Discover a city where cowboys have left a permanent mark on a modern center. Come at the right time to see a show about its Western roots.
Downtown Calgary in Canada’s western province of Alberta is an interesting blend of modern skyscrapers and older stone buildings. Oil production has been a key part of the province’s economy since the early 1900s; many of the newer downtown buildings are connected to the oil industry. Ranches and farming are also big business. Visit Downtown Calgary in July to see what’s been called the greatest outdoor show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede.
The rodeo and exhibition are centered at Stampede Park just south of downtown. Walk or bike practically anywhere in the city over its flat terrain. Look for Historic City Hall, built in 1911 from locally sourced sandstone.
You won’t miss Calgary Tower dominating the cityscape. At a height of 627 feet (191 meters), it’s an excellent vantage point to look over the city and see the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Across the street from the tower is Glenbow, a museum that provides a focus on Western Canadian history through art and publications.
The pedestrian area of Stephen Avenue has a wide array of stores and restaurants. Notice the older sandstone and limestone buildings such as Hudson’s Bay Company and Bank of Montreal Building. In the area is The CORE Shopping Centre with the Devonian Gardens inside the complex. Garden admission is free, to see fishponds, a huge living wall and over 500 trees.
Visit the Chinese Cultural Centre in the Chinatown section of Downtown Calgary. The center’s main hall has a stunning collection of more than 500 dragons. Stroll through peaceful Sien Lok Park bordering the Bow River, one of the city’s two waterways.
Fly to Calgary International Airport from major cities in Canada and the United States. Drive about 20 minutes or travel bus in less than an hour to get to Downtown Calgary from the airport.