a quick tour of Calgary, Alberta

In recent posts, I’ve shared with you about the amazing writers’ events I’ve attended in Calgary and the great chocolate I’ve found in this dynamic Canadian city.

In this week’s post, I’d like to give you a quick tour of some of the other reasons to visit Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary is a high-powered city. As home to the leaders of Canada’s energy industry, you will find noteworthy head offices of many of Canada’s oil and gas companies such as Enbridge Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd., and Husky Energy Inc. If you take a walk or drive through downtown Calgary, you’ll see the longstanding Calgary Tower pictured above and the magnificent Bow Tower below–boasting the title as Canada’s second tallest building and headquarters for natural gas giant Encana Corp.

The Wonderland sculpture in front of the Bow Tower in downtown Calgary is an impressive work of art.
Calgary’s unique architecture is worth mentioning. The Scotiabank Saddledome (shaped like a saddle as a tribute to the Calgary Stampede and local horse community) is a Calgary landmark where NHL hockey games are played and many concerts and entertainment events are held.

If you love horses, ranches, and western style equestrian events, you may wish to time your visit for the Calgary Stampede, an annual 10-day rodeo, exhibition, and festival held every July. There are year-round events held in Stampede Park to keep the spirit alive. Check the link below for details on Calgary events and activities. But be sure to leave yourself some time to venture outside the city limits!

Calgary, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and at just an hour to Canmore and a 90-minute drive to Banff National Park, is considered the Gateway to the Rockies. We did a day-trip from a convention we were attending in Calgary and made our way to Canmore so that we could enjoy a lovely alpine hike. How fortunate Calgary is to have the Rockies as its playground!

Have you been to Calgary? If so, do you have a special memory you’d like to share with us? I didn’t have time to visit the new downtown library or music centre, but both of the buildings look intriguing and make me want to plan another return trip to Calgary soon.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

28 Responses

  1. What a beautiful city! Thanks for sharing Doreen. One of the reasons I love reading your blog posts is learning the different places, and cultures that you share. I am in Africa and I have only traveled to China (outside the African continent), so everything that you share is either new (like this city), or you share interesting details of places I read/watched movies about. A big thank you for that!

    • Thanks very much for your comment, Emidio. What part of Africa are you in? I’ve not yet been to the continent, but definitely have plans to go as there is a huge amount of chocolate and cacao grown there. And as you know, that is the primary focus of my travels. 🙂 I’m glad you’re enjoying my travels virtually.

  2. Finally, someplace I’ve been! It’s been a few years but I remember really enjoying my visit to Calgary and the surrounding area. In fact, I can’t think of any place I’ve visited in Canada that wasn’t beautiful!

  3. I have never visited Canada much less Calgary. I remember Alberta being featured in a film ‘The War Bride’ with Anna Friel. Lots of beautiful land. We have friends who live in Alberta and last winter they sent photographs of their pretty hometown. There was a deer walking past – breathakingly beautiful!

  4. Jenn says:

    What a great depiction of Calgary Doreen. Being a Calgarian, I can say the Calgary Stampede is an exciting time of year. With all of the music, events, and Cowboy/girl attire, it’s a pretty unique time to visit and will have you buzzing from the high energy that takes over the Stampede Grounds and downtown core. If you’re really into Country and ready for some line dancing, Ranchman’s (located in the South part of Calgary) is always a good time filled with men and women of all ages.
    Other than the Stampede, I love how close we are to Bragg Creek and the Rockies. Canmore and Banff are great places to visit in summer and winter. We’ve gone mountain biking and white water rafting in Canmore before and both were amazing experiences. If you love to hike, Canmore and Kanaskis are hosts to many beautiful hiking trails from beginner to advanced.
    We love that Fernie is only a 3 hour drive south and is our families favorite spot to snowboard/ski and just get away for a weekend.
    Honestly, I could go on and on about how great Calgary is and the never ending list of things to do!
    I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed your visits to Calgary Doreen and even more happy that you’ve had a chance to experience some of its wonders! Hope to see you back soon!

    • Thanks so much for sharing some of your favourite spots in and around Calgary, Jenn. I remember visiting Bragg Creek years and ago and loving it. We are SO lucky in Canada to have so many experiences to choose from in each and every region. 🙂

  5. Bola says:

    Doreen, I would love to experience horse riding in Calgary! I can hear your excitement and glad you enjoyed yourself.

  6. Jackie K Smith says:

    Calgary and its Stampede are how we’ve always thought of the city that used to be somewhat a ‘neighbor to the north’ when we lived in Washington State. I think of it as the ‘old West’ and it is good to be reminded that it is so much more!

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Jackie. Yes, Calgary is best known for the Stampede and it’s cool to see how they’ve expanded to have year-round Stampede events to keep the spirit alive and expand their audience. You’d be surprised how the city has grown and really embraced their green space.

  7. I’ve never been to Calgary. There looks like a lot of things to see and do. I’ll have to add it to my list!

  8. Love the head sculpture–intriguing! Calgary has been on my list for years–so many places to see on our continent!

    • Hi RoseMary. I think you’d love Calgary, as you are a big fan of Montana. There are many similarities between Montana and Alberta, so you no doubt would love the rugged mountains, waterfalls, wildlife, and hiking opportunities the province has to offer.

  9. I’ve been wanting to make a trip to the Canadian Rockies. I admit to an ignorance of Canadian geography that afflicts many of your neighbors south of the border, so I didn’t realize that Calgary is so close. When I think of Canada, I assume that everywhere is impossibly far from everywhere else. I’m obviously sadly misinformed. I’ve pinned this to my Canada Pinterest board so I can recheck it when I’m planning our western Canada trip.

    • Super, Suzanne. Yes, Canada is indeed a huge country, and very often you do have to drive very far to get from one place to another. But southern Alberta is quite amazing. As mentioned, so close to Banff. And Banff is very close to Jasper National Park which is equally amazing. I hope you get to check this region out soon.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…a quick tour of Calgary, AlbertaMy Profile

  10. Margaret Anne Fehr says:

    Hi Doreen,
    I’ve heard tell that there are plans to demolish the Saddle Dome but I’m wondering what they can possibly replace it with that’s more emblematic of the city. It’s going to be a hard act to follow, IMHO.

  11. Beverly says:

    My brother lives in Calgary and I have enjoyed exploring this fabulous city when I have visited him. I, too, would like to visit the downtown library and the music centre.

  12. Bob Bott says:

    The Peace Bridge is worth seeing too when you’re in Calgary. There’s also one new chocolaatier you’ll want to check out.

  13. Janet says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Calgary. A very friendly city.

    • Hi Janet & thx for stopping by. Yes, I,too, find Calgary to be a very friendly city. Would love to go back for a leisurely trip. The last 3x I’ve been there have been for conferences, so never enough free/Leisure time.

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