A month ago, we took a road trip to visit some Alberta small towns an hour south of Calgary. Our goal was to enjoy some of Alberta’s best streaks at the Longview Inn. We ended up achieving that and more! The nearby towns, Black Diamond and Turner Valley, had some great hidden treasures that we could not resist checking out while we were in the neighbourhood. If you love locally made jerky, distilled spirits, and milkshakes, keep reading to learn about 3 Alberta small towns south of Calgary you need to visit.
Longview Steakhouse & Inn
This family owned and operated establishment has such a warm and welcoming atmosphere. They greeted us with big cheery smiles as we walked into the restaurant to check in for the night. I could tell that this place is a labour of love for all of them. Our rooms had everything; a view of the Rocky Mountains, fresh flowers, fruit, and a stocked mini bar. At dinner, we started with chicken pastillia and scallops, cooked perfectly. Then for the main course, Steak! This delicious meat was excellently cooked, seasoned, and full of flavour. Here there is no rush to finish a meal; it is all about enjoying it. The whole experience, from appetizers to key lime cheesecake, took just over three hours. Since we stayed overnight, we got to enjoy a breakfast of freshly made croissants, a cheese & meat platter, and Eggs Benedict. We loved the whole experience so much! To anyone looking for a fantastic Albertan steak, I recommend visiting this place. Keep in mind whether you are just eating at the restaurant or also staying overnight at the inn, you will need to make a reservation. With no website and only a phone number listed on Trip Advisor, this place is truly a hidden gem.
When I opened the door to this little shop, a wave of smoked meat aroma stopped me in my tracks. It was a magical smell. They have filled every nook and cranny along the walls with just about any type of jerky you can imagine. With over 40 kinds, we had a hard time deciding between flavours and end up with a huge bag of meaty goodness; some for us and some to bring back for friends. They make all of their products in-house, which is why it smelled so amazing inside. In the summertime, the bouquet of smoked meat wanders all the way down the street. With over 40 years of experience, they have mastered making jerky.
Black Diamond Monument
The town of Black Diamond got its name from its coal mining history. To celebrate this past they have a large black diamond monument photo stop. A foot and a half of snow surrounded it, but that did not stop me from getting up close and taking silly photos and boomerangs.
The inside of this shop is straight from the 1950’s. We had our choice of stools at the soda bar or pink booths along the wall, I went straight to a booth. Each table had a jukebox, which made me immediately happy about my decision. One quarter later, we were rocking out to Elvis. We ordered up a variety of diner classics including burgers, fries, and shakes. Everything came to the table fast and delicious. I enjoyed every sip of the smoothest milkshake I have ever had!
If you love looking at antiques, oddities, and rarities then you have to stop by this little shop. It is full to the brim with blasts from the past. Everywhere I looked, I found something interesting or exciting including fancy old belt buckles, a snazzy beaded jacket, or my favourite old classic: an Etch-A-Sketch!
We went on a tour and tasting of Alberta’s first craft distillery. The tour started with some background history of alcohol, prohibition, and the town. Their distilling process takes place in an old movie theatre from the 1920’s. They still have the original movie projector up by the ceiling. When making their spirits using all-natural local ingredients is very important to them. Embracing the slogan “farm to glass”, all their grains come from one family farm using only horsepower to harvest it. They are so passionate about the quality of their drinks that they also produce their own two tonics that perfectly pair with each spirit. If you just want to pop in for a drink, their distillery and bar also serve up some delicious snacks and meals.
What are your favourite small towns to visit in Alberta? Tweet me here!
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