Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last Updated on July 18, 2023
Roughly 100 years ago, when long trips in cars started to become a thing, North America’s love affair with the roadside attraction began. And it continues today in many spots around the world. Large novelty architecture not only brings in tourists but also often helps display the personality of the region that surrounds it.
Alberta roadside attractions are no exception. Sometimes they are seemingly random (why is there a UFO landing pad in St. Paul?), but the cluster of Ukrainian heritage structures east of Edmonton speaks to the large number of settlers arriving from Ukraine starting in the late 19th century. (Hot tip: the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village nearby is worth a visit too.)
And there are lots! Every corner of the province offers something to woo travellers in pursuit of a selfie with an oddity of curious proportions. Luckily enough, we’ve mapped them all out for you below.
Start your engines! And follow this definitive guide to roadside attractions in Alberta.
We’ve divided it into three sections:
- North includes Edmonton and all things north of there.
- Central heads south from Edmonton until (and including) Calgary.
- South includes everything south of Calgary to the USA border.
Northern Alberta Roadside Attractions
World’s Largest Mallard (Andrew) – An hour east of Edmonton, this massive mallard weighs a literal tonne and has a wingspan of 23 feet.
World’s Largest Cowboy Boot (Edmonton) – It’s not the world’s largest but it certainly is a big one, standing at 40 feet tall and weighing 20 tonnes. It stands in front of the Western Boot Factory.
Giant Beaver (Beaverlodge) – Endless jokes can be made about venturing way north to Beaverlodge to catch a glimpse of this giant beaver. This 18-foot-long rodent was erected in 2004 to celebrate the town’s 75th anniversary.
Giant Baseball Bat (Edmonton) – Standing at almost 50 feet tall, the bat on the corner of 97th Street and 118th Avenue was once Canada’s largest but that title was scooped by a bigger one in Saskatoon in 2014.
Eddie the Squirrel (Edson) – In the centre of Edson stands Eddie the Squirrel, a large red squirrel grasping a spruce cone. The statue has always been a popular spot for travellers and locals, especially for a selfie. The story of Eddie is a funny one too. In short, the town came together and thought, “If Jasper can claim a Bear, then we’ll claim a squirrel. Everyone thinks we’re nuts anyway, pun intended!”
World’s Largest Bee (Falher) – It will be a long drive north to see this massive Alberta roadside attraction, but this giant bee stands in celebration of the self-proclamation of Falher as the honey capital of Canada.
World’s Largest Blue Heron (Barrhead) – Often seen along the shores of local lakes are Blue Herons, and Barrhead has selected the beautiful bird as its town mascot. In fact, they’ve named it Aaron the Blue Heron and it stands tall in the centre of town. *Note that Aaron the Heron is currently taken down to be repainted.
World’s Largest Wagon Wheel and Pickaxe (Fort Assiniboine) – This hamlet was a big trade and supply point during the fur trade days and the Klondike Gold Rush. This Paul Bunyan-sized wheel and pickaxe are symbolic of the town’s rich past.
World’s Largest Perogy (Glendon) – At 27 feet tall and weighing 6,000 lbs, we really hope that it’s potato and cheese flavoured. It stands in tribute to the largest Eastern European population in the area.
World’s Largest Border Markers (Lloydminster) – Straddling the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, this is Canada’s only border city. Erected in 1994, these 100-foot-high markers sit next to city hall.
World’s Largest Sausage (Mundare) – Not far from the giant perogy, this kielbasa cost about $120,000 to build and was spearheaded by the Stawnichy family. Their nearby sausage factory is reputed as producing the best Ukrainian sausages in Canada. (We’ve tried them, and YUM.)
World’s First UFO Landing Pad (St Paul) – Built in 1967 as a Canadian Centennial project, a sign near the pad reads: “The area under the World’s First UFO Landing Pad was designated international by the Town of St. Paul as a symbol of our faith that mankind will maintain the outer universe free from national wars and strife.” (Hmmm. We have our doubts.)
12 Foot Davis (Peace River) – Henry Fuller Davis was a real man who lived in the Peace Country in the late 1800s. He earned his nickname by ingeniously claiming a 12-foot stretch of gold-rich land that netted him a tidy sum. Oddly enough, the statue stands 15 feet tall.
World’s Largest Easter Egg (Vegreville) – That is one big egg. Weighing in at over 5,000lbs, it is the largest Ukrainian pysanka in the world, and the town of Vegreville even hosts an annual pysanka festival every summer.
Bear Marking the Geographical Middle of Alberta (Swan Hills) – This is less of an actual roadside attraction in Alberta, as you’ll have to make a bit of a hike to get there. But if you do make the effort, you’ll be in the direct centre of Alberta.
World’s Largest Mushrooms (Vilna) – Mushroom hunting has been a big tradition in Vilna for a long time, and thus this large replica Tricholoma Ustale mushrooms (the real thing grows wild in the area) were built in Mushroom Park.
