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15 Things to Do in Medicine Hat

Escape the bleakness of winter by visiting Medicine Hat, Canada's sunniest city. This hidden gem nestled into Western Canada is one of the region's oldest cities. It has a deep-rooted history in the indigenous Blackfoot legend, which is the namesake of the city.

Visitors and locals alike enjoy Medicine Hat's blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. People of all ages can take part in the various activities found throughout the city, like exploring historical sites and visiting natural parks. The city is also home to many unique attractions, including the world's largest teepee and historical clay district.

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01 Explore the Historic Clay District

Medicine Hat has a rich history in pottery that's rooted in its indigenous Blackfoot past. To immerse yourself in this vital aspect of the city's culture, be sure to visit Medalta. Formerly an industrial ceramics manufacturing complex, this key site in the historic clay district offers an up-close-and-personal glimpse into Medicine Hat's pottery history. There are many interesting artifacts and relics showcased in this complex, such as ancient kilns and even a preserved ceramics factory.

02 Witness the World's Largest Teepee

The Tipi in Medicine Hat

If you want to behold a truly magnificent sight, make sure to stop by the Saamis Teepee, otherwise known as the world's largest teepee. Countless people visit this landmark to marvel at the sheer size of the teepee. At this site, you'll also learn more about the historical significance of the teepee as well as its rich indigenous roots. The Saamis Teepee is conveniently located on the Trans-Canada Highway next to Tourism Medicine Hat, providing a full view of the impressive structure.

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03 Enjoy local craft beer

Looking to blow off some steam during your trip? Make sure to grab a drink or two at one of the breweries in Medicine Hat. Some of the most well-loved spots by locals include Travois Ale Works, Hell's Basement, and Medicine Hat Brewing Company. Whether you prefer the unique flavor profile of local craft beers or the wide array of spirits found at these breweries, there are numerous options for you to choose from. No matter what you enjoy, though, you're sure to find something that satisfies your specific tastes.

04 Stroll through Downtown Medicine Hat

If you want to be at the center of all the action, take a stroll through downtown Medicine Hat. The downtown area is brimming with opportunities for fun and enjoyment. If you're in the mood to grab a quick bite to eat, be sure to stop by one of the charming local cafés in town. We also highly recommend checking out some original art at one of the city's vibrant street art scenes. No matter what you're in the mood for, there's something for everyone downtown.

05 Visit the Medalta Museum

As we discussed before, Medicine Hat is well-known for its fascinating pottery history, which dates back to the city's indigenous Blackfoot roots. If you're interested in taking a deeper dive into this crucial element of Medicine Hat's culture, the Medalta Museum is a must-see. This museum started out as an industrial ceramics manufacturing complex and is now a key landmark in the historic clay district. You'll have access to a wide variety of fascinating artistic relics, such as ancient kilns. There's even a preserved ceramics factory that offers a glimpse into how ceramics were made in ancient times.

06 Relax in Echo Dale Regional Park

After you've worn yourself out from sightseeing and exploring the city, it's important to take the time to relax and unwind. The perfect place to do that is Echo Dale Regional Park, a natural oasis in the heart of Medicine Hat. The unfiltered beauty of this park is the ideal backdrop for any relaxing activity, from reading a book to going on a long stroll. There are also plenty of recreational activities you can take part in at Echo Dale Regional Park, from having a picnic to going for a swim.

07 Experience the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede

Established in 1887, the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede is known as a key cultural and heritage site in southeast Alberta. It started out as a rodeo but has since evolved into a venue hosting various events and exhibitions. In addition to the ever-popular Annual Exhibition & Stampede, this site is also home to sporting events, trade shows, and even a co-op pioneer village. The annual rodeo is known as Alberta's oldest exhibition and attracts attendees of all kinds. The mix of rodeo, fair, and community spirit will promise an unforgettable experience.

08 Play golf under the sun

During your stay in Canada's sunniest city, be sure to soak up as many rays as you can. One of the most popular activities in Medicine Hat is playing golf, which gives you the perfect opportunity to savor the sun and fresh air. There are many scenic golf courses scattered throughout the city that offer an unencumbered view of the beautiful landscape. Regardless of skill or experience, anyone can enjoy a round or two of golf in the Medicine Hat sunshine.

09 Discover local dining delights

Your visit to Medicine Hat wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the best eateries in the city. There are plenty of options available for every kind of cuisine and preference. If you're looking for a more laid-back vibe, Accents Kitchen offers gourmet comfort food that you can enjoy with the whole family. LOCAL Public Eatery Medicine Hat is also worth checking out if you enjoy craft beer and globally inspired-dishes. Other highly rated options include Rustic Kitchen and Bar, Papi's Country Kitchen, Moxies Medicine Hat Restaurant, and Rosewood Bistro.

10 Take a scenic drive from Calgary

Calgary skyline at night with Bow River and Centre Street Bridge.

Calgary is located about 184 miles (296 km) from Medicine Hat, which is approximately a three-hour drive. If you're in the mood to take a journey, driving from Calgary to Medicine Hat is the perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous landscape. There are plenty of stops and sights to enjoy during the trip, so be sure to plan out your route ahead of time. Some key landmarks to include in your drive are Tillebrook Provincial Park, Brooks Aqueduct, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and the Brooks & District Museum.

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11 Unwind at local parks

There's no better way to relax and enjoy all that nature has to offer than to visit one of Medicine Hat's many local parks. These tranquil green spaces are family-friendly spots, so you can let your kids have fun and roam the lawn while you sit on one of the benches and enjoy a good book or some music. There are numerous parks scattered throughout the city, but some of the most notable ones are Kin Coulee, Police Point, and Strathcona Island. Whether you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or just have fun with family, these parks have plenty to offer.

12 Engage with arts and culture

Medicine Hat is widely known for its vibrant arts scene and deeply embedded culture. If you're looking to support the creations of the city's local artists, there are plenty of opportunities for you to appreciate their work. One of the key cultural sites in the city is The Esplanade, which gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Medicine Hat. The Esplanade showcases a variety of history exhibitions, local art displays, and even some theater.

13 Enjoy family-fun activities

If you're bringing your little ones along on your trip to Medicine Hat, you're in luck. There is no shortage of family-friendly activities to enjoy during your stay. Your kids will have a blast at the pop-up amusement park at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede, which includes a children's section full of fun games and rides. Another popular option is the Windmill Garden Center and Butterfly House, a tropical paradise that houses hundreds of incredible butterflies. Be sure to also bring your kids to Echo Dale Regional Park, Gas City Campground, and Disc Golf for plenty of all-day fun.

14 Shop for local art and handicrafts

Support Medicine Hat's local artisans by taking home some truly unique artistic creations. The city is full of charming boutiques and innovative galleries where you can browse local art to your heart's content. In addition to common creations like paintings and portraits, you can also shop for unique handicrafts by visiting one of the boutiques located throughout the city. Whether you want to bring home some handmade jewelry or an embroidered bag, you can find a wide array of crafts in the many shops found across the town.

15 Stay in unique accommodations

While you're planning your visit to Medicine Hat, don't forget to do your research on places to stay. There are numerous types of accommodations found throughout the city. Whether you prefer a homier and more casual arrangement like an Airbnb or a stay in a nice hotel, there's something for everyone. Many of the hotels in Medicine Hat even provide easy access to many of the city's attractions so you can sightsee without having to travel too far.

Storefronts in the historic downtown of Medicine Hat, Alberta Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com
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