This summer, thousands of Albertans are expected to stay closer to home. I defnitely one of them, but that’s okay!  Luckily, here in Alberta, we live in a province where millions of people visit every year, because there is just so much to do. And more importantly, there are some really cool places to stay! So I’m teaming up with Travel Alberta to share some of my experiences and tips on finding some of the most unique places to stay in Alberta! From reality-showhomes to trains, there’s something for everyone!


Hidden gem:

Back to Nature Retreat

If you’re a fan of the show Timber Kings, then this might be your only chance to stay in one of the homes they created. The Back To Nature Retreat is a post-and- beam log home run by two amazingly kind and enthusiastic nature photographers. The home itself is exception, and they aren’t kidding about their name.

Located just outside of Water Valley, it’s basically in the middle of the forest. Thanks to the home’s big glass windows, you really do feel like you’re in the middle of nature…but with the comfort of bathrooms and glorious fireplaces. On top of that, the owners will take you out for photography tours and show you were to get the best shots! The night we stayed there was perhaps the only night that I can remember where I heard pure silence. Honestly, I sat on the patio and heard nothing. It was heaven. IMG_1220 Relaxing:

Prairie Creek Inn

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.41.43 PM This. Is. It. I’ve been a fan of Prairie Creek Inn since I found out about it a few years ago and I’ve done my darndest to send anyone that’s looking for a true getaway here for a stay like no other. Located on the edge of Rocky Mountain House, The Prairie Creek Inn is hands-down the best hotel you’ve never heard of. It’s a great place to relax, unwind and get away from it all. Guests have a choice of cabins and luxury suites with a complimentary two-course, delicious hot breakfast included. It’s like a bed and breakfast, but with the hotel experience. The inn is a bit removed from Rocky Mountain House, so the restaurant on site also serves dinner. Make reservations though, because it’s a locals favourite, which you should take as a really good sign.   Rocky Mountain House is located next to the David Thompson Highway, which is a great way to see the mountains, if you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the Canmore/Banff areas. it’s a great spot if you want to go on an adventure in the wilderness. IMG_9585   Adventurous:

Bar Diamond Guest Ranch

bar_diamond Located in the Canadian Badlands along the Red Deer River, this ranch is as beautiful as it is historic. This is a working range, with more than 34,000 acres to roam and explore! The ranch’s centre piece is the original lodge, which was built in 1903. There’s also a newer lodge, a teepee, a small trapper’s cabin and a party barn. If you’re looking for an historic place to stay, it doesn’t get much better than the Bar Diamond Guest Ranch. On the grounds, you’ll also find over 600 tipi rings and two corresponding medicine wheels. Guests can also experience everything from horseback riding to jet boat tours. Truly Unique:

Aspen Crossing Caboose Cabins

Aspen Crossing Canadian Caboose Interior Located only an hour from Calgary, this is as unique as they come. Aspen Crossing offers you and your family the chance to stay in one of their caboose cabins. Yes, you’re read that right. But don’t worry, the cabooses have included all the modern amenities you’re used to, but you’re in a train. They even have their own deck and fire pits! The cabooses fill up quickly in the summer time, so if you’re looking for a place to camp, Aspen Crossing also offers 85 camp sites and ton of train-themed activities, including the opportunity to dine in Prime Minister John Diefenbaker‘s old train that he used to cross the country! You’ll send your kids back to school with stories that they’ll never forget!

Mike Morrison