Medicine Hat is Alberta’s sixth largest city, located almost 300 kilometres southeast of Calgary in the middle of the province’s natural gas deposits. Although factories now dominate the city, Medicine Hat is about much more than the gas industry. A century ago, the rich clay deposits in the area prompted residents to develop an industry in brick- and china-making, a heritage the current population still celebrates. Pottery-making demonstrations, gift shops, and the frontier-style buildings in the city’s downtown area are reminders of the past. The Clay District is one of Medicine Hat’s best tourist areas.
Tourism in Medicine Hat may take second place to industry, but the city still has a great deal to offer. Medicine Hat is Canada’s brightest city, with more hours of sunshine than any other in the country, making travel enjoyable at any time of the year. More than 100 parks dot the city, and the South Saskatchewan River runs through downtown. Residents and visitors can take advantage of the city’s natural areas through a variety of outdoor activities, including cycling, walking, and picnicking. For more outdoor opportunities, the Cypress Hills Provincial Park just 81 kilometres south of Medicine Hat is worth the trip for its many trails where elk and moose often wander.
Activities for all ages and interests are available in Medicine Hat. From jazz festivals to the annual stampede to hockey tournaments and baseball championships, the city has something for everyone. Regular activities and special events combine to give visitors and residents a wide choice of programs to attend. Some visitors, however, may prefer just to wander the city’s streets, drinking in its atmosphere and enjoying the character that makes Medicine Hat special. For indoor or outdoor activities, Medicine Hat is an interesting tourist destination.