Welcome to Calgary, a captivating metropolis nestled in the picturesque province of Alberta, Canada. This vibrant city is a harmonious blend of natural splendor, warm hospitality, and a dynamic urban culture that beckons travelers from near and far.
Prepare to be enchanted by Calgary’s stunning landscapes, where the majestic Rocky Mountains serve as a breathtaking backdrop. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Canadian wilderness, with its snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and vast expanses of untouched wilderness just waiting to be explored.
But Calgary is not only defined by its natural wonders. It pulsates with the energy of a cosmopolitan city, where modern skyscrapers reach for the sky, reflecting the aspirations and dynamism of its inhabitants. Step into a world of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character, from the trendy boutiques and cafes of Kensington to the vibrant cultural hub of Inglewood.
One of Calgary’s most iconic events is the legendary Calgary Stampede, a celebration of Western heritage that captivates visitors from around the globe. Experience the exhilaration of rodeo shows, witness heart-stopping chuckwagon races, and immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities that bring the spirit of the Wild West to life.
Indulge your palate in Calgary’s thriving culinary scene, where renowned chefs showcase their culinary mastery with a fusion of international flavors and locally-sourced ingredients. From upscale dining establishments to hidden gems in lively neighborhoods, the city’s restaurants offer a delectable journey through a myriad of culinary delights.
For the adventure seekers, Calgary is the gateway to outdoor thrills. Embark on hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, challenge yourself with adrenaline-pumping winter sports, or take a scenic drive through the awe-inspiring landscapes of Banff and Jasper National Parks.
But Calgary is more than just its natural beauty and exhilarating activities. It’s a city that embraces art, culture, and creativity. Explore its vibrant art galleries, immerse yourself in live theater performances, or attend one of the city’s numerous festivals that celebrate the rich tapestry of multiculturalism.
As you navigate the streets of Calgary, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals who embody the renowned Canadian hospitality. Their warmth and welcoming nature make exploring the city an even more enriching experience.
So, come and discover the allure of Calgary, a city where nature and urban sophistication coexist harmoniously. Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, or simply a place to create unforgettable memories, Calgary promises to captivate your heart and ignite your sense of wonder. Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through this enchanting destination.
Calgary City Guide: A Brief History Of Calgary, Alberta
Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Calgary, a city that has evolved from humble beginnings to become one of Canada’s thriving urban centers. As you explore its streets and landmarks, you’ll uncover a tapestry of stories that shaped the city we know today.
The history of Calgary traces back to the First Natoins peoples who inhabited this land for thousands of years. The Blackfoot Confederacy, which includes the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai nations, were the original inhabitants of the area. Their deep connection to the land and rich cultural heritage still resonate in the region.
The first European settlers arrived in the Calgary area in the late 1800s. In 1875, the North-West Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) established a fort at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers to maintain law and order in the region. This fort, named Fort Calgary, played a pivotal role in the early development of the settlement.
The discovery of oil in nearby Turner Valley in 1914 brought newfound prosperity to Calgary. The city quickly became a hub for the oil and gas industry, attracting entrepreneurs, investors, and immigrants from around the world. The resulting economic boom led to a rapid expansion of the city’s infrastructure and population.
Calgary gained international recognition when it hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, a landmark event that put the city on the global stage. The Olympics showcased Calgary’s ability to successfully organize and host major international events, leaving a lasting legacy in terms of sports facilities and tourism infrastructure.
Today, Calgary stands as a modern metropolis renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and economic vitality. It is home to a diverse population that reflects the multicultural fabric of Canada. The city’s skyline boasts impressive skyscrapers, symbolizing its status as a thriving business and financial center.
Calgary’s commitment to the arts and culture is evident in its numerous galleries, museums, and performing arts venues. The Glenbow Museum, Heritage Park Historical Village, and Studio Bell (home of the National Music Centre) offer captivating insights into the city’s past and present.
As you explore Calgary, you’ll notice the city’s efforts to preserve its heritage. Historic buildings like the Lougheed House and Stephen Avenue are testaments to Calgary’s architectural legacy.
Calgary continues to evolve, embracing innovation and sustainability while cherishing its roots. The city’s commitment to environmental stewardship, outdoor recreation, and community engagement make it a destination that balances urban amenities with access to nature.
So, as you navigate the bustling streets of Calgary, take a moment to appreciate the rich history that shaped this vibrant city. From its Indigenous roots to its transformation into a modern metropolis, Calgary’s history adds depth and meaning to your journey through this remarkable destination.
Calgary Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Alberta
Sitting smack dab on the imaginary line where the prairies end and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin, Calgary, Alberta is a gleaming city of petro-funded glass, steel and concrete that boasts one of the better views of any major city of the world. While many that fly into this city often hop into a shuttle at the airport that immediately spirits them away to Banff in the national park that bears its name, we would advise you to spend at least a couple of days to experience one of the most dynamic and wealthiest cities in North America.
Being a city was merely ranchland a little over one hundred years ago, some might say that Calgary lacks culture due to its shallow roots, but the cowboy heritage of its not so distant past has been mined heavily, and the deep pockets of Calgary’s elite has invested in and lobbied for better arts infrastructure over the years, greatly improving the offerings on that front over the past generation.
The ample parkland that can be found throughout this sprawling metropolis will serve as an engaging warm-up for the fun that will surely follow in the mountains, and remnants of Calgary’s super successful hosting of the 1988 Olympics will impress upon you the spirit of the can-do people that live in this place.
Indeed, Cowtown (as it is affectionately called) is home to more than its share of go-getters, whose ambitious spirit will motivate you to get the most out of your trip to Alberta, starting with your explorations of Calgary, Canada!
Of all the events that Calgary hosts throughout the calendar year, the Calgary Stampede stands out as the Goliath of the lot. Given its billing as The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, it has lived up to and exceeded the lofty expectations of organizers and patrons for over a century.
Starting out as a mere rodeo competition, it has since evolved to include a midway with exciting rides, food that pushes new boundaries for fat and caloric consumption, trade show displays that tout the latest and greatest in entrepreneurial innovation, and citywide pancake breakfasts that offer that addictive morning treat within easy driving distance of most places in the city.
Encompassing all of this are countless parties put on by bars, corporations, and individuals that seemingly raise the bar of alcohol consumption, decadence and cash figuratively lit ablaze in the name of an epic time every year. Triple Grey Goose and Coke? Don’t mind if I do!
After your two day hangover wears off, stumble over to the Glenbow Museum for an in-depth education on the life and times of this young city in the foothills. Artifacts surrounding the settling of Western Canada, the native peoples that were there before them, and art displays from those inspired by the wide open land that they had moved out to as pioneers are the main draws here, but be sure to also check out visiting exhibitions from other museums, as they have hosted shows that are sure to impress even the most discerning culture vultures.
