Top Things to Do in Calgary

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Top Things to Do in Calgary

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Calgary, a city ready for exploration, offers both adventure and culture. This Canadian city has attractions for everyone. Nature lovers, art enthusiasts, and foodies will find Calgary engaging. Let’s dive into the top things to do in Calgary, making it a must-see for travelers.

First, nature calls in Calgary. The city is near stunning outdoor spaces. Visit the nearby Rocky Mountains for hiking or skiing. In the city, Prince’s Island Park offers peaceful walks. These places show Calgary’s love for the outdoors.

For art fans, Calgary shines. The Glenbow Museum and the Calgary Art Park display local and international works. These spots highlight Calgary’s cultural richness. They offer a glimpse into the city’s artistic side.

Food in Calgary is a journey. The city’s dining scene features everything from street food to high-end restaurants. Local specialties, like Alberta beef, are a must-try. This variety shows Calgary’s diverse culinary landscape.

Calgary also hosts events throughout the year. The Calgary Stampede, known as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,’ is notable. It offers rodeos, concerts, and food fairs. This event is a deep dive into Calgary’s vibrant community spirit.

In summary, Calgary is a city of diverse experiences. From its natural beauty to its cultural and culinary offerings, there’s much to explore. These top things to do in Calgary showcase why it’s a destination worth visiting. Whether you’re an adventurer, an art lover, or a food enthusiast, Calgary welcomes you.

Outdoor Adventures

In Calgary, outdoor adventures abound. The city’s extensive network of paths and parks invites hiking, biking, and running enthusiasts. At Heritage Park Historical Village, visitors step back into Western Canada’s history. Princes Island Park offers a peaceful retreat in the city center. For those seeking thrills, Canada Olympic Park is ideal with its zipline and mountain biking.

A short drive takes you to Banff National Park. Here, breathtaking mountain views and pristine lakes await. The Calgary Tower provides sweeping views of the area. Meanwhile, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame engages with interactive exhibits. Eau Claire, perfect for a riverside walk, and the Calgary Folk Music Festival, with lively performances, are must-visits. The National Music Centre celebrates Canada’s musical legacy.

Exploring Calgary’s outdoor adventures offers something for everyone. From historical insights at Heritage Park to adrenaline-pumping activities at Canada Olympic Park, the options are vast. Banff’s natural beauty is unparalleled. Calgary Tower and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame add cultural richness.

Eau Claire’s calm and the energy of the Calgary Folk Music Festival create memorable experiences. Music enthusiasts will love the National Music Centre. This blend of nature, history, and culture makes Calgary a unique destination for outdoor adventures.

Cultural Experiences

Calgary’s cultural scene shines brightly, offering a variety of experiences for art lovers and festival-goers alike. At the heart of this scene are prestigious galleries and dynamic festivals. Notably, Contemporary Calgary and the Esker Foundation stand out for their modern art exhibitions and thought-provoking installations. These venues captivate those keen on diving deep into contemporary art.

For those inclined towards performing arts, Calgary doesn’t disappoint. The Alberta Theatre Projects showcases innovative theatrical works. Meanwhile, the Alberta Ballet presents world-class ballet performances. Both institutions are pillars of Calgary’s vibrant cultural landscape, enriching the city with creativity and artistic excellence.

Calgary’s cultural offerings extend beyond galleries and theaters. The city hosts diverse festivals that celebrate everything from music to local heritage. These events provide a platform for both local and international artists to share their talents. They also foster a sense of community and cultural exchange among attendees.

Understanding Calgary’s cultural scene requires recognizing its impact on both the local community and visitors. The city’s dedication to arts and culture not only enhances its attractiveness as a destination but also strengthens the social fabric. By supporting these cultural institutions and events, Calgary demonstrates its commitment to fostering a diverse and vibrant cultural scene.

Art Galleries

Calgary is a hub for art lovers, offering a wide range of galleries that cater to different tastes and interests. Among these, the Glenbow Museum stands out. It houses over a million items that span art and history. This museum lets visitors dive deep into Calgary’s cultural roots. It’s a key site for those eager to explore the city’s heritage.

Another gem is Contemporary Calgary. This gallery focuses on modern and contemporary art. It attracts attention worldwide with its innovative shows. It’s a top pick for anyone keen on the latest in art.

The Alberta Craft Gallery blends old and new art styles. It showcases local artisans’ work, giving a fresh view on craftsmanship. This gallery offers a unique take on art in Calgary.

Arts Commons, with its Jack Singer Concert Hall, also plays a significant role in the city’s art scene. It hosts a variety of performances and events. These engage the community in Calgary’s vibrant cultural landscape.

