This article is part of a four-part series – the dinosaurs are on vacation in their own backyard! Read the other articles in this series: Dino’s Guide to Family Fun, Dino’s Guide to Popular Attractions, and Dino’s Guide to Local Food & Things To Do.
So, you’ve been to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. What next? You’re not the only one wondering. A ton of dinosaurs have just escaped from the museum! They’ve mostly scattered around town to explore, but four dino pals have stuck around to go check it all out with you. They’ve been cooped up inside for a long time, and they’re excited to see all the amazing things around Drumheller. Our Dino needs to stretch her legs, but her herd isn’t here. She’s super social and loves people, so she’d love it if you could tag along to the bustling downtown!
Oddities and Curiosities
Have you ever wanted a dinosaur apron? Jungling Works sells scarves, home decor, and other great gifts for your friends and family back home. If you enjoy spending an hour getting lost in shelves of curiosities and oddities, there’s no better place to go. Jo’Jo’s Haberdashery even has ice cream while you browse. Neat Stuff Antiques is hidden, located on the far north side of town and across the road from the Welcome to Drumheller sign. It’s the perfect mini adventure for you. Even the view is spectacular from its unique location!
Treasure on Centre sells custom-made coulee glass art, from light boxes made from bottles to sun catchers made with bones, painted windows, and 3D sculptures. If you’ve never particularly seen the hype, there’s all the more reason to go. Seriously. It’s a really unique store, and you’ll have a hard time looking away.
Dino definitely wants in. She’s checking out the BuyGone General Store Pawn and Consign and Dry Canyon Collectables. She doesn’t collect things (how can she, with no pockets or purse?), but she’ll definitely pick up some curious artifact to show off to her friends!
Mind you, don’t trail too far behind, because Dino loves adventure. Go and help her solve puzzles in Drumheller’s own themed escape room, the award-winning Escape This! Drumheller! There’s a lot to do downtown, and it’s a fantastic place to walk around and breathe in the heart of the badlands.
Make your over 11 bridges on your way to Wayne, Alberta. Home to a population of 28 people and the must-visit Last Chance Saloon, this place is truly unique. Take a picture of the stylish saloon with the Badlands as your backdrop, then head inside where you’ll find more photo ops and a great selection of food and drink. Out on their patio, check out their bar, complete with saddle bar stools.
Check Out The Trails
Dino might be content munching on one of the many trees along the 18km of pathways going around Drumheller, but we humans might have a hard time with that. On Railway Ave, Café Olé serves fantastic locally roasted coffee and offers a variety of lunch options to tide you over before joining Dino on the trails.
Walk alongside the Red Deer River as it twists and turns. Of course, you could take the bridge across… or you can head south just outside Drumheller to the Rosedale Suspension Bridge, a 117 metre-long pedestrian bridge. You don’t need to go there to cross the river, but you definitely should. Dino is too big for a pedestrian bridge, but it’s not stopping her! She’ll sit on the banks and admire the river. The bridge is spectacular at any time of day, but the best moment to cross the bridge is right at sunrise, just as the sun begins to peak over the hills on the east bank of the river. Too every-day for you? Go in winter. When the snow falls, there’s no better sight. It’s mesmerizing, and you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale.
View The Vistas
The Badlands are one of the best vistas in Canada, and there are plenty of places around Drumheller to make the most of them. Orkney Viewpoint’s high red rock cliffs offer a splendid and romantic view of the Red Deer River’s twists and turns. Horsethief and Horseshoe Canyons are each only a short drive away and are amazing places for a short hike. Just south of Rosedale lies Hoodoo Trail. There are almost too many options.
Dino is getting hungry, and she’s in the mood for a picnic, so she’s going to head over to Alberta-owned Freson Bros for local, quality ingredients. They employ Red Seal bakers, chefs, and butchers, so it’s easy to go and pick up something as good as homemade. The McMullen Island Day Use Area is Dino’s go-to spot for a picnic. It’s right alongside the river and has plenty of picnic tables. Better yet, it’s a lush green environment full of trees, a unique sight in the Badlands. If you’re looking for something a bit more iconic though, head to the Badlands south of town. Get into a good spot, unfurl your picnic blanket, and watch the sun fall.