In the heart of beautiful rural Province of Alberta, Calgary is nestled between foothills and prairie near the Canadian Rockies. The largest city in Alberta and third-largest municipality in Canada, Calgary offers a range of energetic urban happenings and fresh outdoor excursions. Here at Calgary, play some golf or get lost in the golden labyrinth of the Calgary Corn Maze in the summer months; in winter, you can ice-skate, play hockey, or take respective lessons in the Calgary Oval, the icy hot spot of the 1988 Olympics (other great rinks—and there are many—include those at the Olympic Plaza and Canada Olympic Park). Don’t miss a whole assortment of other unique and spectacular activities offered including snowmobile tours and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Landmarks and Attractions in Calgary
Be sure to take your loved ones through the Calgary Zoo and fall in love with more than a thousand animals housed there amongst the Prehistorical Park and Botanical Gardens. Other sure-to-please sites are the Heritage Park Historical Village. Check out Glenbow Museum, the largest and most richly historical museum in Western Canada, or the Military Museums. Be sure to catch the ten-day Calgary Stampede held annually in July at Stampede Park, a whirlwind of rodeo shows, chuckwagon races, and agricultural fair bargaining. Scale the Calgary Tower—which was topped with the 1988 Winter Olympics flame—for spectacular views of the whole city.
Nightlife and Family Fun in Calgary
Head out to the recreational Prince’s Island Park for some biking, fishing, or hiking, visit the Creative Kids Museum and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, or get a one-price all-rides pass to the Calaway (amusement) Park. Take a stroll through the lively year-round-open Canada Olympic Park, a sports museum and complex and stadium and field all at once. Visit the Shakers Family Fun Centre, delivering on the promise of its name and offering everything from go-karts and laser tag to water wars and game arcades.
Also be sure to savor the holistic and healing sanctuary of Leela Eco Spa & Studio, or unwind at the acclaimed professional Riverside Spa—both with a quality of exceptional service blended with local warmth and aesthetics. Visit the city’s Jubilee Auditorium or Loose Moon theater for a live performance. Enjoy a film at SilverCity, Calgary’s cinema complex with enhanced state-of-the-art technology, or take a ballroom/Latin/swing/country dance class at the Studio School of Dance.
Off the Beaten Path in Calgary
Another lovely place to unwind is amongst the waterfalls, flora, and fauna of the three-acre indoor Devonian Gardens. To liven up your day, hop onboard for a breathtaking professionally-driven Canada Olympic Park Bobsleigh Ride. Hikers will find Mountain Equipment Co-op to be their new mecca; art fans will revel in the Art Mode Gallery and Harrison Galleries. Don’t forget to check out the High Performance Rodeo festival, and watch Calgary’s W.P. Puppet Theatre Society put on a show!
Shopping and Restaurants in Calgary
For all sorts of venues and deals, do your Calgary shopping at Deerfoot Meadows (one of the largest open-air complexes), the easily-accessible Southcentre Mall, the retail shops of Kensington Gate, the ethnic Dragon City Mall, the scrumptious fresh food haven at Stadium Shopping Centre, and the recently renovated (and now Calgary’s biggest mall) Chinook Centre, among many others.
Check out fantastic local breweries for a drink and tour, like at Big Rock Brewery Ltd. Visit the vibrant and popular street market Eau Claire Market, which offers a fine array of restaurants, shops, walkways, and a movie theater. Calgary offers much in the range of fine wining and dining, featuring some excellent restaurants such as the Italian Il Giardino, the Indian Glory of India, the Chinese vegetarian Buddha’s Veggie Restaurant, the urban-isle and seasonally-Canadian-cuisine Rive Café, the lively downtown pubs Wild Wood and Ceilis on 7th, and the cowboy-style Buzzard’s Restaurant and Bar. From ethnic flavors to local cuisine, Calgary satiates all preferences as only a diverse metropolitan city can.
Photos provided by: Jim Trodel, Evandro Miquelito