Summer/Fall 2022 Experience Guide
and the Canadian Rockies
Go for a pedal-powered urban adventure Calgary is yours to explore
Skydive indoors. See Elton John’s piano. Try gravity powered Mario karting. Chat with our local experts for insider tips on things to see and do.
chat now visitcalgary.com/visitor-hub
TIPS & VISITOR INFORMATION 7 TRAVEL TIPS TO SAFELY EXPLORE DURING THE PANDEMIC
Check on current domestic and provincial travel guidelines and restrictions before you visit.
COVID-19 TRAVELLER UPDATE RESOURCES
Plan ahead with advanced booking, timed-entry ticketing and knowing safety measures put in place by the businesses. Many attractions, tours, experiences and events require pre-booking before you visit.
Be prepared with your proof of vaccine or a privately paid negative COVID test (within 72 hours) to enjoy dining in, nightlife, attractions, events and more.
Bring your device! Many food and drink menus are now accessed by scanning a QR code on the table.
Follow directional signage and maintain two-metres distance when possible in shops, restaurants and attractions.
Head to visitcalgary.com/visitor-hub for inspiration on where to shop, eat or drink and what to do and experience in the city, including what’s happening, accommodation information and deals.
Confirm operating hours by checking directly on business websites and social channels.
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Support local businesses and leave an online review.
GET INSIDER ADVICE, VISITOR INFO & SERVICES Value your time – whether you are planning or need a quick question answered about Calgary, chat with our local experts for insider tips on safely exploring, discovering hidden gems, hot deals, maps, guides and more!
CONNECT WITH TOURISM CALGARY 7 DAYS A WEEK BY: LiveChat on visitcalgary.com Facebook Messenger firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-661-1678 Stop by the Calgary International Airport InfoCentres in the domestic terminal upon your arrival for in-person visitor information. Calgary maps and guides can be found year-round at the Calgary Tower (101 - 9 Ave., S.W.).
PHOTOGRAPH: AJ_WATT, COURTESY iSTOCK
Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centres are located throughout the province. Go to travelalberta.com for a full list and map.
@TourismCalgary #CaptureCalgary @TourismCalgary #CaptureCalgary facebook.com/tourismcalgary
IN THIS GUIDE
Calgary and the Canadian Rocky Mountains Summer/Fall 2021 Experience Guide
TIPS & VISITOR INFORMATION �������������������������������� 3 GETTING AROUND How to navigate the city ������������������������������������������������������������� 6
EVENTS IN CALGARY ����������������������������������������������������� 8 SNAPSHOT HOT SPOTS
For best quality, download this guide to print
The most scenic and intriguing places to snap a photo ����������� 10
ALBERTA’S FIRST PEOPLES
Delve into rich Indigenous cultures and history ����������������������� 12
Experience Wild West activities and exhibits �������������������������� 13
ALL GOOD IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Discover the best of Calgary’s unique districts ������������������������ 14
MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS IN CALGARY �������������� 20 URBAN RIVER ADVENTURES ������������������������������������ 22 RAINY DAY GUIDE ��������������������������������������������������������� 23 ROCK THE CITY Where to hear live music ��������������������������������������������������������� 24
In partnership with
Tour Calgary’s craft breweries and distilleries �������������������������� 25
7 SIGNATURE FOODS
Where to taste dishes made with local ingredients ����������������� 26
PERFECT PATIOS ������������������������������������������������������������ 27 THE WINTER WONDERLAND WEEKEND GUIDE ����������������������������������������������������������� 28 THE ULTIMATE CALGARY SUMMER WEEKEND GUIDE ������������������������������ 30 DISCOVER MORE ����������������������������������������������������������� 32 BEYOND THE CITY Mountains, fossils and more just a short drive away4 �������������� 34
Every effort is made to ensure the information is accurate at time of publishing. Tourism Calgary assumes no responsibility for any unpredictable errors, changes and/or omissions. Content may not be reprinted without written permission from Tourism Calgary.
PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY iSTOCK
PRINT THIS GUIDE
MESSAGE FROM TOURISM CALGARY
5 a backdrop of natural wonders. Calgarians are known for being ultimate hosts and it is our pleasure to foster a destination that is welcoming, innovative and experience-rich. If you’re not sure where to start your adventure, this guide is the perfect place to learn about Calgary’s must-visit attractions, diverse dining options, notable festivals, vibrant events and more. Visitcalgary.com is also a great resource for up-to-date information on the latest things to see and do in Calgary.
PHOTOGRAPH: CINDY ADY BY ASIM OVERSTANDS
WELCOME TO CALGARY, a city rich with beautiful landscapes, a picturesque skyline and a dynamic array of experiences that allow both visitors and Calgarians to live in the moment. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and travel resumes, our city and our community are eager to welcome back visitors from near and far. We invite you to immerse yourself in Calgary’s vibrant sights and sounds at our festivals, embrace an abundance of art, culinary and cultural experiences and take advantage of opportunities for endless adventure set against
With community spirit at its core, Calgary is a young, energetic and diverse city full of unique experiences. We encourage you to share your memories with us — and with others — by tagging @TourismCalgary and #CaptureCalgary on social media. Whether you’re here to bask in the legacy of music icons at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, or immerse yourself in the energy that takes over the city during the Calgary Stampede, we’re glad you’re here and we hope you enjoy your time!
Cindy Ady CEO, Tourism Calgary
VISIT THE GETTING TO CALGARY GUIDE FOR INFORMATION ON AIR, TRAIN, ROAD TRANSPORTATION AND MORE.
6 DOWNLOAD OR VIEW ONLINE >>
CHARTER BUS: Travel in and out of Calgary with these great bus transportation options. It’s important to plan ahead and be prepared, as shuttle service can be limited and seasonal changes to operating hours can occur. Charter buses include: Airport Shuttle Express, Brewster Express, Discover Banff Tours, On-It Regional Transit, Prairie Sprinter, Red Arrow, RTB Tours & Shuttles and The Banff Express.
PLUS 15: If it’s cold out, Calgary offers an extensive Plus 15 system of indoor, secondstorey walkways that connect many of Calgary’s downtown buildings. It can be accessed through central areas like The CORE Shopping Centre, Stephen Avenue, City Hall, the Calgary Tower and several hotels. It also provides access to and from various CTrain stops within the downtown core as shown on the map.
PLUS 15 MAP >>
EASY WAYS TO GET TO AND FROM BANFF >> ON FOOT: Calgary’s downtown core is very walkable. Check out the map to orient yourself with the city’s four quadrants — northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast — and to plan your walking route.
CALGARY WALKING GUIDE >>
BIKE & SCOOTER: Tired of walking? Hop on an electric bike or scooter — you won’t have to go far to find one downtown. For scooters, download the Neuron Mobility or Bird apps in advance for easy use, and book a bike rental with Pedego Electric Bike or Bow Cycle E-Bikes. Calgary has one of the largest pathway networks in North America with more than 1,000 kilometres to help you enjoy exploring the city.
BIKE PATHWAY MAP >>
PUBLIC BUS & CTRAIN: Calgary Transit offers public bus and CTrain service throughout the city. From the airport, take Calgary Transit Route 300 to the city centre. The CTrain has a free-fare zone in the downtown core between the stations of City Hall and Downtown West-Kerby. Transit fares are $3.60 for adults, $2.45 for youth (ages six to 17) and free for children five and under. Tickets can be used to travel anywhere in the city by bus or CTrain. They are valid for 90 minutes, or you can purchase a day pass for $11.25 (adults) or $8.25 (youth).
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRIS AMAT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
PLAN YOUR TRIP >> TAXI: Taxi service is available from the Calgary International Airport, with the fare to downtown usually between $40-45 under normal driving conditions. Favoured local companies include Associated Cab, Calgary United Cabs, Checker Cabs and Mayfair Taxi. Fares are based on meter rates.
TAXI AND LIMO SERVICES >>
CAR & RV RENTALS: Car rentals are available at various rental companies in Calgary with the minimum age to rent being 21 or 25 years old, depending on the dealership, with a valid driver’s licence. Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Miles Van Rentals, Alamo, Discount and Economy, among others, are rental companies you can choose from. Rent RVs from CanaDream RV, New Age Travel and Services, Karma Campervans, Fraserway RV Rentals and North Campervans.
RV CAMPING IN AND AROUND CALGARY >> DRIVING & PARKING: The standard speed limit on Calgary’s roads is 40 kilometres per hour, unless otherwise posted. School and playground zones have a speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour. Certain areas of the city have photo radar. Street parking is free after 6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, and all day Sundays and holidays (check signage and time restrictions carefully). The Calgary Parking Authority has a mobile app called MyParking, and many private companies such as ParkPlus have apps as well.
