Attractions in Southwest Alberta

Here's a partial listing of the Top Attractions and Things To Do in Southwest Alberta

Southern Alberta Art Gallery

Open your eyes. The Southern Alberta Art Gallery fosters the work of contemporary artists who challenge boundaries, and fosters awareness of the arts through exploration of artistic expression. If you are an art lover, or aspire to be, this is a gallery you need to visit. There is always something intriguing on display, but the experience of SAAG is much broader than what hangs on its walls. There is a vibrant community of art aficionados in southern Alberta; they like to kick up their heels at Champagne-fueled fundraising events, take classes and workshops, attend lectures, sit in on noon-hour films, and take guided tours of inspiring homes and artistic sites all over town. Newcomers are always welcome, and by the end of the event (or tour, or class, or what have you) you'll be an honorary member of the clan. Of course you don't have to make big plans to take in what the gallery offers. If you happen to be strolling through Galt Gardens (the beautiful park behind the building) or are looking for a little something to do after lunch at one of the nearby cafes, it would certainly be worth your while to stop by. You may not become an art expert overnight, but you'll definitely begin to look at the world in a new way.


Crowsnest Museum and Archives

The Crowsnest Museum is a dynamic, immersive museum where any visitor can learn about the culture of the Crowsnest Pass. Our approximately 60,000 artifacts are part of displays of early pioneer life, underground mining and miners, town businesses, wildlife, and military and police exhibits. Supplementing the many displays and artifacts is a large manuscript and photo archive, which includes a portion of the world famous Gushul Photo Collection.


Frank Slide Interpretive Centre

Driving through the Crowsnest Pass is an eerie and ethereal experience for a stretch of two kilometers. Piled high on both sides of Highway 3 around the town of Frank is the remnant of the deadliest rockslide to ever happen in Canada - a massive debris field that looks more like the surface of the moon than a mountain valley, and a stark reminder of Mother Nature's awesome power. Hunched on a grassy bluff above the fallen stones, just 1.5 kilometers off the highway, is a building that pays homage to the disaster that happened there at its feet more than 100 years ago. The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre tells the extraordinary tale of the night in April 1903 when 82 million tonnes of rock came crashing down from the side of Turtle Mountain, burying a portion of the burgeoning mining town of Frank forever. Filled with interactive displays, audio-visual experiences and activity areas, Frank Slide Interpretive Centre places visitors in the moments before, during and after the great rock avalanche. Guests discover why the mountain fell, and learn whether it will ever happen again. Friendly and knowledgeable staff members weave tales of the area's history, telling stories that visitors never forget.


Heritage Acres Farm Museum

Once upon a time, the landscape in southern Alberta was speckled with grain elevators that stood proud against the prairie sky. Threshing machines were made of wood, and teams of horses pulled plows to till up the land for seeding. Agriculture has come a long way in the last hundred years, but there is one place that continues to honour the humble beginnings of what has become one of Alberta's thriving modern industries. Heritage Acres Farm Museum is a 180-acre attraction that is steeped in history and exudes country charm. Filled with equipment, artifacts, and buildings from days gone by, the museum offers guests a way to step back in time and to see, feel, and experience the life of settlers who established the first farms in the area. Dedicated to promoting and preserving the agricultural history of southern Alberta, Heritage Acres Farm Museum offers guided tours, educational programs, exhibits, live demonstrations, and special events throughout the year that showcase and celebrate grassroots farming.


Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in downtown Pincher Creek boasts six acres. The heritage gardens are alive with flowering plants and trees. With over 40 flower and shrub beds it is truly a beautiful site. The 16 heritage cabins range in age from 1878 to 1939 with a host of others in between. All heritage and museum buildings are filled with thousands of artifacts from the pioneer past. The cabins are completely accessible year-round to all visitors for self guided tours that offer a closeup view and an authentic frontier experience. Our front administration building, houses the Tourist Information Centre for our area. Visitors and community members make their travel plans and find out about our local attractions. Maps, brochures and recommendations are always available.


Remington Carriage Museum

Moving through the wide corridors of the museum, you can almost hear the clip-clopping of hooves, the rumble of wooden wheels, and the sharp snap of reigns on the back of a team of ready horses. Each display tells a story, vivid vignettes of times gone by - a pioneer family on the trail to a new life, a wealthy businessman traveling the cobblestone streets of New York in comfort and anonymity, a horse-drawn sled that pulled farm children to school over snow covered fields. The Remington Carriage Museum is the largest museum of horse drawn transportation in the world. Its series of interactive galleries showcases over 250 authentic carriages, many restored meticulously to their original condition. Guests can see how carriages are constructed in the on-site factory, watch a blacksmith hard at work, visit four-legged friends in the stable, and of course take a carriage ride around the grounds. Take a tour through the Remington Carriage Museum and let yourself be drawn back in time.


Michelsen Farmstead Provincial Historic Resource

Originally built in 1902 as a two room home, this house was purchased by Andreas Michelsen, a Danish immigrant and active member of the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1904. It received a major remodeling in 1912 when 2 rooms on the main floor, the whole upstairs and the veranda were added. The Michelsen Farmstead was a hub of activity among the citizens of Stirling for many years. Today, the Farmstead is a beautifully restored tribute to early life in the village of Stirling. Located on a large historic parcel of land, the 2-story Victorian-style family home appears so timeless and untouched that you almost expect to see Mrs. Michelsen herself to come through the swinging screen door and take a seat on the glorious wraparound porch to enjoy the afternoon. Back in the day, Michelsen Farmstead was a favorite gathering place for Stirling residents. The family hosted many dances and parties on the property, and village youngsters often joined the Michelsen children for sleepovers in the large hayloft above the barn. Acquired by Stirling Historical Society in 1995, Michelsen Farmstead is now filled with artifacts that depict the lifestyle of the very people that used to come and celebrate together on the property. Many of the items on display belonged to the Michelsen family, but the collection is a diverse array of pieces from around the village and throughout southern Alberta. The barn contains antique tack, livestock and farm equipment.


Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump

On a vast stretch of wind-swept prairie just 15 minutes northwest of Fort Macleod is a sandstone escarpment with a dramatic history that goes back more than 6,000 years. Every fall herds of buffalo stampeded across the open landscape and over the cliff's edge, tumbling down the rock face to the valley below. Their deaths were not accidental, and they were not in vain. Ancient members of the Blackfoot nation relied on the buffalo for everything they needed to sustain their people through the long cold winter. The buffalo drive provided food, shelter, clothing, and tools for an industrious people, and became a significant part of Blackfoot culture that's remembered and honoured today at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Built right into the face of the cliff itself, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a state of the art visitor's centre. Filled with engaging displays and interactive media presentations, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump celebrates Blackfoot culture, commemorates the drives that happened on the site, and invites guests to experience the days when wild buffalo roamed the prairie.


Southern Alberta Art Gallery
Crowsnest Museum and Archives
Frank Slide Interpretive Centre
Heritage Acres Farm Museum
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Remington Carriage Museum
Michelsen Farmstead Provincial Historic Resource
Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
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