Tourism

Fort Macleod has much to see and do.

 

Many events happen in our small town, including The South Country Fair, Antiques shows, Film festivals and more. For these please check our event calendar.

You may also want to read our History and Heritage section and our Parks and Recreation for more information.

Year-round, we also have places you should see and go.  Here are some of our highlights.

Attractions, Activities and Sight Seeing

  • History & Heritage
  • Fort Museum
  • Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump
    Just west of town Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump shares the heritage of the Blackfoot people.  This UNESCO site (on the same level as Stonehenge and Egyptian Pyramids) is the site of one of the greatest and most-well preserved buffalo jumps in North America.  You will learn how the plains Indians hunted, lived and provided for their families.  Drumming, Native dancing and plains Indian cuisine are shared on specific dates.
  • Walking tour
  • Main Street Fort Macleod
    In addition to the Fort, Main Street Fort Macleod is one of only two locations in Alberta to be a Designated Historical Area (the other one is Old Strathcona in Edmonton). In 1982 a government grant assisted Fort Macleod in restoring the original buildings of the 1910-1920’s era.  After a fire razed the existing wooden structures in ___________  a bylaw was put in to only allow brick and stone buildings to be erected on main street.  An amazing collection of architecture resulted, which is still on display today.  Many films have been shot using our main street as the background.  Walking tour maps explain the original uses of the buildings.
  • Golf Club
    Our golf course shows signs of wagon trains, buffalo wallows and an original shooting range.  Play nine holes and see the sights there.

Accommodations and Restaurants

While you are in Fort Macleod, you will need a place to stay and somewhere to eat. Our business directory lists our businesses by category.

The Empress Theatre

The Empress Theatre has a long history in our town, and was touted as a ‘first class opera house’ when it opened in 1912 as a franchise of the Famous Players theatre chain. To this day movies, as well as local drama companies and artists entertain audiences. Recorded on the walls of the small dressing room are the names of such acts as “Texas Tony and his Wonder Horse Baby Doll/The Purple Sage Riders, 1935, from Isabella, California” and the “CPR Minstrels, 1923”. This tradition has carried on as evidenced by the names of contemporary performers written on the wood frame walls. It is also rumored to be haunted.  Don’t miss experiencing The Empress.

http://www.empresstheatre.ab.ca/

The NWMP Fort Museum

Fort Macleod was founded by the NWMP in 1874 who came to protect Canadian sovereignty in the West and squelch the illegal American whisky trade.  This fort was also established to put an official federal presence into the North West Territories of Canada, which were being eyed by the United States for annexation.  It was the first permanent police post in the British North-West.

Our Fort is well-known and offers beautiful historic displays as well as live performances during the tourism season.  Located on the west-bound one-way, you can’t miss it.

http://nwmpmuseum.com/

Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump

Just west of town Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump shares the heritage of the Blackfoot people.  This UNESCO site (on the same level as Stonehenge and Egyptian Pyramids) is the site of one of the greatest and most-well preserved buffalo jumps in North America.  You will learn how the plains Indians hunted, lived and provided for their families.  Drumming, Native dancing and plains Indian cuisine are shared on specific dates.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as is with link at end.  Image HSIBJoutdoorVRC2 or HSIBJoutdoorVRC1

http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/

Golf Anyone?

In 1890, the first golf game was played in Fort Macleod – the first course to be built between Winnipeg and the West Coast.  Until 1924, it also acted as a pistol and rifle range.

This 9-hole course is set in the river valley, surrounded by trees and coulees.  Throughout the course you can see old wagon trails, buffalo wallows and sand traps made by sheep.  Cattle and buffalo bones are there as a result of a blizzard in 1898. The Prince of Wales played golf on this course in 1924.  Approximately half of this course has been deemed a historical designated area.

Come try your luck on our beautiful course.

http://www.fortmacleodgolf.com/

Main Street Fort Macleod

In addition to the Fort, Main Street Fort Macleod is one of only two locations in Alberta to be a Designated Historical Area (the other one is Old Strathcona in Edmonton). In 1982 a government grant assisted Fort Macleod in restoring the original buildings of the 1910-1920’s era.  After a fire razed the existing wooden structures in 1906, a bylaw was put in to only allow brick and stone buildings to be erected on main street.  An amazing collection of architecture resulted, which is still on display today.  Many films have been shot using our main street as the background.  Walking tour maps explain the original uses of the buildings.
Main Street Fort Macleod has links we can put at the end.

http://culture.alberta.ca/heritage-and-museums/resources/historical-walking-and-driving-tours/docs/Tour-Fort-Macleod.pdf
http://www.fortmacleodgazette.com/2013/fort-macleod-has-preserved-its-many-historic-buildings/

The Santa Claus Parade

Over three decades ago, the Town of Fort Macleod held its first Santa Claus Parade, and to this day that event takes place on the last Saturday in November.  Bands from across the province, floats from near and far and people representing their organizations grace the streets of Fort Macleod for this annual celebration.  The parade is led by the town crier and is wrapped up by Jolly Old Saint Nick.

The fun doesn’t stop with a parade though.  Free family movies, a giant craft show and sale, artists selling their creations, and house parties all welcome in this festive season.  The population of the town triples on this special day.
So bring your family and friends to join us.  Wear your thermal underwear, wrap up in your favourite blanket and share some hot chocolate with those you want to make memories with.