Located in the province of Alberta, Calgary’s burgeoning petroleum industry may have almost solely contributed to its growth to become Canada’s fifth largest city, but its scenic beauty, lively social scene and developed facilities has gone on to turn it into a must-visit on any Canada tour.
Making an impact on the public consciousness when it successfully hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, Calgary has sustained that level of interest to this day and attracts more than three million to its city limits every year.
Indeed, you needn’t go far to find snow, while the impressive facilities that were created as a result of the Olympic Games, including Nakiska Resort, continue to attract those keen to strap on their skis or snowboard.
The Olympic Park is also a worthwhile visit for those keen to ski-jump, bobsled and luge, as well as learn more about Canada’s sporting history at the Olympic Hall of Fame, though the more pleasant summer climate sees it transformed into a popular mountain biking haunt in the warmer months.
Calgary can be enjoyed all-year round thanks to a dry, humid continental climate, which ensures short but warm summers, followed by variable winters that are often defined by the renowned Chinook winds.
Venture into the city and the lofty aspirations that were fuelled by the oil boom continue to this day, as evidenced by Calgary’s distinctive skyline. Home to the CN Tower-aping Calgary Tower, spectacular views from the 191 metre summit are inevitable, though the flat prairie land that Calgary is built on ensures the vistas appear to stretch even further.
As one of Canada’s largest cities, Calgary offers a wealth of cultural attractions for all ages, headlined by the revered Glenbow Museum, which is notable for exhibiting more than a million objects across its many collections, including art, military artefacts, gems and minerals.
Younger visitors, and more than a few adults, should also take the time to visit Calgary Zoo, which with more than 1,000 animals and 290 different species makes it the second largest of its kind in Canada.
Calgary’s biggest draw, however, is its annual ‘Calgary Stampede’ event, a rodeo festival that takes place every July. Attracting more than a million visitors from across Canada and the globe, the Calgary Stampede features a rodeo, parades, a fair and concerts, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world.Doubling as one of the biggest festivals in Canada, those interested in seeing Canada at its most authentic should intentionally visit during July…
Perhaps Calgary’s most significant attribute, however, is its proximity to the breathtaking Banff National Park, just 80 miles to the west. A truly stunning area stretching over 6,641sq.km, Banff National Park is distinguished by the jagged, snowy peaks of the Canadian Rockies set against the emerald density of forests and the incredible crystalline lakes. Magical from every angle, the best view can be enjoyed from Moraine Lake, where ten notable peaks are lined alongside one another and are stunningly reflected in the glassy-looking waters.
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