FIND PARKING >>
TOURS: Tours are a great way to experience a destination and the perfect way to get a local’s perspective on the history, food and culture of a city. Enjoy the convenience of a tour bus, the freedom of a bicycle, or the adventure of motorcycle sidecars on guided tours in and around Calgary. Let experienced guides and tour operators do the planning and explore everywhere, from downtown Calgary and Banff to Dinosaur Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Find the tour that is right for you as you explore Calgary and beyond through companies like CalgaryWalks & Bus Tours, RTB Tours & Shuttles, Hammerhead Scenic Tours, Alberta Blue Sky Tours, Klein Tours, Calgary Food Tours, Rocky Mountain Sidecar Tours and more. ACCESSIBILITY IN AND AROUND CALGARY: The City of Calgary provides accessibility options for transportation and recreation, such as accessible buses and CTrains, pedestrian signals, taxis, parking zones, aquatic wheelchairs at spray parks, adapted fitness programs and more. See calgary.ca to learn more about accessibility options.
ACCESSIBILITY IN AND AROUND CALGARY >> CITY OF CALGARY’S ACCESSIBLE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS >>
UPCOMING EVENTS IN CALGARY CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER MORE EVENTS AND KEEP UP TO DATE!
Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo
APRIL & MAY HIGH PERFORMANCE RODEO Mar 27 to May 28 Known as Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, High Performance Rodeo takes over downtown Calgary in all shapes, sizes and sounds. Encompassing music, dance, theatre, and interdisciplinary art, be delighted as performers from near and far hit the stage with their award winning performances. CALGARY COMIC & ENTERTAINMENT EXPO Apr 21 to 24
There is something for everyone at this fourday annual celebration of all things pop culture including comics, sci-fi, gaming, fantasy, horror and more for fans of all ages.
CALGARY INTERNATIONAL BEERFEST
May 6 & 7
Sample hundreds of varieties of beer from local and international breweries at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park.
May 19 & 20
Two-day sampling event and market to celebrate Canada’s National Cocktail with over 40 Caesars, local food, and craft beer.
May 21 & 22 Calgary’s premier anime festival caters to fans of Japanese anime, popular culture and related arts.
The Calgary Marathon is Canada’s longest running marathon and an official Boston Marathon-qualifying race. Other races include the 50km Ultra, 5km Walk/Run and Kids Marathon.
NO MATTER WHAT EVENTS YOU CHOOSE, BOOK TICKETS IN ADVANCE!
PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY
Sled Island Festival
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) KELLY HOFER, COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; (BOTTOM) COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY
WATCHLIST Theatre and performing arts hit the stage this Spring! Check out: • Alberta Theatre Project’s Kim’s Convenience (April 13 to May 1) • Theatre Calgary’s Million Dollar Quartet (April 26 to May 22) • Alberta Ballet’s Cinderella (April 28 to May 7) • Vertigo Theatre’s Clue (May 7 to June 5) • Broadway Across Canada’s Hamilton (July 12 to 31) Cheer on Calgary’s beloved sports teams this Spring and Summer at a home game! • Cavalry FC (April to Oct) • CFL’s Calgary Stampeders (May to Nov)
4TH STREET LILAC FESTIVAL
This family-friendly neighbourhood street festival features arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and live entertainment.
WAY OUT WEST FEST June 10 to 20
A modern festival that celebrates the richwestern heritage in Calgary. Enjoy a line-up of events, workshops and West-flaired affairs that reach out from the original "Whisky Row" to locations in the foothills of Alberta.
SPRUCE MEADOWS NATIONAL CSI 5*/2*
June 16 to 19
Performances by some of the world’s best show jumping athletes and horses compete, as well as family-friendly activities and entertainment.
SLED ISLAND FESTIVAL YYCaesarfest
June 22 to 26 Enjoy an eclectic mix of performances by over 200 musicians, artists, filmmakers, and comedians. Performances take place in both indoor and outdoor venues around downtown Calgary.
PEACE BRIDGE: Designed
by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, this bright red footbridge is one of the city’s most photographed locations.
SNAPSHOT HOT SPOTS Looking for the perfect place to compose a group shot or snap a selfie? Stop by these photo-worthy locations around downtown Calgary and share your pics with #CaptureCalgary.
DISCOVER PUBLIC ART AROUND THE CITY WITH THE HANDY INTERACTIVE MAP
WONDERLAND: Situated outside downtown’s dramatic skyscraper The Bow, Wonderland is a gigantic mesh-like sculpture of a girl’s head. The towering Family of Man sculpture is also nearby.
URBAN MURALS: The
annual BUMP Festival brings inspiring murals and street art to the Beltline community in Calgary.
CALGARY TOWER: A true icon in the city centre, snap photos from the base of the tower or take a trip up to the top to capture unique angles and panoramic views from the glass floor and observation deck.
CHECK OUT THE MURAL MAP FOR YOUR GUIDE TO ALL THE SITES.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) COREY MYKE, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; ARTIST: TYLER LEMERMEYER, PHOTO BY LISA FORSETH; @WAKINGUPPAINS, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
PHOTOGRAPHS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) SIEGFRIED SCHNEPF, COURTESY iSTOCK; CHRIS AMAT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; LISA MARIE, COURTESY iSTOCK; JEFF WHYTE, COURTESY iSTOCK; BRIAN KAMPRATH, COURTESY iSTOCK
TOM CAMPBELL’S HILL: Offering one of the best vantage points for skyline views, this northeast dog-friendly park is a local favourite at sunset.
CENTRAL LIBRARY: An architectural marvel that has been recognized internationally for its eye-catching design.
SCOTSMAN’S HILL: An amazing view of Calgary’s skyline with the iconic Scotiabank Saddledome in the foreground can be seen from Scotsman’s Hill in the southeast — it’s especially striking at night.
TELUS SKY: The futuristic addition to the Calgary skyline features the Northern Lights light show, transforming Calgary’s newest building into a living sculpture.
GEORGE C. KING BRIDGE: One of the best views in the neighbourhood is from this East Village bridge, where you can capture the Bow River, the Bloom sculpture and the city skyline.
HEAD-SMASHED-IN BUFFALO JUMP
Located in southwest Alberta, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is one of the most culturally and archaeologically important ancient hunting sites in the world. It illustrates the hunting techniques of the Plains people who relied on vast herds of bison for food, clothing, shelter and more. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to a world-class, seven-level interpretation centre built into the cliff, which tells the story of the area and the people who hunted there.
HERITAGE PARK’S FIRST NATIONS ENCAMPMENT
ALBERTA’S FIRST PEOPLES Alberta’s history is shaped by the rich cultural heritage of First Nations people, who inhabited the land for more than 10,000 years before the arrival of Europeans in the late 1700s. They formed complex societies, beliefs and practices that helped them navigate a changing world. Today, Indigenous people keep their ancestors’ memories and traditions alive by sharing historical artifacts, artwork, cuisine, crafts, stories, demonstrations and sites that continue to be culturally significant. Alberta is home to many Indigenous Peoples — 15 First Nations are recognized in the province — and learning about their history and taking part in their traditions are among the most unique and meaningful experiences you can have.
MANY CHIEF TOURS
Take a guided walk along St. Patrick’s Island and the Bow River on the Mohkinstsis Tour and explore Calgary’s Indigenous history and culture from a local guide from the Kainai Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Treaty 7. Yearround tours are offered Friday through Sunday. Book in advance and build this unique experience into your schedule.
Experience the traditional and modern-day lifestyle of the Cree and Saulteaux people on an 82-acre ranch in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Located one hour northwest of Calgary, learn skills like horseback riding and archery, snowshoe through a tranquil forest, or spend the night in an authentic Métisstyle trapper’s tent.
Locally made, authentic Indigenous handcrafts and fine artwork fill this family operated shop, including paintings, sculptures, moccasins, beadwork and quality leather goods. Shop at the gallery or participate in an art class.
Take a stroll into the past at Blackfoot Crossing, the historic location of the signing of Treaty 7, only one hour and 15 minutes southeast of Calgary. Visit Canada’s largest Indigenous-owned tourism attraction yearround to discover the rich culture and traditions of the Blackfoot people.
THE LITTLE CHIEF RESTAURANT
Savour the variety of traditional dishes and Indigenous wine by an award-winning executive chef. Little Chief Restaurant is in the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary, built on Tsuut’ina Nation land.