It’s one thing to learn about history in a book or from a museum display, but it’s quite another to experience it in living form. At Fort Calgary, interpreters in costume inhabit a reconstructed settlement meant to simulate conditions back in Calgary’s frontier days, when it was merely a trading and defence post in the midst of the massive Northwest Territories. In addition to playing host to the first structure built in the Calgary area, it also hosts theatre productions throughout the year, so be sure to enquire on whether any shows are happening during the course of your visit.
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Calgary, Alberta
After spending your first day exploring the origins of the largest city in the Prairies, start your second day by getting a great view of the surrounding area at the Calgary Tower.From the top of this 191 metre high tower, views of the front range of the Rocky Mountains, the seemingly infinite flatlands of the prairies to the east, and the rapidly sprouting modern downtown core from all other sides can be had. Stick around for a meal in the revolving restaurant if you wish to savour the view with a delectable dish.
If all the glitzy new skyscrapers are getting you in the mood to spend, then taking a stroll down Stephen Avenue Walk will provide you with a fun-filled few hours of browsing, trying and buying some of the finest goods Calgary has to offer. If the restaurant in the Calgary Tower didn’t float your boat, there are many places to choose from here as well, from bratwurst street stalls, to pubs, and high class dining.
In the late 1980’s, Calgary had a larger than life dream: to host the Winter Olympics in Canada for the first time ever. With much hard work, they pulled it off, and proceeded to put on a Games that was so well loved that the head of the IOC at the time called it “The Best Games Ever”. There are many remnants of those heady times around town, such as Olympic Plaza near City Hall, which is a popular public gathering place, hosting a creative fountain in the summer that amuses many young and old.
The Olympic Oval can be found of the University of Calgary campus, which makes for a great place to try and follow in the footsteps of the elite speed skaters that competed there more than 25 years ago, or watch them in action, as this facility still hosts many significant meets during the winter season.
Perhaps the best place to take in Calgary’s Olympic heritage though is at Canada Olympic Park, which is home to the gigantic ski jump that many medal hopeful launched themselves off of in search of glory, and the bobsleigh/luge/skeleton track that sliders also navigated in pursuit of their dream.
Winter time sees these facilities at full use, including a constructed ski hill that will allow you to practice your turns before hitting a real mountain slope in the Rockies, but mountain biking happens here during the summer, and Canada Sports Hall of Fame will give you insight into the athletic heritage of this proud nation.
source: Island Hopper TV on YouTube
Top 21 Things To Do in Calgary, Alberta For Visitors
Here are 21 top things to do in Calgary, Alberta, to make the most of your visit:
- Visit the Calgary Stampede: Immerse yourself in the world-renowned Calgary Stampede, a thrilling celebration of Western heritage, featuring rodeo shows, chuckwagon races, live music, and more.
- Explore the Glenbow Museum: Discover Alberta’s rich history and diverse cultural heritage through captivating exhibits at the Glenbow Museum, which houses extensive collections of art, artifacts, and historical documents.
- Wander through Heritage Park Historical Village: Step back in time at this living history museum, where you can explore historical buildings, ride on a steam train, and experience life in Alberta’s past.
- Enjoy panoramic views from Calgary Tower: Take an elevator ride up the iconic Calgary Tower to admire breathtaking views of the city skyline, the Rocky Mountains, and beyond.
- Stroll along Stephen Avenue Walk: Walk along this vibrant pedestrian street in downtown Calgary, lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Catch live performances and enjoy the bustling atmosphere.
- Visit the Calgary Zoo: Explore the Calgary Zoo, home to a wide array of animals from around the world. Get up close to species like pandas, penguins, giraffes, and more.
- Discover the TELUS Spark Science Centre: Engage in interactive exhibits and hands-on activities at this dynamic science center, perfect for families and science enthusiasts of all ages.
- Experience the beauty of Prince’s Island Park: Relax in this urban oasis, featuring scenic pathways, lush greenery, and the picturesque Bow River. Enjoy picnics, festivals, and outdoor performances in the park.
- Take a walk or bike ride along the Bow River Pathway: Explore Calgary’s extensive pathway system, particularly the scenic Bow River Pathway, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for outdoor activities.
- Go shopping at Chinook Centre: Indulge in retail therapy at Chinook Centre, one of Calgary’s premier shopping destinations, housing a wide range of stores, boutiques, and dining options.
- Discover the Calgary Farmers’ Market: Browse through a variety of fresh produce, artisanal products, and local delicacies at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, supporting local farmers and producers.
- Attend a performance at the Arts Commons: Catch a theater performance, live concert, or dance show at the Arts Commons, a cultural hub hosting a diverse range of artistic events.
- Explore the Inglewood neighborhood: Wander through the trendy Inglewood neighborhood, known for its unique shops, antique stores, art galleries, and cozy cafes.
- Learn about aviation at the Aero Space Museum of Calgary: Delve into the world of aviation at this fascinating museum, featuring a collection of aircraft and interactive exhibits showcasing Canada’s aviation history.
- Go on a brewery tour: Calgary is home to numerous craft breweries. Take a brewery tour to learn about the brewing process and sample a variety of locally crafted beers.
- Experience live sports: Catch a Calgary Flames hockey game at the Scotiabank Saddledome or cheer on the Calgary Stampeders at a Canadian Football League match.
- Enjoy a leisurely walk in Fish Creek Provincial Park: Discover the beauty of Fish Creek Provincial Park, one of Canada’s largest urban parks, offering picturesque trails, picnic spots, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife sightings.
- Explore the Calgary Public Library: Visit the architecturally stunning Central Library, featuring innovative design, a vast collection of books, and various community programs.
- Attend a music festival: Calgary hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including the Calgary Folk Music Festival and the Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, offering a diverse lineup of performances.
- Hit the slopes at nearby ski resorts: Experience winter adventures by visiting renowned ski resorts near Calgary, such as Banff Sunshine Village, Nakiska Ski Area, or Lake Louise Ski Resort. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains.
- Explore the natural wonders of Banff National Park: Take a day trip from Calgary to Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at stunning turquoise lakes like Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, hike scenic trails, soak in hot springs, and encounter wildlife in their natural habitat.
These are just a taste of the countless experiences that Calgary has to offer. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, or vibrant city life, Calgary’s diverse attractions and warm hospitality will leave you with unforgettable memories of your visit to this remarkable Canadian city.
