Things To Do In Calgary
The city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada occupies a large territory and a variety of attractions to see. All the shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions are wonderfully designed and acclimated. In the heart of Calgary, there is a great theme park that makes you go back in time. There are many places to see inside the Heritage Park Historical Village like the replica of the old city of Calgary. The scene inside seems straight out of an old western movie. However, it is very interesting because the old things (30 and 50 years old exhibits) are there in excellent condition and most of the facilities are still working. The bakery that works has an unparalleled quality of baked bread and the steam train called "Smokey Mary" still runs like new along the railway. It is a beautiful theme park to visit with family and especially with children. It has a good overview of what Calgary is all about and an ideal attraction for both winter and summer.
When To Go:
The perfect time to plan your holiday vacation without any hassles is from the months of June until August. This is the best time to visit because most of the city’s popular festivals like; the Calgary Stampede, Fringe Festival, and the International Blues Festival is widely observed around these months. Although the peak summer season is characterized by high lodging rates, chances of rain in the afternoon, warm air that ranges around 60s to 70s, tourists continue to arrive and enjoy the hiking trails, biking and fishing adventures, and gathering with friends for a picnic at the park. If the warm weather cannot deter you, make sure to book everything in advance to guarantee the availability if your flight and lodging accommodations during the peak season; pack in your umbrella and raincoat too.
The short springtime season is also an ideal time to make a visit. The months of April to May manifests a tolerable 50s to 60s temperature and the perfect time to visit the gardens and see flowers in full bloom. However, be prepared for a rather damp and wet atmosphere due to the melted snow of the winter season
The autumn months of September to October are an ideal time to plan a tour if you are not into big crowds or if you want peace and quiet as you explore the city. Around these months (there are less travellers and the school year has already resumed in Calgary) is the best time to avail of great hotel deals and less long lines on its major tourist attractions. The temperature is also agreeable and ranges from the 50s to 60s.
The low season starts from the winter months of November to March. It is during these months when most tourist spots are closed due to heavy snow and when hotel rates are at an all time low. However, if you love to ski and want to spend a winter holiday vacation in Calgary, these are the best months and you can arrange good deals regarding tour packages and room rates if you make reservations one month in advance.
These are the top attractions and things to do in the city of Calgary…
Heritage Park Historical Village
The Heritage Park Historical Village is like a journey into the past of Calgary. You can get immersed in the past and spend a wonderful day going around the stagecoaches and saloons. You can observe the children's games, gadgets, locals appearing in period costumes and food everywhere. The place is both fun for kids and adults. The Heritage is a real landmark for those who live in Calgary and for the first time visitors of the city. Aside from the entertainment area that attracts children, the buildings are reconstructed in great detail and everywhere there are characters that help you understand the history of the place you are visiting.
It is also a meeting point for all the schools in Calgary, a way to learn the reconstruction of historical events that characterize a young nation like Canada, and a city that is proud of its old tradition. A small train will go around the park (in several stages if desired) and there is also a boat tour of the lake. There is an area for rides, a space dedicated to the life and work in farms, an old fort and a small Indian encampment, and the opportunity to spend a fun day. It has replicas of churches, hospitals and old parks! It also has candy stores, ice cream parlor and snack bars built and designed in the old style. The ride on the little train takes you to various parts of the park. It is a historic park that is really well done.
The Calgary Stampede is a yearly traditional festival in the city held in July where all the buildings, establishments, and bars prepare and decorate for the event. There are cowboys and cowgirls everywhere and the rodeo takes place during the day. The park is huge and alcoholic beverages are not sold anywhere around the arena, only indoors. The rodeo festival here is one of the best in the world. In addition to the rodeo there are; cultural presentations, chariot races, street parade, food, shopping, and finally a live show with concerts and fireworks. If you want a panoramic view of the park, cross the river that passes right next to you, across the bridge-tunnel irons and turn right, up the grassy bank and from above you will have a panoramic photo with the Calgary Tower and modern buildings in the background.
The event is held in a big, stadium-shaped riding saddle, with sculptures of horses and cowboys in a nice little park next door. It is an annual event for cowboys and a true symbol of Calgary and the region. The event is a two week long celebration, but most of the guests prefer to come in the last day, when the finals are played in every form. The applause of the audience sets the winners that will be awarded with trophies and cash checks. This holiday can be compared for example, with the carnival in Rio, that every traveler must see and experience at least once in their lives.
The Spruce Meadows is an ideal place for horse lovers and equestrian trail enthusiasts. Jump teams come from all over the world to compete in this sports complex. Spruce Meadows puts on a great show, well organized, and equipped with all amenities.
You can have a picnic on the grassy slope while watching world class events of jumps. Guests are allowed to bring a lawn chair or sit on the rostrum. It is a large, well-designed arena with three courses for riding tests, besides the wealth of attractions, dining areas, etc.. It is strongly recommended to spend a full day there!
Calgary Pathway System
The Calgary Pathway System, especially in the area of the meeting of the Bow and Elbow Rivers is extremely charming. From there you can reach the Fort Calgary and the two century-old houses from the river banks and in addition, you can have a panoramic photo of the city skyline. It is an excellent public space along a river that is clean and well maintained. You can rent a bike and go strolling. Do not forget to bring your own drinking water and camera. For anyone who likes cycling, rollerblading, walking, running, walking the dog, skateboards, etc., the tourism board of Calgary created this attraction that is spacious, lined with easy to follow paths, and with an option to rest with benches and rest rooms in every corner.