PHOTOGRAPH: PISQUAPITA (HAIR IN KNOT) CREE INDIAN, CALGARY, COURTESY iSTOCK.COM
Three canvas tipis are on display and furnished with artifacts that represent the lifestyle of the Plains First Nations people during the last half of the 19th century.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) IMAGINEGOLF, COURTESY ISTOCK.COM; (BOTTOM) KARL LEE, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
While the Calgary of today is a modern and sophisticated urban centre, we’re eager to share the story of our roots as a western outpost populated by cowboys, railmen, ranchers and outlaws — including one of the most infamous outlaws of all time, the Sundance Kid (a.k.a. Harry Alonzo Longabaugh). Before he went south to join up with Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch and pull off the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history, the Sundance Kid owned a bar in Calgary on 9th Avenue S.W., right across the street from where the Calgary Tower now stands. Wherever you go in Calgary, you’ll discover signs of the city’s western heritage, from artwork, food and fashion to our signature annual event, the Calgary Stampede.
DRESS THE PART
To truly get in the cowboy spirit, you need the right gear. First, head to Smithbilt Hats for a true Calgary icon: the White Hat. Then stop at Alberta Boot Company for a pair of all-leather boots, handcrafted right here in Calgary. Finally, hit Cody & Sioux or Lammle’s Western Wear for classic and modern styles to round out the rest of your look.
Canter through meadows, rolling prairies or the foothills and discover Alberta on horseback. From half-day to multi-day trail rides, there are many places to saddle up, including Boundary Ranch, Timberline Tours, Banff Trail Riders, Anchor D Guiding & Outfitting and Homeplace Ranch.
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is a worldclass, bucket-list event preserving and celebrating western heritage, culture and community spirit, from the pageantry of the opening parade to the spectacular display of fireworks each night. It’s no secret that the skill of the competitors and the quality of the animals at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo are among the best in the world, making for non-stop, edge-of-your-seat action. And there’s so much more going on as well, including concerts from some of the biggest names in rock and country music, an epic midway, unique and outrageous food, family friendly programming and the spectacular Grandstand Show. Pull on your boots and get ready for a wild ride!
ALL GOOD IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
If you’re looking for the true Calgary experience, you’ll find it in the city’s dynamic neighbourhoods. From quirky to posh, each one has a unique vibe and distinct personality that shines through in its restaurants, shops, attractions and — of course — its people. Prepare for adventure as you explore the best Calgary has to offer!
CALGARY’S UNIQUE NEIGHBOURHOODS
Filled with sandstone heritage buildings set alongside modern skyscrapers, Calgary’s downtown core is young and vibrant, with just enough charm to maintain its roots as a Wild West outpost. Experience the architectural diversity for yourself as you wander down Stephen Avenue Walk, a busy pedestrian promenade lined with shops, restaurants and bars, ending at Olympic Plaza, where numerous festivals are held throughout the year. In the summer, cool off in the wading pool, and in the winter, strap on a pair of skates and glide over the ice while surrounded by the twinkling lights of downtown. Right next door is Arts Commons, one of Canada’s largest and most vibrant multi-venue arts centres. Nearby at the Calgary
The CORE Shopping Centre
Tower, you can capture incredible views of the city and mountains beyond, then head north to Eau Claire Plaza, which offers bridge access to the beautiful Prince’s Island Park, an urban oasis located in the middle of the Bow River. CAN’T MISS: >>Take a selfie with Wonderland, the giant sculpture of a girl’s head at the base of The Bow building. >>Vino lovers, get a table at Teatro Ristorante, a refined Italian eatery with more than
2 EAST VILLAGE
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) XXXXX; (BOTTOM) CHRIS AMAT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery
CAN’T MISS: >>Tune up with some music history at the National Music Centre and catch a fan favourite performance on the Kimball Theatre Organ. Make sure to check out the restored King Eddy Hotel and marvel at the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, which was built in 1968 and was the first of its kind. >>Grab a picnic lunch at the celebrated Sidewalk Citizen Bakery or dine on the rooftop bar at Charbar in the historic Simmons Building with an
800 labels in its wine cellar. >>Do some shopping at The CORE Shopping Centre, then head up to the fourth floor to enjoy the indoor Devonian Gardens. >>Hit the Rooftop YYC, Major Tom or Sky 360 for drinks or a bite with stunning skyline views. >> Visit Contemporary Calgary’s rotating international art collection or be dazzled by a colourful light show at night on the TELUS Sky building, the largest public art display in the city.
excellent view of downtown and the Bow River. >> Explore murals, sculptures and digital art with the [de] tours guide for passionate art admirers.
Visit architectural marvels like Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, and the Central Library, named one of the world’s 100 greatest places of 2019 by TIME magazine. Once you’ve stared in awe at these modern landmarks, step back in time by visiting the historic King Eddy for some live music and a bite to eat. For the best East Village experience, start your walk from Fort Calgary, a national historic site beginning with its origins as a gathering place for Indigenous Peoples, followed by the North West Mounted Police building in 1875. Then follow the RiverWalk to the George C. King bridge, where you can cross over to St. Patrick’s Island to view the sculpture Bloom and dip your toes in the river.
Calgary’s Chinatown is a social and cultural hub for the city’s diverse East Asian community, which is evident from the array of Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and, of course, Chinese restaurants and businesses in the area. Legend has it that ginger beef, one of the city’s signature dishes, was invented just north of Chinatown at the Silver Inn restaurant, and it continues to be a favourite among Calgarians. CAN’T MISS: >>Dine on traditional Hong Kong-style dim sum at the Silver Dragon Restaurant, and don’t forget the shrimp toast! >>Duck into an alleyway and check out the incredible art murals decorating the walls.
>>Treat yourself to edible art at The Chocolate Lab. >>Get in line at Thi Thi Banh Mi for a Vietnamese sub sandwich — it’s worth the wait. >>Delight in the unique and refreshing flavours, ingredients, toppings and addins at Sweet Tooth Ice Cream.
CAN’T MISS: >>Shop and sample everything delicious at Pie Junkie and Peasant Cheese Shop. >>Head to Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey for an extensive selection of whiskeys or some incredible housesmoked barbecue eats. >>See why all the fuss about Alberta beef is totally justified at Modern Steak. >>In the summer, hang out in a lively alley and enjoy drinks and snacks from a shipping container at Container Bar (pictured top right). >>Sip and savour at Oxbow’s patio while enjoying views of downtown Calgary and the Bow River.
Loved by artists for its quirky, bohemian vibe, Kensington is full of trendy boutique shops, coffee houses and restaurants. The neighbourhood’s oldest building is the Plaza Theatre, which was built in the 1920s. Right next door is Pages on Kensington, an independently owned new and used book store located at the former site of Calgary’s first public library. With more than 250 unique businesses to explore, Kensington is a fun place to visit, eat, shop and walk. Keep an eye out for intriguing public art installations like Lorfolk Lane, a fantasy-filled mural painted by local art students.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) CHRIS AMAT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY
5 BELTLINE/VICTORIA PARK
PHOTOGRAPHS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) CHRIS AMAT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; ROTH & RAMBERG, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY STEELING HOME; ROTH & RAMBERG, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
Ten Foot Henry
Beltline, also know as the Design District thanks to its collection of art galleries, design-oriented shops and vibrant murals, is an urban area chock full of culture and entertainment. Day or night, you’ll find a vast selection of noteworthy restaurants and local brewpubs that serve up food and drinks with a side of fun and games. The Calgary Stampede grounds are also located in this neighbourhood, making it the place to go during the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. These streets boast their fair share of historic gems like the Boer War monument in Central Memorial
Park and Lougheed House. Originally the home of Senator James Alexander Lougheed, the impressive estate has been transformed into a museum, restaurant, gallery and botanical garden. CAN’T MISS: >>Wave at Chinook Arc in Barb Scott Park — the interactive sculpture changes colour in response to movement. >>Eat, drink and play oldschool arcade games at Greta Bar or head to Craft Beer Market for Canada’s largest selection of craft beer. >>Relax and dine poolside all year round at Hotel Arts. >>Discover delicious, vegetable-forward cuisine at Ten Foot Henry. >>Check out Re:Grub for stacked burgers and out-ofthis-world milkshake creations.
6 17TH AVENUE
From adventurous dining to top-of-the-line shopping and entertainment hotspots, ‘17th,’ as the locals call it, is where Calgarians come to eat, drink and play. The restaurant and bar options in this walkable neighbourhood are nearly
endless, which makes it an excellent spot for bar hopping and people watching. While there aren’t many big box stores here, those who love to shop until they drop can easily spend a day browsing one independent boutique after
another, from vintage clothing and designer shoes to unique home décor. CAN’T MISS: >>Grab a pint and a seat, inside or outside with mild weather, at community brewpub Trolley 5. >>Head to Ollia Macarons & Tea for locally made teas and treats. >>Save room for pan-Polynesian fusion cuisine at LuLu Bar. >>Find Calgaryspecific souvenirs and décor at Steeling Home.
Distilled Beauty Bar
This up-and-coming neighbourhood has plenty to offer diners and shoppers who are looking for something unique. Stop by arts incubator cSpace King Edward, housed in an old sandstone schoolhouse, which is home to Alberta Craft Gallery and Aroma Cafe. Marda Loop’s main strip is filled with charming
boutiques and a number of mouth-watering specialty food shops and restaurants that are well worth the trek from any part of the city. CAN’T MISS: >>Sit in a 100-year-old booth as you savour the ultimate breakfast and lunch diner experience at Belmont Diner. >>Multitask at Distilled Beauty
8 FOURTH STREET
This upbeat strip is a foodie’s paradise. In fact, it has a well-deserved reputation as being home to some of the best eateries in the city and is perfect for diners who like to mix it up — you’ll find a selection of Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Irish, Korean and Italian cuisine and much more. This hotspot was previously known as the ‘Mission’ district and started out as a Frenchspeaking community in the heart of Calgary.
Bar, where you can get a beauty treatment and a coffee, wine or tapas at the same time. >>Outfit the kids in your life in style while finding a gift that makes a statement at Krickets. >>Dine family-style on classic Italian cuisine at Annabelle’s Kitchen. >>Drop in and visit a local brewery at Marda Loop Brewing. CAN’T MISS: >>Download the BaladoDiscovery app for a free, self-guided tour of the Rouleauville/Mission area, adjacent to Fourth Street. >>Eat at Shokunin, owned and operated by Chef Darren MacLean, who was a finalist on Netflix’s The Final Table. >>Purchase a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art at By Jean Michel. >>Visit Vin Room for wine and then head to Añejo for its authentic Mexican entrees like chili relleno, mole chicken, and fish Veracruz.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP TO BOTTOM) NEIL ZELLER, COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY
7 MARDA LOOP
What was once Calgary’s original main street is now part of the ‘Music Mile’ — a place where live music reigns alongside art galleries, clothing boutiques, gourmet dining options and craft breweries, such as Cold Garden (pictured right) and Ol’ Beautiful. History runs deep in this district where several heritage buildings still stand tall today. Some of these landmarks have even been transformed into a few of the city’s best-known restaurants: Deane House (pictured below), Rouge and The Nash. For a modern twist on this neighbourhood, visit
the Esker Foundation, a huge contemporary art gallery with free public programming.
CAN’T MISS: >>Shop for exotic herbs and spices at Silk Road Spice Merchant. >>Hear live, local musicians at The Blues Can. >>Add some chic western elements to your wardrobe or home from Cody & Sioux. >>Or explore Calgary’s haunted past with Walk the YYC.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP TO BOTTOM) CHRIS AMAT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY TELUS SPARK
Brunch is always a good idea, especially when visiting Bridgeland-Riverside. Calgarians flock from all over the city to dine at popular brunch spots like OEB Breakfast Co., Blue Star Diner and, just up the hill, Diner Deluxe. Save yourself the wait in line at these local gems by using the Yelp app to put yourself on the waitlist. After you’ve finished eating the most important meal of the day, stay in the neighbourhood
and visit the Wilder Institute/ Calgary Zoo or TELUS Spark Science Centre (pictured above), two of the city’s major attractions. CAN’T MISS: >>Pick up a coffee or soft serve ice cream (or both) at Lukes Drug Mart and
DISCOVER MORE NEIGHBOURHOODS
Calgary’s list of unique neighbourhoods doesn’t stop here! Check out other neighbourhoods to explore, including Crescent Heights Village, Greenview Industrial, International Avenue, Montgomery by the Bow and Mainstreet Bowness.
browse the eclectic wares. >>Go for a tasting and tour at the new Bridgeland Distillery, which distils brandy, whisky, award-winning grappola (known as grappa in Italy), limoncello made using local natural honey and craft spirits used in cocktails like the Old Fashioned. >>Caffeinate, then rent a bike and cycle it off at Bike and Brew. >>Slurp ramen at Shiki Menya — but get there early. It closes when it runs out of noodles. >> Take a stroll with your family to the new Flyover Park, bringing a play park, food truck stalls, outdoor seating and public art to this passageway.
EXPLORE MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS IN CALGARY
Whether you’re looking to make memories with your kids, get active or appeal to the history buffs and scientists in your family, Calgary’s got something you just have to see!
A leader in wildlife conservation, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals and creatures from every corner of the earth, including Africa, Eurasia and Canada. Watch the gorilla troop as they go about their family business, get up close and personal with lemurs in an interactive exhibit and join the king penguins for a winter stroll.
Shop and dine in the large indoor market full of curated, gourmet and hand-crafted goods year-round. In the summer, explore the Active Learning Park where children can play while learning about insects, mammals and even mushrooms. There’s also a petting zoo.
Check off some items from your family’s summer bucket list at WinSport for outdoor adventure everyone will love. The 18-hole outdoor minigolf course takes up to 60 minutes to complete. Older kids will love getting big air on North America’s fastest zipline, or spending a day on the mountain bike park with its downhill track network and skills park.
TELUS SPARK SCIENCE CENTRE
Immerse yourself with handson, all-ages exhibits that explore the science behind the human body, space, earth and energy. Go on a journey about life and how Every Second counts in the new digital immersion art exhibit here for a limited time.
Enjoy a 360-degree view of the city and the Canadian Rocky Mountains from the observation deck, 191 metres above ground. Take in the short film Calgary Tower – Building and Icon in the new theatre room on the observation deck.
HERITAGE PARK HISTORICAL VILLAGE
History buffs won’t want to miss the largest living history museum in Canada with costumed staff, historical buildings, rides, activities and events that immerse you in the time period from 1860 to 1950. Visit the Gasoline Alley Museum year-round to see vintage vehicles and automobile memorabilia.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; (BOTTOM) DAVE HOLLAND
WILDER INSTITUTE/CALGARY ZOO
(Clockwise from top right) Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo; Granary Road; Heritage Park Historical Village.
Looking for something to do that won’t break the bank? Here are some fun and free activities in Calgary. Head to STUDIO BELL,
HOME OF THE NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE, on
weekends with free admission for a limited time only.
Keep exploring family favourites, like Big Box Family, Cobbs Adventure Park and Calgary Farmyard.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; (BOTTOM) ERIK MCRITCHIE, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
100+ THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND CALGARY >>
DOWNHILL KARTING BY SKYLINE LUGE CALGARY
Roll down the longest luge track in the world on a go-kartstyle, gravity powered ride for all ages and athletic abilities. The track boasts 1.8 kilometres of twists and turns, plus an excellent view. Even small children can join in the fun by sharing a ride with an adult. One ride is never enough!
THE HANGAR FLIGHT MUSEUM
Deepen your appreciation for the wonder of flight as you learn the stories of the airplanes and helicopters in the collection, including rare, vintage and historically significant military and civilian aircraft.
BOW HABITAT STATION
Explore what lives in the Bow River that flows through Calgary at this all-ages, handson learning centre. You can see Alberta’s fish species in the Discovery Centre, stroll through natural wetlands, join a tour or feed the fish at the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery. Children can also fish in the trout pond.
There are thrills for all ages at Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park, with rides suitable for young children to roller coasters for big kids and the young at heart. There’s also live entertainment, street performers, a 3D movie theatre, games, food vendors and free parking. Plan to stay the night at the nearby RV campground.
WILD ROSE ADVENTURES SELF-GUIDED CYCLING ADVENTURES >>
Visit GLENBOW at The Edison for unique Canadian art. Take a walking tour with WALK THE YYC and explore downtown using the extensive indoor walkway system called the Plus 15, or stroll along historic Stephen Avenue. Be on the lookout for some of the 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals and 347 species of plants that inhabit the INGLEWOOD BIRD SANCTUARY. Retreat to READER ROCK GARDEN, Calgary’s first legacy park and one of the most unique gardens in the city. This national historic site has the restored Reader house, now a café, and beautiful flowers sourced from all over the world.
CHECK OUT THE 10 BEST PARKS IN CALGARY
MORE OUTDOOR SUMMER ADVENTURES ARE WAITING FOR YOU IN AND AROUND CALGARY. CHECK OUT OUR OUTDOOR SUMMER ACTIVITIES GUIDE
URBAN RIVER ADVENTURES 22
North and south Calgary are divided by the stunning and renowned Bow River, a ribbon of blue water that emerges from the Canadian Rocky Mountains and winds through the city, providing opportunities to enjoy being on, in and around the water all year long. HANG TEN
Think you need an ocean to surf? Not in Calgary! River surfing requires some different techniques from ocean surfing, but the fun, challenge and cool factor are all there. Surfers get off work and head straight to the 10th Street Bridge, where the perfect wave is always cresting. Check out albertariversurfing.com for tips and tricks, then rent a board and wetsuit from Outliers Surf Shop and hit the river, dude!
