Camrose has always been a pretty spot, but lately it has new energy, thanks to its Main Street Rejuvenation Program. The program restored 16 heritage buildings downtown, culminating in the grand reopening of the Bailey Theatre -– Alberta’s oldest performing arts theatre – in spring 2011. With its now-burgeoning arts scene, well-kept heritage sites, extensive trails and boutique shopping, Camrose makes for a great weekend getaway. Pack good walking shoes and grab a map at the visitor information centre in Bill Fowler Centre.
Spend a night at the picturesque Haselwood Inn, 18 kilometres west of the city. The property was originally the site of a flour and feed mill built by English immigrant Alfred Haselwood in 1900. The mill operated until 1964 and was something of a meeting place for farmers, who came from miles around to have their grain cleaned and ground. A fire destroyed the original structure in 1932, but the “new” mill, erected the same year, is still standing and today houses an antique shop. The inn, built in 1919 as a dwelling for the Haselwood family, now serves as a bed and breakfast. Its traditional foursquare construction allows for just five cozy rooms, which are comfortable and tastefully decorated with antique furnishings and paintings.
The Inside Track
Reflective stroll: Stretch your legs and gaze at trumpeter swans on the scenic trail around Mirror Lake.
Founders Days: If you happen to be in town August 12–14, don your best Klondike garb and head downtown for train rides, ragtime music, local-grub tastings, quilt and artisan displays, history presentations, dancing and more.
Rail ’n’ Roses: Camrose Railway Station and Park commemorates the city’s historic role as a railway hub. The old station houses a café, while the grounds include a heritage flower garden and railroad paraphernalia.
Tractor time machine: Centennial Museum exhibits historical buildings, vehicles and farm machinery – including a locally invented model of plow.
Lefse lunch: Get your fill of lefse (Norwegian flatbread), Swedish meatballs and sandbakkels (butter cookies) at The Lefse House.