Calgary and Alberta: A Guide for Locals
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August 19, 2021

Calgary and Alberta: A Guide for Locals

Chances are, you have heard of Alberta and the popular areas Banff, Jasper, or Lake Louise. These are stunning places, and I don’t mean to dismiss them. But Alberta has much more.

Alberta’s Must-See Places

Day Trips from Calgary

Calgary Festivals and Events

Calgary: Where to Eat and Drink

Calgary: How to Get Around

Alberta’s Must-See Places

Although Alberta doesn’t have an ocean, it does have stunning mountains, prairies and lakes. Renting a car is a great way to explore Alberta on your own. You can also take the Greyhound and Red Arrow buses. You can take day trips from Calgary or Edmonton if you have a base in Calgary or Edmonton.

Some of the top attractions in Alberta I haven’t listed are Moraine Lake. This beautiful lake is near Banff and is great for canoeing or hiking. Lake Louise, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, is another stunning lake. You can hike in summer and ice skate in winter. Alberta and Calgary are considered the hub for web design company in Canada. The infrastructure here is magnificent.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

That is correct. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is where Native American hunters used the cliff-jutting technique to capture and kill buffalo.

Head-Smashed In is an interpretive center and museum built into ancient sandstone rock. It was first opened in 1987. They offer First Nations education workshops and tipi camping. You can also check the calendar for special events and Native Festivals.

Columbia Icefield

The Columbia Icefield is a must-see. It is approximately 90.75mi2 (325km2) in size and feeds eight major glaciers including Athabasca, which is the most popular in North America.

Calgary

Calgary has a population of approximately one million, a small downtown core and a metroline, making it easy to get around. Calgary gets 332 days of sunshine each year, which is another benefit. It’ll still be sunny, even if it’s cold outside.

The Bow River runs through the city with its banks and adjacent parks providing a great place to walk. If you visit in the summer, you may also be able to hop on a dinghy for a relaxing float down the river along with some friends.

Saddledome Arena is named after its saddle-shaped shape. This is where to go for concerts, sporting events, and random events such as a monster truck show.

You can’t miss a Calgary Flames hockey match if you are in Calgary between October-April. Enjoy a strong draft beer at the concession stand, and cheer on the home team with wild fans.

You can also shop boutiques in the 17th Avenue or Eau Claire areas if rivers, sports and events are not your things. Enjoy a spectacular view of Calgary while enjoying a delicious Alberta beef steak at Sky 360 Restaurant, located atop Calgary Tower. This view is worth the effort, regardless of whether you choose to eat there.

Day Trips from Calgary

Johnston Canyon: This beautiful hike is located in Banff National Park and less than two hours drive from Calgary. The most popular is the lower falls, as you must have seen falls wallpapers on fancy websites, this view looks the same. You can continue for 2mi (3.2km) to reach the Ink Pots. These mineral springs are green in colour and bubble to the surface. You will need to leave plenty of time for exploration. A return trip from Johnston Canyon to Ink Pots can take around five hours.

Calgary: Where to Eat and Drink

Calgary’s food scene has changed a lot over the years. You won’t be disappointed if you find a fun spot to hang out with bars and restaurants in the 17th Avenue, Kensington and Eau Claire areas.

Calgary is a large city. You’ll find a bar, restaurant or pub near you no matter where your location. You’ll also find many different cuisines in Calgary, thanks to its multicultural nature. The Ship & Anchor, located on 17th Ave., is a casual, fun place to have drinks. People sit side-by-side at picnic tables outdoors. Brewsters, Mill Street Brew Pub, and Trolley are all great places to find craft beer.

Bonus: Shanks bar offers a fun night with a mini-golf course, big screen TVs blasting the latest game, and arcades. Vintage Chophouse & Tavern offers delicious steaks and roast chicken in a stylish setting. Bonterra is a great place to go for authentic and delicious Italian cuisine. Chinatown is near Eau Claire if you are looking for authentic Vietnamese and Chinese food. The food is delicious and very affordable.

Calgary: How to Get Around

There is a good public transportation system in the city, including buses and a C Train. Calling a taxi or Uber is the best way to travel around the city. Rent a car to take you around the city and back.