Weekender – Calgary
Calgary is not just about the Stampede and has more to offer than cowboy hats, checkered shirts and a bottle of liquor. Although all of the above can help to ensure a memorable and enjoyable adventure.
Only an hour and a half flight from Vancouver, Calgary is more accessible than you might think. Whilst it has plenty to offer at any time of the year, it is nice in the cooler months when the sky is clear and the air is crisp. The snow usually arrives just after Halloween (October 31st), but this can change depending on the year.
The downtown core of Calgary is not commercialized like many city centers. The action is generally found in the suburban areas, but there are some nice restaurants and bars in downtown. In particular, there are country-themed bars, which will allow you to pull out your cowboy boots and hat and fit right in. However, expect to see a line dance break out at any time (these cool cats learn the line dance at school). If you aren’t ready, you will be scooped into the madness, but be warned – you need more than two left feet to pull it off.
People in Calgary are the friendliest you will find. Unlike Vancouver, Calgary is less transient. Many people from Calgary have been there all their lives. This makes for a family-like atmosphere and friendly faces at every turn. If you’re lucky, they may give you some tips on your line dance.
A look-out tower exists in the downtown area, but more modern buildings have sprung up all around it meaning it is no longer the highest point and not the best place to view the city.
The Bow River runs through the middle of Calgary, which has a long, winding trial alongside it. This makes for a great afternoon activity in the crisp air and gives you a good look at the variety of suburbs around Calgary. Bikes can be hired from a variety of companies, who will drop off the bikes at your hotel.