Today we’ll look at five of those places. Even better, you can visit each one in person. Let’s get started on our cross-Alberta unique-named location tour!
Kelley’s Bathtub, Hinton
Falling in front of an audience or taking an involuntary plunge into a lake is embarrassing at the best of times. Imagine if your misstep was so epic an entire attraction was named for it. This is what happened to outdoorsman Kelley, who fell into the pond that now bears his name. Kelley’s Bathtub is a beautiful place to spend the day. Arrive after a short 1 kilometre hike from a trailhead that starts at Switzer Park Visitor Centre. The day use site has a cooking shelter, fire pits, firewood for sale, toilets, and other amenities. Pass the day hiking, fishing, cycling, and swimming before enjoying the scenery during your picnic lunch.
The World Famous Gopher Hole Museum, Torrington
It’s seasonal. It’s a cash-only facility. It’s re-opening on July 1. And it’s weird – in all the right ways. Clem T. Gopher and Ellie-May welcome you to their “den,” which shows off daily life in the small hamlet of Torrington. It’s an ideal stop on a road trip where you can stretch your legs while having a bit of fun with the walking tour and exhibits. Not sure what to expect? Well, you’ll have to visit to find out but you can get some hints from the museum’s Facebook page. Taxidermy animals are involved, so please be aware if that art form is not for you.
Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump, Fort McLeod
A special UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site is waiting for you right here in Alberta. Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump is an important preservation of more than 6,000 years of Plains Buffalo culture. Here you will learn more about the Plains People and their way of life, and stand at the precipice where bison skeletons can still be found below.
Bankhead Ghost Town, Bankhead
Take a hike to where time stands still. In the early 1900s, Bankhead was a thriving coal mining town. Now it’s a ghost of its former glory. While the hike through the abandoned town is relatively easy, there are 70 steps to contend with to enter and exit the site. Once there, however, you’ll see the old lamphouse, rusting coal equipment, the powerhouse remains, and heaps of coal slack. It’s a great way to experience history close up, and a wonderful to take photos.
The World’s Largest Kielbasa, Mundare
Kielbasa is not just fun to say, it’s also delicious to eat. Kielbasa is the Polish word for sausage. In Mundare, a tribute to Kielbasa rises a stately 42 metres tall, honouring the Stawnichy's Meat Processing family owned and operated facility. The tribute weighs 12,000 pounds. Just an hour east of Edmonton, make the Kielbasa statue a stop on your Alberta travels this summer.
Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.