Calgary’s art galleries offer rich, cultural experiences. They make the city a lively place for both visitors and locals. Each gallery brings something unique to the table, from history at the Glenbow Museum to modern art at Contemporary Calgary. The Alberta Craft Gallery and Arts Commons add to this diversity. Together, they shape Calgary’s dynamic art scene.

Local Festivals

Explore the vibrant local festivals in Calgary, where each event shines with unique charm. Dive into western heritage at the Calgary Stampede, a hallmark of cowboy culture. This festival isn’t just a rodeo; it’s a celebration of community spirit and tradition. Then, there’s Shakespeare by the Bow, offering free outdoor theatre that brings Shakespeare’s tales to life against Calgary’s scenic backdrop.

At the Calgary Folk Music Festival, immerse yourself in a sea of melodies. This event showcases diverse folk music, connecting audiences with global cultures through song and dance. The Beakerhead Festival merges art with science in an innovative showcase. It sparks curiosity and creativity, making science accessible and fun.

Comic enthusiasts will thrive at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. This pop culture gathering unites fans of comics, movies, and TV in a vibrant celebration of storytelling and creativity. Calgary’s festival scene is rich and diverse, reflecting the city’s dynamic cultural landscape. Each festival offers a unique way to experience the local culture, making Calgary a must-visit for festival lovers.

Family-Friendly Attractions

Explore Calgary’s top attractions for families, all designed to engage both the young and the young at heart. The Calgary Zoo, a key part of the Wilder Institute, showcases over 1,000 animals from across the planet. It’s more than a zoo; it’s a journey into wildlife conservation. Visitors of all ages can dive into interactive exhibits and learn through fun, educational programs.

Heritage Park Historical Village takes you back in time. It presents Western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s. You’ll see authentic buildings and learn through hands-on exhibits. It’s a unique way to experience the past.

The Hangar Flight Museum offers a fascinating look into aviation history. It displays both military and civilian aircraft, making it a must-visit for aviation buffs.

Spruce Meadows adds excitement with its equestrian events. It’s famous for show jumping and offers entertainment for everyone. This venue blends sport with family fun seamlessly.

The TELUS Spark Science Centre sparks curiosity in science and technology. Its interactive exhibits make learning fun for visitors of all ages. It’s a place where questions lead to discoveries.

Calgary is rich in family-friendly attractions. Each one offers unique experiences and learning opportunities. They cater to diverse interests, from history and conservation to science and sports. These attractions highlight Calgary’s commitment to education, conservation, and entertainment. They’re perfect for families looking to explore and learn together.

Sports and Entertainment

Dive into Calgary’s sports and entertainment scene for a mix of thrilling and cultural experiences. Whether you love sports or the arts, Calgary has something for everyone.

Catch Calgary Flames NHL games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. From October to April, the excitement is palpable as fans gather to support their team. It’s a top pick for anyone seeking a memorable sports experience in Calgary.

The Calgary Stampede, held in July, is a celebration of Western culture. Over a million people join in for rodeo events, chuckwagon races, and entertainment. It’s a unique blend of tradition and excitement, embodying the spirit of Calgary.

Shakespeare by the Bow is a summer highlight. This outdoor theatre event offers free Shakespeare productions. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the arts under the open sky.

The Western Culture Celebration at the Calgary Stampede is another must-see. It’s a vibrant showcase of the city’s heritage, attracting visitors and locals alike.

Dining and Shopping

Exploring dining and shopping in Calgary brings you to the heart of the city’s culture. Calgary’s food scene offers a wide variety of flavors. Local restaurants serve mouthwatering dishes. Western-style shops provide unique clothing and accessories. This mix of culinary arts and shopping experiences reflects Calgary’s dynamic culture.

Dining in Calgary is an adventure. The city’s eateries range from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants. Each place has its own charm, offering dishes that tantalize the taste buds. Whether you’re craving traditional Canadian fare or international cuisine, Calgary satisfies all appetites.

Shopping in Calgary is equally exciting. The city boasts an array of shops, from trendy boutiques to large shopping centers. These retail spaces offer everything from the latest fashion trends to handcrafted local goods. Shopping in Calgary isn’t just about purchasing items; it’s about discovering the city’s diverse culture and style.

Foodie Hotspots

Calgary’s food scene shines brightly, offering an array of options for food lovers. With top spots like Charcut Roasthouse and Model Milk, the city serves up everything from local dishes to global flavors. Calgary’s food markets and specialty stores are treasure troves for those seeking artisanal goods and local products.

Food festivals and culinary events in Calgary showcase the city’s rich food culture and skilled chefs. This adds excitement and variety, making Calgary a dream for food enthusiasts. Whether you’re after exotic tastes or homegrown specialties, Calgary’s dining landscape promises a memorable experience for all palates.

