Best of Calgary

Once known as Cowtown, because of both the annual shindig known worldwide as the Calgary Stampede and its place in Canada’s wild western culture. Calgary has become a truly cosmopolitan city. From seasonal cuisine to trendy cocktail bars on 17th Ave, it’s clear menus aren’t limited to Alberta Beef and spicy Calgary-invented Caesars. Walk through history from Inglewood to Olympic Plaza and discover the many layers of Calgary.

698 Eau Claire Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P, Canada
A two minute walk from the bustle of downtown Calgary, Prince’s Island Park—which is surrounded by the Bow River—is home to festivals all summer long. The Calgary Folk Music Festival and 52,000 of its closest friends rock and/or folk out on the park the last weekend of July.
88 Canada Olympic Road SW
One of the best things about Calgary is the winter playground in the center of town. Canada Olympic Park, on the western edge of the city, features a ski hill, snowboard park, cross-country trails, an Olympic luge track, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and a glass elevator that takes you to the 1988 Winter Olympic’s biggest ski jump, as well as skating facilities and restaurants. It also offers private and group lessons, so you can brush up on your sport where World Cup and Olympic athletes train. Plan a day to hit the slopes, or forget the skis and come explore the park’s less strenuous attractions that celebrate winter.
1900 Heritage Dr SW
Heritage Park’s antique steam train thunders through the Living Historical Village, giving the park a sense of place in time that deepens the experience for visitors young and old. History comes alive on two wheels at Heritage Park, though numerous other attractions shed light on Canadian history from as far back as 1860. Many of the park’s exhibits are interactive, while the guides and costumed interpreters are knowledgeable and approachable. Still, it’s OK to admit that you came out West to put on your conductor’s hat.
169 Canada Olympic Rd SW, Calgary, AB T3B 6B7, Canada
The world often thinks of Canada as the land that hockey built, but the truth is, Canada has a rich, diverse sports heritage that extends well beyond the stick and puck. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, established in 1955 and opened at its new location in Calgary’s Olympic Park in 2011, has enshrined more than 500 members, including Olympic skiers, curlers, swimmers, Paralympians, triathletes, and, of course, hockey players. The new hall features a number of interactive exhibits and proudly showcases some of Canada’s best sport achievements.
308 17 Avenue Southwest
Definitely the coolest restaurant on the block, Model Milk, housed in a former dairy building, does eclectic fine dining in a rustic-hip setting (think exposed brick, and uncovered light bulbs dangling from salvaged wood). There’s nothing stuffy about Chef Justin Leboe’s menu of foie gras with smoked maple, and bacon-like steaks of Broek Acres pig with crushed edamame, apple, fennel, and celery. The best deal is the $35 prix fixe Sunday Supper, a full four-course meal served family style. While the menu varies, it doesn’t stray far from its soul food theme: romaine with chipotle and Stilton cheese, prawn ceviche, braised duck coleslaw, buttermilk fried chicken, plank-grilled mackerel, risotto-like jalapeño-cheddar grits, Mexican green beans, and hot and creamy potatoes. Besides the price tag, the best part is the blueberry shortcake for dessert.
1609 14 St SW, Calgary, AB T3C 1E4, Canada
With five locations and a well-organized in-store digital database, the friendly staff of family-run Fair’s Fair used bookstore can easily find what you’re looking for, and they have the best selection of popular and hard-to-find books in the city. The cavernous basement of the Ninth Avenue location is for anyone who’s more interested in the journey than destination. They also offer cash for books you want to sell, or twice as much as in-store credit.
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AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe