Many people have reached out to me after I've posted pictures of our food-themed adventures to local AirBnB’s, so I figured I would compile a list of my favourite Albertan getaways. Given the current travel restrictions, visiting a nearby AirBnB is a great way to appease the itch to explore and support local. I will also mention that is appears some AirBnB's hosts seem to have blocked out booking availability for summer 2021. I assume it is because they are not accepting visitors during the pandemic. I have only listed places we have actually stayed at, and will update this list as we explore other accommodations. Please note these details and links were accurate at the time this was written and are subject to change! Check out some of our (not-so-secret) adventure destinations, complete with some nearby foodie recommendations too:
Tiny House in the Trees
Link: “Woodsy Cabin Getaway-Four Season Paradise” Distance from Calgary: Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes
Nearest Town: Briggs, AB Guests: Up to 7 Minimum Stay: 1 night Price: $219 per night (+$50 cleaning fee & $38 service fee) Pets: No
About: This beautifully built tiny home can house up to 7 guests, as there are many built in bunk beds and a queen bed in the loft. It has electricity, no running water, and a brand-new bathhouse (which wasn’t there when we visited). The kitchenette includes a mini fridge and a one burner induction cooktop. There is an outdoor fire-pit, an indoor wood burning stove for making things extra cozy, and they even have wifi! There are trails leading from the tiny house down to the river. The host also allows you to use their hot tub. One thing to note is that this listing does not allow alcohol, so this isn't the place for a wine & cheese night. Also, this places is often very booked well in advance, so if you want to check it out you need to plan ahead! Nearby food adventures: Hidden Valley Garden The Jungle Farm Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 2 hours Nearest Town: Rocky Mountain House, AB Guests: 3 (but 2 most comfortably) Minimum Stay: 1 night Price: $80 per night (+$15 cleaning fee & $12.43 service fee) Pets: Please ask
About: We affectionately named this place the “Cattle Cabin” because it is on a working cattle ranch. We had quite the adventure here one summer, as the host took us out on quads to lead the cattle to a new pasture. I felt like we were in the middle of a stampede! We have visited here more than once. This is a fairly rustic/off-the-grid experience, but the price can’t be beat. There is no electricity (there is a solar powered plug but I’ve never used it) or running water. It has an outhouse and even has an outdoor heated shower. There is an outdoor fire pit and wood burning stove inside. It has a queen bed with a single bunk in the overhead loft. We’ve really enjoyed cooking over the campfire and listening to the coyotes at night.
Cozy Log Cabin Link: “Private Romantic Retreat in our Cozy Rustic Cabin”
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 1 hour 10 minutes Nearest Town: Cremona, AB Guests: 2 Minimum Stay: 2 nights Price: $150 per night (+$42 service fee) Pets: No
About: This new listing is really nicely decorated and is very clean. The small cabin includes a kitchenette with a fridge. There is electricity but no running water, and it has a (very cute) outhouse. The cabin is heated by a wood fired stove and there is plenty of firewood. It was so nice to curl up on the comfy couch and do crafts by the stove. At the end of your stay they require you to strip the bedding and take your garbage with you. Nearby Food Adventures: Fallen Timber Meadery HGB Bison Ranch Pasu Farm The Heritage Centre (aka the "Cremona Big Red Barn") for Farmers' Markets on Sundays Kahou Farm
The "Tin Bins" Link: "Romantic Retreat in Tin Bins Cabin"
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 1 hour 10 minutes Nearest Town: Cremona, AB Guests: 2 Minimum Stay: 2 nights Price: $175 per night (+$49.41 service fee) Pets: No About: Two previous grain bins have been converted into a single comfortable living area (375 sq ft), located on the same property as the previous log cabin and situated on a working farm. The hosts are very lovely and go above and beyond to make your stay extra special. In one of the bins is a quaint sitting room with a wood burning stove and some cozy arm chairs. With the bins being attached, the adjoining room features a plush queen sized bed. Throughout the cabin there are lots of custom accents, like the antler chandelier, sky lights, and hand-crafted bed. There is electricity but no running water (drinking water is provided), and there is a detached compost toilet outhouse. The owners ask guests to bring their own bedding and kitchen equipment (including propane for the camping stove provided) and they provide a suggested packing list for your stay. There is a campfire and outdoor sitting area so you could also cook over the fire. Plenty of firewood is provided, and you will be needing it for the wood-fired "cowboy" hot tub! This was a very unique addition to the property and set it apart from other AirBnB's. While it does take approx. 3 hours to get up to a cozy temperature, this hot tub was a deluxe way to spend the evening. Get the fire going in the early afternoon so it is ready for a dip after dinner. It is well worth the wait! Nearby Food Adventures: Fallen Timber Meadery HGB Bison Ranch Pasu Farm The Heritage Centre (aka the "Cremona Big Red Barn") for Farmers' Markets on Sundays Kahou Farm
