A small but bustling city known for its agriculture and cultural heritage, Medicine Hat is rich in local history and unique attractions, from the 20-story high Saamis Tepee, Medalta in the Historic Clay District, the historic downtown with over 200 shops (five independent coffee shops included), to the state-of-the-art Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre. With its clear blue skies and 330 days of sunshine per year, the city is a hub for fresh produce and local delicacies, infused with international flavours that reflect the city’s cultural tapestry.
Medicine Hat’s history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of indigenous peoples inhabiting the area long before European settlers arrived. The name “Medicine Hat” comes from the Indigenous word “Saamis,” which translates to “the eagle’s tail.” The area holds cultural and historical significance for the Blackfoot Confederacy and other Indigenous communities. The Saamis Tepee, located alongside the Trans-Canada Highway, holds the title as the tallest teepee in the world at 215 feet. Overlooking the scenic Seven Persons coulees, the Saamis Tepee houses ten hand-painted storyboards that represent a variety of influence and history of First Nations heritage.
With the incredible bounty of fresh produce readily available, local restaurants curate menus that celebrate the region’s seasonal produce and the influences of the diverse community. Medicine Hat has seen the rise of food trucks, specialty shops, cafes, and breweries, each adding a unique dimension to the vibrant food landscape and establishing the city as a must-visit for gastronomes.
WHERE TO PLAY
Being a hop, skip and a jump away from ‘The Greenhouse Capital of the Prairies’ has some fantastic perks, like always having access to quality produce at an affordable price. Along with these local greenhouses, you can find many of their products at our local Safeway, Co-op, and Sobey’s!
World-class facilities, competitive teams and one of the longest golfing seasons in the province make the Medicine Hat sport and leisure scene a bright one. Skateparks, pickle ball, tennis and an abundance of leagues keep locals busy throughout the year. Discover your sporting passion.
Medicine Hat’s Historic Downtown is home to a revived culture of creativity anchored by Medalta’s contemporary ceramic arts center, the Esplanade, and numerous studios and arts organizations in the downtown core. many of those early rail-inspired brick buildings are still standing and occupied by independent retailers, coffee shops, studios, and breweries who have encouraged a new generation of creative expression.
Adventuring the open roads through Southeast Alberta, you’ll start this tour surrounded by beautiful coulees and bluffs, with a welcoming blue sky and sunshine. Canada’s Sunniest City, Medicine Hat, offers three unique breweries — all with dog-friendly patios. They each tell a different story of the city’s history with their brewery names and locations, while serving a wide array of tasty beer. Explore Highway 3 Ale Trail.
WHERE TO STAY
ABOUT THE CITY OF MEDICINE HAT
If you like long sunny summers, lazy rivers, fresh coffee, winning sports teams and pretty scenery, Medicine Hat is worth a look. Medicine Hat is a thriving city of over 65,000 residents. Located in the beautiful South Saskatchewan River Valley, residents enjoy the beauty and peace of the coulees and rolling prairie which boasts many species of wildlife.
Medicine Hat is a community alive with vibrancy and spirit few communities witness. The community enjoys the values that are intrinsically tied to our history and quality of life. Medicine Hat strives to achieve City Council’s vision of being “a community of choice” where people come to live, work and play.
Medicine Hat has much to offer residents, visitors and businesses alike. We boast an excellent climate, a safe and healthy community, vibrant arts and entertainment, and ample recreation and leisure opportunities.
The city of Medicine Hat first began in 1883 as a tent city for workers of the Canadian Pacific Railway, who were constructing a bridge across the South Saskatchewan River. Gradually, with the coming of the railway and the arrival of the North West Mounted Police, the tent city gave way to a town, and when CPR workers searching for water struck natural gas instead, economic development took off in the area. The community quickly became one of the largest in the province and was incorporated as a city in 1906. Resources such as natural gas and clay fuelled the economy, and several large industries began to be established. Today, Medicine Hat is moving away from natural gas as prices drop, but manufacturing has become an important part of the city’s economy.
Sunshine Skillet Food Festival
Medicine Hat celebrates the first Farmers Market of the year by coming together with local producers to share their knowledge and passion for local food with the public during its premier culinary event, The Sunshine Skillet Culinary Festival. Sophisticated foodies take their cravings and head to the Canadian Badlands at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede Cypress Centre ‘Fieldhouse’.
See…learn to cook like the pros with the food your local farmer grows; celebrate the caffeine culture with a hands-on coffee roasting experience; adventure through the birthplaces of exceptional craft beverages; immerse yourself in the rows upon rows of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs.
Taste…sit back, sip, relax and enjoy the most delicious and satisfying brews; devour the “best salad you’ve ever tasted in your life” with the freshest of ingredients and dressings made right in front of you; indulge in local specialty coffee and get your sweet treat on; delight your taste buds (if you’re lucky) with samples from the chef demo; indulge in a locally sourced 5-course meal paired with local ingredients and local beverages.
Experience…visit with roasters, baristas and indy coffee shop owners; breweries, each location with its own flavourful history and personality hallmarked by quality and passion; a chef demo that will inspire you to rejuvenate your meals at home; smell the freshness, get lost in the colours and get a whole new view of where your food comes from.
Pro Tip: Let a local expert lead your adventure with various tours happening over the weekend: Sunshine Skillet Breweries Tour, Sunshine Skillet Greenhouse Tour, and Sunshine Skillet Indy Coffee Tour.
Summer officially in Medicine Hat with the kick-off event of the year – Spectrum Festival! This festival is an absolute must-attend for everyone looking to experience the best of local talent and culture. Running 4p-1am Friday, 11am – 1am Saturday, and 11am – 5:30p Sunday. Featuring some of the best local artists, bands, artisans, vendors, and food trucks that Medicine Hat has to offer, Spectrum Festival is the perfect way to get your summer started off on the right foot.
Quonset Days is a weekend of great music, great food, and a great time. Funds raised from Quonset Days goes to support the ALS Society of Alberta for research and support of those effected by ALS. It is held annually the third weekend in July. Started in 2010, Quonset Days is a labor of love for our family. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a disease that robs a person of the use of their own body while keeping the sence of touch and mental alertness. It is a disease that leaves the person with no dignity, completely dependant on others, basically trapped in a body that they can no longer control. Peter Biemans was one of these people. To watch him go from an outgoing active person to someone that could basically only sit in a chair and watch the world go by was the most heart wrenching thing a family could go through. No family should ever have to go what we went through.
Quonset Days was started as a tribute to Peter Biemans, a loving husband and father, who passed away in August 2009 after a hard faught battle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). As a family, we had participated in the ALS Walk but in 2010 our local walk was cancelled due to a lack of organizers. This is when Quonset Days was born. As a family we wanted to raise money and awareness for the ALS Society of Alberta while celebrating the life of a truely wonderful man. Quonset Days 2010 was organized in only a little over a month but we were able to raise over $7500! Each year we get bigger and better! The fun includes a silent & live auction, kick off party, live bands, beer gardens and free camping. It truely is the “Greatest Outdoor Party on Dirt”!!