PHOTOGRAPH: RABBIT75_IST, COURTESY iSTOCK.COM
CAST A LINE
The Bow River is one of the top three trout fishing streams in the world, and it attracts both new and seasoned fly-fishing enthusiasts looking to catch some rainbow or brown trout within view of the city skyline. Look out for the legendary “Bow River Bullet” rainbows, known for how BEGINNERS high they FLY FISHING jump and GUIDE >> how hard
they fight when hooked — a welcome challenge for pros! Guided experiences are also offered by Drift Out West Fly Fishing, Topwater Fly Fishing, Out Fly Fishing Outfitters Fly Shop or Fish Tales Fly Shop.
FOLLOW THE PATH
The Bow River pathway system that surrounds the river is perfect for walking, biking and running. In fact, Calgary has the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America with over 900 km of regional pathways and 95 km of trails. Strap on a pair of running shoes and hit the pavement, rent a scooter or fat bike or rent an electric bike through Pedego or Bow Cycle E-bikes. Keep an eye out for the bright red Peace Bridge, a functional art piece that has quickly become a Calgary icon.
Centrally located in the city, Prince’s Island Park is
surrounded by the Bow River and has plenty of pathways, gardens, benches, playgrounds and picnic areas. It’s the site of many events and festivals, including the popular Calgary Folk Music Festival. The hyper-local fine dining restaurant River Café is located within the park and is a great place to dine in a unique setting. The nearby St. Patrick’s Island is adjacent to the East Village neighbourhood, and boasts its own pathway system, hiking trails, a public plaza and children’s play area, along with some very cool contemporary art sculptures.
BOATLOADS OF FUN
When the weather heats up, Calgarians come out in droves with kayaks and inflatable rafts to soak up the sun on a leisurely float down the Bow River. Start at Shouldice Park and float to either Prince’s Island or St. Patrick’s Island for a two to two-and-a-half-hour trip, or try a half-hour ride from Prince’s Island to St. Patrick’s Island. Take a guided tour with Calgary River Experience, or rent your own equipment through the Paddle Station or Lazy Day Rentals.
RAINY DAY GUIDE
Explore all Calgary has to offer at these must-visit indoor spots
Establishment Brewing Co.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (LEFT) PETER KACZAN, COURTESY ESTABLISHMENT BREWING; (RIGHT) GEBER86, COURTESY iSTOCK
SIP A LOCAL BEER IN THE BARLEY BELT The city’s southeast is home to several craft breweries. Get cozy at Cabin Brewing Co., which won Brewery of the Year in the 2020 Alberta Beer Awards, or pair Establishment Brewing Co.’s malty Afternoon Delight pale ale with a Glamorgan Bakery cheese bun — a must-eat treat while in Calgary.
Deane House’s Canadiana fare made with garden-fresh ingredients. Find more quintessential Calgary dining experiences here.
These local favourites are also in the area: • Annex Ale Project • Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery • Born Colorado Brewing • Village Brewery
SOAK UP CALGARY’S CAFÉ CULTURE Watch the rain fall from inside Phil & Sebastian’s East Village location — the café is in the historic Simmons Building, a picturesque brick building built in 1912 that’s right on the Bow River.
DINE AT ONE OF THE CITY’S BEST RESTAURANTS Escape the rain and sample dishes at a local hotspot. Try
GET A HISTORY LESSON Visit the Military Museums, the second-largest militaryfocused museum in Canada.
COOL BEANS: DISCOVER MORE TOP COFFEE SHOPS IN CALGARY. >>
SHOP TILL YOU DROP
Avoid the rain and head to one of these shopping destinations. You’re sure to find a deal because there’s no provincial sales tax in Alberta — you’ll only pay Goods & Services Tax (GST) on any purchases you make. Support a local artisan shop in one of Calgary’s iconic neighbourhoods.
CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE MALLS IN CALGARY.
3 CALGARY MALLS TO VISIT: After wandering downtown: The CORE Shopping Centre After a walk at Glenmore Reservoir: CF Chinook Centre After horse racing at Century Downs: CrossIron Mills
Its exhibitions will teach you everything you want to know about the country’s army, navy and air force. History buffs will also love the Hangar Flight Museum, an under-theradar gem that’s dedicated entirely to Western Canada’s aviation history. GO GALLERY-HOPPING Make your rainy day an artfilled one and visit as many Calgary galleries as you can, including: • Contemporary Calgary • Esker Foundation • Alberta Craft Gallery LET OUT SOME STEAM Head inside to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie. Visit AXE Games to try your hand at axe-throwing or discover the appeal of BMX biking at B-LINE Bike Park — the 60,000-square-foot indoor skills park is suitable for beginners to advanced riders. GET PAMPERED AT OASIS WELLNESS CENTRE & SPA — THIS EGYPTIANINSPIRED DAY SPA IS THE LARGEST IN WESTERN CANADA. OR CLICK HERE TO EXPLORE MORE SPA OPTIONS. PONDER OVER A PUZZLE For an interactive indoor adventure, visit The Locked Room, an escape room where you’ll race against the clock to solve a series of puzzles with teammates to ‘escape.’
Stretching along 9th Avenue SE from 4th Street (King Eddy) to 14th Street (The Blues Can), Calgary’s Music Mile is packed with more than 20 live music venues, where you will find entertainment every night, year-round. Check out musicmile.ca
ROCK THE CITY 24
Calgary has built its reputation on all things western, and there’s no doubt that we love our country music, but there’s much more than just country to be heard here. The city nurtures a diverse range of musicians and music venues, from garage bands to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The National Music Centre is where Canada celebrates and commemorates our musical heroes. This beautifully designed venue hosts four halls of fame: the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the ADISQ Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. The National Music Centre also boasts some seriously cool exhibits and musical artifacts such as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Built in 1968, it was the first mobile
recording studio and was used by legendary groups like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Bob Marley, Iron Maiden and more. The studio itself is even referenced in the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water.”
Top to bottom: Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; National Music Centre; Ironwood Stage & Grill
IRONWOOD STAGE & GRILL An old theatre is home to this acoustically excellent venue, which hosts live performances every night of the week, featuring genres such as jazz, blues, folk and more. THE BLUES CAN More than just blues, this full-time music venue hosts popular open jams, where you can approach the mic or sit back, relax and listen to talented Calgarians belt out tunes.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP TO BOTTOM) COURTESY CALGARY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA; LEBLOND STUDIO, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY
KING EDDY After being closed for more than a decade, the King Edward Hotel was restored and reopened to its former 1905 glory as a restaurant, bar and live music venue by Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.
WHO WANTS SAMPLES?
Don’t settle for just one taproom — taste an array of beers and spirits (and snacks!) on a tour with local companies like Canadian Craft Tours or Pedal Pub. Many breweries are located within a couple kilometres of each other in areas such as the Barley Belt.
Tool Shed Brewing Company
A staple in many bars and restaurants around Calgary, Eau Claire is known for its vodka, gin and single malt whisky along with some uncommon options such as Prickly Pear EquineOx — a sweet, barley-based alternative to gin or vodka. The distillery is located not far from Calgary in Turner Valley. TRY>> International awardwinning Parlour Gin with its Elderflower Tonic Water.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) ROTH AND RAMBERG PHOTOGRAPHY INC., COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; (BOTTOM) COURTESY BURWOOD DISTILLERY
Craft breweries and distilleries are cropping up everywhere in Calgary With an astonishing number of craft breweries (nearly 40), and a diverse selection of distilleries, Calgary is an excellent place to raise a glass. Alberta’s craft brewers’ and distillers’ success starts at the ground level — literally. The province’s quality soil and cool, semi-arid climate creates the ideal growing conditions for malting barley, while the pure, mineral-rich water makes a significant contribution towards a crisp, clean beverage. But don’t take our word for it — pull up a stool in bars and taprooms across the city and taste the difference for yourself.
TOOL SHED BREWING COMPANY
Now a full brewery and taproom, Tool Shed beer got its name from where it all started — an actual tool shed. Owned by two best friends with a love for beer, they share their passion through producing Tool Shed’s own special brews. TRY>> Red Rage and Star Cheek IPA.
EAU CLAIRE DISTILLERY
ANNEX ALE PROJECT
Aspiring to make brews that appeal to beer drinkers and big thinkers, Annex offers four core beers and a rotating list of small beer batches, not to mention its own non-alcoholic root beer and ginger beer. TRY>> Forward Progress and Force Majeure.
