Heritage Ranch (Photo: Colin Way/Travel Alberta)

8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Red Deer

By Andrew Penner

Midway between Calgary and Edmonton, Red Deer is a city that will entice you to stay. With its rich culinary scene, beautiful downtown murals and outdoor opportunities, there’s no wonder why Red Deer is one of Alberta’s most fun-loving cities.

1. Red Deer’s pedestrian-friendly downtown boasts numerous heritage buildings, art galleries, boutiques, bronze statues, and regular live music at the RossStreet Patio outdoor stage. (50th St.)

2. When Red Deerians need to beat the summer heat, they head down to the awesome (and free!) water park at Discovery Canyon in River Bend. In addition, a lazy river float is a must-do. (3800 River Bend Dr.)

3. Located along a secluded section of the Red Deer River, Heritage Ranch is the perfect place for horseback riding or a delicious dinner at the Westlake Grill. Also, their burgers are legendary. (6300 Cronquist Dr.)

4. Interactive exhibits at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrate the province’s impressive sporting history. Learn about acclaimed athletes and some lesser-known heroes alike. (102-4200 Hwy 2)

5. Locally owned and operated, Cilantro & Chive is all about sourcing fresh, local ingredients and transforming them into marvellous, mouth-watering dishes. After visiting the Red Deer eatery, check out the second location in Lacombe.

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6. Situated in a beautiful rural setting just a few minutes from town, the Little Red Barn is a fully licensed café and gift store. Artisan sandwiches, exquisite soups, delicious desserts, lovely local artwork—you’ll find a little of everything under one roof.

7. Started in the early 1970s, the Market at Red Deer is one of the largest and most popular outdoor markets in the country. The market is open Saturday mornings from the May long weekend until Thanksgiving weekend.

8. Using world-class barley grown right next door, the award-winning Troubled Monk brewery is the place to sip some liquid gold. AMA members save 10% on growler fills and merchandise.

Quench your thirst with the grapefruit tang of Pesky Pig Pale Ale. Lisa Mackey, the brewery’s marketing manager, was born and raised in Red Deer. In addition, while she’s passionate about all things beer, like many Red Deerians, she’s also got plenty to say about the merits of her hometown. 

Lisa Mackey

What do you love most about living in Red Deer?

The riverside trail system is phenomenal. I can walk or bike on a beautiful path and easily access many scenic places like Bower Ponds, Kerry Wood Nature Centre and Heritage Ranch.

How would you describe the residents of Red Deer?

The people here are super friendly and down-to-earth. We’re proud of our community. When we host large events, such as the Memorial Cup and Scotties Tournament of Hearts and so on, there’s huge buy-in. People just want to come out and lend a hand.

What’s your favourite night out in town?

I head to Bo’s Bar & Stage. In my opinion, it’s hands-down one of the best live music venues in Alberta. I love it. The food, the atmosphere, the craft beverages, the quality of the music—it’s all spectacular!

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