City of Calgary Information
Welcome to Calgary, a cosmopolitan city with a firm handle on its western roots.
Getting AroundCalgary has the longest urban pathway system in North America, a boon for cyclists, joggers and rollerbladers. Even so, getting around is best done by car or the city’s transit system, though there are a few pedestrian-friendly areas. The "Plus 15," a series of enclosed walkways that will connect you to many downtown buildings, is particularly useful in winter, because though Calgary is on record as Canada’s sunniest city, its winters are bracing.
Things to Do
Downtown – Amidst gleaming office towers, Stephen’s Avenue, a national historic district, houses some of the city’s most fashionable shops and galleries. Take in the city from its highest landmark, the Calgary Tower. Discover the history of local First Nations people and that of Calgary’s colourful early days at the esteemed Glenbow Museum. Next, take a stroll through Eau Claire and enjoy the indoor market, shopping, dining and food fairs, along with the relaxing ambience of verdant Prince’s Island Park , where you may hear buskers or live music in the summer.
Kensington/Sunnyside – A walkable part of the city just north of downtown, Kensington has an upscale bohemian village feel. Here you’ll find coffee shops to linger in along with funky bookstores, trendy boutiques and plenty of places to dine or nibble.
17th Ave SW and The Mission – A great spot to kick off your evening, these neighbourhoods have a high concentration of the city’s lively cafes, restaurants, bars and nightlife. Sure, try a Caesar, Canada’s No.1 selling cocktail (created in Calgary in 1969) and some prime Alberta beef, but you’ll find something for every palate here.
Family Friendly – Calgary has many kid-friendly activities, from the Calgary Zoo to Butterfield Acres, a hands-on working farm, to Calaway Park, the largest outdoor amusement park in western Canada. Big kids will also enjoy the thrill of hurtling downhill on a bobsled, zooming along a zipline or mastering mini-golf at Canada Olympic Park, Calgary’s main venue during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Families will enjoy watching history come alive at Fort Calgary and Heritage Park Historical Village or experience more modern fun at the Telus World of Science or Aerospace Museum.
Parks and Nature – Calgary has thousands of parks and endless opportunities to enjoy the fresh air, but three favorites are Nose Hill Park, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Prince’s Island Park and Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Rodeo – The Calgary Stampede, which bills itself "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," is more than an impressive rodeo, it’s a chance for urban cowpokes to rub shoulders with their country cousins during the 24/7 celebrations that range from pancake breakfasts to big act concerts, midway fun and two steppin’ dance parties. For 10 days in July, the town shuts down, corporate types trade their suits for boots and folks do their best to put the "wild" back in Wild West.
Equestrian – equestrian prowess on display at Spruce Meadows, a world-class facility with top-flight competitions.
Sports – Depending on the season, sports lovers have a choice of both a professional hockey team (The Flames) and a Canadian football team (The Stampeders) to watch. It’s a great way to rub shoulders with locals.
Cultural – From jazz, blues, latin and country music venues and festivals to artisan’s fairs, multi-cultural celebration, international visual art shows and cutting-edge live theatre, the city’s exciting cultural scene just keeps growing. No cowboy hats required.Restaurants and Shopping
Restaurants – You could always get a good steak in Calgary, but the city now prides itself on the diversity and sophistication of its cuisine, and international flavours are often creatively combined with local and sustainable ingredients in Calgary restaurants. From down-home diners to delectable dining, Calgary has earned its foodie credentials.
Shopping – Calgary has several upscale malls as well as wonderful boutique shopping in its neighbourhoods, including the downtown stretch along Stephen's Avenue. Shopping in Calgary is a fun way to explore the city.Accommodation
Calgary has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Chains, boutique hotels and motels are all represented here. Here's a list of accommodations in Calgary.
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Photo credits:Stampede Cowboy courtesy of James Teterenko; Stephens Avenue cafe courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission
First on the hill at Marmot Ba...
Chateau Lake Louise
Hiker in the Badlands
Aurora Borealis (photo credit ...
Bighorn sheep in Jasper
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