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Off the Beaten Path: Where to stop on your road trip between Edmonton and Calgary

By ATB Financial 21 August 2020 2 min read

2020 is the year for exploring your own backyard, and for Albertans that might mean taking a three hour road trip between Edmonton and Calgary. As you get in the car and start driving, there are several towns and communities to explore, if you build it in your itinerary to do so.

So where should you stop along the way as you eat, explore and support local businesses across the province? Business owner and influencer Linda Hoang highlights a few hidden gems Off the Beaten Path that are a must-visit for Albertans on their next Alberta road trip.


Stop 1: Explore Leduc and Nisku


Located just a half an hour drive south of Edmonton you’ll come upon the City of Leduc, and the hamlet of Nisku, Alberta. There are some amazing, Alberta-owned small businesses located in both of these spots, and Linda Hoang stops at a bakery in Leduc and a distillery in Nisku, two hidden gems that are a must visit. She also goes into more detail about exploring Leduc overall in this Travel Guide if you are interested.


Stop 2: Explore Millet


Millet is a town located 45 minutes drive south of Edmonton and has a population of just under 2,000 people. It’s one of those towns, hamlets or villages you drive by and wish you had time to stop and explore.

“I always wish I’d made extra time to make extra stops in the different towns around the province—towns like Millet, Alberta,” says Linda Hoang. “In Millet, you’ll find a cute little downtown Main Street that’s home to local shops like the one I visited this summer.”


Stop 3: Explore Lacombe and Red Deer


The City of Lacombe in central Alberta is located just an hour and a half drive south of Edmonton just before Red Deer. The Main Street “has one of the cutest downtowns I’ve ever been to,” says Linda with popular shops like an Italian bakery and a family owned restaurant that uses locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

If you venture over to east Lacombe, “you’ll find not only the World’s Largest Lure, but also the unassuming and very comforting Eastside Eatery,” says Linda “it may be Lacombe’s best kept food secret.”


Stop 4: Explore Didsbury and Torrington


Just 50 minutes north of Calgary and about half way between Calgary and Red Deer you’ll find the little Town of Didsbury.

“You drive up to Didsbury through a scenic coulee which will take you right into their cute, historic downtown” says Linda. “It’s in that historic downtown (home to many old timey, western movie style structures), where you’ll find a small brewery that focuses on high quality and taste.”


Stop 5: Explore Crossfield


About 30 minutes north of Calgary (or 2.5 hours from Edmonton), is the tiny little Town of Crossfield, Alberta, “home to a charming and very unique looking diner, located in the very first building to exist in the town” says Linda. The diner “is truly one-of-a-kind” and you’ll find classic diner eats with a focus on burgers and tacos, and maybe even the best fish and chips in the province.

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