What To Eat and Drink in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
When it comes to culinary delights, Calgary offers a diverse and vibrant dining scene that caters to every palate. From hearty comfort food to international cuisines and innovative creations, here are some must-try dishes and beverages in Calgary:
- Alberta Beef: Indulge in a juicy steak made from Alberta’s renowned beef, known for its exceptional quality and flavor. Many local steakhouses and restaurants specialize in perfectly cooked cuts of beef, showcasing the province’s agricultural heritage.
- Bison Burger: Experience the unique taste of a bison burger, a lean and flavorful alternative to traditional beef burgers. It’s a must-try for those looking to savor the distinct flavors of Canadian cuisine.
- Calgary-style Ginger Beef: Sample Calgary’s own culinary creation, the Calgary-style Ginger Beef. This dish features crispy beef strips tossed in a sweet and tangy ginger sauce, often served with a side of rice or noodles.
- Indigenous Cuisine: Discover the rich flavors of Indigenous cuisine by trying dishes like bannock (a traditional bread), pemmican (a dried meat mixture), or wild game like venison or bison. Several restaurants in Calgary offer Indigenous-inspired menus.
- Fusion Cuisine: Calgary’s culinary scene is known for its fusion of flavors and cultures. Explore innovative restaurants that combine global influences, creating unique and exciting dishes that blend different culinary traditions.
- Craft Beer: Calgary boasts a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous local breweries offering a wide range of unique and flavorful brews. Take a brewery tour or visit one of the city’s craft beer bars to sample the diverse selection.
- Alberta Wines: Alberta’s neighboring wine regions, such as the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, produce exceptional wines. Many Calgary restaurants offer a selection of local and regional wines to complement your meal.
- Maple Syrup Treats: Indulge in the sweet and iconic flavor of maple syrup by trying treats like maple syrup taffy, maple-infused desserts, or pancakes topped with this delicious Canadian staple.
- Global Cuisine: Calgary embraces international flavors with a variety of restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. Explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods to discover authentic dishes from countries such as India, Vietnam, Mexico, and more.
- Food Trucks: Calgary’s food truck scene has gained popularity in recent years, offering a wide range of delicious street food options. Check out local food truck festivals or roam the city streets to experience a diverse array of culinary delights.
- Local Bakeries: Satisfy your sweet tooth by visiting Calgary’s charming local bakeries. Try freshly baked pastries, artisanal bread, or delectable desserts made with local ingredients.
- Calgary-style Caesar: Quench your thirst with a Calgary-style Caesar, a Canadian twist on the classic Bloody Mary. Made with clamato juice (a blend of tomato and clam juice), vodka, spices, and garnished with creative toppings, it’s a signature Canadian cocktail.
Calgary’s culinary landscape is constantly evolving, with new restaurants and flavors emerging regularly. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, an adventurous eater, or simply looking for a satisfying meal, Calgary’s diverse food and beverage offerings are sure to leave your taste buds delighted.
Top Restaurants In Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calgary is home to a thriving culinary scene with a wide range of exceptional restaurants. From fine dining establishments to casual eateries, here are some top restaurants in Calgary that offer memorable dining experiences:
- Model Milk: Located in a historic dairy building, Model Milk features a creative menu showcasing farm-to-table ingredients and innovative dishes in a stylish and trendy setting.
- CHARCUT Roast House: Known for its delectable meat-focused cuisine, CHARCUT offers a menu highlighting locally sourced ingredients and expertly prepared cuts of meat. Don’t miss their famous charcuterie board.
- River Café: Nestled in Prince’s Island Park, River Café provides a picturesque dining experience with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy their elegant Canadian cuisine while surrounded by nature.
- Alloy: Offering a blend of Asian and Mediterranean flavors, Alloy is known for its upscale ambiance, impeccable service, and a menu that showcases the creativity and skill of its culinary team.
- Ten Foot Henry: This vibrant and stylish eatery features a vegetable-forward menu with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Enjoy their shareable plates and innovative vegetarian dishes.
- Pigeonhole: Located in Calgary’s eclectic Kensington neighborhood, Pigeonhole offers an intimate and lively atmosphere. Their menu features globally inspired small plates, complemented by an extensive wine selection.
- The Nash: Housed in a historic building, The Nash is celebrated for its contemporary Canadian cuisine. The menu showcases local ingredients and flavors, presented with elegance and finesse.
- Bridgette Bar: Combining a lively bar atmosphere with a menu of globally influenced dishes, Bridgette Bar offers a unique dining experience. Enjoy their wood-fired pizzas, shareable plates, and creative cocktails.
- Teatro Ristorante: With its elegant ambiance and refined Italian cuisine, Teatro Ristorante is a longstanding favorite in Calgary. Indulge in classic Italian dishes crafted with the finest ingredients.
- Klein/Harris: This restaurant pays homage to Canadian heritage through its menu, which features elevated comfort food with a contemporary twist. Enjoy their farm-to-table dishes and expertly crafted cocktails.
- Anju: Offering a fusion of Korean and Canadian flavors, Anju is a trendy spot known for its innovative small plates, creative cocktails, and vibrant atmosphere.
- Rouge: Set in a charming heritage house, Rouge is renowned for its refined Canadian cuisine, highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. Their tasting menus and elegant presentations make for a memorable dining experience.
These are just a selection of the many exceptional restaurants Calgary has to offer. Whether you’re seeking gourmet cuisine, ethnic flavors, or unique dining concepts, Calgary’s culinary scene is sure to satisfy every discerning palate.
Tours For Visitors To Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calgary offers a variety of tours that cater to different interests, allowing visitors to explore the city and its surrounding areas. Here are some popular tours to consider when visiting Calgary:
- Calgary City Sightseeing Tour: Join a guided tour that takes you to the city’s top landmarks and attractions, such as Calgary Tower, Fort Calgary, and the vibrant downtown area. Learn about Calgary’s history, culture, and architecture as you explore the city with an informative guide.
- Heritage Park Historical Village: Embark on a journey through time at the Heritage Park Historical Village. Take a guided tour of this living history museum, interact with costumed interpreters, and experience what life was like in early Western Canada.
- Calgary Food Tour: Indulge in Calgary’s culinary scene by joining a food tour. Sample a variety of dishes from local eateries, visit food markets, and learn about the city’s culinary history and culture from knowledgeable guides.
- Banff and Lake Louise Day Trip: Take a day trip from Calgary to the stunning Banff National Park and Lake Louise. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views, explore the charming town of Banff, and visit iconic attractions like Lake Louise and the Banff Gondola.
- Drumheller and Badlands Day Trip: Venture to the unique landscape of Drumheller and the Badlands, known for their striking hoodoos and dinosaur fossils. Explore the Royal Tyrrell Museum, hike in Horseshoe Canyon, and learn about Alberta’s prehistoric past.
- Calgary Brewery Tour: Discover Calgary’s craft beer scene on a brewery tour. Visit local breweries, learn about the brewing process, and sample a variety of craft beers while gaining insight into the city’s beer culture.
