Calgary Alberta: 1 City 5 Ways


    All images are my own except this one : By Jack Carter on Unsplash

Calgary is a beautiful prairie city, located an hour from the Canadian Rockies. It's a destination fueled by natural wonders and resources. I've had many opportunities to visit, and still haven't covered everything there is to do.


Join me to explore the city of Calgary Alberta: 1 City-5 Ways.  It's ranked #4 on The Economist's latest "Quality of Life Index" of 140 cities- the highest in North America.

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Arts Kensington

There are many options to choose from, depending what your plans are while in Calgary. If you are an art and design fan, the Hotel Arts Kensington is a great choice.  If shopping and exploring the outlying areas of the city, a stay near the airport is the place.

Alt Hotel Calgary

If you prefer a "hipster' type stay, check out the Alt Hotel Calgary at East Village.  It offers budget friendly loft style rooms. Located nearby, are bike trails for cruising along the Bow River. The Bow River is located downtown and is a beautiful place to take in the city views.

Wingate by Wndyham

 We stayed near the airport last year and I  was pleasantly surprised! I wasn't jolted awake by loud engines roaring overhead- the noise was minimal. Our stay at The Wingate at Calgary Airport was absolutely perfect. This award winning hotel offers top class comfort, a complimentary buffet breakfast and new modern facilities. The room was gorgeous and I loved the pool and hot tub!

You will love this hotel at Stampede time. The lobby is decked out in a western theme, and has a super fun vibe. It won't be long til you'll be in the stamped spirit- YEEHAW! Oh and don't forget your cowboy hat. I purchased mine on Stephen Avenue for the great price of 6 bucks.


WHERE TO EAT

Calgary is a very multi-cultural city with a eats to suit all tastes.  Every time I go home to visit mom I make a point to try different restaurants. As picky as I am, I still find something yummy to scarf down.

Moxies

This chain across Canada is known for an urban vibe, delicious food and  best casual dining environment. The  atmosphere welcomes you to relax and dine in style. I love to visit the lounge at Moxies with my cousin. Many good conversations have gone down here!


Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant


If you want a to savor some local cuisine, this is the place! They also serve vegan dishes. The atmosphere is great to celebrate a special occasion. Be swept away to the days of yesteryear by the vintage house style of the restaurant.

Flying J Truck Stop


Yup, some of the best Denny's food is devoured at Flying J Truck stop in Calgary. This is the family gathering place when we all want to meet for a meal. My two cousins who live in the area eat here often.  Dennys it not my idea of a fantastic meal, but at this truck stop- the food is delish!

WHAT TO DO

Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is known as the "Greatest outdoor show on earth". Cowboys and visitors come from all over the world to kick up their heels, and have a shoutin good time. The stampede and exhibition lasts for a total of nine days. The 2019  Stampede runs from July 5- 14th. It's truly an experience you don't want to miss!

  Concerts, shows, exhibitions, the rodeo and a  huge midway with rides will keep you busy. I'm not a fan of rodeos, but do like everything else at the Stampede. Also not to miss: The stampede parade! This parade is one of the best I've ever seen. Arrive early with your own chairs, or you'll be standing and check out a full list of things to do.

Before you leave the grounds, be sure to take a tour of the Saddle Dome. It's quite an amazing structure in the shape of a ginormous saddle.


Downtown

The downtown core is a lot of fun, so many great experiences to have. The 1988 Winter Olympics were held in Calgary. The Olympic Plaza where they had the opening and closing ceremonies still stands. Take a few minutes to check it out, it's pretty kewl!

In addition, Stephen Avenue walk is loaded with small boutiques, chain retailers and fabulous Canadian cuisine.  If you want to up your cowboy/cowgirl game- be sure to visit Lammel's western wear, also located along Stephen Avenue. This is the main street that runs through the middle of the downtown core. 

During Stampede week: there are several free pancake breakfasts served along Stephen Avenue, yum yum - don't be late for breakfast!


Princess Island Park

I absolutely LOVE this park! It seriously one of the most beautiful destinations in the city of Calgary. The park runs for many blocks along the Bow River . The clear jade green water will take your breath away.


Walk , bike or run along the river and take in the gorgeous scenery.  Several new condo buildings are going up along the waterfront. I'd love to have a summer pad to escape to in Calgary. The summers here are just incredible, but short lived unfortunately.

