Calgary is a single of the coolest cities in Canada and way extra than just a pit quit on the way to Alberta’s amazing national parks. Property to the globe well-known Calgary Stampede and website of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, that is just about all I knew about Cowtown just before I arrived for my summer time adventure. But oh, there’s so considerably extra to Alberta’s biggest city, and so numerous exciting points to do in Calgary!
Now that I’ve spent some time in Calgary, I can inform you this is not a city you want to miss. Yes, you have got to hit up Jasper and Banff – these Instagrams in front of turquoise glacial lakes are not going to take themselves! – but Calgary is such a dish, you’d be crazy to skip it. I just spent a couple of days in town as a guest of Tourism Calgary and here’s the tea: I’m all in!
Exactly where is Calgary?
Calgary sits on the border of the prairie and the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. It is a wholly contemporary and cosmopolitan city with an agricultural heritage, a living, breathing dichotomy with the Bow River snaking suitable by way of the skyscrapers and parks of downtown.
Receiving to Calgary (YYC)
Receiving to Calgary is uncomplicated, also. YYC Calgary International Airport is a hub for Air Canada and WestJet, with direct flights all through Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. YYC is about 20 minutes from downtown, so it couldn’t be simpler to navigate.
- Distance from Calgary to Banff: 90 minutes
- Distance from Calgary to Jasper: five hours
- Distance from Calgary to Edmonton: three hours
It is cold in Canada, eh? Not in the summer time! This is one thing like my 5th summer time in a row spending a component of July north of the border and y’all, I’m telling you, this is exactly where it is at. The climate was amazing the entire time we had been in Alberta. The sun does not set till following 9 p.m., so you have the most beautiful, extended, sunny days. The climate was temperate though I was there, anyplace from 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the winter, of course Alberta climate is a entire various ballgame. The 1st snowfall normally arrives in September or October and the final could be as late as May well. I envision it is a lot for a Floridian to deal with – but you know what? I’m game. I loved Alberta so considerably in the summer time that I practically can not wait to see what Calgary and Edmonton are like in the colder months. (As extended as I can borrow a parka or one thing!)
Going to Canada in the summer time? You could like these posts!
What to do in Calgary in the Summertime
1. Float Down the Bow River
Fancy an adventure that is light on work? Hyperlink up with a guide from the Paddle Station to see Calgary from the glacier-fed Bow River. It runs suitable by way of downtown, and turns a lovely turquoise in the summer time, so it is a excellent way to get a new viewpoint on Alberta’s largest city. It feels like the wilderness as you pass below what appears like a couple of dozen bridges, such as the iconic Peace Bridge.
two. Have a Boozy Brunch at Burwood Distillery
Calgary is complete of excellent dining selections, so I’ll only mention a couple of in this post, otherwise we’ll be right here all day! Burwood Distillery is a excellent spot to grab a drink or a linger for hours more than a tasty brunch — or each! They use neighborhood components, like honey from the owner’s bees, to craft exceptional brews you can only get right here.
Entertaining Reality: Fans of the Netflix series Fargo, filmed in Calgary, could notice that considerably of Burwood’s furnishings came straight from the show.
three. Take a Cocktail Class at Shelter
Did you ever wonder what “bitters” really are when you study them on a cocktail menu? Or which cocktails should really be shaken vs. stirred? I discovered that and a ton extra at Shelter, a tiny cocktail bar on 1 Street. Classes are $65 CAD and come with numerous drinks in addition to all that boozy know-how.
Entertaining Calgary Reality: The Caesar, a cocktail created with created with vodka, clamato juice, hot sauce and worcestershire sauce, was invented in 1969 in Calgary.
