Couples’ getaway: Wetaskiwin
See history in motion, have tea together or stroll beside the lake
If you’re looking for a place where your passions can be satisfied, Wetaskiwin’s got something for everyone. It offers the best of trains, planes and automobiles as well as teas, antiques and long, lovely walks. Sometimes the best getaways are the ones where you can indulge the one you love.
Alberta Central Railway Museum
Riding the rails is a romantic pastime with a long and colourful history, and the Alberta Central Railway Museum makes that history come alive. Walk hand-in-hand back in time to discover Canada’s railway story, take a leisurely tour through the gift shop, or climb aboard the 1926 first-class observation-buffet-sleeper, the Mount Avalanche. Start your day together at a special pancake breakfast or join in one of the special evening events offered by the museum, including the Epicurean Equinox Dinner. Here, from the vantage point of the dining car, you can enjoy the scenery as it rolls by while you dine on four delicious courses of “local fare with gourmet flair,” prepared by chef Brady Weiler of the Pipestone Food Company. You’ll also enjoy a wide selection of wines that has been carefully selected and perfectly paired with each course. It’s the best in the West for a romantic railway experience.
The Reynolds-Alberta Museum
The perfect getaway for the car enthusiast, the Reynolds Museum features a wide assortment of vintage automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, stationary engines, tractors, agricultural implements and aircraft. If it has ever had an engine and has ever had a place in transportation history, chances are you’ll find it at the Reynolds. Even those who don’t give engines a second thought will find the museum a treat, as it’s not just about cars. The gift shop also features locally designed and created jewelry and giftware, and at the nearby Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame (included in the price of admission for the Reynolds) you can take to the sky with your sweetheart in a vintage biplane and get a 20-minute flight that affords a bird's-eye view of Wetaskiwin and the surrounding area.
If travelling to the area in June, you may also be in for an even bigger treat when History Road, the Ultimate Car Show, takes place. At this show, car enthusiasts from around Western Canada converge and line up their vehicles for the public’s viewing pleasure, ending the day with a cruise through Wetaskiwin.
Just west of Adams Pontiac along 56th Avenue near the Reynolds Museum, you’ll find Wetaskiwin’s By-the-Lake Park. Part of the Trans Canada Trail system, the park offers visitors a lovely paved path along a 2.2-kilometre looped walking trail. Take a stroll alongside its man-made lake, where you can try your luck at catch-and-release fishing. Finish off your walk with a romantic picnic for two and head to the gazebo at the north end of the lake for a shady rest. As you enjoy your day at the park, be sure to take in the many interpretive signs that describe the various plants and wildlife that can be seen in the area.
MacEachern Tea House
The MacEachern Tea House offers indulgences of an aromatic and tasty variety, with just over 300 loose teas available. The staff at the tea house will ensure that you and your sweetheart are paired with the perfect tea selection. While you relax and sip your tea, you can also enjoy a delicious and hearty lunch. Order up the special lunch combo and enjoy homemade soup, one of the sandwich specials or choose from a selection of delectable and sinful desserts—all, of course, served alongside the perfect tea. As you await your order in the cozy surroundings, take a moment to browse through the owner’s 16-year-old collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia—it's a perfectly delightful way to spend the afternoon.
A short 15-minute drive from Wetaskiwin lies the picturesque community of Millet. While it boasts its own natural parks and walking areas, what Millet is best known for throughout the area is the 40-year-old antiques business run by Al and Louise Kilborn. No trip would be complete without taking the time to explore the treasures this couple has lovingly collected. Spend the afternoon digging through the plentiful treasures or take advantage of the Kilborns' extensive expertise and knowledge of antiques to while away the late afternoon. Built to resemble a quaint cottage, Kilborn Antiques includes everything from furniture and glassware to vintage and antique jewelry, spanning the early Victorian era right up to the 1940s. Whether you’re looking to add to your own collections, to buy something for that special someone in your life or simply to indulge your passion for beautiful things, Kilborn Antiques offers something for everyone.