Despite being the biggest city in Alberta, the country’s oil capital, and one of the most important North American financial and commercial centers in the world. Calgary hasn’t lost its grip on the “Cowtown” nickname. The name references the area’s long history as the center of a vast cattle breeding area. It’s an apt name that’s proved incredibly valuable to tourism companies, conjuring fantasies of cowboys, the cattle drive, and an uncontrolled Wild West.
This is why, when you go to the thriving city, it’s a great place to find a variety of activities, including the famed Calgary Stampede every July to visiting its pioneering Heritage Park (entertaining for families). It’s a stunning spot for those who appreciate stunning landscapes, too. Stunning views of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge appear as an unsurmountable obstacle rising over the plain.
The proximity to these mountains, as well as its famous National parks. The proximity of these mountains, with their well-known national parks, makes Calgary an ideal location for hiking, skiing, or even sightseeing tours. However, there are numerous tourist places to visit for those looking to entertain themselves within the city. Walking through the city’s massive Prince’s Island Park and across the famous Peace Bridge in the morning or after eating at an excellent dining establishment in the city’s downtown center is particularly enjoyable at night.
To help you squeeze as much as possible to fit as much as possible into the smallest amount of time possible in your Calgary itinerary, make sure to check out our comprehensive listing of the top tourist attractions and activities to do in Calgary, Alberta.
The Hangar Flight Museum
The Hangar Flight Museum focuses on the past of Canadian aviation and Western Canada in particular. Canadian pilots who served in WWII established the museum, which has expanded dramatically over the years to showcase a wide array of aircraft. The last count, 24 helicopters and planes, were on display-simulators, aviation art prints, radio equipment, and details about aviation history.
The museum also has a fascinating exhibit of objects and other information about Canada’s space programs. The museum is situated in a massive building close to Calgary Airport. Calgary Airport. Various programs are available such as talks, tours, special events, and even movie nights based on aircraft.
Address: 4629 McCall Way NE, Calgary
Official site: www.thehangarmuseum.ca
If you have time in your Calgary schedule for a second park trip, Try to visit Bowness Park. It is situated in the northwest of the city. This sprawling 74-acre urban green space is particularly popular with families. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy barbecues, picnics, or picnics (fire pits are available) and even a paddleboat ride in the summer. A fun train ride is also offered for kids to take pleasure in.
In winter, the action is centered around skating and an enjoyable new sport known as “ice biking” (yes, it’s a bicycle with skating skates!). Other winter sports include curling, hockey, or cross-country skiing. It’s a great destination to visit in autumn when the leaves change colors.
Address: 8900 48 Ave NW, Calgary
Official site: www.calgary.ca/csps/parks/locations/nw-parks/bowness-park.html
Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre
In Calgary’s East Village area, Studio Bell is the home of the National Music Centre, which opened with its brand new, state-of-the-art facility in 2016. Its roots can be traced to 1987; the enormous structure is home to various music-related sites, including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection.
Together, the museums have an incredible collection comprising more than 2,000 objects related to music, including several rare and antique instruments. The most significant exhibits include the mobile recording studio, which The Rolling Stones once owned, and a piano that once belonged to Elton John.
The structure is beautiful, particularly its interior, with more than 226,000 beautiful Terra-cotta tiles. Alongside its numerous exhibits, some of them hands-on interactive-Studio Bell has a comprehensive schedule of educational activities and workshops, performances every day, and live performances. Guided tours and a fun backstage pass are also available, including playing instruments you’ll encounter.
Address: 850 4 Street SE, Calgary, Alberta
Official site: www.studiobell.ca
Take a look at the Calgary Stampede.
Ten days of the Calgary Stampede can trace its origins to the 1880s. It is the most popular event in the Calgary summer, establishing the Alberta city’s status as the nation’s “Stampede City.” The famous rodeo – described with the title “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”- is held in July and offers many kinds of cowboy or rodeo-themed entertainment and exhibitions.
The people and as much as millions of visitors wear blue jeans, and vibrantly colored Stetsons are the norm for the day. The parade is a huge spectacle rodeo, thrilling racing chuck wagons, an authentic First Nations village, concerts and stage shows, a thrilling festival, breakfasts with pancakes, and agricultural displays.
To get the Stampede Park, the festival’s permanent venue is simple to do via public transportation or a car, and there is plenty of parking. If you’re there in the off-season, visiting and touring or perhaps attending the show is among the most memorable activities to participate in when visiting Calgary.
Address: 1410 Olympic Way SE, Calgary
Official site: www.calgarystampede.com/
Take a Day Trip to Banff & Lake Louise
One of the most picturesque settings in Canada, Banff National Park, and the town of Banff, is an incredible day journey from Calgary. There are plenty of routes to take to Calgary, Banff, and back; for those who love slowing down and having the option to stop to look at places whenever the urge occurs – taking a vehicle (either on your own or rented) could be the most efficient choice.
The drive takes less than an hour, and the road is fantastic, with breathtaking views of the mountains following the departure from the city, which never ceases to amaze on the way. After passing through Canmore (also an ideal spot to stop and take in some sights) and entering the park gates, you’ll arrive in Banff. It’s the only town situated in the stunning Banff National Park. It’s an excellent area to visit before or after visiting the park. It also has numerous dining and shopping possibilities.
