Prairie Past and Present Tours
Looking for an Alberta heritage moment you haven’t experienced yet?
From pilots to pioneers to movie stars there are stories to discover around almost every corner …. Come explore unexpected stories about life on the Prairies on a historic daytrip through our Cool Little Towns.
THE BOMBER COMMAND MUSEUM OF CANADA
Although southern Alberta has long been associated with its Cowboy cultural roots, did you know the area also played a central role in protecting Britain and the Allies during World War II? The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, in the Cool Little Town of Nanton, an easy 1 hour drive south of Calgary commemorates this important piece of history and features an extensive collection of military memorabilia, vehicles, airforce artwork, and airplanes, genuine Lancaster Bomber with 4 working engines that ROAR to life at events throughout the summer months. The museum’s staff and volunteers are magical storytellers who are gifted with bringing the era of Bomber Command to life! The museum is open year round and you can learn more by visiting their website at: http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/
THE MUSEUM OF MINIATURES
The Cool Little Town of Nanton is also home to the wonderful museum of miniatures – full of tiny houses, native villages, jungles, circus scenes and more – all hand built with love and INCREDIBLE DETAIL! The museum keepers are a wealth of information and always have a yarn or two to spin about their dioramas, and about life on the prairies. Visit their website at www.museumofminiatures.ca
THE MUSEUM OF THE HIGHWOOD
As the railway made it’s way across the prairies, so to did settlements grow and expand – and our Cool Little Towns are no exception. The Museum of the Highwood in High River features an everchanging, dynamic collection of exhibit pieces and story telling that documents the area’s history including its brushes with Royalty of both the British AND Hollywood kind. Housed in downtown High River’s historic train station, the building it self has been featured in numerous very well known film and television productions including Superman, Heartland, Tin Star and more! High River has been home to dozens of famous people and famous places that you can learn all about by visiting the fun museum. www.museumofthehighwood.com
WHILE AT THE MUSEUM, MAKE SURE YOU ASK ABOUT THE HISTORIC MURALS THAT ARE PAINTED ALL OVER THE WALLS OF DOWNTOWN HIGH RIVER!
FAMOUS PEOPLE AND FAMOUS PLACES
The Town of High River has a long and colourful history rubbing elbows with icons of Canadian and US pop-culture. From the Prince of Wales, to Jackie Chan, from Superman to Clint Eastwood and many many more. A visit to this Cool Little Town just might find you walking on a familiar streetscape from one of your favourite tv shows. Learn more at the Museum of the Highwood, and by visiting the Town’s film and television website: https://highriver.ca/film-and-television-in-high-river/
THE OKOTOKS ERRATIC
The randomness of this massive prehistoric rock that a glacier plunked down in the middle of the foothills landscape, just outside the Cool Little Town of Okotoks is only part of the fascinating story and history of this glacial erratic. The largest glacial erratic of it’s kind, it’s hard to believe that this one rock travelled all the way to Okotoks atop a glacier, from an ancient landslide in the Rocky Mountains just outside Jasper, over 450KM away!! Marking the local landscape for eons, the Indigenous Blackfoot peoples name for the erratic is derived from their word for rock, which is “okatok.”
A quick pull over and easy walk down the trail and around this geologic oddity makes for a nice way to stretch your legs as you make your daytripping way around the region. Learn more about this natural wonder here: https://www.alberta.ca/okotoks-erratic-big-rock.aspx
THE TURNER VALLEY GAS PLANT PROVINCIAL AND NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Western Canada’s first commercial oilfield and processing plant was developed in Turner Valley. Take a guided tour around the site, exhibit hall, and through some of the historic buildings and explore the birthplace of Alberta’s petroleum industry. Learn more at: https://turnervalleygasplant.ca/ and http://www.history.alberta.ca/energyheritage/turner-valley-gas-plant/default.aspx