EIGHTY-EIGHT BREWING CO.
Calgary hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988, and Eighty-Eight Brewing is bringing those iconic vibes back. Check out its roster of tried and true brews and experimental beers. TRY>> Princess Peach Belgian Saison and No Bake American Imperial Stout.
This unique craft distillery in the heart of the BridgelandRiverside district produces brandy, whisky and grappa (a grape-based brandy of Italian origin) in two varieties: Eau de Vigne Grappolo Bianco and an Eau de Vigne Grappa from Gewurztraminer. TRY>> Louise Passion with its Bridgeland Aged Grappa.
Burwood started as a passion project and has found its footing delivering some excellent spirits. Two of its signature bottles are made with raw Alberta honey — the Eau de Vie and the Medica, a traditional Eastern European honey liqueur. TRY>> Burwood Old Fashioned with its Medica Honey Liqueur.
a range of delicious honey meads. Try them on site in Okotoks, or order online.
7 SIGNATURE FOODS 26
Alberta’s cup runneth over! From fields of waving grain and herds of cattle to the ingenuity of our food producers, high quality local fare is always on the menu. The province has seven signature foods that embody the excellence of what is produced here and they’re well worth seeking out. Check out our suggestions for where to find Alberta’s signature foods.
This province is sweet and we can prove it — Alberta is the fifth largest honey producing region in the world. Chinook Honey Company produces a wide variety of honeys and honey-made products, and Chinook Arch Meadery offers
Naturally, Alberta beef is at the top of the list — it’s known around the world for its incredible quality and taste. Head to Modern Steak and order the filet trio to taste the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, or get the 18-ounce Canada prime ribeye at Vintage Chophouse & Tavern for a truly epic feast.
Think bison is just a slightly more exotic cow? The bison brisket at Charcut Roast House will open your eyes to the unique and complex flavours of bison meat, which has been hunted in Alberta for thousands of years.
If you’ve driven around Alberta during the summer, you’ve seen fields filled with vivid yellow canola flowers. While almost every restaurant kitchen in Calgary uses canola oil, that’s not all canola can do. At River Café, which is devoted to hyper-local cuisine, red lentil hummus is served with canola seed flatbread as a delicious appetizer.
You don’t have to be a baker to fully appreciate the beauty of red fife wheat — any bread lover will understand after one taste. Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, well known in Calgary for old-fashioned sourdough, makes a fantastic loaf with 90 per cent red fife.
Root vegetables, a pantry staple come fall in Canada, take centre stage at popular eatery Ten Foot Henry. The vegetable-focused restaurant serves marinated beets topped with hummus, toasted seeds and sunflower shoots that prove root vegetables can be a main dish.
Similar to blueberries but with a sweet, nutty taste that’s all its own, the Saskatoon berry is perfect for preserves and pies and deliciously sweet by the handful. Take a scenic 40-minute drive south of Calgary to the Saskatoon Farm for a Dutch waffle piled high with Saskatoons — you can even pick berries yourself during the summer!
PHOTOGRAPHS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT) FOODBOOM GMBH, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; ERIK MCRITCHIE @ERIKMCR, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; ERIK MCRITCHIE @ERIKMCR, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
RED FIFE WHEAT
Whether you want city views, innovative food, a relaxing outdoor dining experience or live music, Calgary’s patio scene has the outdoor space for you PANORAMIC CITY VIEWS AT ONE18 EMPIRE
Soak in the heart of the city, with downtown vistas that include the Calgary Tower. With more than 300 whiskeys, ryes, bourbons and scotches available, craft beers and wine on tap, One18 Empire’s OneUP patio should be on everyone’s to-do list. TRY>> Check out One18 Empire’s alternating theme menu, like Hawaiian night, which serves up local Aloha State fare, such as grilled Maui short ribs.
A LOCAL, FUNKY VIBE AT BROKEN CITY
If you’re looking for a local spot that brings a little bit of attitude to the table, Broken City is one of Calgary’s hidden gems. Entertainment is a top priority, as Broken City has been a Best of Calgary Awards finalist for best comedy night, best live music venue, best place to dance and of course, best patio. TRY>> Local artists and entertainers swear by Broken City’s cauliflower wings and house-made burgers.
HAVE A PINT WITH YOUR POOCH AT CALGARY’S PETFRIENDLY PATIOS Vin Room West 1918 Tap and Table Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub PHOTOGRAPH: MAUINOW1, COURTESY iSTOCK
The Guild Cold Garden
ROOM TO BREATHE AT CRAFT BEER MARKET DOWNTOWN The sheer size of Craft Beer Market’s downtown patio is impressive, but this vibrant rooftop mecca also features city views. Beer lovers will be thrilled with the selection as it has 120 brews on tap. TRY>> If a traditional beer accompaniment like wings, nachos or pizza is not your thing, try one of Craft’s refreshing poke bowls.
INDULGE IN DECADENCE AT MODERN STEAK
With a hip rooftop patio vibe, customers at Modern Steak’s Stephen Avenue location can soak in some sun and enjoy the best beef Alberta has to offer. TRY>> Sourced only from Alberta ranchers, Modern Steak raises the bar with its choice cuts. As the only steak house to own a prize-winning black Angus bull, patrons can also cut into the ultimate indulgence on Tomahawk steak Tuesdays.
THE BEAUTIFUL BOW RIVER AT CHARBAR
An Argentine-inspired menu will tantalize any meat-lovers’ taste buds at this East Village staple located in the historic Simmons Building along the Bow River. Its rooftop patio matches the indoor charm, making it a popular spot for couples to tie the knot. TRY>> “When in Rome,” the saying goes, so “When in Alberta” how could you pass up its ultra dry-aged porterhouse steak?
HIT THE SCENE LIKE A CALGARIAN AT THE KING EDDY
It doesn’t get much more local than the King Eddy. Established in 1905, this former hotel has featured live music from well-known blues artists for decades, and its newly renovated rooftop patio is still the perfect place to hear music alfresco. TRY>> Be prepared to get your groove on. There are plenty of delicious comfort food options to fuel up on at the King Eddy so you can dance the night away.
WINTER WONDERLAND WEEKEND GUIDE From skating and skiing to cozy indoor fun, discover some of the best ways to enjoy the winter season
Head into the heart of downtown Calgary and laceup to skate at the Olympic Plaza outdoor rink, which was built for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. For a longer skate, glide across 730 metres of connected track on the Glenmore Ice Trail in North Glenmore Park. Or venture to the northwest, where the twinkling lights at Bowness Park make it a particularly beautiful place to skate, especially at night. If you want to stay indoors, try the Olympic Oval, which offers a perfectly smooth 400-metre oval for public skating. >>Check out more rinks here
SKI THE SLOPES
Carve fresh snow right in the city at WinSport, home of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. WinSport is located in the southwest and offers skiing and snowboarding for a variety of abilities all winter long. If you’re keen for more variety, Calgary’s close proximity to the Canadian Rockies means the world-class runs at Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay Ski Resort or Lake Louise Ski Resort are only a day-trip away.
HIT THE TUBE PARK
For a family friendly adventure, zip down the snow on a tube at the WinSport Tube Park, the largest of its kind in Western Canada. Or head to the mountains to experience the thrill of tubing in the Canadian Rockies at the Sunny Tube Park at Lake Louise Ski Resort or check out Mount Norquay's tube park just outside the Banff townsite.
RENT FAT BIKES, SNOWSHOES OR NORDIC SKIS
Explore Calgary this winter on two wheels. Rent a fat bike and cruise the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway CROSSsystem COUNTRY in North SKIING IN America. AND AROUND For Nordic CALGARY. >> skiing fans, Calgary has over 25 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails in the city and Instagramworthy trails in the Canadian Rockies. It’s easy to see why Calgary is a cross-country skiing hotspot. For an all-levels route, try the one-km East Village Nordic Loop on Fort Calgary. It’s perfect for cross-country
skiers and snowshoeing, too. Winter sport rentals are available at Bow Cycle and the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre.
COZY UP TO A TOASTY FIRE
An outdoor fire can make almost any winter weather pleasant, and there are many free bookable and drop-in fire pits at City of Calgary community parks. Learn more about booking here. If you’d rather not build your own fire, head to the Hygge Hut in East Village, where you’ll find fire pits, plus live music, food trucks, ice sculptures and more.
CHEER ON THE LOCAL TEAM
For hockey fans, cheer on the NHL’s Calgary Flames or WHL’s Calgary Hitmen at the Scotiabank Saddledome, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Calgary with the Calgary Transit C-Train making it accessible from almost anywhere in the city. For professional lacrosse fans looking for a hightempo game, the Calgary Roughnecks also call the Saddledome home.
