How to Visit Calgary, Alberta
- 1). Make a hotel reservation prior to arrival. Try to find a room near downtown, thus eliminating a car rental. Note that rooms are scarce during the Calgary Stampede. In general hotels are available for any travel budget.
- 2). Plan to make the trip in early July during the city’s official party: the Calgary Stampede. Covered wagons race through the streets and the most famous rodeo takes place in the Saddledome. Note that reservations during this time need to be made even earlier.
- 3). Fly into Calgary International Airport and use hotel or public transportation to get around. Calgary has a state-of-the-art light-rail system.
- 4). Visit Stephens Avenue first. While waiting for the shops to open, pay for a ticket and take the elevator to the top of Calgary Tower. The Saddledome is in the southeast and Stephens Avenue is to the north below. The tower has dining facilities as well.
- 5). Return to earth and dine instead along the avenue. The pedestrian-only, tree-lined street is the cultural center of the city, with art and theater represented near the fountain on the avenue’s eastern side.
- 6). Look for Devonian Gardens at the avenue’s western side. The garden sits enclosed atop a nondescript building. Once inside the garden, beautiful landscaping is everywhere. There are statues and ponds with koi fish, and benches inviting a restful stop.
- 7). Leave the gardens and travel north to a city park that is an island. Prince’s Island Park is defined by the Bow River and is the site for the Calgary Jazz Festival in June.
- 8). Plan a trip to the Calgary Zoo for a day. Take the Pink Line on the Calgary CTrain to Zoo Station. If giraffes and elephants are passé, devote the day to the animals in the Canadian Wilds Exhibit. Bears, Moose, Bison and Musk ox are allowed a restrictive free range.
- 9). Plan another day and spend it out at the Calgary Olympic Park. Take the Blue Line on the CTrain to its westernmost station and connect with a transit bust to the park. Spend the day on luge and bobsled rides, among others.
Rent a car for a day and travel into the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Five National Parks are within reach with the more popular Banff being the closest. The Lake Louise area of Banff and Yoho National Park, in neighboring British Columbia, is particularly notable.