Calgary, situated in the western Canadian province of Alberta, is a destination that seamlessly combines city life with the great outdoors. Known for its friendly people, a bustling downtown, and a plethora of nature-oriented attractions, it’s a city that offers a unique blend of cosmopolitan flair and natural beauty.
The Calgary Tower
Dominating the Calgary skyline, the Calgary Tower, originally known as the Husky Tower, stands as a testament to Canada’s centennial celebrations and a symbol of urban renewal. The tower, a combined venture of Marathon Realty and Husky Oil, is more than just a city landmark; it’s a popular tourist attraction and an esteemed dining destination that encapsulates the vibrant spirit of Calgary.
Rising 190.8 meters into the sky, the Calgary Tower is a sight to behold. Located in the heart of Downtown Calgary, the tower offers visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the city’s sprawling landscape, stretching out to the distant Rocky Mountains. But the thrills don’t stop at the stunning vistas. The tower’s glass floor offers an exhilarating experience, allowing guests to gaze directly down at the bustling city streets beneath their feet.
Beyond the breath-taking views, the Calgary Tower houses two renowned restaurants: the Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which offer exceptional dining experiences amidst the clouds. Additionally, the Tower’s Theatre Room is a unique attraction. Boasting a curved wall adorned with twenty-one 55” screens, the theatre offers a truly immersive experience. Visitors can enjoy the short film, “Calgary Tower – Building and Icon,” or Travel Alberta’s stunning fly-through video, which captures the breath-taking beauty of Alberta. The Calgary Tower, with its rich history, unrivalled views, and fantastic dining experiences, truly stands as a monument to Calgary’s vibrant culture and urban appeal.
The Calgary Stampede
Known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the Calgary Stampede is a ten-day event that engulfs the city of Calgary in a wave of excitement each July. Rooted in the traditions of the Old West, the Stampede celebrates the pioneering spirit and vibrant culture of southern Alberta. With its rich history dating back to 1912, the Stampede has evolved into one of the world’s largest rodeos, featuring a parade, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing, and First Nations exhibitions.
The heart of the Stampede is the rodeo, where the world’s top competitors showcase their skills in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, and barrel racing events, vying for the title of the Stampede champion. The thrill and adrenaline of these competitions are palpable, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement that is truly unparalleled.
Yet, the Calgary Stampede is more than just a rodeo. It’s a grand celebration of Alberta’s heritage, brimming with cultural exhibits and live entertainment. Visitors can explore the Indian Village to learn about the traditions of Treaty 7 First Nations, enjoy the lively music performances at Nashville North, or feast on delicious western culinary delights throughout the park. The Stampede also presents a range of agricultural programs and exhibitions, offering insights into rural life and the importance of agriculture to Alberta’s identity.
Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary
Fish Creek Provincial Park, located in the southern part of Calgary and is one of the largest urban parks in North America, it covers an astonishing 13.5 square kilometres, providing a significant green oasis amidst the urban hustle and bustle. The park is a sanctuary where city dwellers can immerse themselves in a natural landscape of lush forests, pristine waterways, and expansive meadows. It’s a vibrant ecosystem that supports a wide array of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and over 200 species of birds, making it an excellent location for wildlife spotting and bird watching.
The park offers a myriad of recreational activities that cater to all types of visitors. There are more than 80 kilometres of trails for walking, hiking, and cycling, with different levels of difficulty to accommodate everyone from casual walkers to experienced hikers. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, fishing in the Fish Creek, or swimming at the Sikome Aquatic Facility, a man-made lake within the park. In the winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing becoming popular activities.
Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary is a charming, immersive window into Canada’s past, offering a unique experience of life in Western Canada from the 1860s to the 1950s. Known as Canada’s largest living history museum, the park is spread over 127 acres of parkland on the banks of the Glenmore Reservoir. It boasts over 180 exhibits including historic buildings, each of which has been faithfully restored and filled with artefacts from the era. As you stroll through the park, you’ll encounter costumed interpreters who bring history to life with their stories, demonstrations, and old-fashioned hospitality.
The park is divided into four distinct areas, each representing a different period in Western Canadian history. These include the Hudson’s Bay Company Fur Trading Fort, representing the late 1800s, the Pre-railway Settlement Village portraying the 1880s, the Railway Prairie Town showing the early 1900s, and the Heritage Town Square that depicts the 1920s to the 1950s. From the antique steam train and the old-fashioned amusement park to the horse-drawn wagon rides and the historic homes and businesses, Heritage Park provides a fun, engaging, and educational experience for all ages. You can even enjoy freshly baked treats from the bakery, blacksmithing demonstrations, and Indigenous programs and exhibits. It’s truly like stepping back in time.
Calgary is a dynamic city that offers something for everyone, with its rich cultural heritage, diverse culinary scene, exciting outdoor activities, and welcoming locals. So why wait? Start planning your Calgary adventure today and don’t’ forget to book your airport parking with the Monster!