PHOTOGRAPH: ROTH AND RAMBERG, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
SKATE THE PARKS
DAY-TRIPPERS WINTER GUIDE OUTDOOR ADVENTURER Dog sledding is a quintessential Canadian experience and one of the best ways to take in views of the Rocky Mountains. Snowy Owl Dog Tours offers a variety of options, from thrilling quick trips to day-long adventures where you may even be able to drive the sleigh yourself. SPA-SEEKER Located one hour west of Calgary, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa offer ultimate relaxation in a beautiful wintery setting. It offers a process called hydrotherapy, where you cycle through a series of outdoor pools, saunas and steam rooms at varying temperatures. HISTORY BUFF History lovers will be enthralled with The Eau Claire Distillery Speakeasy Experience, where you’ll be transported back in time to the sights, sounds and tastes of the 1920s. Learn about Alberta’s place in Prohibition history while enjoying a guided sampling of Eau Claire’s award-winning spirits.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) MIKE SEEHAGEL, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; (BOTTOM) COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY
Discover more day trip options on page 34
Snowy Owl Dog Tours
annual Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows, featuring millions of lights. >>Discover more light displays around Calgary here
MEET SOME ANIMALS
The Penguin Walk at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is a local tradition. During the winter months, weather permitting, curious King penguins march along a guided route while a keeper offers insight into their behaviour. The fun and engaging experience is included with admission. The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary offers another amazing opportunity to get up and personal with its animals. Visitors can meet its wolfdog ambassadors and feed and interact with them while learning how to keep these amazing creatures safe.
4 DON’T-MISS WINTER FESTIVALS
CATCH A CONCERT OR SHOW
Calgary’s arts and culture scene is thriving with many don’t-miss productions all winter long. Discover theatre companies including Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects and Vertigo Theatre (just to name a few), the world-renowned Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Opera and dance performances from Alberta Ballet. >>Click here for more theatre,
dance and classical music performances.
TAKE IN THE LIGHTS
Twinkling lights are a wonderful way to enjoy winter and the award-winning holiday tradition of ZOOLIGHTS is a must-do festival of lights that gets bigger and better each year at the Wilder Institute/ Calgary Zoo. If you’d rather stay cozy in your vehicle, drive through the grounds for the
These mid-winter festivals warm up the winter and bring life to downtown Calgary in January and February. Don’t miss the outdoor experience event Chinook Blast, theatre and more at the High Performance Rodeo, music at the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Block Heater and lights galore at the Glow Festival. See events calendar on page 8 for more about what’s upcoming this winter!
THE ULTIMATE SUMMER WEEKEND GUIDE
CLICK HERE FOR MORE FUN THINGS TO DO IN CALGARY.
Looking for some unforgettable outdoor experiences to enjoy all weekend long? Here are some of the best ways to spend 48 hours in the city
TASTE YOUR WAY THROUGH KENSINGTON Discover Alberta Food Finder: Kensington, Canada’s first self-guided food tour available on your GPS-enabled mobile device. With the help of clever clues, the game leads you and your team on a fun and tasty two-hour journey of local food businesses in the Kensington neighbourhood. Alberta Food Finder players get access to exclusive samples, discounts and more. PEDAL TO BREWERIES AND PUBS Calgary’s craft beer culture is booming, and joining a Pedal Pub tour is a fun way to experience up to three neighbourhood breweries, bars or restaurants — think of this as a 12 person-powered patio. Chances are, you’ll mingle with some locals while pedalling and learn of even more craft breweries to check out when your tour wraps up.
COOL DOWN WITH ICE CREAM Calgary is a cold treatlover’s dream destination. Plan to hit up several local ice creameries: A scoop of Amato Gelato Café’s classic Italian gelato is essential on a hot summer day, or head to Sweet Tooth Ice Cream for a cup of Thai-inspired rolled ice cream. CHECK OUT MORE OF THE CITY’S TOP ICE CREAM SPOTS HERE. >>
PICK YOUR PRODUCE Pick your own Saskatoon berries, sour cherries and black currants from the picturesque orchards at the Saskatoon Farm. Located a 35-minute drive from Calgary, you can also dine at the on-site Mexican restaurant and discover the cultural significance of totem poles. BE WITH THE BEES Get an introduction to
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) COURTESY PEDAL PUB; (BOTTOM) BOJANSTORY, COURTESY iSTOCK
THE THRILL-SEEKER’S WEEKEND GUIDE
ADVANCED ADRENALINE JUNKIE Book a tandem skydive with Alberta Skydive Central or skydive indoors with iFLY Indoor Skydiving. EXPERIENCED ADRENALINE JUNKIE Join a Rocky Mountain Sidecar Adventure tour to cruise the mountain highways in a motorcycle sidecar.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE GOLF COURSES IN AND AROUND CALGARY.
BEGINNER ADRENALINE JUNKIE Take the driving seat with the gravity fuelled Downhill Karting as you master 1,800 metres of downhill fun. beekeeping with Chinook Honey Company and Chinook Arch Meadery and learn a little more about these incredible insects. And don’t forget to purchase some of the locally made honey while you’re here. Located a 40-minute drive south of downtown Calgary. MIX ARCHERY WITH HISTORY Level up your archery skills at Painted Warriors, a 90-minute drive from downtown Calgary. You’ll also learn about the importance of hunting with a bow and arrow traditionally used by the Ojibway, Cree and Mohawk First Nations. HIKE IN AN URBAN PARK Nose Hill Park, a natural area in the middle of the city, features countless hiking and mountain biking trails. Keep your eyes open for a glimpse of wildlife, like deer or porcupine.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) IMAGINEGOLF, COURTESY iSTOCK; (BOTTOM) BRYTTA, COURTESY iSTOCK
INSIDER PERSPECTIVE: MORE MUSTDO CALGARY WALKS AND HIKES. >>
FLOAT THE BOW A favourite summer pastime for Calgary locals is renting an
Viewpoint in Edworthy Park while hiking the Douglas Fir Trail.
inflatable raft, a lifejacket and a paddle and floating down the Bow River. Start at Bowness Park and end at Edworthy Park for a relaxing 90-minute float. Explore our river adventure guide on page 22. HIT THE LINKS Plan a round of 18 holes at one of the City of Calgary’s seven public golf courses, like Maple Ridge or Shaganappi Point. If you’re short on time, play just nine holes at the Confederation Park course or hit up its driving range. CATCH A CONCERT Soak up the energy of a live music performance at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, Festival Hall, Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium or Scotiabank Saddledome, from big headliners to well-known cover bands. ENJOY A DRIVE-IN MOVIE Take the whole family to TELUS Spark Science Centre for an outdoor movie on the big screen during the summer. The venue shows everything from family friendly flicks like Toy Story to cult classics like The Goonies.
BEACH IT! While Calgary is landlocked, you’ll find relaxing beaches along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Northwest Calgary Edworthy Park: This beach is a popular launch spot for rafters and paddlers. Find equipment rental shops just across the road. Bowness Lagoon: This family friendly spot has a wading area for kids and is a favourite location for a leisurely paddle. Rent a pedal boat or canoe from the on-site boathouse, and, before you leave, take a ride on the mini train. Southwest Calgary Sandy Beach: After wandering through River Park, cool down in the shallow water at Sandy Beach. You could plan to spend the whole day, as there are playground and picnic areas.
THESE ARE THE 10 BEST LAKES IN AND NEAR CALGARY FOR SWIMMING AND PADDLING.
You may know Calgary as a western city with rural roots and a jumping off point for mountain adventure, but there’s a lot more to be discovered. From the bustling downtown to the character-filled neighbourhoods along the winding rivers and inside every welcoming venue, Calgary is full of secrets, surprises and stories.
Calgary boasts a multitude of places to stay, ranging from budget stays to fivestar luxury, amenities from twin waterslides to whiskey bars and charming B&Bs in quaint neighbourhoods to campgrounds steps away from rollercoasters.
MORE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS >>
BONUS: GET GREAT DEALS ON ACCOMMODATIONS WITH THESE UNIQUE HOTEL PACKAGES IN CALGARY. ATTRACTIONS
From 60,000 square feet of bike terrain at B-Line Indoor Bike Park to the sky-high views of the Calgary Tower, start exploring more of the incredible activities, attractions and museums that make Calgary a vibrant place to visit.
MORE ATTRACTION OPTIONS >>
ARTS & CULTURE
Original Canadian theatre productions take the stage at Theatre Calgary and Alberta Theatre Projects, while Stage West Theatre Restaurants and Jubilations Dinner Theatre bring together food and live entertainment. Grab your date and get a front row seat with arts and culture in the city.
