Alberta has its fair share of oddball tourist attractions conceived by chambers of commerce to lure visitors to their towns. Following are a few of the most amusing ones I’ve visitted or heard about. Do you know of others worth checking out?
1) Starship Enterprise – Vulcan
Although the town was named for the Roman god of war and NOT the sci-fi series, they couldn’t resist capitalizing on their name by building a large replica of the Enterprise. You can also play virtual reality games or dress up Spock-style and have your photo snapped at the Vulcan trek station. 1.5 hours southeast of Calgary.
2) Alien Landing Pad – St. Paul
A UFO Landing Pad welcomes visitors “from earth or otherwise”, and the UFO interpretive centre has displays about unexplained phenomena and hoaxes. 2.5 hours east of Edmonton
3) World’s Largest Mushrooms – Vilna
Ok, so they’re not magic, but they ARE the largest funghi in the province. And who knew there was such a “tradition of mushroom hunting” in the area? 2.5 hours northeast of Edmonton (easy to visit on the same trip as St. Paul)
1) World’s Largest Pyrogy - Glendon
At 25 feet tall and 6000 lbs, it’s a larger-than-life symbol of the heritage of most of the town’s residents. There’s not much else in town, but if you’re visiting Vilna (above), it’s only another hour east of there.
2) World’s Largest Easter Egg – Vegreville
Probably the most technically amazing item in this list, it’s actually a very beautiful site. It was designed by a computer science professor using cutting edge software, but it incorporates traditional Ukrainian designs and symbolism. 1 hour east of Edmonton
3) Giant Ukrainian Sausage – Mundare
Built in recognition of a local sausage factory famous for their Keilbassa. Just 15 mins northwest of Vegreville, 45 mins east of Edmonton.
1) Gopher Hole Museum – Torrington
If the museum full of hundreds of stuffed ground squirrels posed and dressed up as people isn’t enough, the town also boasts a giant gopher statue, and all of their fire hydrants are painted to resemble gophers. An hour and a bit north of Calgary.
2) Giant Canada Geese – Hanna
What better way to pay tribute to the popularity of bird hunting in the area than 3 huge “honkin’” sculptures of our national bird? 2.5 hours northeast of Calgary.
3) World’s Largest Bee – Falher
In homage to the town’s moniker as “honey capital of Canada”, they erected this insect statue that’s about as big as a compact car. Way north – 5 hours northwest of Edmonton, 1.5 hours northeast of Grand Prairie