Canada, is a vast country, with its ten provinces and its three territories, most the size of France or Spain on their own. Due to its large size, very few people can find the time to explore all that Canada has to offer, with many explorers flying into one province, exploring a couple of cities, before running out of vacation time. With such time-restraints, it’s no surprise that many people are still in the dark with all Canada has to offer.
While many people around could list off the most well-known provinces (Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec), they would struggle to name the cities within these areas. Canada is a gloriously scenic country to visit, and it’s much more than its (in)famous poutine and maple syrup smelling Canadian dollar bills. There are many small, yet intriguing and interesting places of interest. Within British Columbia, many tourists flock to Vancouver, however, Whistler is just as beautiful and inspiring; in Ontario, Toronto is the first point of interest for many whereas Thousand Islands is nothing like you’d experience elsewhere.
In Canada’s Alberta province, Calgary is a secret spot – a hidden gem of sorts. It’s a tourist destination that’ll be sure to impress all who step foot into this cosmopolitan city. Known for its skyscrapers and nearby Banff National Park, Calgary (also known as “Cowtown” thanks to its annual Calgary Stampede) should be everyone’s next destination and point-of-interest. Here’s everything you need to know about this remarkable city.
Embrace Your Inner Cowboy/Cowgirl
As mentioned above, Calgary is notorious for its Calgary Stampede. Every July, Alberta’s largest city becomes the place to be, as rodeo stars swell to the city in the hopes of seeing cowboys and cowgirls tame aggressive bulls. Even if you’re not too keen on the rodeo fun, it’s still an experience like no other; don your spurs, chaps and cowboy hat and walk around the Stampede grounds, sampling the delicious food available. Snack on unique foods such as deep-fried bubble gum, dessert fries or, if you’re after something more traditional, ribs.
Canada as a whole is known for its jaw-dropping landscapes, but Calgary itself is a beautiful place to indulge your senses. If you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in nature, then select one of the many bike trails located in and around Calgary, explore the nearby Heritage Sites and even visit the Calgary Zoo if you’re traveling with youngsters.
To fully embrace Canada’s idyllic landscapes, rent a car and travel to Banff National Park, which is a mere hour and a half away. Once you’re there, check out Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and Peyto Lake. Their waters are a deep, turquoise blue, and the surrounding mountainscapes will blow your mind.
Treat Your Taste Buds
For craft beer connoisseurs, Calgary’s craft beer scene is slowly developing with a whole host of micro-breweries popping up, putting them on the beer map; their food scene is also flourishing, with many culinary delights steering away from their notorious beef-related dishes (although their beef is still one to try). Nowadays, the restaurants in Calgary have ever-changing menus and the freshest, local ingredients. Before you visit, make sure to find the best Calgary restaurants around.
Thriving Arts & Culture Scene
Like all of Canada, Calgary has a thriving arts scene. If you’re interested in seeing independent artists and shop owners, then head to the East Village. Once there, you’ll find independent coffee roasters, quaint bakeries, and foods from other countries, such as South America. If you’re after a spot of shopping, then there’s a vibrant pop-up retail park, with shops located in colorful shopping containers.
When it comes to Calgary, from music and art to food and the rodeo, there’s always something spectacular just around the corner. With the surrounding beauty of Canada’s landscapes and the eccentric vibe of the city as a whole, you’ll never be bored.