After an amazing response to our article on what makes Okotoks seriously, seriously amazing- we wanted to shed some light on our sister from another mister, High River. Walkable, bikeable, drivable, and generally just a splendid place to be, High River takes the cake and (bonus) it has a beautiful river running through it (obviously). 40% urban and 60% rural*, it has everything you need without the rage-inducing traffic jams you'll find in the downtown core of a city. Here's 7 things we think make this a kick-ass place.
*Highly scientific numbers from a study done by no one, but believed full-heartedly by Watermark.
1. THE HITCHIN' POST
Essentially a beautified shack, The Hitchin' Post is a local legend that has been around for- wait for it- 40. Fricken. Years. It's basically a trademark spot in High River with the best dang shakes and burgers in the West, which is a statement backed up by their thousands of followers on Facebook.
2. THE HIGHWOOD RIVER
An obvious but still essential piece to mention is The Highwood River. Not only is it gorgeous, it is also a not-so-secret spot for local fly fisherman looking for a bountiful spot.
3. THE PIKE DESIGN STUDIO
This hidden gem (and we mean hidden- using google maps will get you close, but you may need to ask a friendly local) is home to the ridiculously awesome clay-master Connie Pike and her hubby Bob Pike. If you are interested in fine art and/or pottery, this is basically your nirvana (sans any greasy-haired hoarse-voiced Kurts). TIP: if you ever get a chance to take a class or workshop with Connie, do it. You will not be disappointed.
4. THE LITTLE BRITCHES PARADE AND RODEO
This picture is a perfect representation of the level of cuteness involved in number 4. This rodeo gets the kiddies involved in challenges like calf roping, sheep riding, and barrel busting. The parade that starts off the day is legit- then comes the music festival, and then it finishes off in the stands of the rodeo grounds.
5. CARLSON'S ON MACLEOD
Aside from the music, general ambiance, and seriously awesome people, the building itself is worth a visit. Tracing back to 1931, it now houses a wine bar, a gallery of amazing art, and a small live music venue featuring incredible local talent and out-of-town musicians. DEFINITELY, stop by this place while galavanting around this cool street.
6. THE GIFT OF MUSIC SOCIETY
Run by a group of generous volunteers, this non-profit's mandate is to bring classical music to the town. They are renowned for their seriously impressive and inspiring concerts and are giving the musicians a chance able to perform in such a lovely space. We'd recommend following them on twitter to keep up on the daily: https://twitter.com/hrgiftofmusic.
7. COLOSSI'S COFFEE HOUSE
In the heart of downtown High River, this is a wicked place to catch up with old friends, do a bit of work in a fab space, or just take a chill pill and sip on a great coffee. On top of that, they have a jam night for music enthusiasts. We are MAJ fans of this place and the people that run it- you will be too. #allthefeels
Extremely Noteworthy Mentions
With a population of just over 13,584 it's pretty shocking many seriously amazing people High River has raised. Here's a small sampling of noteworthy mentions:
George Canyon/musician (honestly... how cool is THAT) https://www.georgecanyon.com
Calum Graham/musician (ok... but seriously check this guy out) https://calumgraham.com
Joe Clark/politician https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Clark
To stay in the loop with Foothills musicians, join this group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/257874511341090
WANT TO EXPERIENCE MORE PLACES LIKE THIS IN THE FOOTHILLS? THE GREAT DASH IS A WICKED EVENT YOU SHOULD COME TO (you might just catch the final days of the early bird pricing). Check it out here: https://watermarkab.com/events/the-great-dash
Comments? Other ideas that you think should make the list? Put your suggestions in the comments- can't wait to hear from ya.