Calgary Visitor Tips
One Day Stay
Here are the things you should try to do on your first day (this may take more than a day if you are travelling with children)
- Visit the top of the Calgary Tower, to see the city and the nearby mountains.
- The Glenbow museum features excellent exhibits of native Indian culture, pioneer life, and the oil & gas industry.
- For a quick "breather", visit TD Square with its 4-acre Devonian Gardens rooftop garden park
- If you have children with you, visit the Calgary Zoo (you can take the Northeast L.R.T. line from downtown to the "Zoo" station) to see the Prehistoric Dinosaur Park and the Mountain Wilderness areas. Its open every single day of the year!
- Feel like checking out Calgary's night life? The under-25 set is generally found along 1st Street SW (around 13 Avenue) and 17th Avenue (around 4th Street), with the over-25 set heading to the Eau Claire Market area.
- If you've got kids, end the day at Eau Claire, where there's not only a movie theatre, there's an IMAX, and a "Cinespace" arcade with virtual reality games (oh, yes, both a Hard Rock and a food court).
Two Day Stay
Here are suggestions for a second day in Calgary:
- Breakfast at the historical 1886 Cafe.
- See the Canada Olympic Museum at Canada Olympic Park, the site of several events in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
- Drive along Sarcee Trail or Crowchild Trail South to Glenmore Park and Weaselhead Flats, where you can see some of Calgary's local wildlife in a anatural setting.
- Drive around the reservoir to Heritage Park which is a living history of pioneer Alberta from before the First World War (open seasonally).
- Explore the many shops, restaurants and boutiques along 4th Street SW, 17th Avenue SW (around 8th Street), in Inglewood ("Atlantic Avenue", known for its antique shops), or in Kensington, all of which are a short hop from downtown.
If you are spending more time, explore the Travel part of our web sit for more
information about the city's attractions!
Stampede Week always begins the Friday following July 2nd (to give the American cowboys extra time to drive up to Calgary). The world-televised Stampede Kick-off Parade begins at 9 am on the first Friday of Stampede Week, though you many show up as early as 6 or 7 to get a good front-row seat (it runs along 6th Avenue, 10th Street SW, and 9th Avenue, but thr best lighting for photos is along 9th Avenue). Many Stampede parties (and the various "saloons") already start on the Wednesday or Thursday.
Check out the FREE Stampede Breakfasts outside office buildings between 7 and 9 am (for the workers), and outside many hotels and shopping malls between 9 and 11 (not for the workers!).
You can also get chow every morning at "Rope Square" in the Olympic Plaza. Some breakfasts come complete with Indians in traditional attire, marching bands from all ovder the world, gunfighter shootouts, and wagon rides. The biggest breakfasts are held the Saturday after the parade at Chinook Centre (in the south) and Market Mall (in the northwest), which typically feed tens of thousands, while listening to a variety of country acts!
Square dancing, marching bands, and Indian dances are held at Rope Square (in Olympic Plaza by City Hall) from 10 until noon. From 2 p.m. on, you can party at one of the saloons set up for Stampede Week, look for the huge tents on parking lots. You could also stop in at the popular country bars, including Ranchman's (on Macleod Trail), as well as a number of saloons set up for Stampade Week. Even the "regular" bars get into the act with straw on the floors and live coutry bands, plus for 2006 Quicy's is presenting "Spurlesque" a Pussycat Dolls syle act, but with a cowboy theme.
We suggest heading down to the Stampede Park and taking in the Rodeo at 1 pm (this is what the Stampede is all about, after all) or the Chuckwagon Races and Grandstand Show at 8 pm. The rodeo prizes are the biggest in the world for rodeo and chuckwagon races, and the show is always a thrill.
Fireworks are on around 11 pm each night. The Stampede midway and displays are open from 9 am until 1 the next morning with tons to do for all ages (if you're taking the LRT, check for the times of the last train).