EXCURSIONIST

Tourist attractions never grow old in Calgary with the numerous options this city has to offer. Whatever tickles your fancy, there are ready-made experiences and group guided tours to make planning an itinerary simple. The Calgary Tower, Heritage Park, and Spruce Meadows all await you! There’s also some delightful little secrets of the city that aren’t as well-known, but don’t hesitate to ask a local for some guidance.  

ANIMAL LOVERS

Looking to horse around? Visit Spruce Meadows, Calgary’s own champion equestrian facility that has been opened since 1976. Located just south of the city and spanning over 360 acres, Spruce Meadows offers a top-notch, unique experience to visitors. Host to international competitions, take a look at their calendar to see if you can catch one of their annual tournaments held year round. The grounds are opened 365 days a year and opened to public, so feel free to tour the stables, partake in an event, and or watch the free Horse Program for some show jumping.

The winter is especially magical because of Spruce Meadows’ International Christmas Market. Similar to ones you may find in Europe, Calgarians flock to take in the festivities, shopping, entertainment and roasted chestnuts. Even reindeer can be seen in the stables! It’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas Spirit and also find unique presents.

A visit to the Calgary Zoo can be so much more than walking around and seeing the animals. Besides the behind-the-scene programs offered at a cost, there are free daily programs like the daily tiger training at the Tiger Amphitheatre or the zoo keeper presentations. Starting in January, you can waddle alongside the King Penguins as they take a walk around the zoo grounds. Don’t forget to ask the interpreters about the conservation efforts that the Calgary Zoo is known for, where they help reintroduce and recover endangered species.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • DO: Enjoy a complimentary tour at The Calgary Tower and learn about the city’s history, landmarks, and future plans
  • DINE: At the Rimrock Restaurant in the Fairmont Palliser, Calgary’s luxury hotel built in 1914 and part of the original Canadian Pacific Railway line
  • DISCOVER: Fort Calgary, as the first  
  • DO: Hike up Nose Hill Park, with views of the countryside, the cityscape and the mountains all at once
  • DINE: on old fashioned treats like gingerbread cookies and butter tarts at Once Upon A Christmas at Heritage Park
  • DISCOVER: The 1.5 million lights for Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo, a favourite Calgary pastime

SUGGESTIONS

  • Try a segway guided tour along the Bow River
  • Rent a bike for the day and explore the city
  • Try a walking tour, including Calgary Food Tours, to hit the best spots in the city
  • Plan for next year’s visit when the National Music Centre opens its doors
  • Learn fly-fishing 101 with the Out Fly Fishing Outfitters
  • Skate at the Olympic Oval, speed skating central and open to the public

MUSEUM BUFF

The Glenbow Museum never disappoints with a combination of art, culture and history wrapped into one visit. If you’re looking for something a little more uniformed, the Military Museums is sure to impress, with authentic armoured vehicles and fighter planes, the regimental galleries, and the rotating contemporary art and heritage exhibitions. A commemorative space for the army, navy and air force is an educational and enlightening experience. Keeping with the theme, the Aero Space Museum of Calgary offers an extensive collection of aircrafts, including bombers from the Second World War, and the first jet combat aircraft designed and built in Canada.

THE PIONEER WAY

Transport yourself into an era of blacksmiths. horse drawn carriages, and the origins of the new frontier:

  • Heritage Park
  • The Alberta Railway Museum
  • Sundre Pioneer Village Museum
  • Grain Academy & Museum
  • Fort Calgary
More Great Story Ideas