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Your guide to Calgary
All About Calgary
The former frontier city of Calgary is set on the western edge of the prairie regions at the base of the great Canadian Rocky Mountains. This once-booming cattle ranching hub was founded as a frontier fort before going through many changes of identity. It now serves as a major metropolitan area, cultural center, and economic hub for Alberta. Despite its relatively young age, Calgary has a rich history — ranching, cowboys, and Indigenous cultures are integral parts of day-to-day life here, along with events throughout the year, from the Calgary Folk Music Festival to Aboriginal history tours and music festivals.
From the sun-drenched summer months to cozy, snow-filled winters, this gateway to Western Canada offers hundreds of miles of urban park trails and ski runs, and even surfing on the Bow River, which runs right through downtown. The buzzing Beltline district is home to bars aplenty, and you can shop for vintage vinyl and linger over coffee in tight-knit Kensington.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Calgary?
Calgary’s temperature and weather variations swing drastically with the seasons. Winter is the most popular time to head to a vacation rental in Calgary to make the most of its skiing. The winter months see temperatures drop well below freezing, with lots of accompanying snowfall. The colder months bring pristine skiing and snowboarding conditions to the surrounding mountain communities and ski hills. February brings a free, interactive lights and music event for all ages that spreads throughout the downtown core with art displays, food trucks, and more. During the summer, the area sees moderate temperatures and long, warm nights full of festivals and events. August’s famous fireworks display is a coordinated musical event orchestrated by world-class pyrotechnic artists from across the globe.
What are the top things to do in Calgary?
Prince’s Island Park
Surrounded by the Bow River, Prince’s Island Park offers around 50 acres of peaceful pathways right in the heart of the city. You can enjoy barbecues and lively music festivals in the summer and wrap up warm to join the locals ice skating on the outdoor rink in winter. The 1.7-mile Prince’s Island Loop traces the bank of the river, where you can strap on roller blades, hop on a bike, or take a relaxing stroll and watch mallards bobbing around in the river.
Heritage Park Historical Village
A 15-minute drive outside of downtown Calgary, Heritage Park Historical Village sits on the bank of the Glenmore Reservoir. This immersive, village-sized museum recreates life on the Alberta prairie lands in the 19th century. A First Nations encampment, trading fort, and paddle steamer are featured on-site, and you can ride an antique steam train that winds around the park.
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Around an hour east of the city, Blackfoot Crossing is a National Historic site — this is where Chief Crowfoot and other Indigenous leaders signed the Treaty 7 in 1877, which established the Siksika reservation. The centerpiece is an environmentally-friendly building inspired by First Nations headdresses and tipis. Members of the Siksika/Blackfoot Nation perform traditional dances in its 100-seat theater, and you can sample time-honored fry bread at the onsite restaurant with commanding views across the prairie.