1.Visit Stephen Avenue
Downtown Calgary can be quite quiet; however Stephen Avenue has lots to offer. Its easily accessible via bus and the C-Train and hosts an abundance of restaurants, shops, museums and bars. Plus, it’s got some beautiful old buildings in this part of the city.
- Calgary Tower
Also, downtown is the Calgary Tower which gives great views of the city. Make sure you go on a clear day, so you can see all the way to the Rockies from 525ft high. It even has one of those glass floors to stand on if you are brave enough. When we visited it was around $18 per adult.
- Fort Calgary
If you fancy a little history head to Fort Calgary. The wooden fort built along the Bow river in 1875 was the birthplace of modern Calgary. The museum hosts exhibits on Calgary’s first 100 years looking at the people and places that built the city. At time of visiting entry was around $12 for adults and there is free parking on site.
- Walk along the river
After you’ve visited the Fort, take a stroll along the Bow river. When we visited it was winter, so the river was frozen but no less beautiful. Make sure you go as far as the Peace Bridge, whilst it’s only a pedestrian bridge it’s a great place to get a cool photo.
- See an ice hockey game
The Calgary Flames play regularly at the Scotia Saddledome. We managed to get to two games and tickets started from around $30 but can be more expensive depending on the opposition and where you sit. The game is fast-paced and fun to watch whilst drinking a beer and chanting with the locals.
- Visit the Rockies
One of the wonderful things about Calgary is its proximity to the beautiful Rockies. Within forty minutes you can be at the foot of snow-capped mountains and ready to hit the slopes. So, if you get fed up of the city, hop in the car and head to the hills. Plus, the drive itself is a sightseeing tour as the views are stunning!
- Go skiing or snowboarding
If you can’t quite make it to the mountains don’t worry you can still get some skiing done. At Winsport you can ski, snowboard and tube during the winter months or go mountain biking during the summer. They offer lessons so it’s also a great place to learn the basics before heading to the big resorts.
- Explore the parks
For such a big city there are lots of green spaces in Calgary for you to explore. Depending on what time of year you visit will determine how accessible parks are, so check in advance. One thing I was really impressed with was how well sign posted all the trails were, an easy to navigate path makes all the difference when in a new area.
My favourites were:
- Edworthy Park: it had an easy to follow path with relaxing views of the Bow river. During the summer there are communal firepits and BBQ’s for you to enjoy.
- Nose Hill: as this one was quite near to our home we went quite a few times. It is a fantastic way of seeing the Calgary Skyline all the way to the Rockies. Once again it was relatively well signposted and easy to navigate, but be aware this isn’t a flat walk! Also, be careful when walking your dogs as coyotes are known to frequent the area.
- Glenmore Reservoir: a bit of a long walk if you do the whole thing, but great to do on a nice day.
- Go shopping
There’s always room for a little bit of retail therapy. In Calgary I recommend hopping on the C-train and heading to the Chinook Centre where you’ll find all sorts of stores. It’s all indoors so a good one to do on a rainy day as there is also a cinema and a large food court to keep you busy. The images aren’t great but they are the only pictures I have of the centre!
- Grab a retro burger
Last but not least, head down to Peters’ Drive In for a world-famous burger and milkshake. I wouldn’t usually order a milkshake as they are so filling but this one is certainly worth it. Peters’ has been flipping burgers since 1964 and it shows. Definitely not one to miss.
Have you been to any of these?? Are there any things I’ve missed??