In Calgary, dining out is more than just eating; it’s an adventure. The city’s top restaurants, including Charcut Roasthouse and Model Milk, offer menus that delight and surprise. Food markets and specialty stores provide a glimpse into Calgary’s local produce and craftsmanship. These places are perfect for finding unique ingredients or tasting the local bounty.

The city’s food festivals and events serve as a stage for Calgary’s culinary talents to shine. They bring together the best of Calgary’s diverse food scene, offering tastes from around the world and the comfort of home-cooked meals. For anyone looking to dive into a gastronomic journey, Calgary’s food scene is rich with opportunities to explore, taste, and enjoy.

In essence, Calgary is a haven for food enthusiasts. Its vibrant dining scene, bustling markets, and lively food festivals make it a key destination for those eager to indulge in culinary exploration. Whether you lean towards exotic flavors or prefer the familiarity of local cuisine, Calgary’s food scene caters to every preference, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience for everyone.

Trendy Retail Therapy

Diving into Calgary’s trendy retail therapy scene is an adventure. The city is home to vibrant shopping districts such as 17th Avenue SW, Stephen Avenue, and Inglewood. These areas boast an array of boutiques, galleries, and designer stores.

For those who love luxury and uniqueness, places like CF Chinook Centre, CORE Shopping Centre, and Market Mall are perfect. They blend high-end brands with exclusive boutiques.

While shopping, visitors can also enjoy Calgary’s rich dining scene. The city offers everything from fine dining to cozy cafes and food trucks. You can try international dishes or local favorites like Alberta beef. Calgary’s chefs are known for their creativity, offering innovative and delicious dishes.

Calgary’s blend of shopping and dining makes it a prime destination for trendy retail therapy. The variety ensures that everyone finds something to love, regardless of taste or budget. This balance of shopping and eating makes Calgary’s retail therapy scene stand out. It promises a memorable experience for all who visit.

Nearby Day Trips

Escape Calgary and discover nearby day trips that offer a mix of adventure, scenic beauty, and unique experiences. These destinations provide a perfect getaway:

  • Drumheller: This place stands out with its unusual badlands and the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Here, you can see dinosaur fossils up close. It’s a must-visit for history and nature lovers.
  • Banff National Park: Known for its breathtaking landscapes, this park features turquoise lakes, snowy peaks, and wildlife. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Lake Louise: The glacier-fed lake, known for its stunning turquoise color, is surrounded by mountains. It’s ideal for hiking and canoeing. The scenery is unforgettable.
  • Canmore: This small mountain town is perfect for outdoor activities. You can hike, bike, and explore the scenic Three Sisters peaks. It’s a paradise for those who love nature.
  • Kananaskis Country: With its pristine nature, this area offers hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing, and camping. It’s great for those looking for an adventure in the wild.

These day trips from Calgary are exceptional for their natural beauty and the variety of activities they offer. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor sports, or simply enjoying the landscape, these destinations have something for everyone. They make escaping Calgary for a day both easy and memorable.


Calgary invites you on a journey of discovery. This city, alive with the spirit of adventure and cultural richness, has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a culture seeker, or a family on the lookout for fun, Calgary doesn’t disappoint. Here’s why you should make Calgary your next destination.

The great outdoors beckons in Calgary. From the breathtaking Rockies just a short drive away to the serene Bow River, nature lovers will find plenty to explore. Hiking, biking, and skiing are just the tip of the iceberg. Calgary’s parks and pathways make enjoying nature easy and accessible.

Culture thrives in Calgary. The city’s museums, galleries, and theaters showcase its vibrant arts scene. The Glenbow Museum and Calgary Stampede are must-visits for anyone wanting to dive into local history and traditions. These attractions offer a window into Calgary’s soul, blending the past with the present.

Families will find no shortage of fun in Calgary. The Calgary Zoo and Telus Spark Science Centre are favorites among locals and visitors alike. These spots provide entertaining and educational experiences that spark curiosity in children and adults.

For those seeking excitement, Calgary’s sports and entertainment options are thrilling. Catch a Flames hockey game or experience the adrenaline of a rodeo. The city pulses with energy, hosting events that cater to all interests.

Calgary also promises delightful dining and shopping experiences. From farm-to-table restaurants to unique boutiques, Calgary’s culinary and retail scenes are booming. Exploring local markets and eateries gives a taste of the city’s diversity and creativity.

Lastly, Calgary serves as a perfect base for day trips. The majestic Banff National Park and the dinosaur-rich Drumheller are just a drive away. These excursions offer unforgettable adventures in some of Canada’s most iconic landscapes.

In conclusion, Calgary is a city that invites exploration and enjoyment. Its blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, family-friendly attractions, and thrilling activities make it a destination worth visiting. Come to Calgary and create memories that will last a lifetime. This city is ready to welcome you with open arms and show you all it has to offer.

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