- Calgary Segway Tour: Glide through Calgary’s streets and parks on a Segway tour. Enjoy a fun and unique way to see the city’s highlights, with experienced guides providing commentary along the way.
- Calgary Helicopter Tour: Take to the skies on a thrilling helicopter tour of Calgary and its surrounding areas. Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline, the Rocky Mountains, and natural landmarks from a unique vantage point.
- Horseback Riding in the Canadian Rockies: Experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies on a guided horseback riding tour. Explore scenic trails, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and appreciate the stunning landscapes of the region.
- Calgary Ghost Tour: Delve into Calgary’s haunted history on a ghost tour. Walk through the city’s streets, hear chilling tales of paranormal activity, and visit sites rumored to be haunted while learning about Calgary’s darker side.
These tours offer diverse experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the culture, history, nature, and culinary delights of Calgary and its surroundings. Choose the tours that align with your interests and make the most of your time exploring this captivating Canadian city.
Calgary Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels
When it comes to accommodations, Calgary offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, budget-friendly stays, or cozy bed and breakfasts, here’s a guide to help you find the perfect place to stay in Calgary:
- Downtown Calgary: If you prefer to be in the heart of the city, downtown Calgary is the ideal location. Here, you’ll find upscale hotels, boutique accommodations, and convenient access to attractions, restaurants, and shopping centers.
- Beltline: Located just south of downtown, the Beltline neighborhood offers a mix of accommodations, including boutique hotels and stylish apartments. It’s a vibrant area known for its trendy restaurants, bars, and nightlife.
- Kensington: Situated northwest of downtown, Kensington is a lively neighborhood with a bohemian vibe. This area features charming bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, and unique accommodations, with proximity to boutiques, cafes, and parks.
- Calgary Airport Area: If you have an early flight or prefer to stay near the airport, there are numerous hotels and accommodations available in the vicinity. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport.
- Northeast Calgary: This area offers a variety of budget-friendly hotel options, perfect for travelers looking for affordable accommodations without compromising on comfort. It’s a convenient choice for those with early morning flights or exploring attractions like the Calgary Zoo.
- Southwest Calgary: If you’re seeking a quieter and more residential area, consider staying in Southwest Calgary. You’ll find a mix of hotels, extended-stay suites, and bed and breakfasts, with easy access to parks, golf courses, and shopping centers.
- Bed and Breakfasts: Calgary is home to several charming bed and breakfast establishments, offering cozy accommodations and personalized hospitality. These are great options for a more intimate and homely experience.
When selecting accommodations in Calgary, consider factors such as proximity to your desired attractions, transportation options, amenities, and budget. It’s advisable to book in advance, particularly during peak seasons and major events, to secure the best rates and availability.
Online travel agencies, hotel booking websites, and official hotel websites are useful resources for finding and comparing accommodations in Calgary. Reading reviews and checking the location and amenities offered can help you make an informed decision.
No matter where you choose to stay in Calgary, the city’s warm hospitality and range of accommodations ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience during your visit.
Day Trips From Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calgary’s central location in Alberta makes it an excellent starting point for day trips to explore the surrounding natural beauty and nearby attractions. Here are some popular day trips from Calgary:
- Banff National Park: Just a 1.5-hour drive from Calgary, Banff National Park is a must-visit destination. Marvel at the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Louise, hike the picturesque trails around Moraine Lake, and take a scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway to see breathtaking glaciers and cascading waterfalls.
- Canmore and Kananaskis Country: Head to the charming mountain town of Canmore, located about an hour west of Calgary. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, or even a round of golf. Nearby Kananaskis Country offers scenic drives, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife sightings.
- Drumheller and the Badlands: Travel east to Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World. Explore the Royal Tyrrell Museum to learn about the region’s paleontological history and see impressive dinosaur exhibits. Visit the unique Hoodoos and hike in the badlands, known for its stunning rock formations.
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: Journey south to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can learn about the ancient practice of buffalo hunting used by Indigenous peoples. Explore the interpretive center, walk along the trails, and gain insight into the rich cultural heritage of the area.
- Calgary to Edmonton: Consider a day trip to Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, which is approximately a 3-hour drive from Calgary. Explore attractions such as West Edmonton Mall (one of the largest malls in the world), the historic Fort Edmonton Park, or the impressive Art Gallery of Alberta.
- Waterton Lakes National Park: Venture southwest to Waterton Lakes National Park, part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (shared with Montana, USA). Enjoy scenic hikes, wildlife spotting, and take a boat cruise on the beautiful Waterton Lake.
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: Journey south to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can learn about the ancient practice of buffalo hunting used by Indigenous peoples. Explore the interpretive center, walk along the trails, and gain insight into the rich cultural heritage of the area.
- Calgary to Edmonton: Consider a day trip to Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, which is approximately a 3-hour drive from Calgary. Explore attractions such as West Edmonton Mall (one of the largest malls in the world), the historic Fort Edmonton Park, or the impressive Art Gallery of Alberta.
- Head to the Canadian Badlands: Explore the unique landscapes of the Canadian Badlands, known for their rugged terrain, hoodoos, and dinosaur fossils. Visit attractions like the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Dinosaur Provincial Park, or hike the trails at Horseshoe Canyon.
- Visit the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary: Experience a unique encounter with wolfdogs at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, located just outside of Calgary. Take a guided tour to learn about these fascinating animals and their conservation efforts.
- Take a Drive to the Rocky Mountain Parks: Extend your adventure in the Rockies by driving along the scenic highways to other national parks, such as Yoho National Park, Jasper National Park, or even cross the border to Glacier National Park in Montana, USA.
- Explore Headwaters of the Bow: Discover the picturesque landscapes around the Headwaters of the Bow area, including places like Spray Valley Provincial Park, Barrier Lake, and Kananaskis Valley. Enjoy hiking, fishing, or a picnic amidst the breathtaking mountain scenery.
- Visit the Leighton Art Centre: Located just southwest of Calgary, the Leighton Art Centre showcases Canadian art in a stunning natural setting. Explore the galleries, stroll through the gardens, and participate in art workshops or nature walks.
- Take a Ranch Adventure: Experience the cowboy culture of Alberta by visiting a nearby guest ranch. Enjoy horseback riding, trail rides, and participate in activities like cattle drives or roping lessons for an authentic western experience.
- Discover Cochrane: A short drive from Calgary, Cochrane offers a charming small-town atmosphere. Explore its historic downtown, visit the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site, or take a scenic walk along the Bow River.
- Tour the Okotoks Erratic: Visit the Okotoks Erratic, a massive glacial erratic rock located in Okotoks, just south of Calgary. Learn about its geological significance and the legends surrounding its formation.