Each and every class involves up to 3 cocktails, bar snacks, cocktail-creating history, ideas on muddling, shaking, stirring and smoking and extra information on glassware than you even believed doable to know.
four. Have a Veggie-Forward Dinner at Ten Foot Henry
Just across the street from Shelter is Ten Foot Henry, a casual spot for compact plates with a concentrate on fresh, locally sourced make. Also verify out the following spots for scrumptious dinner, treats and desserts.
five. The Calgary Stampede
Calgary is frequently referred to as Cowtown for its wealthy agricultural history, and not that you need to have an excuse to pay a visit to, but the most effective way to practical experience it in a single wild wallop is at the globe renowned Calgary Stampede. The occasion is extra than 100 years old and has all the pageantry of SEC college football, the roots of regular rodeo and farming culture, the heart of the Very first Nations and financial influence that’ll blow your major white cowboy hat suitable off. It is the world’s richest tournament style rodeo. It is no wonder they contact it the “Greatest Outside Show on Earth.”
And it is the most effective cause ever to dress up! I saw all manner of outfits at Calgary Stampede so there’s no stress, but you know my motto. If you can dress up on a trip, you should really.
The Stampede hosts extra than 1 million guests every year. There are a zillion points to do when you enter the gates of Stamped Park so strategy accordingly. Take in an afternoon rodeo, sign up for a meals tour and taste cotton candy donuts, flamin’ frog legs, popcorn chicken poutine or the eight-legged octopus-lolly and unquestionably take time to discover the Elbow River Camp to practical experience Very first Nations traditions and performances.
There are carnival rides and games and lots of sideshows to hold you entertained. The occasion runs for 9 days each and every July, and you could go each and every day and nevertheless not see every thing.
six. Bulls following Dark
As if the rodeo wasn’t adrenaline-charged sufficient! Bulls Soon after Dark requires all the excitement you get at Stampede and adds pyrotechnics, reside music, a DJ and cowboys who run and JUMP More than CHARGING BULLS. I’m right here to inform you it is a single of the craziest points I’ve noticed. How do you even get into that as a hobby?! Worth a appear if you are in town in July.
Day Trips from Calgary
7. Luxuriate at Kananaskis Nordic Spa
You can not have a girls’ weekend in Calgary devoid of creating the drive out to Kananaskis Nordic Spa. It is heaven on earth for spa lovers! Surrounded by forest and snow-capped peaks, there are hot, medium and cold plunge pools, aromatherapy steam cabins, extra varieties of saunas than I ever knew existed and a complete-service spa. I had the most heavenly massage right here followed by a catnap in a fleece lined outside hammock. I do not know that I’ve had a greater spa practical experience. A need to!
You can keep at Kananaskis, also, and just make a entire glorious self-care weekend out of it. Verify rates and availability right here.
eight. Help the Pups at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
Just 30 minutes outdoors Calgary, the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is a need to for dog lovers. You can take an interpretive stroll by way of the rescue to meet the different wolf packs or take the interactive tour exactly where you enter the enclosure and get to meet these exceptional mixed pups.
Handle your expectations although – this is not a puppy snuggling practical experience. You will get to interact in a measured, calm, proper way with this pretty various sort of canine, and they could even take meals out of your hand. But it does not take extended for you to understand just how various wolves are from domesticated dogs.
Exactly where to Keep in Calgary
We stayed in the brand new Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline District and as they say in Calgary… YAHOO! The Residence Inn is slick and contemporary with a nod to its Alberta roots. The home sits on the website of the historic Alberta Boot Enterprise, and the headboards function boot-stitching in the leather as a understanding hat tip. The CTrain is just a block away and there’s a complimentary breakfast buffet, absolutely free Wi-Fi, 24-hour fitness center to go with spacious suites and complete kitchens. It is really the biggest Residence Inn hotel in the globe, and nicely worth a pay a visit to!
Hotel Choices in Calgary, Alberta
The Fairmont Palliser | Westmount River Inn | Hotel Elan
Require to investigation Calgary hotels? Commence right here!
If not for the reality that I’m a native Floridian and can not deal with when the climate dips beneath 60 degree Fahrenheit, I could see myself living in Calgary. For now, contemplate me an honorary Calgarian and new fan of cowboy hats, boots and the Canadian tuxedo. NEW UNIFORM.
Thanks to Travel Alberta and Tourism Calgary for hosting my pay a visit to. All opinions are my personal.
Curious about what that indicates? Verify out my travel content material creator code.