However, one of the most memorable aspects of your trip will be the chance to see Lake Louise. It is famous for its stunning turquoise waters, framed by breathtaking snow-capped mountains, the highest that reach over 3,500 meters; it’s also the ideal (safe) photo location, especially with the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the distance. It’s also an excellent location to stop and take in the stunning natural beauty of this region.
Other enjoyable activities to enjoy during your time in Lake Louise include:
- Strolling along the beautiful lakeshore trail.
- Going on an excursion on a canoe.
- Riding the Lake Louise Gondola to enjoy some spectacular panoramas of Lake Louise.
Take the Kids to Calgary Zoo
The Zoo’s history goes to 1917. Calgary Zoo – one of the city’s most loved family attractions and the country’s biggest and most visited Zoological Park – is located on a 120-acre area on St. George’s Island in the Bow River. Zoo animals are more than 1,000 animals, representing 272 species, which includes several uncommon and threatened species and also the botanical gardens. The season of spring is always a great season to visit due to the birth of new animals (check the website of the Zoo for information and updates).
The most popular must-see areas include the Land of Lemurs, Destination Africa, and the Canadian Wilds. At the latter, visitors can take in close-up views of fantastic creatures like new grizzly bears and arrivals, two pandas.
Other activities to enjoy include exploring the park’s six-acre prehistoric attraction that has large-scale replica dinosaurs. If you are traveling during winter, you must go to the evening Zoolights celebration of Christmas held annually.
Address: 210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary, Alberta
Official site: www.calgaryzoo.com/
Find out more about the history of Calgary at Heritage Park.
Heritage Park in Calgary is an authentic town in the city’s early years and features a myriad of restored historical structures and vibrantly costumed interpreters from different eras. Alongside exhibits and buildings ranging from an 1860 fort that was a fur-trading post to the town square, the 1930s The attraction is riding on the steam engine, which is used for transportation around the park.
A paddlewheel tour boat offers picturesque cruises through the Glenmore Reservoir, providing plenty of excellent photography opportunities and sightseeing. This reservoir also is a favorite location for outdoor sports like canoeing, sailing, and rowing.
Make sure you allocate an extra hour on Your Heritage Village itinerary to visit the Gasoline Alley Museum, which is well-known for its interactive, hands-on experiences featuring unique vintage cars.
Address: 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary
Official website: www.heritagepark.ca
Take in the views from the Calgary Tower. Calgary Tower
The Calgary Tower is located at the top. Calgary Tower, a viewing platform with an observation deck with a glass floor and a rotated e-restaurant, lets visitors experience the thrill of standing 191 meters above the city’s surface in one of the city’s most iconic structures.
It was inaugurated in 1968 and was, up to 1984, the tallest building in New York; it provides stunning views over the city and further toward the mountains. It’s particularly stunning at night, and the structure itself gets illuminated every evening, creating a stunning spectacle.
It was in 1988 that the tower’s gigantic torch served as a symbol of the atmosphere of the Olympics. It is lit during special events. A fun-filled film, which is regularly shown in the tower, shows the tower’s progress.
Address: 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary
Official website: www.calgarytower.com
WinSport: Canada Olympic Park
In the foothills and valleys of the hills to the west side of the city are the bizarre-looking towers of WinSport and where is the Calgary Olympic Park. In 1988, it was the central location of the XV Olympic Winter Games. The hill is open for skiing and snowboarding. There are also chances to bobsled and zipline, snow tube, toboggan, and mountain bicycle down the slopes and hills.
Ice skating indoors is also offered for professional competitions, informal sessions, and programming for locals and tourists to enjoy. Guided ski Jump Tower Tours give panoramic views over The Calgary Skyline from the highest point of the ski-jump hill. Canadian’s Sports Hall of Fame is situated in the park, too.
Address: 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary
Official site: www.winsport.ca
Take the Train: Rocky Mountaineer Rail Journey
The award-winning, luxuriously furnished, and private-owned Rocky Mountaineer railway tour goes through Calgary, Jasper, and Vancouver (the city’s base for the company) and cuts westward along the historical Canadian Pacific line that runs through the towering mountain walls that the Rockies. When the weather is favorable in Canmore, it offers a spectacular panorama of the white-skinned Three Sisters, a grouping of mountain peaks that makes a fantastic backdrop for your trip.
Then, the renowned winter getaway located in Banff can be accessible. Other highlights of the mountainous region (where the highest peaks reach 3,600m) comprise Lake Louise, Kicking Horse Pass, and Rogers Pass, and numerous day-trip options. You can also break the trip into several parts. One popular option with outdoor lovers is to stay at Banff for a couple of days while walking in Banff National Park.
Whatever route you decide to take on this thrilling rail journey, A word of caution As one of North America’s most busy scenic rail excursions, it is advisable to plan your excursion ahead of time, particularly when you wish to experience the top-of-the-line GoldLeaf dome-car.
Official site: www.rockymountaineer.com