Top 5 Things to See in Calgary

by admin on October 22, 2013

Calgary is a combination of cowboy homesteads and new age slick all nestled prettily in the arms of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. The city is fresh and new, but with a strong sense of its history that defines its pulse of today. Whether it’s a heart-racing adventure ziplining in Olympic Park, watching cowboys ride fast and land spur-side-up, or an afternoon at a national heritage site followed by dinner at a top notch steakhouse or a trendy vegan bistro, Calgary has a big personality and a welcoming smile.

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

Every July cowboys and cowgirls gather from near and far gather to celebrate the art of rodeo at the acclaimed Calgary Stampede. From brave bareback bronco riders to angry charging steers, the rodeo is a heart-pounding show. Beyond rodeo proper there are hundreds of events that take place including an international blacksmithing competition, country music concerts a midway and a food stalls offering creations like fried butter and decadent Alberta steak sandwiches. Calgary itself turns into a bit of an old-fashioned Western with bars, restaurants and hotels going the full mile in themed service and food. It’s a bit of a party the whole family can enjoy.

Canada’s Olympic Park

Canadas Olympic Park

It’s a space for all seasons; Canada’s Olympic Park offers year-round recreational and sports training venues that draw in locals, tourists as well as top athletes. The park is a child of the 1988 Winter Olympics and has continued on to become a fully-grown all-round premier multi-purpose sports facility. Canadians love their winter sports and the park is the perfect place for skiing and snowboarding and is home to the elusive half pipe.

In the warm summer months mountain biking is hugely popular and for a little adventure visitors have the opportunity to zipline across the modern park. Camping facilities are also available for those wanting to explore Calgary while still enjoying a bonfire evening and quiet sun-drenched morning in the outdoors.

Calgary Tower

Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower provides the best view of the energetic city along with the gorgeous backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The tower was built in the 1960s and upon its completion was the tallest structure of its kind in North America. The tower has an observation deck and also a revolving restaurant that provides local fare 525 feet up in the air!

One of the newer features of this Calgary icon is the glass floor, which is definitely not for the faint of heart but does provide a thrilling, voyeuristic view of people going about their business in ant-like fashion. Do you dare to walk across it?

Lougheed House

Lougheed House

A visit to Lougheed House is a must as it is one of the oldest structures in the city and sheds some light on life in Canada in the late 19th century. The home belonged to Senator James Alexander Lougheed and Isabella Hardisty Lougheed who together raised their family of six children on the 2.6 acre estate. The mansion was the hub of Calgary social and political life from the 1890s into the early 1900s. The second floor of the home is furnished with period pieces including the Lougheed’s family belongings.

A visit to the Lougheed estate, which is also known as Beaulieu, French for beautiful place, is not complete without a stroll through the landscaped gardens. The house is a Canadian National Historic Site and history programs for kids programs are offered throughout the year.

Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary

Calgary exists on the shoulders of those who created Fort Calgary and with that, the place holds an important role in Canadian history. The Canadian government created the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) to help establish Canadian sovereignty, end the dangerous whisky trade and build a relationship with First Nations people living in Western Canada. The NWMP established Fort Calgary in 1875 and from it sprouted the Calgary of today.

Now the fort is a beehive of activity providing residents and tourists with artistic and teaching venues like the beautifully-designed Interpretive Center. Numerous special events are put on throughout the year including the hugely popular Christmas Craft Fair. This is also where visitors can try on the dashing red uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Josh writes on behalf of No.1 Traveller a UK travel company that runs airport lounges at Birmingham, Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

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