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But travellers who decide to turn off the highway at Medicine Hat will find a prairie city rich in history and with an abundance of green spaces and walking trails.
Topping the list of things to do in Medicine Hat is a visit to Medalta in the Historic Clay District. Located within a converted century-old factory, arts, culture and history mingle to provide a community hub for both visitors and locals. Central to the visitor experience is the Medalta Potteries National Historic Site of Canada. Walk the same floors as past factory workers and learn about one of the industries that put Medicine Hat on the world map.
An historical walking tour of Medicine Hat will take you around the downtown area viewing beautiful old homes and historical buildings. You can't help but notice "the big thing" in Medicine Hat. Perched on a hill alongside the Trans Canada Highway is the Saamis Teepee, the biggest teepee in the world. The native word Saamis loosely translates to English as "medicine man's hat", giving the city its current name. Natural gas was accidentally discovered just west of the town by construction workers building a train brdige across the South Saskatchewan River, the find becoming one of the largest gas fields in North America. Some still refer to Medicine Hat today as "The Gas City".
Those travelling in an RV and looking for a place to stay in Medicine Hat will find a couple of RV Parks close to the city just off the Trans Canada Highway. More camping is available an hour south in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Medicine Hat is a 3-hour drive from Calgary on the Trans Canada Highway and 2 hours from Lethbridge on Highway 3.
Medalta is a national historic site which has been resurrected as an industrial museum, pottery studio and cultural hub. If the walls could talk, they would tell of a time when a Medalta crock was a household item in homes around the world.
Video courtesy of Medalta in the Historic Clay District