- Visit the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre: Head to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre in the Crowsnest Pass region. Learn about the devastating Frank Slide, where a massive rockslide buried part of the town of Frank in 1903, and explore exhibits on the area’s mining history.
These day trips from Calgary offer diverse experiences, whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural exploration, or simply a change of scenery. Remember to plan your day trips in advance, considering travel times and any specific attractions or activities you wish to enjoy.
Calgary Transportation Guide
Getting around Calgary is convenient and straightforward, thanks to its well-developed transportation infrastructure. Here’s a guide to the transportation options available in Calgary:
- Calgary Transit (CT): The Calgary Transit system operates an extensive network of buses and CTrain (light rail transit) services throughout the city. Buses provide comprehensive coverage, while the CTrain has two lines: the Red Line and the Blue Line, which intersect in downtown Calgary. Both bus and CTrain services are efficient and reliable for getting around the city.
- CTrain: The CTrain is a convenient way to travel within Calgary, particularly for commuting downtown. The trains run from early morning to late evening on weekdays, with reduced service on weekends and holidays. Stations are well-connected, and fares are based on zones, so make sure to purchase the appropriate ticket or pass.
- Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available in Calgary. You can book a taxi by phone or hail one from designated taxi stands. Ride-sharing services can be accessed through mobile apps.
- Car Rentals: If you prefer to have your own vehicle, several car rental companies operate in Calgary. You can book a car in advance or at the airport upon arrival. Keep in mind that parking in downtown Calgary may be limited and subject to fees.
- Cycling: Calgary has an extensive network of bike lanes and pathways, making cycling a popular and eco-friendly transportation option. You can bring your own bike or rent one from various bike-sharing programs available in the city.
- Walking: Calgary’s downtown core and many neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly, with sidewalks and crosswalks. Exploring the city on foot is a great way to discover its vibrant streets, parks, and attractions.
- Calgary International Airport (YYC): For air travel, Calgary International Airport serves as the city’s main airport. It is located approximately 17 kilometers northeast of downtown Calgary. Public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing services are available for airport transfers.
- Park & Ride: Calgary Transit offers Park & Ride facilities at several CTrain stations. These parking lots allow you to park your vehicle and conveniently connect to the transit system for easy commuting.
- Traffic and Parking: Calgary has busy traffic, particularly during peak hours. Plan your travel accordingly and consider using alternative transportation during rush hours. When driving, be mindful of parking regulations and fees in downtown areas, which are enforced by parking meters or paid parking lots.
Calgary’s transportation options provide flexibility and convenience for exploring the city and its surroundings. Choose the mode of transportation that best suits your needs and preferences to navigate Calgary with ease.
Calgary 1 Day Travel Itinerary
If you have just one day to explore Calgary, here’s a detailed itinerary to make the most of your time:
Morning: Start your day by heading to downtown Calgary. Make your way to the iconic Calgary Tower, where you can take an elevator ride to the observation deck and soak in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscapes.
Afterward, venture to Stephen Avenue Walk, a lively pedestrian street filled with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Take your time to explore the boutiques, grab a coffee, and indulge in a delicious breakfast at one of the local cafes.
Continue your morning by visiting Prince’s Island Park, an urban oasis located on an island in the Bow River. Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s picturesque trails, admire the natural beauty, and perhaps find a quiet spot to relax by the river.
Afternoon: For lunch, venture to the trendy Kensington neighborhood. This vibrant area offers an array of culinary options to suit every taste. Explore the diverse eateries and choose from international flavors, local specialties, or unique fusion cuisine.
After satisfying your taste buds, make your way to the Glenbow Museum, located in downtown Calgary. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Alberta as you explore the museum’s extensive art collections, historical exhibits, and interactive displays. Discover the stories that shaped the region and gain insights into its diverse cultural tapestry.
If time permits, consider taking a short trip to the Calgary Zoo. This family-friendly attraction houses a variety of wildlife from around the world. Explore different exhibits, learn about conservation efforts, and get up close to fascinating animals.
Evening: As evening approaches, return to downtown Calgary and embark on a culinary adventure for dinner. Calgary’s downtown core offers an array of renowned restaurants that cater to various tastes and cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for local flavors, international dishes, or fine dining experiences, you’ll find a restaurant to suit your preferences.
After dinner, immerse yourself in Calgary’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Make your way to the Arts Commons, a cultural hub housing various theaters and performance venues. Catch a live performance, such as a theater production, live music concert, or dance performance, and experience the city’s creative energy.
Conclude your day by taking a leisurely stroll along the riverfront pathway. Enjoy the illuminated city skyline and the peaceful ambiance of the riverside as you reflect on your Calgary adventure.
Please note that this itinerary is meant to serve as a guide and can be adjusted based on your interests, opening hours of attractions, and personal preferences.
Calgary 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary
If you have 3 to 4 days to explore Calgary, here’s a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your time and experience the city’s highlights:
- Start your day in downtown Calgary and visit Calgary Tower for panoramic views of the city.
- Explore Stephen Avenue Walk, a vibrant pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.
- Visit the Glenbow Museum to immerse yourself in Alberta’s rich cultural heritage and art collections.
- Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the local eateries in the downtown area.
- In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk through Prince’s Island Park and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
- Head to Kensington, a trendy neighborhood, for dinner and experience its unique dining scene.
- Conclude the day by catching a live performance or show at one of the theaters in downtown Calgary.
- Embark on a day trip to Banff National Park, located about 1.5 hours west of Calgary. Explore iconic attractions like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, hike scenic trails, and take in the breathtaking mountain vistas.
- Enjoy lunch in one of the charming restaurants in the town of Banff.
- Visit the Banff Upper Hot Springs for a relaxing soak in natural mineral-rich waters.
- Return to Calgary in the evening and dine at one of the city’s renowned restaurants.
- Start the day by exploring the Calgary Zoo and getting up close to a variety of wildlife from around the world.
- Head to the Heritage Park Historical Village and immerse yourself in Alberta’s history through interactive exhibits and costumed interpreters.
- Enjoy a picnic lunch at Fish Creek Provincial Park, one of Canada’s largest urban parks, with picturesque trails and picnic spots.
- In the afternoon, visit the TELUS Spark Science Centre for interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.
- Spend the evening in the vibrant Inglewood neighborhood, known for its unique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Explore the boutiques and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
- Take a day trip to Drumheller and the Badlands, known for their unique landscapes and dinosaur fossils.
- Explore the Royal Tyrrell Museum and learn about Alberta’s prehistoric past.
- Hike in the Hoodoos Trail and marvel at the stunning rock formations.