The spectacular setting complements the beauty of the city and its surroundings. The landscape changes all the time, sometimes close to the river, sometimes with the view of the city, crossing bridges, there is everything and you will not get bored because it changes constantly. It is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in Calgary. Even in winter and with temperatures below zero, visitors still has the possibility to find a place to go walking, jogging, biking and enjoying the beautiful snowy landscape.
The Calgary Tower is the first point of attraction that is immediately noticeable once you arrive in the city. It also has the 360 degree views of the city, and all glass structures which can take pictures like you're floating in the air. Because the floor is glass, it is advisable for those who suffer from vertigo to breathe deeply and do not look down.
If you want to see Calgary in great magnitude you must climb the tower. The floor of the tower has a few parts made of transparent glass so you can take some beautiful and clear pictures if you are not afraid of heights. The Calgary Tower has an Observation Deck/ Restaurant that offers great service and fun atmosphere for a restaurant that turns 360 degrees. It is one of the must things to do for those visiting the city of Calgary.
The Calgary Zoo
The Calgary Zoo is one of the most cared zoo and less restrictive habitat for animals that you will ever see in Canada. The admission for adults is $25 and the full tour can be accomplished in about four hours. There are many animals with plenty of storage space and obviously divided in different continental areas. In this zoo, it is wonderful to admire the bears that just woke up from hibernation, the cougars, bison, coyotes and other traditional animals along the North America. A place suitable for large and small, well-organized (like many things in Canada); there is also a service of "carts for children" where you can bring your children without straining them, enjoying every part of the zoo along the way.
Strolling through the zoo in Calgary is a wonderful and unique experience. The attention to detail, organization, cleanliness and especially the attractions makes you want to repeat the ride. The kids have besides a chance to see all the endemic animals of Calgary, a nice playground for their enjoyment and a very cool space with dinosaurs. Avoid going between October and March because the winter season and cold atmosphere scare away the animals. The shops inside the zoo also have very interesting items to buy.
Fish Creek Provincial Park
The Fish Creek Provincial Park is a large park in Calgary that is blessed by exuberant nature. It has numerous trails and lush nature and endowed with camping sites and local access for travelers in groups, which needs to be booked in advance. It is an ideal site to go biking, hiking, and makes good barbecue next to nature. The nature park has kilometers of hiking trails, convenient restrooms, picnic areas and even a restaurant! It is a natural linear park that follows the Fish Creek through Calgary until it joins the Bow River. The park is also an excellent place for bird watching even in the winter season.
It is like a fleet of luxury where it takes several days and several attempts to traverse entirely. The park is well armed with large runs for bicycles, skates, or on foot. The place is extensive and you can see lots of greenery and the landscape changes depending on where you decide to go. It has some difficult hikes to do, but there is nothing that patience cannot achieve. While some areas were affected by the recent flood, there are alternative ways to move forward. It is a place where one can sit quietly; enjoy the peace, and where a deer or a squirrel can suddenly appear. If you come early, you have to take the time and take advantage of the sunny day to explore the rest of the park.
The Military Museums
If you want to enjoy an evening knowing a little more about the history of Canada, explore The Military Museums and you will not be disappointed. The museum has several rooms, very well staged and where one can go and see the evolution of the country's military. There are many costumes, weapons and maps on display.
There are also cars, tanks, and objects for marine and navy use like; military planes, parts of ships, submarines, and everything. You can see it all fast (say, an hour and a half), but if you look carefully and take time to observe everything, you can spend the whole afternoon there. This museum is great for those who are passionate about arms and love military history. It has reconstitution of scenes that occurred during the war, enough weapons, and naval museum among other things to make a visit truly worth it.
Prince's Island Park
The Prince's Island Park is next to the Calgary center and it is an oasis of tranquillity when you want to take a break from the busy atmosphere in the city center. It is also accessible from the River Walk, an adjacent promenade next to the Bow River that starts from the Fort Calgary.
It is a park in the middle of the Bow River, where people enjoy the days of summer for sunbathing, walking, cycling (the staff here is very fond of cycling). The color of the water is fantastic, the admission is free, and well worth the visit. It is well wooded, huge lawn, and you can bring your towel (sarong, mats, etc.) and enjoy the summer days!
This is the river that passes through the city of Calgary with water that comes from the Rocky Mountains. It has a beautiful view and beside the river, it has a super busy bike path on hot days. During summer time, the Bow River gets filled with children and adults who want to cool off from the humid temperature. You can take long walks around the Bow River or else go down the river in a small boat and have an unforgettable holiday experience.
It is a wonderful river that crosses the city with clean and transparent waters. There are several parks bordering the river where you can take tours and practice simple water sports. The river is small, but quite picturesque, especially in the area of Banff. On the banks, there are many hiking tracks passing from one to another, so that you can get away far enough. Aside from the serene atmosphere, it has a nice view of the Calgary skyline.
The one remarkable thing about the city of Calgary is the presence of larger than life sculptures done by local artists scattered around the central part of the city. One of the prominent and most photographed images here is the Conversation Sculpture. Most of the tourists find time to have a photo opportunity with these two gentlemen meeting in downtown Calgary. This public art is one of the symbolic icons of Calgary where a pose is indeed mandatory as people walk their way to the nearby outlet mall. It adds character to a busy pedestrian street that is lined with shops, bars, hotels, and restaurants. It has been around for a long time and curious tourists often create storylines on what their animated conversation can be like in the middle of the street.
Calgary is an ideal city in Canada for those who are in love with nature and wildlife preservation. The city is blessed with good weather and nature parks anywhere you turn to. It is also very festive and the people love celebrating the important festivals of the city with so much grandeur and elegance. An ideal family holiday destination, the city has everything to offer and all you need to bring is your adventurous spirit and zest for the good life and creating happy memories with your loved ones.
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