Nestled at the foot of the gorgeous Rockies, Calgary has no shortage of things to do. Here are just six to add to your itinerary
Explore Banff National Park
Hiring a car in Calgary is recommended as it will allow you the freedom to take day trips to the Rocky Mountains and use Calgary as a base. Located between the stunning mountain resort towns of Banff and Lake Louise, and just over a one-hour drive from Calgary, is picturesque Banff National Park. Here, the natural setting features jutting, angular mountain peaks rising up to 4,000 metres high, towering forests of Douglas fir trees, and peacock blue lakes – some of the best are found in the beautiful hamlet of Lake Louise. Be sure to add a ride on the Banff Gondola to your adventure, too.
Visit the Calgary Farmers’ Market
From Thursday to Sunday, 9 am-5 pm, every day of the year, Calgary Farmers’ Market is a hotspot for fresh, local produce. During opening hours, in-the-know locals and travellers can be found mingling with smiley vendors at any one of 75 market stalls. You can find everything from coffee and baked goods to homemade preserves, clothing, spices and even cute buys for your furry friend back home.
Hike to the Lower Falls of Johnston Canyon
This popular day hike in Banff National Park will take you deep into one of the park’s most accessible canyons on foot. With walkways traversing the trail, it’s an easy walk for kids, accessible to all levels of fitness and you can hike it all season long. Our pick? Wintertime when the snow and ice particles create a magical fairy-tale like feel.
Go rafting down the river
Adventure seekers are warned: this type of rafting isn’t hugely adrenaline-packed. Lazy Day Raft Rentals, as the name suggests, will sort you out for a fun few hours of rafting down Calgary’s pretty Bow River. It’s a self-guided tour and you can choose to go rafting – or floating, rather – for two or four hours. Relaxing, scenic and a wonderful way to see the city from the water.
Get your fix of history
Say hello to Heritage Park Historical Village, the largest living history museum in Canada. Open throughout the warmer months, from mid-May to October each year, it is a bustling tourist attraction quite unlike any other. Think interpreters donning age-old costumes and horse-drawn wagons from the late 19th century. A visit here is like stepping back in time to see what life in Western Canada was like in the 1860s and beyond.
Drink craft beer at a Calgary brewery
It’s fair to say that making the trip to a brewery, whether you like beer or not, is a given on any trip to Canada. If hoppy beers aren’t your thing, the good news is that they all generally serve wine, too. If you are a die-hard craft beer fan, make your way to the ever-popular Big Rock Brewery or, take the 45-minute drive to Half Hitch Brewing Company where you can sip pints and feast on their menu of bacon-wrapped meatloaf. How very Canadian.