9 Small Towns In Alberta That Have Charm By The Bucketful & They're Just A Road Trip Away

Pack up the car! 🚗

Someone in Banff. Right: Jasper

Someone in Banff. Right: Jasper

If you're looking to escape the city this summer, Alberta has a ton of gorgeous small towns that you definitely need to check out on your next road trip.

There's nothing like the charm of a small town and these Alberta spots have it by the bucketful. Packed with adorable cafes, shops and bars, you'll be ready to pack up your bags and move permanently after a visit to these spots.

Call your friends and load up the car, because these are the places that are a must-visit this summer.

High River

High River is just 30 minutes from Calgary and stepping onto its streets is like walking onto a movie set. It really is picture-perfect. You can visit the Maggie's Diner set from the show Heartland or head to one of the town's many museums.

Pincher Creek

If you love western vibes, Pincher Creek is the place to be. It's right where the mountains meet the prairies and you can even visit a real-life pioneer village with houses, churches and stores. There are also a ton of great hikes in the area to check out.


Jasper is always going to be a must-visit in Alberta. As well as all the incredible lakes and mountains around to explore, you can also check out the Miette Hot Springs for some rest and relaxation. There's even a gondola to take you to the top of Whistler Mountain for spectacular views over the town.


Canmore might be just over an hour's drive from Calgary, but it feels like a million miles away. Right in the Rockies, you get stunning views of the famous Three Sisters mountains and you can relax and take in that fresh air. The town is filled with cute shops, cafes and bars too.


While Banff and Jasper are definitely Alberta's best-known spots, Waterton is way less busy and just as beautiful. The town looks like it could have been plucked straight out of Europe, especially the iconic Prince Of Wales Hotel. Hikers should check out the Bear's Hump trail where you'll get breathtaking views of the town and Waterton National Park.


No road trip list would be complete without mentioning Banff. The iconic town is packed full of bustling restaurants, bars and shops — all right in the heart of the Rockies. Whether you're desperate to head out on a hike, or you just want to chill and take in the scenery, Banff has it all.


Visiting Nanton is like stepping back in time in the best way. The town has a few unique museums to check out like the Grain Elevator Discovery Centre. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even take the time to head to the Nanton Nite Rodeo.

Peace River

Peace River is a truly stunning part of the province. Whether you take a sunset stroll to the Sagitawa Lookout for incredible views of the town or grab a beer at the brewery, a good time is guaranteed.

Turner Valley

Turner Valley is just under an hour away from Calgary, and you can take in the stunning scenery of Alberta's foothills. Pick up some colourful cocktails from Eau Claire Distillery or head over to the stunning Sheep River Falls.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.