Things To Do In Canada — Fort Steele, BC

Things To Do In BCYou know that ‘someday’ list we all seem to make? The one that just keeps getting longer? Yeah, that’s the one…underneath your coffee cup. Well, I’ve got one too, and I plan on knocking off a few items this summer.

One of the items on my list, aside from stopping in at the Royall Tyrel Museum in Drumheller, is a stop at wonderful Fort Steele, a restored and reconstructed pioneer town situated at the foot of the Great Canadian Rocky Mountains. Not far from Cranbrook, this delightful little town began as a small collection of homes and was driven by gold rush and mineral discoveries until it died out in the early 1900s. One step on the dusty street and you’ll easily lose 150 years or so.

The cars disappear. There’s no loud music, and all signs of modern life seem to melt away. I haven’t been there since I was a young kid, but even then you could feel the stress dissipate. It seemed almost pushed out by a simpler life that somehow envelops you like a favourite childhood blanket.

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Cypress Hills Alberta: A Wild Outdoor Adventure or a Relaxing Retreat

Reesor Lake - A Great Place For A Day in the Prairie Sunshine

Reesor Lake - A Great Place For A Day in the Prairie Sunshine

©2008 Angie Haggstro

The Alberta side of the Cypress Hills is a quiet haven that can be as civilized or as wilds as you want it to be. Downhill skiing, water skiing, and jet skiing are just a few of the activities you can enjoy here. If you prefer a more relaxed vacation, why not spend a romantic weekend at the Elkwater Lodge taking nature walks and fishing.

If you enter the park from the #1, Elkwater greets you with bang. As you crest the hill, the beautiful lake appears at the foot of the woods, and if you continue around the lake, the small little cabin community of Elkwater introduces itself with style. If you are looking for a place to stay, there is a multitude of options. The campground has a variety of different sites depending on your camping style. Tenting sites are nestled into the bush giving you privacy and the feel of seclusion. Other campsites available include a range of fully electric and non-electric spots that are private, shared, or design specifically for large groups.

Cabins for rent in the area supply you with quiet, quaint cabins to the ultimate in rustic luxury. A small Bed and Breakfast is also open in the area. The opulent Elkwater Lake Lodge can easily become your home away from home. There is a wide selection of rooms available including suites, cabins, and magnificent condominiums. The new facility features an award winning culinary staff in the Buglers Restaurant that serves everything from delicious pastas to rabbit. If a manicure, pedicure, or massage is in order, there is the Woodlands Massage and Spa located right there for your convenience.

Elkwater also has an additional restaurant and store run by some of the nicest people you will ever meet. There is a service station located on the main road into town as well as a visitor’s centre that is a wealth of information about the area and often holds various programs throughout the season. While you are here, be sure to take the time to enjoy the animals and scenery in the area with a hike on several of the established trails or make your own way. You will have the opportunity to see all sorts of wildlife including moose, squirrels, deer, and owls as well as a selection of rare flowers and plants. Some of the local favorites are wild raspberries, strawberries, and beautiful orchids.

The summer season is host to a variety of activities. Mini golfing, fishing, and swimming are great to start your holiday. There is also biking, boating, and a full sized golf course available. In the winter, you can enjoy downhill or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice skating, or even an afternoon just playing in the snow and enjoying the fresh, peaceful outdoors.

If you do decide to go for a drive and the weather has been nice, drive to the east and head towards ReesorLake. It is not the smoothest backcountry road you will ever be on, but it is definitely worth the drive so long as it hasn’t been raining. Reesor Lake is a massive lake with enough space to enjoy their favorite activities from fishing and boating to wind surfing and jet skiing.

Come for a visit, enjoy the area, and feel free to explore! You may even fall in love with the area and decide to stay.

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Welcome To Corner Gas And The Imaginary Town Of Dog River…AKA Rouleau, Saskatchewan, Canada

Saskatchewan - The Home Of 'Corner Gas' and Dog River

Saskatchewan - The Home Of 'Corner Gas' and Dog River

©2008AngieHaggstrom

For anyone who has seen the television show, a visit to the set of ‘Corner Gas’ is a must see attraction when traveling through Saskatchewan, Canada. Located in the town of Rouleau, the entire set as well as their production studio Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios where the comedy team films its indoor scenes.

