It's also known as the Gas City thanks to its vast reserves of natural gas. Rudyard Kipling famously described it as the city with "all hell for a basement".
The name comes from the word Saamis, which is a native word that means Medicine Man's Hat. According to the 1983 centennial song "Hats Off to 100 Years!":
- In eighteen-eighty-three, the Blackfoot fought the Cree
- in a battle raging on near the South Saskatchewan.
- In a ritual of defeat, the Medicine Man fell to the ground
- and laid his feathered headdress down as a legend for our town.
You'll probably arrive in Medicine Hat on the TransCanada Highway (the #1), which is the principal highway crossing Canada. If you're travelling across Canada by car, you're almost certain to pass through this city. Alternatively, you can fly into the city from Calgary. Given the time that it takes to transfer within the airport, check in luggage and board (plus the inevitable delays that often accompany small planes), voyagers almost always better off going by car, bus or shuttle.
Medicine Hat buses run regularly 6:45am to 10:30 pm Monday through Friday, 10:45am to 10:45pm Saturday. It is important to note that you need to telephone Transit Dispatch (529-8214) in order to schedule a pick-up after peak hours (6:45pm). They will ask for your name and telephone number, and tell you what time your bus will pass by your stop. All passengers must wear shirts and shoes. You can also use J&L Shuttle offering daily trips to the city from Calgary. ( 528-8851 )
Transit does not provide any service on Sundays and Holidays.
The Medicine Hat Tourism office can be reached at 800-481-2822.
- Like many smaller prairie towns, Medicine Hat has a "largest" something. The World's Largest Teepee was originally constructed for the 1988 Winter Olympic games in Calgary. The city has added original First Nations artwork to the interior panels. There was once a small gift shop adjacent to the site, which has been removed.
- Downtown Medicine Hat is lit with 277 old-fashioned gas lights that burn around the clock.
- Saint Patrick's Church is one of the largest continuously-poured concrete structures in the world, and a Heritage Site. It's a good example of "Gothic Revival" architecture
- The city has opened a multi-million dollar arts and heritage center called The Esplanade, which houses the municipal museum, an art gallery, and a state-of-the-art performance space for touring and local productions, concerts, etc.
- Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District, 713 Medalta Avenue SE; 529–1070, Fax: 580–5868, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, . May 14 Through September 5, 2005 9:30 To 5:00, daily. A rich abundance of fine clay made Medicine Hat a center for industrial cermaics. Most of the businesses are gone but the area has been set aside as a historic district. The district features examples of over 20,000 pieces of ceramic and pottery as well as a guided tour of the facilities and watching resident artists at work. Adults $6.00, Seniors 65 + $5.00, Youths 7 - 16 $5.00, Children 6 & under Free, Family Day Pass $25.00, 2005 Family Season Pass $45.00.
- "Hatters" are proud supporters of their local WHL hockey team, the Medicine Hat Tigers. The games are fun and inexpensive, but tickets sell out within days of the season opener. An arena of 4006 houses some 3800 season ticket holders, leaving precious few remaining tickets to be snapped up.
- There is a permanent pottery exhibition at the Clay Products Interpretive Centre, which houses the "Great Wall of China" (referring to the ceramic China, as opposed to the country). Medicine Hat was the home of both Medalta Pottery and Hycroft China, two of the most important industrial pottery factories in the early twentieth century.
- Downtown Walking Tour; Maps for a self-guided walking tour can be found at the Tourism Office for free.
Medicine Hat obviously isn't a large metropolis, and downtown Medicine Hat does not offer megastores with an excellent variety at excellent prices. However, if you'll put your big-city condescension away for a minute, you'll find it to be funky, hip and small-town sincere. Especially look for second hand stores, which have yet to be picked over.
- mucho burrito.
Medicine Hat has several bars, but they are certainly not the "megaclubs" you would find in larger cities like Calgary. The nightclubs in town are The Silver Buckle, The Ottoman Lounge, Ralph's Texas Bar and Steakhouse, Ezzie's Nightclub, The WYNZ, Gringos, The Club, Mario's, The Corona, The Octane & The Blue Turtle. Tantric is a lingerie bar, and BB's Dollhouse is an exotic dancers club in nearby Redcliff.
- Elkwater, Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park , Alberta
- Echo Dale Regional Park; West of Medicine Hat; 527-7344; Site of restored 1887 house, a blacksmith shop and a coal mine.
- Dinosaur Provincial Park; 107 kilometers northwest of Medicine Hat on Trans-Canada Highway 1; 378-4342; Hiking and guided tours through fossil beds. The Park is designated as a World Heritage Site. Adults - $8, Children (7-17) - $6
This page was last edited at 16:44, on 23 January 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Jane Smith, Tim Sandell, Darren Kirby, Eric Polk, James Blake and Michele Ann Jenkins, Wikitravel user(s) Shaund, Edmontonenthusiast and Jonboy and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.