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June 6, 2017

Roadside Attractions

MUSEUMS & ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS, THINGS TO DO

Road trip season is coming up and Alberta is teeming with so much life, you’re bound to find plenty of distractions catching your eyes on the long roads. Here’s a list of attractions worth the time to put a pause on your trip.

Barrhead Centennial Museum

Established in 1906, Barrhead played a major role in the establishment of northwestern Alberta as a place of settlement. Prospectors on the historic Klondike Trail considered Barrhead a major trade center and the history of that era lives on at the Centennial Museum, where you can browse through a massive collection of artifacts detailing that period in time and the lifestyles of the pioneers who detailed it. If the Klondike history doesn’t excite you, the museum also plays host to Canada’s third largest collection of African artifacts

The Center of Alberta

Thanks to the efforts of surveyor Roy Chimiuk and former MLA Ken Kowalski, Swan Hills, Alberta has one fantastic selling point – being close to the geographical center of the province.  The actual Center of Alberta is worth the journey – a short hike through the forest will land you in a small clearing where you’ll find a small cairn featuring a grizzly cub statue on a pillar. A guestbook is available if you’re feeling like commemorating your visit.

Petunia Tree

The petunia happens to be Westlock’s official flower and nowhere it is more proudly displayed then in the center of town. Perpetually blessed with good weather, the self-proclaimed “Best Bloomin’ Town in the West” is adorned with petunias in public and private displays alike and the Petunia Tree’s formation of dazzling layers is right in the thick of it all. It’s sure to be a welcome sight on the eyes after hours of travel.

The Old Stone House

Located near Onoway, this historic home was designated by the Alberta Historic Resource as “The Sharman Farm House,” named after the pioneer who designed and built the house and the surrounding region. Recognized for its architectural integrity, the Old Stone House is primarily used for private rentals – given the sight of the place, who wouldn’t? – but the Tea House is open to the public most Saturdays.

Featured image courtesy of the Barrhead Centennial Museum.