Calgary, AB, is a vibrant city that offers a delightful mix of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Whether you’re a traveler seeking adventure in the great outdoors or a culture enthusiast looking to explore the city’s thriving arts and culinary scene, Calgary has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll unveil the five best things to do in Calgary. This will help you plan the ultimate vacation in this picturesque Canadian city. From breathtaking mountain vistas to world-class cuisine, Calgary promises an unforgettable experience.
Experience Calgary’s Food Scene
The first stop on your Calgary adventure should be exploring the city’s diverse food scene. From casual pizza parlors to fine dining, this city has it all. Here are some of the best restaurants to sample:
- Caesar’s Steak House & Cocktail Bar: A classic steakhouse experience with a side of Calgary history. Established in 1972, it’s the perfect place to savor a perfectly cooked steak while soaking in the city’s past.
- Deane House: Located in a heritage building, the restaurant offers innovative dishes that change with the seasons, using locally sourced ingredients.
- River Café: Nestled on Prince’s Island Park, this idyllic restaurant offers a seasonal Canadian menu focusing on locally sourced ingredients, and it’s well-known for its charming setting and commitment to sustainability.
- Peters’ Drive-In: A Calgary staple since 1964, Peter’s Drive-In is famous for its classic drive-in experience, offering mouth-watering burgers, milkshakes, and fries that locals and visitors alike queue up for.
- Model Milk: Located in a historic dairy building on 17th Avenue, Model Milk is a trendy spot with a constantly evolving menu that reflects modern American cuisine with a creative twist, emphasizing local ingredients and bold flavors.
Visit the Animals at the Calgary Zoo
Whether you’re traveling with kids or you’re still a kid at heart, make your way to the Calgary Zoo for an up-close encounter with a world of exotic wildlife. Here, you’ll be free to roam the extensive grounds, where over 1,000 animals from all corners of the globe call home.
From the mighty African lions to playful penguins to the majestic snow leopards, you’ll come face-to-face with nature’s most fascinating creatures. Don’t miss the Canadian Wilds section, where you can meet the country’s native species like polar bears, muskox, North American river otters, and more.
The Calgary Zoo isn’t just about viewing animals; it’s also a hub for conservation efforts, so you’re contributing to a worthy cause during your visit. Participate in interactive exhibits or attend educational talks to learn more about wildlife conservation. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world’s varied ecosystems.
Explore Calgary’s Parks
You’ll find Calgary’s parks to be the perfect escape from the bustling city, offering a breath of fresh air and a chance to reconnect with nature. Each park has its own unique appeal, but they all share the common theme of freedom. Freedom to explore, to relax, to breathe.
Start your adventure at Fish Creek Provincial Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. Here, you can wander through the forests, picnic by the creek, or even spot local wildlife. It’s a haven for those craving tranquility amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.
Next, head to Nose Hill Park, a natural environment park offering panoramic views of Calgary. It’s your chance to break free from the concrete jungle and immerse yourself in the beauty of the wild grasslands. The park’s off-leash areas are also perfect for your furry friends to roam free.
Don’t miss Prince’s Island Park, a vibrant urban park in the heart of the city. Here, freedom takes on a cultural twist with music festivals, theatre performances, and food stalls.
Calgary’s parks are your playground, your sanctuary, your freedom. So, go ahead—explore them to your heart’s content.
Learn About Art, History & Science at Calgary Museums
While you’re in Calgary, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of art, history, and science that its museums offer. Take a trip to the Glenbow Museum, where you’ll discover over a million artifacts, capturing the spirit of Southern Alberta’s culture and heritage. Let freedom guide your journey as you explore exhibits that tell stories of the First Nations peoples, the development of the West, and the artistic achievements of the region.
If you’re a military enthusiast, you can’t miss the Military Museums. It’s Canada’s most extensive military museum, offering a comprehensive view of Canada’s military history. Feel the stories of courage and sacrifice come alive as you wander its halls.
Meanwhile, the Tsuu T’ina Cultural Museum offers a unique perspective on Indigenous history. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the rich traditions and history of the Tsuu T’ina Nation.
For those who yearn to understand the mysteries of the universe, the TELUS Spark Science Centre is your destination. Explore interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and hands-on science experiments that will ignite your curiosity.
Embrace the freedom to learn, explore, and discover in Calgary’s museums. It’s an essential part of your ultimate Calgary vacation.
Spend a Day at the Calgary Stampede
If you plan your trip during the right time, you can attend one of Calgary’s best-known and most-loved events: the Calgary Stampede. Known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” it’s a thrilling ten-day event that’ll transport you into the world of rodeos, chuckwagon races, and vibrant Western culture. Every July, the city turns into a cowboy’s dream, where you can unleash your wild side.
Get your cowboy boots on and join in the citywide festivities. There’s nothing like the heart-pounding excitement of watching bull riders hang on for dear life or the adrenaline rush as wagons thunder down the track. You can also immerse yourself in live music, mouthwatering food, and impressive exhibitions.
But the Stampede isn’t just about having a good time; it’s about experiencing freedom in its purest form. Freedom to explore, to engage, and to enjoy every moment. It’s about leaving behind the confines of your daily routine and embracing the wild, untamed spirit of the West. So, come on down, partner—your adventure awaits at the Calgary Stampede.
Start Planning Your Ultimate Calgary Vacation
Calgary stands as a captivating destination that blends the charm of a bustling city with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Canadian Rockies. From its iconic Calgary Stampede to the tranquility of Prince’s Island Park, this city has a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests.
Whether you’re exploring its vibrant cultural scene, relishing the flavors of its culinary delights, or embarking on outdoor adventures, Calgary can captivate and inspire. So, as you plan your ultimate Calgary vacation, remember that the memories you create here will be etched in your heart forever. Pack your bags, embark on this incredible journey, and discover why Calgary is a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world.