For anyone who doesn’t know what Corner Gas is, it is a hilarious comedy series that airs on CTV and the Comedy Network about life in the small town of ‘Dog River’. Former topics included the tearing down of a barn and the burning down of a profitable corn stand. Doesn’t sound funny? Normally you wouldn’t think so, however, the cast of Corner Gas can definitely pull it off.

The stories surround Corner Gas owner ‘Brent’ played by Brent Butt, and the ‘Ruby’ café owned by ‘Lacey’ played by Gabrielle Miller. Other places and characters include his best bud ‘Hank’ played by Fred Ewanuick, gas station employee ‘Wanda’ played by Nancy Robertson, miss-matched police officers ‘Davis’ and ‘Karen’ played by Lorne Cardinal and Tara Spencer-Nairn. Special guests to the show have included Prime Minister Steven Harper and CTV’s Canada AM anchors Beverly Thompson and Seamus O’Regan.

During the tour, you have access to the entire set unless the cast is filming. In that case, you miss seeing that particular part of the set, but maybe you’ll get to meet the stars! You are almost guaranteed to meet Josh Strait who plays ‘Josh the Cook’ on Corner Gas and helps with the tours.

Tours of the set and production studio offered by CNT Tours are a bit pricey, but worth every penny. The entire tour lasts for approximately four and a half hours. They also pick you up, drop you off at one of two pickup points in Regina, and also have a choice of hotel packages to save you some cash.

There are many other things to do in Regina as well. The same company that offers the Corner Gas Tours also offers a Ghost Tour of Regina where you get to see Regina’s best sites in the dark and hear the local folklore. The RCMP Heritage Center is located on the original RCMP Training Academy Grounds and tells the story of law enforcement from the start of the Mounties to the present day. There is also a casino, a concert theater featuring the Regina Symphony Orchestra, hayrides, and many more attractions.

For more information, visit the Tourism Regina site or keep your eye out here for future travel tips about this fun-filled area of Saskatchewan! Additional information on Corner Gas can be found on a blog by darylwaynejosephlorette.

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Three Top Spots For A Honeymoon Or Romantic Getaway In The Canadian Prairies

The Best Honeymoons And Romantic Getaways In Western Canada

The Best Honeymoons And Romantic Getaways In Western Canada

©2008Angie Haggstrom

When it comes to planning a honeymoon in Western Canada, it is all about where to stay, since that is where you will be spending most of your time. The variety of great places to stay in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta let you truly enjoy any honeymoon you can dream up. Here are three unforgettable favorite that easily fit into your wedding budget.

3. The Romantic Getaway Retreat In Manitoba

Not far from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and the town of Beausejour, is a small couples-only spot called ‘Romantic Getaway Retreat.’ They offer lovebirds a quiet luxury cabin with a Jacuzzi and steam shower as well as a kitchen, sunroom, fireplace, and many other lavish features. The lodgings are nestled along the water front on more than 100 acres of private forest.

What really sets this little place apart from others is the high attention to fine details. The chocolates, rose petals, and candles are just the start. There are heart stickers on the paper towel and even the toilet paper. If you are looking to include some memorable activities on your romantic retreat, there are great skiing and snowshoeing tours available. With the retreat only a short distance from the city, you can spend the afternoon shopping and sightseeing or you can sample a taste of the local nightlife. The cabins start at $199 a night during the off-season and there are only two of them available, so you’ll want to be sure to book early.

2. Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort

At the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort, it is all about relaxation. Found in the city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, the resort offers guests full spa treatments and a rooftop geo-thermal mineral water pool. They have a beautiful honeymoon suite, which runs around $400 per night, as well as an anniversary suite and many other luxury rooms to choose from.

There is fine dining, a lounge, spa shop, casino, and fitness room directly on site, but because of its great location in the city, your options are certainly not limited. That is, if you can convince yourself to leave the resort. The city has all different kinds of things to do and see. Theater productions, trolley tours, museums, and galleries can easily fill an afternoon. There are interesting attractions like Al Capone’s Tunnels of Moose Jaw and tons of shopping opportunities.

1. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is truly the ultimate in luxury stays. You can choose from lavish suites to large 7 000+ square foot cabins complete with private garages, pools, and fireplaces. With prices ranging from around $100 to $700+ per night, everyone can enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains on their honeymoon or romantic getaway.

There is The Edith Cavell for some of the best fine dining in Canada. The Emerald has fantastic food and a breathtaking view of the mountains. You can enjoy the scene from inside the beautifully decorated restaurant, or you can have your meal on the patio while you watch the fantastic sunsets and scenes. There is a health club, spa, and world famous golfing here as well. Because it is situated right in the Great Canadian Rockies, there are an unlimited number of things to do and see.

The Canadian Prairies have many great honeymoon destinations, but these three are definitely at the top of the list. Whether you prefer the ultimate in luxury, the quiet hideaway, or the urban retreat, you won’t be disappointed. The worst part of the entire thing? Having to go home!

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Rare White Bengal Tiger Babies At The Saskatoon Zoo Until September!

White Bengal Tiger Cubs Similar to Those Picture Here Are At The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo

White Bengal Tiger Cubs Similar to Those Picture Here Are At The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo

©2008AngieHaggstrom

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, has announce they have a pair of very rare white Bengal tiger cubs named Jasmine and Jafar visiting their facility. While on exhibit at the Children’s Zoo in the park, the rambunctious siblings are being bottle fed kitten’s milk by zookeepers and snacking on hamburger every three hours since their mother can no longer feed the pair on her own. If you would like to see these little sweethearts, you will have to get to Saskatoon before they head back to their Ontario home in early September.

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo is a great place to include in your Saskatchewan vacation. For a reasonable price, ($7.50 for Adults, $4.50 for 6-18, free for children 6 and under, and $15 for a family at the time of this posting. November to the end of March is by donation) you can easily spend the day wandering through the beautifully kept grounds along with the many peacocks and other birds who wander loose within park limits.

They have native animals such as massive, full-grown elk (who put on quite a boisterous show during rutting season), lynx, and bears as well as several exotic species. The children’s section is just as entertaining for the adults as it is for the kids. The Forestry Farm also holds a variety of different programs and activities for both adults and children.

Besides the zoo, there are many other things to do and see in and around Saskatoon. If you are on a kid-free vacation, you can spend a day at the Dakota Dunes Golf Links enjoying the beauty of the prairie landscape while you play a round of golf. If golfing isn’t your thing, try your luck at the Dakota Dunes Casino and try to leave Saskatchewan with pockets that are a little heavier than when you arrived.

For those looking to include family activities during their travel through Saskatchewan, the kids would love a visit to Kinsmen Park. Best of all, at $1 per ride, it easily fits into the tightest of family travel budgets. There is an antique carousel and a miniature train that everyone can ride through the park.

While you are here, the kids can participate in afternoon activities such as a visit to the Saskatoon Fire Department. The park also has a water area called the Play Village where the kids can have fun in a supervised kiddie pool. If you plan to arrive at the park around lunch, be sure to get a picnic lunch from one of the local delis or restaurants. The park has lots of picnic tables and space for the kids to run and play.

There is so much more in the city of Saskatoon! If you would like more information, visit Tourism Saskatchewan or the City of Saskatoon.

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Dinosaur Eggs, Devils Coulee, And Log Cabins – It’s Gotta Be Alberta!

One of the Many Sights of Southern Alberta, Canada

Travel in Southern Alberta, Canada

©2008Angie Haggstrom

Sadly, the southeast corner of Alberta, Canada is a virtually unknown area to many world travelers. There are no major cities south of Medicine Hat or west of Lethbridge, but what it does have more than makes up for the lack of urban activity. When you travel to the area surrounding Warner, Cardston, and Etzikom, you have a chance to see rare sights such as nests of dinosaur eggs, historic log cabins, and a chance to see real carriages.©2008Angie Haggstrom

South of Medicine Hat, AB, the little town of Etzikom is a great place to start your day of travel and excitement. The Etzikom Museum and Canadian National Historic Windmill Center is different from any other museum you will ever visit and even the kids will love it.

