Calgary, the heart of the New West - Best To Do & See - Canada
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Situated in southern Alberta between the windswept wheat fields of the prairies and the snow kissed Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a growing metropolitan city that attracts visitors all year round. Some of the must see attractions include the Calgary Stampede, Fish Creek Provincial Park, the core, and the outlying destinations of Drumheller and Banff.
Photo- Rocky Mountains
The Calgary Stampede and Exhibition has been thrilling locals and tourists since 1912. Nicknamed ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’ the fair highlights cowboy life with a rodeo that draws international competitors. An exhibition featuring everything from clothing and art to the latest gadgets entices shopaholics. A midway of wild rides, tasty foods and outdoor bars keeps the city lit up late into the night. Held every July the Stampede regularly sees over 1 million attendees during the 10 day celebration.
Photo -Calgary Stampede
Running through south Calgary is Fish Creek Provincial Park, Canada’s largest urban park. The wilderness escape in the city is a welcome respite from the rushing city streets. Fish Creek has a trail system running through areas of fields, woods and the creek side. Towards the east end of the park are historical buildings dating back to early European immigrants in the prairies. Fish Creek is a small reminder that just beyond the city lays the untamed wilds of the foothills and Rockies.
Photo - Fish Creek Provincial Park
In the centre of the city is the core or Downtown Calgary. The business, nightlife, art and culture hub of the city can be spotted from miles away in the air and on the ground as the rest of Calgary sprawls away. A concentrated several blocks of enormous skyscrapers and some of the cities most interesting neighbourhoods makes the core a destination even for Calgarians. Some highlights of the core are China Town, Prince’s Island Park on the Bow River, the Calgary Zoo, the Red Mile and the Calgary Tower.
One of the great features of Calgary is that it makes a great road trip jumping off point to explore Alberta. To the east, driving into the low-lying prairies is Drumheller Valley in the Badlands. Drumheller, a small city that wouldn’t normally draw crowds, is a major tourist attraction because it is home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum and many, many major prehistoric discoveries. One of the dinosaur destinations in the world the valley is the resting place of some of the most magnificent creatures of another time and seemingly another world. The area is also known for the natural phenomena of Hoodoos
Photo - A Hoodoo
Traveling west from Calgary the Rocky Mountains stand alluringly close and the city of Banff is an exotic getaway. With mountain chateaus, ski hills, natural hot springs and the great outdoors at the doorstep Banff inspires tourists to visit from as near as Calgary and as far as Australia. The startling beauty of the area and a variety of year round activities keeps Banff bustling with eager travelers.
Photo Dinos at the Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller
Calgary, the heart of the New West, and the amazing outlying areas offer interesting and unique experiences. Here travelers can create their own adventure to suit anyone from a weekend explorer who enjoys the lights of the city and room service to a backpack toting mountain climber wanting to get lost in the woods.
Natalie Bauer is a traveler, lifestyle designer and digital entrepreneur who blogs about her adventures in the world and on the web NatalieTravels.com.