MORE ARTS, CULTURE & MUSEUM OPTIONS >> SPORTS, RECREATION & SPAS
NATURE & PARKS
From Calgary’s first legacy park, Reader Rock Garden, to the city’s newest natural wetland at Ralph Klein Park — and everything in between — you should be able to easily find a spot nearby to enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends at one of the many parks and gardens in Calgary.
MORE NATURE & PARK OPTIONS >> EAT & DRINK
Renowned for its vibrant energy and community spirit, Calgary is a place where you can rub shoulders with worldclass athletes at WinSport, get into the excitement of off-track betting and live horse racing at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino and relax with a Moroccan treatment at Hammam Retreat & Spa.
Romero Distilling Company brings the first distillery dedicated to rum production to Western Canada, while the beautifully set River Café delivers delicious cuisine with ingredients indigenous to the area. From the veggies to the steaks, sweets to the savoury, and all kinds of brewed creations, you’ll find countless great food and beverage options to suit your tastebuds.
MORE SPORTS, RECREATION & SPA OPTIONS >>
MORE EAT & DRINK OPTIONS >>
Calgary Folk Fest
FIND A COMPLETE LIST AND DIGITAL MAP OF THINGS TO SEE AND DO HERE. NIGHTLIFE
READ MORE STORIES FROM CALGARY HERE. FESTIVALS
Plan your next trip to Calgary around one of these mustattend festivals [see page 8] and discover how every season is festival season in Calgary.
MORE FESTIVAL OPTIONS >>
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP) COURTESY TOURISM CALGARY; (BOTTOM) RONNIECHUA, COURTESY iSTOCK
If you’re looking for a unique gift or memento to bring back in your suitcase, pay a visit to local shops like The Livery Shop, Cinder & Sage Loft, Collab, Liz & Lottie, Friday Sock Co. and Local Laundry, just to name a few.
MORE SHOPPING OPTIONS >> SIGN UP FOR CALGARY CURATED, OUR MONTHLY TRAVEL E-NEWSLETTER TO RECEIVE UPDATES WITH INSPIRING STORIES, EXCLUSIVE OFFERS, CONTESTS AND MORE!
What better way to experience an area than through the eyes of its experts? [See page 7.] Learn about the history and modern influencers of Calgary with CalgaryWalks & Bus Tours, or get up close with various packs of wolfdogs on the interactive tour at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary located west of Cochrane off Hwy 1A.
MORE TOUR OPTIONS >> Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
Explore Calgary after dark and feed your need for more hours in the day with live music, custom cocktails, casinos and entertainment. Try to win a few extra bucks at Cowboys Casino or head to Greta Bar for arcade games, street eats and dancing.
MORE NIGHTLIFE OPTIONS >> BEYOND CALGARY
While there are endless opportunities for fun and adventure in the city, some of the most beautiful and unique destinations in the world can be found just a short drive outside of Calgary.
MORE TOWNS AND COMMUNITIES >>
BEYOND THE CITY
Adventure-seekers will feel at home in Alberta, with many diverse landscapes to explore from the crystal waters of Banff to the hoodoos of Drumheller. Whether you’re looking for dramatic mountain scenery, prehistoric dinosaur fossils or cowboy life on the windswept prairie, you can find it all within a few hours drive from Calgary.
Lake Agnes Tea House
GETTING THERE From Calgary it’s an easily accessible, 90-minute drive to Banff and the Rocky Mountains. Lake Louise is located 40 minutes west of Banff. Shuttles and transfers are available from the YYC Calgary International Airport and from downtown with companies such as Airport Shuttle Express, Brewster Express, On-It Regional Transit, RTB Tours & Shuttles, or The Banff Express. Guided day tours are also available to explore the Canadian Rockies.
CANADIAN ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Towering stone cliffs, blankets of lush forest, jewel-toned lakes — the Rocky Mountains in Alberta are truly among the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. For a 360-degree view of six mountain ranges, the Bow Valley and the town of Banff, hop on the Banff Gondola, which takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain for a panoramic view at 2,451 metres above sea level. Some of Canada’s best hiking can be found in the Rocky Mountains. Strap on your hiking boots and visit Johnston Canyon and the Ink Pots, or the Lake Agnes Tea House trail. If you’re looking for something less intense, rent a canoe and enjoy a leisurely paddle on Lake Louise in
the summer, or take in the view of Lake Minnewanka along a scenic shore walk or boat cruise. In the summer, see unique views from the water on a river float trip with a Banff or Canmore-based tour or rafting company — you may even spot some wildlife on the banks! Soar to nearly 7,000 feet and visit a 1950s tearoom turned modern bistro accessed by a sightseeing chair. The historic Cliffhouse Bistro offers a top-of-the-world lookout with Albertan flavours on the menu. If you’re feeling adventurous, book the Via Ferrata, an assisted climbing experience along four breathtaking routes on the cliffs above Mt. Norquay. For the best chances to spot
PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
GETTING THERE You can take a scenic drive or choose a company that offers a comprehensive guided tour of the badlands area, including Alberta Blue Sky Tours, RTB Tours & Shuttles, Klein Tours and Hammerhead Scenic Tours.
Paleontology and geology fans will have a field day exploring the unique terrain and attractions in Southern Alberta’s Canadian badlands. Escape for an ultimate adventure on a Calgary Harley Davidson rental, ride through prairie farmland and watch the landscape change into the badlands. See one of the world’s most renowned collections of dinosaur and other prehistoric fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, including two jaw-dropping Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils. Two hours away in Dinosaur Provincial Park, you can play paleontologist for the day on a guided dig,
Take in the majestic landscape in the Badlands.
or go for a walk on one of five easy trails to see the scenic hoodoos, grasses and plains (you might recognize the scenery from popular movies like Unforgiven, Seventh Son and Shanghai Noon).
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP TO BOTTOM) MIKE SEEHAGEL, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; MIKE SEEHAGEL, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
Atlas Coal Mine
wild grizzly bears, cross the Lake Louise Summer Gondola off your bucket list and be surrounded by impressive vistas of soaring peaks and stunning glaciers. Time for some relaxation? Open year-round, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa features three pools, four saunas and steam cabins in a peaceful forest setting for Scandinavian-style hydrotherapy. For golf enthusiasts, the nearby Kananaskis Country Golf Course offers immaculate fairways, bent grass greens, over 120 silica sand bunkers and six sets of tee boxes, surrounded by stunning scenery.
Kananaskis Nordic Spa
Visit the Atlas Coal Mine, a national historic site open to visitors, which tells the story of coal mining in the Drumheller Valley. Walk in a miner’s historic footsteps as part of a guided tour, then make the six-kilometre drive from Rosedale to Wayne. Along the way, you’ll pass over 11 one-lane metal bridges, which are recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most bridges found within the shortest distance. Experience an outdoor summer concert at Rosebud Theatre, located in the picturesque river valley 35 kilometres southwest of Drumheller.
GETTING THERE By car, Cowboy Trail (aka Highway 22) and Queen Elizabeth II Highway are the main corridors from Calgary to the south. Take a guided tour of this region with Hammerhead Scenic Tours, Rocky Mountain Sidecar Adventures, Klein Tours or Agro Scenic Tours.
Eau Claire Distillery
Whether you enjoy tranquil moments in nature or actionpacked western adventures, you’ll find it all in the southern parts of Alberta. Immerse yourself in frontier-era activities at several cowboy-approved attractions. Rope, ride and learn blacksmithing at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site between May and September, travel the Cowboy Trail past pastures and ranches with Rocky Mountain Sidecar Adventures or drive yourself and pass through small towns like Bragg Creek, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Millarville and Longview. In Waterton Lakes National Park, you’ll find the historic town of Waterton, as well as
1,000 varieties of wildflowers, easy walks to beautiful waterfalls and majestic mountains, and fun water activities such as paddleboarding and kayaking. Thirsty? Make a stop at Waterton Lakes National Park
Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, Alberta’s first independent craft distillery. Tour the working distillery and bottling warehouse, then sample the farmto-glass spirits. At Aspen Crossing in Mossleigh, hop aboard for a railroad adventure and book one of the famous train excursions, from champagne brunches and high tea to twilight and prairie tours.
PHOTOGRAPHS: (TOP TO BOTTOM) COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; JEFF BARTLETT @PHOTOJBARTLETT, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA; ALEX STROHL, COURTESY TRAVEL ALBERTA
Bar U Ranch
Looking for great deals? AD
Sign up for your
Discover Calgary Deals Pass and save! sign up now explore.visitcalgary.com