The city of Calgary in Alberta is one of Canada‘s biggest booming and growing cities today. From condos to buildings, companies and stores moving into Calgary, it is quickly getting bigger and bigger. No longer is Calgary heralded only for the famous Calgary Stampede, the largest outdoor rodeo event in the world held every year in July.
Read on to find out about this native Calgarian’s Top 5 Spots or “Must-Do’s” that you Must-Try the next time you visit Calgary, Alberta.
Top 5 Must-Do’s When Traveling or Visiting Calgary, Alberta
5. Go to Calgary Olympic Park. Take a photo with you in a bobsled (a la Cool Runnings) or if you’re really adventurous, try skiing at night. It’s gorgeous! Visit www.canadaolympicpark.ca for more info.
4. Jog along Prince’s Island Park. It’s the park in the middle of the downtown core, just follow all the avenues and streets until it gets to the “centre” – it’s right at the Eau Claire Centre, which has some really nice gelato shops, too. If you’re there during a meal time, I highly recommend eating at the River Cafe. They’ve got one of the most extensive wine selections in Calgary. It’s located right in the middle of the park, almost like Center Island in Toronto.
3. Go shopping along Kensington / Stephen Ave / 17th Avenue – Visit the Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut chocolate store – you won’t be disappointed. He’s won accolades in competitions against Godiva chocolates at various international competitions like Grand Prix International Artisan Chocolatier and International Chocolate Festival. Stephen Ave. is also a quaint and cute neighbourhood. Eat at Osteria de Medici for the best Italian food in town! For dessert, go to the Mount Royal area and get gelato at Fiasco Gelato – their Stratiatella flavour is especially tasty!
2. Experience the Calgary Flames! Walk along the red mile and end up at Melrose’s – also in the Kensington area, so you shouldn’t have any problem doing all this in the same day! Melrose is Flames-central. Even though the Flames didn’t make it into the playoffs, you can still get Flames memorabilia as far as the eye can see!
1. Go to Banff National Park, if possible! Even though it’s about an hour and a half outside of Calgary, it’s a worthwhile trek if this is your first time visiting or traveling to Calgary. If you can afford it, go to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and either a) go to the all you can eat brunch buffet or b) go to the Banff Hot Springs, or c) do both. If you’re going to Banff, you might as well take part in the traditional Calgarian activity: hiking. I recommend Johnston Canyon for beginners. Strap on your runners and bring a bottle of water, it’s not too tough – but really fun and scenery that will blow you away!
3 More Should-Do’s when in Calgary, Alberta
Here are a few other alternate tourist suggestions that may not be “premium tourist attractions,” but are still really good! Be warned – they’re mostly food-related.
1) Visit Try Again for bubble tea – the best bubble tea in Calgary, and I would even daresay better than any bubble tea you’ll find in Toronto. It’s run by a mom and her daughter in a tiny closet-like shop. They don’t even have a website, but everyone knows about it. I’ve been going there since high school – it’s on 3 Ave SW, just walk west on the north side of 3 Ave from the Harbour City restaurant corner. Look for windows on your right bottom, go down the stairs, and it’s right to your left. If you’ve reached the Harry Hayes building, you’ve gone too far. See Google Maps for directions.
2) For the best taste of authentic Alberta Beef, go to Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar (316 4 Avenue SW) or Ceasar’s Steak House and Lounge (512 4 Avenue SW) – both owned by the same people.
3) Go to Peter’s Drive-In for the best burgers in town. They look a little bit better than a Sloppy Joe, but they’re the best for authentic diner food! It’s also a famous summertime romance spot for teens, a great hangout for soccer teams and a quaint family spot. See www.petersdrivein.com for more information.
Have fun and enjoy your trip to Calgary!