waiting for you, and it isn’t too far from home!

Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.

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