Forbes Magazine ranked Calgary as the world’s cleanest city in 2007, while Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked the city as the world’s first-placed eco-city for 2010. Some pretty high accolades for a city that was relatively unknown on the world stage until it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988. Since then, Calgary has created one of the fastest growing economies in the country.
Most recently, tourism has played a large part in the success of city’s growth. Thanks to the highly popular Calgary Stampede and it’s close proximity to Rocky Mountain resort favourites Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore, people flock from all over to visit Calgary, and rock bands are no different.
Pearl Jam is returning to the Scotiabank Saddledome to hopefully repeat their electrifying performance in 2005. It was definitely one of the loudest crowds of that tour. The convenient location of the venue within Stampede Park in the city centre creates this boisterous atmosphere as exemplified during the famous Calgary Flames’ celebrations on The Red Mile during their playoff run a few years back. Take the C-Train light rail transit system via the Victoria Park/Stampede station or walk. The Wishlist Preparty will be at The Drum and Monkey Pub on 12th ave and 1st st, so it’s very close to the venue.
Thanks to local friends and siblings Venassa Sandoval and Eric Mugford for their tips and recommendations. Enjoy Cow Town!
Things to see
Heritage Park Historic Village
Canada’s largest living historical village is divided into a pioneer Northwest Mounted Police outpost and a Main Street from 1910. The latter has a working antique amusement park, with rides that are safe even for small children. Other attractions include a working full-scale locomotive thundering through the park, and on nearby Glenmore Reservoir, a vintage double-decker stern wheeler ship that takes visitors on lake cruises. This was how the west once was.
Eau Claire Market
Located next to Prince’s Island, Eau Claire Market is a an epicentre of events, entertainment and unique market-style shopping, including an indoor playground, shops, restaurants, bars and cinemas.
Prince’s Island Park
One of the city’s top natural destinations and a great way to escape the city as it’s right in the middle. There are pathways, hiking trails, large art sculptures, flower gardens, water fountains and a cafe.
Calgary Olympic Park
Located near the western edge of the city along Hwy 1, you won’t be able to miss the distinctive 70m and 90m ski jumps that make up the skyline. Check out the Olympic Hall of Fame and learn about some great Canadian athletes and the story of the Calgary games.
Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore
Lake Louise is Canada’s “Diamond in the Wilderness,” and the “Hiking Capital of Canada”. This area offers a tremendous diversity of recreational and sightseeing opportunities. Somewhat similar, the town of Banff grew up around a hot springs and it’s popular village is hoarded by tourist yearlong. With these being some of the country’s most popular destinations, Canmore has recently started to draw more and more tourists as well. The Rocky Mountains are a must see!
Places to Eat
Caesar’s Steakhouse – 512 – 4th Avenue S.W.
Alberta AAA beef is some of the best beef you’ll find anywhere and this is arguably the best place for steak in a city known for it’s steak. It may be overpriced, but it’s worth it. Does that even make sense?
Juan’s Mexican Restaurante & Cantina – 232 8 Ave SW
For the best Mexican food n dance after, go to Juans. Calgary has the best salsa scene in Canada… Weird for cowboy town.
White Elephant Thai Cuisine – 18 Avenue N.E.
The food was incredible and service is amazing. If you want asian food, and Thai food especially, this is the place to go in Calgary.
Una Pizza and Wine – 618 17th ave
Located on the popular 17th Ave, this is a new restaurant with great food and a fun atmosphere.
River Café – Prince’s Island Park
A little more upscale, but you can’t beat the unique setting and the excellent local food.
Charcut Roast House – 899 Centre Street SW
The kitchen is led by Canada’s Top Chef contestant Connie DeSousa who is passionate about cooking meats. If you’re a vegetarian, this may not be the place. But if you’re thinking of switching back, this is the place to do it.
Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar – 100 8 Ave. S.E
For fine dining, check out Catch, voted as the best restaurant in the city.
With an easy to navigate through downtown and friendly locals always in a good mood, Calgary has some a great nightlife for everyone to enjoy. There are loads of bars and clubs but their most famous is Cowboys, which is geared more towards the males. Other popular places include the Back Alley on Mcleod Trail, Wildhorse Saloon Stampede Tent on 6 Ave and Bank Nightclub 8th Ave. Whatever peaks your interest, Stephen Ave and the Red Mile 17 Ave are the popular parts of town. And if you go during Stampede, every place is the most popular parts of town.
Calgary is a fun town with a friendly atmosphere that any visitor will enjoy.
Have any comments or recommendations of your own? Am I way off on this? Any experiences with Calgary you’d like to share? Please post your comments below.