Adorable Small Towns You Need To Visit This Fall In And Around Alberta
We've got Mountains, Dinosaurs, and Candy Stores - you take your pick!
If you've spent any amount of time living in Alberta, you would know that half the fun to be had here lies in the small towns dispersed throughout the province. Sure, Calgary and Edmonton have more to do when it comes to restaurants and nightlife, but do they have incredible mountain views and friendly small town people? Definitely not!
Everyone knows that Fall is prime road trip season, especially with all the trees changing colour and that mountain air becoming so crisp and cool. It looks like Alberta is gearing up for an early winter this year, so be sure to get in as many adventures as you can before it gets too cold!
No matter if you want to visit the Rocky Mountains up North in Jasper, or climb to the top of the World's Largest Dinosaur down South in Drumheller, this list has something for you to enjoy. Alberta is such a diverse province, and we're definitely so much more than the Rocky Mountains and Calgary Stampede like everyone makes us out to be.
If you're feeling road trip ready, take a look at our recommendations, text your group chat ASAP, book yourself an Airbnb, load your car up with snacks, blankets, your favourite Fall scarf, and that perfect playlist, and get ready to hit the road for the adventure of a lifetime! You don't always need to leave Alberta to have fun. Trust us - there's so much to do right here at home.
What could possibly be better than living this close to the Rockies? Not a whole lot, if you ask us. The gorgeous small town of Canmore has a population of just 13,000 but is constantly filled with tourists and mountain-lovers alike. If you're the outdoorsy type, Canmore is the spot for you. Outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, or skiing at one of the cities' five different ski resorts.
If you're more artsy than outdoorsy, you can still have a blast in Canmore and take advantage of the mountains in a more unique way. Be sure to take along your camera and snap some Instagrams of the picturesque landscape, and sip on the perfect Fall latte at one of the many cafes around town.
Fall may be right around the corner, but that doesn't mean you can't spend one last day at the beach before that bitter Albeta winter lands upon us. Slave Lake has that slowed down, lazy, small-town feel that's oh-so-relaxing, making it the perfect fall road trip destination for you and your crew to hit up.
Spend the day strolling through the sand at Devonshire Beach, grab dinner at Fix, or watch the amazing Northern Lights if you're lucky enough to have the chance - it's the show of a lifetime.
If you're looking to visit a small town that really has it all, Pincher Creek should be on your radar. This spot is home to mountains, valleys, water, and everything in between. It's a spot that definitely fulfills all those Western, cowboy Alberta stereotypes.
Apart from great dining options, and super friendly folks, Pincher Creek is a great spot to do some hiking, boating, skiing, and wildlife watching. If a break from the hustle and bustle of your adult life and 9-5 office job is what you need, pack your bags and make the trip to Pincher Creek ASAP!
It's been said that Nanton is home to some of the friendliest people you'll find in Alberta, and we would have to agree! If you like yourself a bit of Southern charm and antique shopping, you'll definitely have a blast here.
Not many people may live in Bragg Creek, but that doesn't mean people don't visit it as often as they possibly can. Located just a short 30-minute drive outside of Calgary, Bragg Creek is the perfect spot for you to go and get a taste of the great outdoors without getting too far away from home.
Spend your day hiking, biking, skiing, or horseback riding while you breathe in that fresh mountain air. As an added bonus, it's slightly less busy than Banff when it comes to tourists, so you won't be stuck in crowds or waiting in line to enjoy the views.
After a long day of hiking through the mountains, Turner Valley is the perfect pit stop for you to continue your adventure. Visit the Eau Claire Distillery for a drink (or two) and a tour and grab some Mexican food from Motoburrito before you set off to explore the town.
There's plenty to do outdoors here, including kayaking, cross-country skiing, hiking, and biking, but if you prefer to stay inside, be sure to check out one of the many rustic buildings around, like Flare n' Derrick Community Hall.
Would this really be an Alberta road trips article if we didn't include Jasper? Of course not! This quaint little town is the perfect starting point for exploring the beautiful Jasper National Park, but the town itself also has some noteworthy spots. Start your day off right with a coffee and some brunch at Coco's Cafe or Cafe Mondo, and get ready to have a memorable day in the mountains.
Home to an abundance of beautiful buildings and well-groomed gardens, the town of Jasper is welcoming and relaxing. We recommend visiting the Miette Hot Springs, or riding the Gondola up Whistler Mountain if you want to take in the best views that Jasper has to offer.
If you want to take a road trip up North this fall, Bon Accord is a great spot to check out. It was named Canada's first and only Dark Sky Community, so if stargazing is your thing, be sure to bring along a blanket and some snacks.
There's plenty of cute cafes to grab a coffee or a quick bite to eat before you hit the town and check out all the wonderful sights!
Of course, Banff had to make the list! Easily one of the most popular tourist destinations and one of my personal favorite spots to visit, this little mountain town has so much appeal, whether you're outdoorsy and adventurous, or prefer to stay inside and explore!
Grab a drink and something to eat at the Bear Street Tavern, pick up something sweet from the Banff Sweet Shoppe, take a hike, and snap some photos of the gorgeous scenery to post up on Instagram. One thing's for sure - no matter what you do, you'll have a fun-filled day.
Peace River is one of those little towns surrounded by so much natural beauty, one trip there will have you planning a move ASAP! It's got a population of about 7,000 super friendly Albertans who are more than willing to show you around or tell you about the local hot spots.
The town of High River is home to some of the most gorgeous sunsets you'll find on the prairies and has that perfect feeling of being bigger than most small towns, but smaller than big cities like Calgary and Edmonton.
If you're wondering what to do in High River, we recommend checking out one of the many museums, historical murals, or delicious bars and grills that the town has to offer!
Sure, Banff and Jasper are beautiful, but they're also full of tourists and usually quite busy. Skip out on the crowds and head to Waterton, which is equally as beautiful, but significantly less busy!
While you're in town, make sure you head to Waterton Lakes National Park and do some hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, or take some pictures of the amazing views.
Drumheller is easily one of the most interesting towns that Alberta has to offer. It's just about the perfect size and has so many fun things for you to do, like the Dinosaur Museum, exploring the Hoodoos, and of course, climbing to the top of the World's Largest Dinosaur!
Maybe you didn't travel at all this summer, and now you're itching to travel more. Fall is the perfect time for that as you can just roll down the windows, blast music, and cruise around these small towns! You can stop in for coffee, to hike, or to just view the beautiful scenery it has to offer.