World’s Largest Chuckwagon (Dewberry) – This small town is known as the Chuckwagon Capital of Alberta, and thus deserves the world’s largest chuckwagon! (Although to be honest, when we saw it, we thought it was rather small to be the world’s largest.)
World’s Largest Railway Spike (Hines Creek) – The town itself has become known as “the end of steel” because construction on a railway line in northern Alberta was forced to stop in Hines Creek when WWII broke out. The rail line has been long finished since then, but a large railroad spike was erected to mark that momentous time.
Canada’s Dragonfly (Wabamum) – This giant dragonfly took one man three months to build, and it measures 30 feet long and the wings are 30 feet wide. It’s made from aircraft wings, a light standard, and propane tanks.
Central Alberta Roadside Attractions
A Lovable Skunk (Beiseker) – Standing 13 feet tall, Squirt the Skunk was anointed the town mascot to welcome tourists. Chosen by a town-wide contest, Squirt is accompanied by the slogan: “It makes scents to stop in Beiseker”.
Korean Totem Poles (Airdrie) – The city of Airdrie was gifted these totem poles by Gwacheon, Korea, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their sister(city)hood.
Giant Blue Ring (Calgary) – A much-disputed public art piece in northern Calgary, it is a light standard that is literally just a very large blue ring on the side of a road. We don’t get it either.
World’s Largest Dinosaur (Drumheller) – This T-Rex, built of fibreglass and steel, stands at a whopping 86 feet high (and 4 times higher than a real T-Rex). You can even climb 100 steps inside of it to reach the mouth!
World’s Largest Softball (Chauvin) – Suzie the Softball is 6 feet wide and was built from an old fibreglass tank in celebration of an annual softball tournament.
World’s Largest Oil Lamp (Donalda) – Completed in 2000, this massive 42-foot high lamp took 4 years to build and lights up at night.
Giant Geese (Hanna) – There are three of them throughout this small town. The flying goose stands over 11 feet high. They are the most interesting creatures to come out of the town of Hanna (sorry, Nickelback).
Canada’s Largest Baseball Glove (Heisler) – This is a wee town that has a big love for baseball. The glove, standing at 13.5 feet high, is the perfect size for a good selfie!
World’s Largest Fishing Lure (Lacombe) – The newest Alberta roadside attraction, this 40-foot fishing lure was installed in May of 2019 and recently accepted into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Giant Golf Tee (Trochu) – Standing tall just outside the Trochu Golf and Country Club, there is some dispute over whether or not this is the world’s tallest. World record holder or not – it’s ginormous!
World’s Largest Bucking Saddle Bronc and Rider (Ponoka) – This 20 ft tall bronze statue was installed in 2004 to commemorate the town’s centennial.
Southern Alberta Roadside Attractions
Giant Pinto Bean (Bow Island) – This small town is well known for its edible bean industry. The Pinto MacBean mascot greets everyone driving through town, and stands at a towering 18 feet tall.
World’s Largest Tepee (Medicine Hat) – The Saamis Tepee is easily the most recognized landmark in the city (and probably the largest Alberta roadside attraction), with the main masts of the tepee measuring over 215 feet. It was originally built for the 1988 Olympics in Calgary but moved to this eastern Alberta city in 1991.
World’s Largest Wind Gauge (Lethbridge) – Spoiler alert: the gauge doesn’t actually work. This is surprising, actually, considering how windy Lethbridge gets, you’d think anything could be blown around in that city!
Giant Corn Stalk (Taber) – Everyone in Alberta (maybe even Western Canada) knows how good the corn from Taber is. This 36-foot stalk stands in celebration of that and was built in 1994.
Giant Potatoes (Vauxhall) – Sammy and Samantha Spud are not in contention to be the world’s largest but instead stand just as a cute fixture of the town, noting its claim of being the “Potato Capital of the West”.
Starship Enterprise Replica (Vulcan) – The residents of the town of Vulcan take their name seriously and have embraced their relation to Star Trek. Not only is there a large replica of the Starship Enterprise, but their local tourism centre is also fashioned after a space station.
Other awesome Alberta road trip ideas
- This list of 11 cool Alberta road trips is a perfect place to get started!
- We’ve also got all of the Alberta destination guides you need so that you know what to do (plus where to stay and what to eat) when you get there.
- Need to know the best way to get from one city to another? We have a stack of Alberta route guides to help with that, too.
- You’ll note that many of these are in a specific region of Alberta – and we have a whole blog post on the east of Edmonton that includes those and more!
An epic road trip like this – to see all of the Alberta roadside attractions – can be made even more fun if you download our FREE Road Trip Alberta bingo cards! (We even have a whole card dedicated to this topic!)
Dalene Heck is a co-founder of Road Trip Alberta. She was born in Edmonton, grew up in the Peace Country, and has ventured to almost every corner of Alberta and the world (she’s travelled to 60 countries)! She is a serial blogger, the CEO of HMI Marketing, co-creator of the Trip Chaser card game, a leukemia-slayer, and cat whisperer.