Olds Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Olds, Alberta with this comprehensive travel guide. Find information on attractions, accommodations, dining, culture, safety, and more.

Introduction to Olds

Located in Central Corridor, in Central Alberta, Olds is a quaint town with a population of just over 9,000 people. Olds is known for its rich history, picturesque landscape, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Olds has something to offer for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Olds

If you’re looking for some inspiration on where to go and what to do in Olds, check out our list of top attractions and activities:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Olds College Botanic Gardens and Treatment Wetlands: Home to over 20 themed gardens and wetlands that treat the wastewater produced by the college.
  • Olds College Fashion Museum and Archives: Showcases over 10,000 artifacts related to fashion and textiles.
  • Uptowne Olds: A charming downtown area lined with historic buildings that date back to the early 1900s.
  • Mountain View Museum and Archives: Displays artifacts and memorabilia from the pioneer days of the Mountain View County.

Natural Attractions of Olds: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Olds Aquatic Center: A state-of-the-art leisure center with a wave pool, diving boards, and water slides.
  • Riverstone Golf Course: A beautiful golf course that offers stunning views of the Olds River Valley.
  • Olds Spray Park: A fun and refreshing way to cool off during the hot summer months.
  • Red Lodge Provincial Park: A popular destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and boating.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Olds

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Olds is by taking a hike or bike ride through its natural areas. Some of the top trails to explore include:

  • Olds River Pathway: A paved pathway that runs alongside the Olds River.
  • Didsbury and District Recreation Trail: A 9-kilometer trail that winds through scenic farmland and countryside.
  • Gleniffer Reservoir Trail: A 15-kilometer loop trail that offers stunning views of the reservoir and surrounding landscape.

Best Things to Do in Olds: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are plenty of other activities and tours to enjoy in Olds:

  • Olds College Brewery Tour: Learn about the brewing process and sample some of the college’s award-winning beers.
  • Olds Farmer’s Market: Browse through a wide variety of locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and other unique products.
  • Big Rack Rentals: Rent an ATV or UTV and explore the backcountry and rolling hills of the Olds area.
  • Olds College Equestrian Centre: Take a horseback riding lesson or a trail ride through the surrounding countryside.

Week-Long Itinerary for Olds

If you’re planning to spend a week in Olds, here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day Activity
1 Visit the Olds College Botanic Gardens, Treatment Wetlands, and Fashion Museum
2 Explore Uptowne Olds and the Mountain View Museum and Archives
3 Golf at Riverstone Golf Course and cool off at the Olds Aquatic Center
4 Hike or bike the Olds River Pathway
5 Take a tour of the Olds College Brewery and visit the farmer’s market
6 Rent an ATV or UTV and explore the backcountry
7 Take a horseback riding lesson at the Olds College Equestrian Centre

Food and Drink Scene of Olds

When it comes to dining in Olds, you can expect to find a variety of tasty options, many of which use locally sourced ingredients. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Beef and Barley Soup: Made with Alberta beef and locally grown barley.
  • Pierogies: A Ukrainian specialty that is popular in the area.
  • Wild Game Sausage: A unique dish that features sausage made from elk, bison, or other wild game.

Local Beverages

  • Olds College Brewery: Produces a variety of award-winning beers.
  • Troubled Monk Brewery: A craft brewery located in neighboring Red Deer.
  • The Jungle Flower Kombucha: Offers a variety of refreshing, probiotic-rich kombucha flavors.

Where to Stay in Olds: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

When it comes to accommodations, Olds has plenty of options to choose from, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some top picks:

  • Pomeroy Inn and Suites: A modern hotel with comfortable rooms and excellent amenities.
  • Ramada by Wyndham: A budget-friendly option that offers clean and spacious rooms.
  • Olds College Campus Housing: A great option for budget-conscious travelers who don’t mind sharing a bathroom and kitchen facilities.

What to Buy in Olds: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for souvenirs or locally made products to bring home, be sure to check out these shops:

  • The Rustic Hutch: Offers a variety of rustic home decor and furniture.
  • Olds Uptowne Market: Sells a selection of handcrafted jewelry, pottery, and other unique products.
  • Rehoboth Farms: A local farm that produces honey, eggs, and other fresh, locally sourced food products.

Local Culture and Customs of Olds

Olds is known for its warm hospitality and friendly locals. Here are some customs and traditions to keep in mind:

  • Respect the natural environment: Olds is surrounded by gorgeous landscapes, so be sure to take care of the environment by leaving no trace and following any posted rules or guidelines.
  • Be polite and courteous: It’s always a good idea to be respectful of local customs and to practice good manners when interacting with locals.
  • Embrace the local community: Whether it’s through attending local festivals and events or simply striking up a conversation with a local, be sure to embrace the sense of community that makes Olds such a special place.

Best Time to Visit Olds

The best time to visit Olds depends on your personal preferences and interests. Here’s a quick guide to the seasons:

  • Spring: A great time to enjoy hiking and biking, as well as to see wildflowers and other spring flora.
  • Summer: The perfect time to hit the golf course or enjoy water-based activities like swimming and boating.
  • Fall: The best time to savor the changing colors of the leaves and to enjoy harvest activities like apple-picking.
  • Winter: A great time to hit the slopes at nearby ski resorts or to enjoy snow-based activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Olds

To help you make the most of your trip to Olds, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Do take advantage of the natural beauty of the area by exploring its many parks and trails.
  • Do embrace the local community by attending festivals and events.
  • Do try some of the local cuisine and beverages.


  • Don’t litter or disrespect the natural environment.
  • Don’t be rude or disrespectful to locals.
  • Don’t forget to pack appropriate clothing for the weather and activities you plan to enjoy.

Safety and Health

Olds is a safe and welcoming community, but it’s always important to be aware of potential safety concerns and to take steps to stay healthy during your trip.

Safety in Olds

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions such as locking your car and keeping valuables out of sight.
  • Stay up-to-date on any potential weather hazards and be prepared accordingly.
  • Be mindful of any safety rules or guidelines posted at parks, trails, or other attractions.

Health in Olds

  • Make sure to pack any necessary medications and to bring copies of relevant health documents like your insurance card.
  • Stay hydrated and take necessary precautions during outdoor activities like hiking or biking.
  • Be mindful of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when dining out.

Getting to Olds: Transportation Options and Logistics

Olds is conveniently located near several major transportation hubs, making it easy to get there from just about anywhere. Here are some of the top transportation options:

  • Airports Near Olds: The nearest international airports are Calgary International Airport and Edmonton International Airport.
  • Bus Stations Near Olds: Greyhound offers bus service to nearby cities like Calgary and Red Deer.
  • Other Options: Rental cars are available at both airports and in nearby towns like Airdrie and Sundre.

How to Get Around in Olds

While Olds is a small town, there are still several options for getting around town:

  • Walking or Biking: Olds is a great town for walking or biking, with many parks and trails to explore.
  • Car: Rental cars can be obtained at the airport or in nearby towns.
  • Public Transportation: Olds has a local bus service that operates on a limited schedule.

Where to Go Next from Olds: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re interested in exploring more of Central Alberta and beyond, here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Calgary: A vibrant city with plenty of cultural attractions and outdoor activities to enjoy.
  • Banff National Park: Known for its stunning scenery and world-class hiking, the park is just a few hours’ drive from Olds.
  • Drumheller: Home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and the famous Hoodoos rock formations.
  • Red Deer: A mid-sized city with plenty of dining and cultural options.


Olds, Alberta, is a charming town with plenty of natural beauty, incredible local cuisine, and hospitable locals. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Olds has something to offer for everyone. Plan your trip today and discover all that this hidden gem has to offer!