Check out these three day trips in the Calgary Region to round out your summer

by • August 26, 2014 • Community

By Shari Fenn, Content Contributor

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? Something to round out the summer while being inexpensive? Why not check out activities in the Calgary Region.

The Region has an abundance of places to go for everyone from antique enthusiasts and art lovers, to those who enjoy the great outdoors and specialty ice cream shops.

Here are three awesome day trips to think about:

1. Pedal through world-class views – Canmore to Banff

Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail

Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail

Built in 2010 in honour of Banff National Park’s 125th Anniversary, Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail between Banff and Canmore has quickly become one of the most popular biking trails in the Calgary region.

The 26.8 kilometre paved pathway is a multi-use recreation path for the enjoyment of all types of users – from cyclists and pedestrians to skateboarders and in-line skaters.

It’s a great trail for families and cyclists of all abilities and is worth the ride for the spectacular mountain views alone.

Legacy Trail Features:

  • A three-season pathway (closed in the winter)
  • Informative interpretive panels
  • Pets on a leash are welcome
  • Wide two-way lanes allowing avid cyclists to pass easily
  • Rest stops along the way
  • Picnic tables and washrooms about ½ way at Valley View.

One Way or Round Trip?Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail

A one-way trip is a great way for families to enjoy the mountains and get some beautiful cycling in without anybody being worn out.

One way will take families with children 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on how many “selfie” stops you make along the way.

Families with young children might want to start the trip from Banff since it is more downhill going this direction making it easier to coast.

Adult cyclists can expect to complete the full, round-trip bike ride in 2 to 3 hours.

How do we do a one way trip?

The ROAM regional transit service running between Banff and Canmore makes it easy. Just bike to either Canmore or Banff and bus back together or send one person to pick up the vehicle while everyone catches their breath – or a cold refreshment in town.

ROAM also has bike rack on the front of the bus for three bikes and if not busy, room to put a few bikes on board.

Check out the ROAM fares and schedule for more information.

2. Take a road trip to Alberta’s Antique Capital – Nanton

Antique - Nanton

Just 40 minutes south of Calgary on Highway #2, but well away from the hustle and bustle of your local mega-mall, lies the picturesque town of Nanton nestled in the shadows of the Rocky Mountain foothills.

Nanton is a mini-mecca for antique seekers, where history abounds and the heritage buildings are as charming as the merchandise within.

Park for free and explore Nanton’s numerous antiques shops, which are within walking distance of one another.

With unique finds and affordable pricing, neither the avid nor amateur antique hunter will leave disappointed—or empty handed.

Antique Treasures 

Antique - NantonThe shops are chock full of hidden treasures for any age. Peruse for affordable rare finds that you can bring home as signature pieces for your home decorating project such as:

  • ornate furniture and original historic artwork
  • vintage pearls, bracelets and rings
  • brightly coloured glasswear, bowls and vases
  • the earliest typewriters and record players
  • books with rare titles
  • classic children’s games, bikes and even toy ovens made of tin
  • vintage radios and grandfather clocks.

To plan your walking trip to one of Nanton’s antique shops, visit

Visit the Nanton website for more information on local attractions.

3. Discover an art lover’s paradise – Black Diamond

Art Gallery - Black Diamond

Blue Rock Gallery sells big city art with a local heart

With its unique galleries and eclectic shops, it’s becoming harder to keep the secret under wraps: Black Diamond is a vibrant town with a thriving arts community.

The truth is that Black Diamond has become a beloved destination for one-of-a-kind art pieces in its three local galleries that are more like museums than small town art galleries.

All galleries are located on Black Diamond’s historic Main Street and are within walking distance of one another. The building architecture on Main Street will take you back to the 1920s.

Located at the junction of Highways 7 and 22, just 30 minutes from Calgary, Black Diamond offers a major payoff for a quick getaway. With the majestic Rockies as a backdrop, mountain-fed rivers and lush rolling hills, the view around Black Diamond is panoramic and unparalleled.

 Blue Rock Gallery

The Blue Rock Gallery represents almost 200 regional fine artists and craftspeople that live and work within 160 km of the gallery, inspired by the serenity and natural beauty that surrounds them.

All art is for sale and is original, stunning and carefully curated. They also specialize in a vast selection of cards that will make you laugh and weep, and unusual books – many of regional interest by local authors.

Check the Gallery’s website for local art events and opportunities to meet local artists.

MaryAnne’s Eden Art and Garden Gallery

Art Canvas

Maryanne Jesperson’s piece called, “Clearly Canadian,” features a rocky bank with blasts of gold and orange trees

Maryanne Jesperson houses and sells an extensive art collection at her personal studio in Black Diamond.

Maryanne was born and raised in central Alberta. The landscape of her childhood – the foothills and mountain views – still infuses her work, and she paints almost every day to continue exploring and expressing her profound relationship with it.

Maryanne’s work can be found in private collections in countries such as England, Qatar, South Africa and Australia, and throughout the USA and Canada.

The Black Diamond Gallery

The Black Diamond Gallery hosts a unique collection of teak furniture and art imported from Indonesia. The gallery is filled to the brim: with one-of-a-kind pieces.

The teak is carved by hand in Bali and neighboring countries and ranges from a hand carved image of The Last Supper to coffee tables and bowls.

The Black Diamond Gallery has a large selection including:

  • Teak root furniture
  • Hand knotted tribal rugs
  • Wood and stone carvings
  • Bronze sculptures
  • Petrified Wood and more.

Check out the Town of Black Diamond’s website for more information.


We’d Love to Hear from You

If you have other ideas of some of the best day trips in the Calgary Region, we’d love to hear from you.

Submitted by Shari Fenn, a communications strategist and advocate for healthy and sustainable living in the Calgary Region.


Learn more about other fun and amazing day trips in the Calgary Region:

 Guide to Calgary Region Day Trips button

7 Responses

  1. Patty says:

    Great info! Black Diamond is such a hidden gem – nice it’s getting a spotlight. And I didn’t know I could do a 1-way trail ride between Canmore & Banff. Checking it out this weekend! Looking forward to seeing more info!

    • CRPadmin says:

      That’s great you found our post useful! We are definitely looking to highlight the entire Region so look for more stories. If you have some time please subscribe and get our content highlighting our great Region.

  2. Charles says:

    A great article. Very well put together. Nice to see a focus on lesser known areas and an economical holiday for all the family.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Love these new ideas for day trips! I am going to check them out. Another idea for a future day trip story is a visit to Turner Valley. Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley has amazing burgers and breakfast that is served all day. They were featured on the Food Network and were voted “Best Burger” by Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2011. After eating, try a drive to take in the scenery around Turner Valley with the farmland, foothills and the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop.

    • CRPadmin says:

      Thanks for the suggestions Cheryl! We’ll definitely consider it for future content for things to do in the Calgary Region. The Chuckwagon Cafe is a favourite for sure.

  4. Paul says:

    What a great and informative article by Shari Fenn. Hope to see more of her articles in the near future.

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