I travelled to Medicine Hat for a week of exploration. Not quite sure what to expect, I was delighted with my time adventuring in parts of Alberta outside the mountains.
With a population of nearly 65,000 people, the city is the perfect “bite size” location to spend a few days and enjoy a variety of the experiences and activities it has to offer.
Looking for adventures just outside the city of Medicine Hat? Check out details on otherworldly Red Rock Coulee and what to do on a day trip to Elk Water in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
What all is there to see and do in a day in the Hat and how will it work with your budget?
9:00AM – Explore the Trails
The Medicine Hat Visitor Centre offers bike rentals for free! Decide what kind of an adventure you’re in for, then pick up either a cruiser or a mountain bike. I hopped on the trails at the Gas City Campground and headed west of the city to find a green jewel amongst the prairie grasses: Echo Dale Regional Park. Although I only biked a five kilometre portion, Medicine Hat has more than 100 kilometres of trails. If you’re looking for intense adventure, connect with 670 Collective, the city’s off-road based cycling club.
12:00PM – Sample Craft Beer at Hell’s Basement Brewery & Tap Room
Cost: $6 Flight of Beer, tours free if booked in advance
A euphemism for its natural gas fields and immortalized by Rudyard Kipling as having “all hell for a basement,” Hell’s Basement Brewery capitalizes on the peculiarity of the reference. A local craft brewery, both their beer titles and can designs are as interesting as the flavours they offer. From a seasonal mango milkshake IPA named The Yard to one of their core beers, All Hop’s for a Basement, there’s a beer for every palette.
1:30PM – Dine at Local Public Eatery
There are dozens of fantastic restaurants to pick for a lunchtime break, but I particularly liked the front patio at Local Public Eatery. Their fish tacos are some of the best I’ve had. Or consider Fresh Healthy Café for a wrap and smoothie on the go. The turkey cranberry is a solid choice.
3:00PM – Pick up a Godfather Root Beer Coffee
Two shots of espresso, two bumps of vanilla, a shot of cream poured over ice and the most interesting ingredient of all: a bottle of The Grizzly Paw Soda Company Root Beer. Yes, this is a real coffee drink and a sweet one at that. Just down the street from Local it’s the perfect post-lunch pick-me-up at the Station Coffee Company.
3:30PM – Play in the Mud Clay Experience at Medalta
Cost: $200 for two hours, up to four people
It’s necessary to book in advance for a pottery throwing experience at Medalta in the Historic Clay District of the city. The century-old factory which has been turned into an industrial museum and arts facility also offers weekend classes. But, if you’re only in town for a few days it’s most convenient to get a private lesson with their artist-in-residence. I admit it’s much harder than expected to properly throw a pot on the wheel. The one-on-one teaching is worth it.
5:30PM – Market at Medalta
Cost: $12 Museum Admission, Free entry to the Market
Every Thursday night the Medalta hosts a market to connect local vendors to the community. After touring the museum, stop in and check out some of the great local products on offer. Grab a bite from the half-dozen food trucks and enjoy the weekly entertainment.
7:30PM – Milkshake at Tino’s
Finish your night with a milkshake from Tino’s Drive-In. It’s one of the city’s most iconic fast-food restaurants as they’ve been serving up burgers, fries and frosty treats since 1967. The hardest part will be choosing from the dozens of flavours they offer. Feeling adventurous? Go for “Don’t Know,” an unknown combination, or the “Graveyard,” a random selection of flavours.
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I was invited out as guest of Tourism Medicine Hat, Stay in Medicine Hat, Travel Alberta and the Canadian Badlands. This post was created as part of a collaboration but opinions and thoughts remain my own.