For a blend of modern and cowboy culture, outdoor adventures and dozens of glorious outdoor spaces, plan a trip to Calgary.
Found in the western Canadian province of Alberta, you’ll be impressed at the size of this city – one of the largest in the country. It’s known as a gateway to the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, so attracts all manner of hikers and outdoor adventurers. But it’s well worth spending at least a day in Calgary itself, before heading to the mountains.
Calgary is a sporty city, with a burning local passion for ice hockey. It also offers dozens of beautiful green spaces to play and socialise in, from public parks and quiet gardens to pretty riverside paths.
It’s a great place to explore by bicycle, whether you’re cruising through hipster neighbourhoods like Inglewood or the artsy East Village. You’re also likely to sail past major downtown landmarks like iconic Fort Calgary and the Olympic Plaza, which was built for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
While you’re exploring, make sure to check out the impressive Prince’s Island Park. Often compared to New York’s Centre Park, this 49-acre urban oasis is home to all kinds of local creatures. You may encounter beavers, rabbits or perhaps even a coyote, and of course the famous Canada goose.
If you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat here. Calgary’s food and drink scene has been transformed over the last few years, and you can now find everything from authentic Vietnamese restaurants to glamorous cocktail bars, juice bars to vegan-friendly cafes.
And of course, no visit to Calgary would be complete without a glimpse of its most famous spectacle. The 10-day Stampede extravaganza held every July is well worth seeing, for its nightly chuckwagon races, pancake breakfasts, thrilling rodeos, rock concerts and agricultural showcases. It’s a riot for the senses, and you’ll love every minute.