- Enjoy lunch in Drumheller before returning to Calgary.
- In the evening, visit the Calgary Stampede if it coincides with your visit or explore the lively nightlife scene in downtown Calgary.
This itinerary offers a balance of exploring Calgary’s attractions and venturing into the stunning natural surroundings. Feel free to adjust the activities based on your interests and the duration of your stay.
Calgary 1 Week Travel Itinerary
If you have a week to explore Calgary and its surroundings, here’s a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your time and experience the best of what the region has to offer:
- Start your week by exploring downtown Calgary. Visit Calgary Tower for panoramic views and walk along Stephen Avenue Walk, filled with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.
- Explore the Glenbow Museum to immerse yourself in Alberta’s cultural heritage and art collections.
- Enjoy a delightful dinner at one of the downtown restaurants.
- Take a day trip to Banff National Park. Explore the town of Banff, visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, hike scenic trails, and soak in the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
- Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in Banff and consider visiting the Banff Upper Hot Springs for a relaxing soak.
- Return to Calgary in the evening and have dinner at one of the city’s renowned restaurants.
- Spend the day discovering the Calgary Zoo, home to a variety of animals from around the world.
- Visit the Heritage Park Historical Village to learn about Alberta’s history through interactive exhibits and demonstrations.
- Enjoy a picnic lunch at Fish Creek Provincial Park and explore its scenic trails.
- In the evening, attend a live performance or show in one of Calgary’s theaters.
- Embark on a day trip to Drumheller and the Badlands. Explore the Royal Tyrrell Museum to discover dinosaur fossils and learn about the area’s prehistoric past.
- Hike in the Hoodoos Trail and visit other unique geological formations.
- Enjoy lunch in Drumheller and return to Calgary in the evening.
- Take a trip to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to learn about Indigenous history and the ancient buffalo hunting technique.
- Visit the Leighton Art Centre to explore Canadian art in a picturesque natural setting.
- Have dinner at one of Calgary’s diverse restaurants, offering a range of international flavors.
- Spend the day in Kananaskis Country, a stunning natural area just outside of Calgary. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, or fishing.
- Take in the breathtaking mountain views and have a picnic lunch amidst the beautiful landscapes.
- Return to Calgary in the evening and dine at one of the city’s top-rated restaurants.
- Visit the Calgary Stampede if it coincides with your visit or explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods. Explore Inglewood for unique shops and art galleries, or visit the vibrant Kensington area for trendy cafes and boutiques.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the riverfront pathway and savor the final evening in Calgary.
This one-week itinerary allows you to experience the best of Calgary’s attractions, natural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant neighborhoods. Feel free to adjust the activities based on your interests and the duration of your stay.
Is Calgary A Safe City To Visit?
Calgary is widely regarded as a safe city to visit, offering a relatively low crime rate compared to many other major cities in North America. The local authorities and law enforcement agencies work diligently to maintain the safety and security of both residents and visitors alike. However, as with any travel destination, it’s important to exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
In general, Calgary is known for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere, making it a comfortable place to explore. The city’s well-lit streets, bustling downtown core, and vibrant neighborhoods contribute to a sense of security. You can feel at ease while strolling through the city, both during the day and in the evening.
To ensure your safety while visiting Calgary, it’s advisable to follow some simple guidelines. Stay in well-populated areas and be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded places. Keep a close eye on your belongings, particularly in areas with high tourist traffic. It’s also recommended to use reputable transportation services, such as licensed taxis or recognized ride-sharing platforms.
When venturing out at night, stick to well-lit areas and consider traveling in groups. As with any city, it’s wise to avoid displaying large amounts of cash or valuable items in public, and exercise caution when using ATMs. It’s always beneficial to be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
If you plan to explore Calgary’s breathtaking natural landscapes or engage in outdoor activities, it’s important to follow safety guidelines, carry proper equipment, and inform others of your plans. Familiarize yourself with weather conditions and be prepared for unexpected changes, particularly if you’re venturing into the mountains or surrounding areas.
While Calgary is generally considered safe, it’s prudent to stay informed about any local advisories or guidelines provided by authorities, especially during extreme weather conditions or emergency situations. Local news sources, hotel staff, or official tourism websites can provide valuable information to enhance your safety and well-being during your visit.
By practicing basic safety precautions, exercising common sense, and staying informed, you can have a rewarding and secure experience while exploring the vibrant city of Calgary. Embrace the warm hospitality of the locals and enjoy all that this remarkable destination has to offer with confidence and peace of mind.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Calgary?
Determining the best time to visit Calgary depends on your preferences and the experiences you seek. Calgary’s four distinct seasons offer a range of activities and atmospheres. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of each season to help you decide:
- Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Calgary. The weather is generally warm and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This is the perfect time to explore Calgary’s vibrant outdoor festivals, such as the Calgary Stampede, which takes place in July. Enjoy longer daylight hours for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring the city’s parks and river pathways. The city comes alive with a lively atmosphere, bustling patios, and a wide range of events and performances.
- Fall (September to October): Fall in Calgary is a beautiful time to visit, characterized by stunning autumn foliage. The temperatures begin to cool down, ranging from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F). The city and surrounding areas are transformed into a colorful landscape, providing picturesque views for hikes, nature walks, and scenic drives. Fall also offers the opportunity to attend events like the Calgary International Film Festival, showcasing a diverse range of films from around the world.
- Winter (November to February): Calgary experiences cold winters with average temperatures ranging from -10°C to -1°C (14°F to 30°F). The city is known for its snowy landscapes, creating a winter wonderland. Winter sports enthusiasts will delight in the proximity to world-class ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, where they can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-related activities. Calgary itself hosts various winter festivals and events, such as the Calgary Winter Festival and the Calgary Christmas Market, which offer festive cheer and entertainment.
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Calgary brings milder temperatures, ranging from -2°C to 10°C (28°F to 50°F). As the snow melts, the city awakens with vibrant blooms and rejuvenated landscapes. This is an excellent time to explore Calgary’s parks, gardens, and outdoor spaces. Spring also hosts events like the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, attracting fans of pop culture and offering a chance to meet celebrities, attend panels, and immerse yourself in the world of entertainment.
It’s important to note that Calgary’s weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes even within a day. It’s advisable to pack layers and be prepared for fluctuating conditions. If you plan to visit during the peak tourist season in summer, consider booking accommodations and attractions in advance to secure availability. Similarly, for winter sports activities, plan your visit based on the snow conditions and resort schedules.
By considering the specific activities and experiences you desire, as well as the seasonal offerings, you can select the best time to visit Calgary and make the most of your trip.
