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Galt Museum

Five things you’ve got to try in Lethbridge

Mhairri Woodhall

Travel Alberta

Mar 08, 2019 - 3 minute read

Once a whisky trading post, the city with a wild side is now a flourishing cultural hub. Discover some of the cafes, public art and urban parks that make modern-day Lethbridge a top spot to play in southern Alberta. Here are the five things you’ve got to try on your next visit:

Galt Museum

The Galt Museum

Travel Alberta | Katie Goldie

Art of the city

Lethbridge has a rich arts and culture scene. From the vast permanent collection housed at the University of Lethbridge, to featured exhibitions at public galleries like the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the CASA arts centre, there are always thought-provoking works in various mediums on display. For a fun, free way to explore southern Alberta’s art community, walk your way around downtown’s 20-plus public art installations. Download an Art of the City map from artslethbridge.com and hit the streets in search of sculptures, murals and kinetic works. Look for local artist Alex Pavlenko’s weirdly whimsical metallic windsock, Wranglin’ Willie & the Windeater – a humorous nod to Lethbridge’s blustery weather – and the thundering hooves of bison escaping his mural Destiny Manifesting.

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge.

Travel Alberta | Katie Goldie

Garden yogi

Do your downward dog outside at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens. Named in honour of the international friendship between Japan and Canada, the vibrant, manicured gardens are a lush oasis in downtown Lethbridge. Throughout the summer months, Yoga in the Garden is offered on the lawn in front of the reflection pond. Challenge your strength, balance and flexibility in a Hatha class, or go with the Flow, for more invigorating, fluid poses. Let the beautiful balance of perfectly pruned trees, soothing water features and symbolic structures inspire your practice. Classes are booked on a drop-in basis; check the nikkayuko.com events calendar for details.

Helen Schuler Nature Centre

The Helen Schuler Nature Centre.

Travel Alberta | Katie Goldie

Interpretive trail blazing

Hike with purpose in the Lethbridge Nature Park. Before setting off, swing by the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, the city’s only LEED-Gold certified facility, for maps detailing each of the three one-kilometre interpretive trails. In addition to the route visual, you’ll find cool facts about the Oldman River Valley’s wildlife and eco-system. For a leisurely stroll, with little incline, hit the Nature Quest Trail to learn about local flora and fauna. Want to get your heart-rate up? Tackle the Coulee Climb to the base of the High-Level Bridge – the world’s longest and tallest trestle bridge. After the short, steep hike, take some time to explore the artifacts at the small Coal Banks Kiosk interpretive centre. 

Farmers’ fare 

Shop local at the Lethbridge Farmers’ Market. There are two to choose from throughout the summer months; and most products sold are either made, baked or grown. Exhibition Park hosts the larger affair every Saturday, from mid-May until the end of October. Prepare for crowds as the indoor event draws more 3,000 people from around southern Alberta. Snack your way through the stalls and meet local growers, producers and artisans. Arrive early to pick-up flakey sweet and savoury treats from Sunrise Berry Farms pie store. Don’t do gluten? Look for Red Fox Kitchen’s cookies, sourdough and pizza crust. On Wednesdays, from July through Labour Day, a pint-sized version pops up at Festival Square in downtown Lethbridge. 

Lethbridge

Travel Alberta | Katie Goldie

Coffee culture

Get your caffeine fix in downtown Lethbridge. You’ll find scores of stores grinding beans and brewing espresso within a small walkable radius. For a simply delicious French-press, visit The Penny. Better yet, go for a bite on Fridays to get the coffee for free (with purchase). Favourite handhelds are the grilled Californian BLT and portabella mushroom and cheese melt, and the baked goods are top notch as well. A few blocks over, Bread Milk and Honey offers a unique, and specialized, Japanese Hario pour-over, using single origin beans. Pair a cup with the banana cream pie for a blissful afternoon delight. While at Umami – a contemporary take on an international grocer – order the Vietnamese coffee to perk you up quickly. Oh, be sure to grab a few of the grilled Umami barbecue pork buns as well.
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