Bikes are available to rent.  Arrive early if you want one to reserve one. In the summer, theater is a big attraction at the park. The Calgary performing arts center puts on several plays when the weather permits. They are free to the public, and always totally worth seeing. Last but not least, watch where you step.  Canadian Geese are honking all around the park!


WHERE TO SHOP

Stephen Avenue

 Stephen Avenue walk is loaded with small boutiques, chain retailers, and fabulous Canadian cuisine.  If you want to up your cowboy/cowgirl game- be sure to visit Lammel's western wear, also located along Stephen Avenue. This is the main street that runs through the middle of the downtown core.  

The Core

If you want a classy, urban experience -visit the Core: the only shopping mall downtown Calgary. This shopping centre has a one-of- a-kind atrium roof, and a beautiful indoor garden. Many of the retailers in this mall are unique to Canada and not found in the United States.  The mall is accessible from the C-Train Station Platform or from Stephen Avenue: between 2nd and 4th street.

South Centre

If you don't already know, Calgary is a huge city of over a million people. There are malls everywhere.  There is one for every day of the week and then some! South Centre is one of my favorites to find stylish clothes for reasonable prices. ( P.S: Step up your style big time at Chinook Centre- the biggest mall in the city!)


WHERE TO OPT OUTSIDE

Calgary Heritage Park

Travel back in time and discover the amazing history of Calgary.  Here you will interact with characters playing the part of early settlers, it's so much fun! Also take a ride on a real life steam locomotive, a great way to tour the whole park.

Also on site: Calgary's only paddle boat. Glide through the Glenmore Reservoir and take in breathtaking views on this Captain's Cruise.  I regret I didn't take time to do the boat ride last time I visited the park.  Check out my complete guide to visiting this historical village.


Canmore

From Calgary en route to Banff,  you will pass Canmore. It;s a small town nestled in the Rocky Mountains near the southeast boundary of Banff National Park. Canmore is a go to ski destination in the area as well. 

If you enjoy cycling , make plans to ride the Legacy Trail. It is a 22 km paved trail that connects Canmore to Banff.  Cycle along side the #1 Highway with a panoramic view of the Rockies. I'm hoping to cycle the trail this summer.  Canmore has several lodging options if you decide to stop over for a night before heading to Banff.

Banff

Over the past few years, I've written guides for Banff: This breathtaking wonderland is located just an hour (or so) west of Calgary. If you need an escape to nature and want to leave the burbs behind, Banff is for you. This Rocky Mountain paradise is a world renowned ski resort and outdoor playground all year around. Winter and summer sports make for a fun getaway. Upper Banff hot springs are the perfect way to start your morning: the steamy soak with a panoramic view is just amazing.


That's it for my tour of Calgary, there is a boatload of stuff to see that I did not mention. It would take a book to tell it all. I do hope you will make plans to visit soon. Stampede week is a great time to visit. The excitement is the city is contagious!


Have you been to Calgary yet?



8 comments

  1. Ah Canda is so high up my travel list! Everything looks amazing there, can't wait to visit. Definitely gonna add Calgary to the list while I'm there, thanks for the tips!

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    1. Hi Lisanna! I am a huge fan of course, since I was born there! Calgary is beautiful as well as VAncouver- I was raised in Van! I hope you can go!

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  2. What a great travel post! I have never been to Calgary! Need to put it on our travel with list.

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    1. Thank you so much, I do hope you can visit soon, It is an amazing city, summer is best to go- the winters can be brutal lol!

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  3. Admittedly, Calgary was never on my travel list, but your post has inspired me to look into it! Banff looks absolutely stunning! We lived in Alaska for over 2 years and the views we had don't even come close to that!

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    1. HI Christina! IT is indeed stunning..Banff is just unreal...its an experience that will be with you forever..and Calgary is quite amazing too, I hope you can go soon!

      I have been to Alaska too, I thought the scenery in the Tracy Arm Fjord was quite stunning, but I agree Banff tops it!

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  4. The stampede sounds like fun! I've been to various Canadian cities but not Calgary...yet

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  5. Banff is very high on my bucket list and I hope to get there in the next year or two. Possibly coordinate with the stampede if I can. I am Canadian myself and there is just so much to see but it is so expensive to fly. We hope to take the trailer out and make it a long trip. Thanks for all the great tips in this post!

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