Calgary Stampede Guide For Visitors
The Calgary Stampede, often referred to as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” is a vibrant and exhilarating festival that captures the essence of Western Canadian heritage and culture. Held annually in Calgary, Alberta, this iconic event brings together cowboys, cowgirls, and visitors from around the world for a thrilling ten-day celebration. With its rich history, adrenaline-pumping rodeo competitions, lively music, delicious food, and a myriad of attractions, the Calgary Stampede is an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking an authentic taste of cowboy culture.
History and Origins: The Calgary Stampede traces its roots back to the late 19th century when the Canadian Pacific Railway sought to promote the region and establish Calgary as a major transportation hub. In 1912, Guy Weadick, a cowboy and promoter, successfully organized the first Calgary Stampede. Since then, the event has grown in popularity and has become an integral part of Calgary’s identity, attracting millions of visitors each year.
The Rodeo: At the heart of the Calgary Stampede is its world-renowned rodeo. Witness the fearless cowboys and cowgirls showcase their incredible skills in events like bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and bronc riding. The rodeo competitions are high-energy and electrifying, captivating spectators with the thrill and excitement of the Western frontier.
Parades and Processions: One of the highlights of the Calgary Stampede is the Stampede Parade, which marks the official opening of the event. Spectators line the streets of downtown Calgary to watch the vibrant procession of floats, marching bands, cowboys on horseback, and decorative carriages. The Parade is a colorful spectacle that sets the tone for the ten days of festivities that follow.
Midway and Amusements: The Calgary Stampede Midway is a thrilling carnival experience with exhilarating rides, games, and attractions. From towering roller coasters to traditional fairground treats like cotton candy and mini donuts, the Midway offers endless fun for visitors of all ages. Take a spin on the Ferris wheel, test your aim at the shooting galleries, and embrace the joyful atmosphere that fills the air.
Western Showcase: Immerse yourself in the Western Showcase, a celebration of Western Canadian art, culture, and craftsmanship. Discover the rich heritage of the region through art exhibitions, live performances, Indigenous cultural displays, and traditional Western skills demonstrations. Explore the Western Oasis, where artisans and craftsmen showcase their talents, offering unique handmade crafts and souvenirs.
Food and Entertainment: Indulge your taste buds with a wide array of culinary delights at the Calgary Stampede. From classic barbecue and sizzling steaks to international cuisines and mouthwatering treats, the food options are sure to satisfy every craving. Don’t miss the iconic Stampede breakfasts, where you can enjoy a hearty morning meal with pancakes, sausages, and more, often served with a side of live music and entertainment.
Nightly Grandstand Show: As the sun sets over the Stampede grounds, the Nightly Grandstand Show takes center stage. This spectacular event combines music, dance, and dazzling pyrotechnics to create a mesmerizing spectacle. Be enchanted by the performances that showcase the rich heritage and cultural diversity of the West, leaving you in awe of the artistic talents on display.
The Calgary Stampede is more than just a festival; it is an immersive experience that transports you to the heart of Western Canadian culture. Whether you are a rodeo enthusiast, a lover of live music and entertainment, or simply curious about the rich history of the West, the Calgary Stampede offers an unforgettable adventure. Celebrate the spirit of the cowboy, indulge in delicious food, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, and create lasting memories as you embrace the true essence of the Calgary Stampede.
Beyond the thrilling rodeo competitions and lively festivities, the Stampede also serves as a platform to celebrate the values of community, resilience, and Western heritage. It showcases the deep-rooted traditions that have shaped the region and highlights the contributions of Indigenous cultures, ranching communities, and the spirit of exploration that defines Western Canada.
While attending the Calgary Stampede, take the opportunity to explore the city of Calgary itself. Discover its vibrant downtown core, where modern skyscrapers coexist with historic buildings and vibrant street life. Visit the Glenbow Museum to delve into the region’s rich history and cultural heritage, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the picturesque river pathways.
For nature enthusiasts, Calgary provides easy access to the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. Embark on day trips to Banff National Park, Lake Louise, or Kananaskis Country, where you can hike, bike, and immerse yourself in the stunning mountain vistas that surround the city.
It’s important to plan your visit to the Calgary Stampede in advance, as it attracts a large number of visitors from around the world. Consider purchasing tickets for the rodeo events and grandstand shows in advance to secure your spot. Additionally, be sure to check the schedule of events and plan your days accordingly to make the most of your time at the Stampede.
In conclusion, the Calgary Stampede is a world-class event that offers a captivating fusion of Western culture, thrilling rodeo action, delectable cuisine, and vibrant entertainment. It is an opportunity to witness the spirit of the West come alive, where traditions are honored, and a sense of community prevails. Embrace the excitement, immerse yourself in the festivities, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime at the Calgary Stampede.
Where To Visit After Your Trip To Calgary?
After your trip to Calgary, there are several fascinating destinations nearby that you may consider visiting to further enhance your travel experience. Here are some notable places to explore:
- Banff National Park: Located just a short drive west of Calgary, Banff National Park is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies, with turquoise lakes, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife. Explore the charming town of Banff, hike scenic trails, and indulge in outdoor activities like canoeing, skiing, and wildlife watching.
- Lake Louise: Situated within Banff National Park, Lake Louise is renowned for its mesmerizing turquoise waters surrounded by majestic mountain peaks. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shore, rent a canoe, or hike to the nearby teahouses for panoramic views. In winter, Lake Louise transforms into a winter wonderland with opportunities for ice skating and snowshoeing.
- Jasper National Park: Located a few hours northwest of Calgary, Jasper National Park offers breathtaking landscapes, including glaciers, canyons, and stunning alpine scenery. Experience the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic drives, and visit attractions like the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Falls. Spot wildlife, hike pristine trails, and relax in the natural hot springs.
- Waterton Lakes National Park: Head south of Calgary to Waterton Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Explore the stunning mountain vistas, hike the trails, and take a boat tour on the picturesque Waterton Lake. Don’t miss the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel, perched on a hill overlooking the lake.
- Drumheller: Venture east of Calgary to Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World. Explore the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where you can see impressive dinosaur fossils and exhibits. Marvel at the unique rock formations known as Hoodoos, hike in the Badlands, and learn about the area’s fascinating geological history.
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: Located south of Calgary, this UNESCO World Heritage Site provides insights into the ancient buffalo hunting techniques used by Indigenous peoples. Discover the interpretive center, walk along the trails, and gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture and history.
- Calgary’s neighboring provinces: If you have additional time, you may consider exploring other provinces adjacent to Alberta. British Columbia offers stunning destinations like Vancouver, Whistler, and the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Saskatchewan, to the east of Alberta, boasts diverse landscapes, including the grasslands of Grasslands National Park and the charming city of Saskatoon.