1800’s Heritage Loghouse Link: “Maggie’s Hill Heritage Loghouse” Distance from Calgary: Approx. 3 hours Nearest Town: Sherwood Park Guests: 7 (3 bedrooms, 3 beds, 1 bath) Minimum Stay: 2 nights (during the winter) & 6 nights (in the summer) Price: $140 per night (+$40 service fee) Pets: With pre-approval About: This is a very unique property, and is just a 45 minute drive east of Edmonton. It is located on a sprawling 156-acre property. We stayed here in the winter so were mostly focused on cozying up, but I would love to explore this property more without the snow. There were many winding trails leading away from the cabin and a pond nearby. One of the most charming features of this AirBnB is the fact that a portion of the house dates back to the late 1800’s, and this was then expanded upon. The wood burning stove and black and white photographs adorning the walls transport you back in time, while the modern expansion (including a gourmet kitchen) ensures you have all the amenities you need at your disposal. Nearby Food Adventures: Anything in Edmonton! My favourites include: Duchess Bake Shop Yelo’d Ice Cream Strathcona Farmers’ Market RNG RD Corso 32 Happy Acres U-Pick
Northern Tree House Link: “Hidden Treehouse Chalet”
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 5 hours 30 minutes (pack some snacks!) Nearest Town: Kehewin, AB Guests: Up to 6 Minimum Stay: 2 nights Price: $165 (+$60 cleaning fee & $55 service fee) Pets: No About: Be warned that it is a fairly long drive from Calgary but makes a fun road trip. The site also features campsites and you can book the entire property for an additional fee. I really enjoyed wandering the property and picking wild raspberries. We also awoke to a start one morning, to the sound of cows. A neighbour’s nearby fence had fallen down and the cows decided to visit us at the treehouse. It was super fun to sleep 4 meters up in the trees! The property features a kitchenette, potable water, indoor toilet, deck, and a rock sauna. "The Stix" Link: "Stix Cabin"
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 3 hours (pack some snacks!) Nearest Town: Nordegg, AB Guests: Up to 6 Minimum Stay: 2 nights Price: $281 (+$79 service fee) Pets: Yes (with additional fee) About: Another one for the list! And what a showstopper this cabin is. This brand new property only became available to book as of May 2021. I jumped on it, and was glad that I did, because it‘s now fully booked into November 2021. That being said, this place was so comfortable and cozy that I would not hesitate to stay here during the depths of winter. The Stix Cabin is probably the best equipped AirBnB we have ever stayed at. They literally thought of everything! When we arrived we were greeted with some little welcome snacks for us and our cats too. That is another thing that made our stay extra special, that we were allowed to bring our two bengal cats. They LOVED the screened in patio, and I felt a lot more comfortable having that extra area so I wasn't worried about them getting out of the door and escaping. So bring your furry friends! This screened in porch also had a propane fireplace which made it very comfortable, even as the evening began to cool things down. All of the furniture and accessories in this place were super high-end. Really no expense has been spared. The remote control gas fireplace was very luxurious and the kitchen was the best equipped we have ever come across in a rental property. They literally even have a dishwasher so you can spend more time enjoying the place as opposed to fervently tidying up before check out. The kitchenette also has a full-sized refrigerator, Bodum electric kettle, counter top oven and burner, toaster, blender, slow cooker, and more. At the Stix Cabin no detail has gone overlooked, they even have custom made artisan ceramic mugs, coasters featuring the local topography, locally made cutting boards, and heck you can even purchase some of their custom made furniture, all from their online store. Talk about branding being on point, they even sell custom scented candles made by a local company in Red Deer. There is a studio-style room with the eat-in kitchenette and the main queen bed, as well as that cozy fireplace. There is a beautiful washroom with a rainfall shower head and deluxe toiletries included. The next bedroom features a custom bunk bed with queen-sized mattresses, even with their own individual reading lights. A washer and dryer is also on site. Truly no detail as gone unnoticed and it really shows, as our stay here was incredibly comfortable. We cannot wait to go back! Be sure to plan ahead to book your stay and be sure to bring food and bevies with you, as it is in a fairly remote location (although it is nested in a new developing community that is under construction with adjacent neighbours). Be sure to follow their instagram too: @stixcabin Nearby Food Adventures: The Miners' Cafe (for deluxe pies and hearty meals)
Tiny House on the Prairies Link: "Quaint & Cozy Gem in the Foothills"
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 45 minutes Nearest Town: Millarville, AB Guests: 2 Minimum Stay: 2 nights Price: $123.50 (+$40 cleaning fee & $40.52 service fee) Pets: Dogs only (with additional fee) but we were so sad we couldn't bring our cats!