The tour of the Canadian National Historic Windmill Center starts with the acreage surrounding the Etzikom Museum. Restored windmills and water pumps stand proudly retelling more than 200 years of wind power history. The tour continues inside the museum with several interactive displays that allow you to experience several different eras of Alberta’s history firsthand. The fossils, petroglyphs, and many other displays of period life including Indian artifacts and early pioneers are just a few of the things you can see and play with. From May to September, you can wander through the entire thing on your own or take a guided tour.

Once you are done there, drive over to Warner, Alberta and be sure to watch the beautiful scenery as you go! Old farmhouses dating back to the early 1900s, beautiful coulees, and delightful hills mark the entire trip. One coulee of particular interest is called Devil’s Coulee.

Originally discovered by a young local girl in 1987, the Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur Museum has rare Hadrosaur dinosaur nests, embryos, and a variety of other fossils. The tours take you through the excavation site and even teach you how to identify dinosaur fossils. The Heritage Gallery, found in the same location, has period history displays focusing on everything from the women in the early 1900s to the life of soldiers during WWII.

Last stop on the tour of southern Alberta is the quaint town of Cardston. This little town is literally filled with period buildings dating back to the start of the 1900s. One of these great buildings is the Cobblestone Manor, a beautiful Bed and Breakfast constructed from logs and river stones. Haven’t fallen in love with the place? Then ask about the heart-wrenching history behind the construction of the B&B.

The most interesting spot in this quiet little town is the Museum of Carriages. It was recognized by the government as one of the “Best Indoor Attractions in Canada” and with more than 250 examples of different non-motorized vehicles, it is certainly no surprise. On your way out of town, be sure to check out the Card Pioneer Home, which is almost the same as the day it was build more than 100 years ago.

The southeast corner of Alberta has something to offer everyone including the littlest of travelers. With so many different things to do and see, the memories gained from your vacation here are sure to stay with you for a lifetime.

For more information, visit Travel Alberta Canada or Alberta’s South Travel & Tourism.

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Travel To Calgary: The Largest Parade In Canada And The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth

Travel To Calgary and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede

Travel To the Calgary and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede

©2008Angie Haggstrom

Once a year, Calgary, Alberta, Canada is home to what is fondly referred to as “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.” The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede is a volunteer driven event that occurs every year in July. To kick off the event, more than 350 000 people gather on 4.5 km of sidewalks to watch the Calgary Stampede Parade, which is also the biggest parade in Canada. In all, approximately 1.2 million people will attend the many events included in the ten day exhibition.

Although rodeos and fairs occurred throughout Western Canada for many years prior to the start of the stampede, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede started in 1912 thanks to the Wild West entertainer Guy Weadick. Guided by his dreams of keeping the pas alive, he set up and produced the show. He is also credited with the invention of the controversial chuckwagon races as well as other activities associated with the main event. The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede has been running under its official name since 1923.

The rodeo portion of the stampede includes a wide variety of events that allow cowboys and cowgirls show their skill and with $60 000 divided among the winners and a cool $1M on the line for “Showdown Sunday,” the competition is shine to anyone’s buckle. Besides the exciting bronc riding and bull riding, there is also steer wrestling, and roping. Designed specifically for the kiddie cowboys, there are wild pony races as well.

Besides the exhilarating rodeo competition, there are several other activities and attractions included in the Calgary Stampede. The agricultural show highlights world-renowned informational displays on different agricultural practices as well as show animals.

As travelers and Calgarians attend the many shows and events around the city, the Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses mingle with the crowds and helping to represent the show. To end the exhibition, a Las Vegas style show called the Grandstand Show is accompanied by a fantastic fireworks display.

For Calgarians and travelers alike, it is no surprise that the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede is known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.” If the stampede itself doesn’t have what you are looking for, almost every business in town has something special in honor of the stampede. Shops and stores hold fantastic sales, the midway is full of exhilarating rides, and the nightlife is spectacular. The stampede is easily one of the best events in Canada.

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