- Canmore: Located about an hour west of Calgary, Canmore is a picturesque mountain town nestled in the heart of the Rockies. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Take in the stunning views of the Three Sisters peaks and explore the charming downtown area filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants.
- Dinosaur Provincial Park: Situated east of Calgary, Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a paradise for paleontology enthusiasts. Join guided tours, participate in fossil safaris, and explore the badlands to discover ancient dinosaur fossils and unique geological formations.
- Head to the Canadian Badlands: Just east of Calgary, the Canadian Badlands offer a rugged and unique landscape with fascinating geological features. Explore the Hoodoos, canyons, and coulees, and visit attractions like the Royal Tyrrell Museum and the Atlas Coal Mine to delve into the region’s history.
- Kananaskis Country: South of Canmore lies Kananaskis Country, a pristine mountain area with beautiful trails, crystal-clear lakes, and opportunities for outdoor adventures. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and wildlife spotting in this tranquil wilderness.
- Fernie: If you’re seeking a charming mountain town experience, consider visiting Fernie, located in British Columbia just across the provincial border from Alberta. Known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding in winter, Fernie also offers outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and fly fishing in the summer months.
- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park: Located in southeastern Alberta, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a unique destination offering diverse landscapes, including lush forests, rolling hills, and the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador. Enjoy hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and stargazing in this peaceful and less crowded area.
- Glacier National Park (USA): If you’re up for an international adventure, consider crossing the border into Montana, USA, to visit Glacier National Park. This breathtaking park is known for its glacier-carved peaks, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Take scenic drives, hike the trails, and experience the natural beauty of this renowned park.
- Yoho National Park: Located just across the provincial border in British Columbia, Yoho National Park offers stunning mountain landscapes, pristine lakes, and impressive waterfalls. Don’t miss attractions like Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls, and the Burgess Shale fossil beds.
- Okanagan Valley: Journey west to the Okanagan Valley, known for its picturesque vineyards, orchards, and stunning lakes. Explore the charming towns of Kelowna, Penticton, and Vernon, and indulge in wine tasting, water sports, and hiking amidst the beautiful scenery.
- Calgary to Vancouver Road Trip: If you have more time, embark on a scenic road trip from Calgary to Vancouver. Drive through the Canadian Rockies, stopping at iconic destinations like Lake Louise, Revelstoke, and Whistler. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views, charming mountain towns, and outdoor adventures along the way.
- Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park: Located in southern Alberta, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a unique archaeological and cultural site featuring ancient rock carvings and stunning hoodoos. Join guided tours to learn about the history and significance of these Indigenous petroglyphs.
- Edmonton: Venture north to Edmonton, Alberta’s capital city, and explore its vibrant cultural scene. Visit the West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest malls in the world, explore the Art Gallery of Alberta, and enjoy the lively festivals and events held throughout the year.
- Calgary to Drumheller Loop: Embark on a scenic loop from Calgary to Drumheller and back. Explore the badlands of Drumheller, visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and continue the loop by driving through scenic routes like the Dinosaur Trail and the Hoodoo Trail.
- Abraham Lake: Head west of Calgary to Abraham Lake, a man-made reservoir famous for its frozen methane bubbles trapped in the ice during winter. Marvel at this natural phenomenon, go ice fishing, and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding mountain landscapes.
These are just a few suggestions for places to visit after your trip to Calgary. Each destination offers its own unique attractions, natural beauty, and cultural experiences, allowing you to extend your adventure and create lasting memories.
Calgary Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
As you conclude your journey through Calgary, you’ll likely reflect upon the vibrant experiences, natural beauty, and warm hospitality that the city has to offer. Calgary, with its stunning landscapes, cultural treasures, and lively atmosphere, has something for every traveler. From exploring the downtown core with its iconic Calgary Tower and Stephen Avenue Walk to immersing yourself in the region’s rich history and art at the Glenbow Museum, the city provides a captivating blend of modernity and heritage.
Venturing beyond Calgary, you’ll discover the breathtaking landscapes of Banff National Park, Lake Louise, and the Canadian Rockies. These natural wonders offer opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and wildlife spotting, while nearby destinations like Drumheller unveil the ancient world of dinosaurs. Exploring further afield, you can delve into the beauty of Waterton Lakes National Park or experience the unique landscapes of the Badlands.
Throughout your visit, you’ll savor the culinary delights of Calgary, whether it’s enjoying Alberta beef, sampling international cuisines, or indulging in local craft beers and spirits. The city’s vibrant dining scene caters to a variety of tastes and preferences, ensuring a memorable culinary journey.
Calgary’s calendar is filled with exciting events and festivals that showcase the city’s vibrant spirit, such as the Calgary Stampede, Calgary Folk Music Festival, and various arts and cultural celebrations. These festivities offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of the city, reflecting its diversity and community spirit.
As you conclude your Calgary travel guide, it’s important to remember that the memories and experiences you’ve gathered will last a lifetime. Whether you’ve explored the city’s attractions, embarked on outdoor adventures, or connected with the local culture, Calgary has left an indelible mark on your journey.
So as you bid farewell to this vibrant city, carry with you the stories, the breathtaking landscapes, the warmth of the people, and the sense of discovery that have made your time in Calgary truly unforgettable.
In Calgary’s embrace, travelers find delight, A city vibrant, with wonders day and night. Tall towers pierce the sky, a modern grandeur, While nature’s beauty beckons, ever pure.
In downtown’s heart, Calgary Tower stands tall, Offering vistas that leave you in awe. Stephen Avenue Walk, a lively street, With shops and eateries where memories meet.
Prince’s Island Park, a tranquil retreat, Where river’s whispers offer a peaceful beat. Amidst lush greenery, serenity unfurls, As time slows down and worries unfurl.
Glenbow Museum, a treasure trove of art, Unveiling Alberta’s history, a story to impart. From Indigenous culture to diverse exhibits, A journey through time, where knowledge transmits.
Banff and Lake Louise, majestic and grand, The Rocky Mountains, a nature’s wonderland. Ski down slopes, hike trails in pure delight, Nature’s symphony, a breathtaking sight.
Drumheller’s badlands, where dinosaurs roamed, Fossils whisper tales of a time long gone. Hoodoos stand tall, carved by nature’s hand, A reminder of Earth’s ancient, mystic land.
Calgary Stampede, a wild and joyous spree, Cowboy hats, rodeos, a celebration free. Music festivals, cultural delights, Immerse in the rhythm that ignites.
In Calgary’s embrace, the senses ignite, From culinary adventures to nature’s might. A tapestry of experiences, a traveler’s treasure, In this city of wonder, memories to measure.
So journey forth, explore with open heart, In Calgary’s embrace, a world to chart. A traveler’s tale, woven in time, Calgary, a destination sublime.