About: This place is SO close to Calgary! The tiny house itself is really beautiful inside, with a very "bohemian" vibe. It even has an adjacent outdoor garden dome to star gaze or dine in. The kitchen was particularly well equipped and the indoor washroom was very welcome during the chilly nights. No cold walks to the outhouse here! The upper loft has a low ceiling, in the traditional "tiny house" style. I also really appreciated the black out curtains on the upper level to help you sleep in, as well as the bedside USB wall plugs to charge your phones. The property itself is located close to the owner's house, so it does has some limitations in terms of privacy. The location of this spot really can't be beat for exploring the foothills!
Nearby Food Adventures: Granary Road Chuckwagon Cafe for the Best. Burger. Ever. Marv's Classic Soda Shop for the nostalgia, carbonated ice cream, and peanut butter burger Spirit Hills Winery for award-winning flower and prairie fruit honey wines Chinook Honey Company & Chinook Arch Meadery Hartell Homestead to meet some Highland Cattle and other farm friends! North Fork Elk Ranch The Westwood to preorder fancy donuts or just eat in the restaurant Millarville Farmers' Market Eau Claire Distillery for their "farm to glass" spirits (Pst: Check out this instagram reel to see some of these foodie destinations)
A Working Windmill Link: "Windmill"
Distance from Calgary: Approx. 1 hour Nearest Town: Rosebud, AB Guests: 3 in the windmill (and 2 in the basement suite) Minimum Stay: 2 nights Price: $300 (+$60 cleaning fee) Pets: Yes!!!
About: This might be one of our favourite AirBnB's we have stayed in... They did an incredible job of refurbishing this. The windmill is situated in a large yard with a fire pit (firewood provided). You enter the windmill through a quaint blue door. The main floor features a cozy fireplace, seating area with a single pull-out couch, well-stocked chef's kitchen, modern bathroom, and a beautiful spiral staircase. It took the owners 4 years to finish the luxury renovations and the interior features exposed beams and white plastered walls. Heading upstairs, there is a memory foam queen bed. There are lots of added features, like the "roku" streaming platform on the TV. There is wifi, but it was a bit spotty at times. This wasn't an issue for us, because we were really just here to unwind in a rural setting. The second floor also features a stunning 360° wrap-around deck; perfect for taking in the prairie views. Upon first glance, that is the entirety of the rental... BUT, there is actually a secret room! You'd have to know to look for it. There is a hatch in the roof of the bedroom that pulls down. Unfold the ladder and you'll be able to access the property's most unique element; the secret reading nook. Pop your head up and you'll see bookcases wrapping the octagonal walls (all of them are colour co-ordinated blue so it is very aesthetic). There is a cute bright yellow chair to enjoy the tranquil vibe in. This room was also really cool to watch the thunderstorm we happened to have while staying here. One of our favourite parts of this stay was that it is pet-friendly!!! We were able to bring our two bengal cats with us and it made the trip so much more special. This entire property is artfully curated, with the hygge (Danish for "quality of coziness") theme carrying throughout. Rosebud, Alberta is a tiny hamlet in which only 100 people live. There are a few small gift shops, galleries, and the theatre. The Rosebud Theatre is a unique attraction. Come here for dinner and a show. The buffet offerings match the theme of the show ("The Sound of Music" was playing and dinner served Austrian classics like schnitzel). During the day, this place is also a little cafe (which makes really good lattes). After shows there is also a local ice cream stand. Picturesque and quiet, Rosebud makes for a relaxing setting for this luxurious hygge windmill stay. NOTE: Make sure you understand this link is for the upper windmill described above, and this link is for the studio apartment underneath in the basement (which does not give you access to the upper windmill or front yard). You can book the entire property (both units) using this link.
Nearby Food Adventures: Last Chance Saloon for authentic BBQ in a building from 1913 (from the early coal-mining days) Head into Drumheller, AB for lots of dining options too!