It seems that most people from outside Alberta know a little bit about Calgary. Perhaps they've heard of the world-famous Stampede, where hundreds of thousands of spectators converge upon the city to witness top-quality rodeo events and an impressive roster of great entertainment. Maybe they recall the city as host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, or are aware of the area's importance as major energy suppliers. But there is a lot more to this modern North American city than maybe meets the eye.
As one of Canada's largest cities, home to over 1 million residents, Calgary is a vibrant and fascinating city offering visitors and locals a vast array of attractions and appealing diversions all year round. Located in Alberta's Grassland region, Calgary is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains making it a popular destination for a huge variety of winter sports. As well as the spectacular range of facilities at Olympic Park, globally renowned skiing resorts at Lake Louise and Banff are easily reached from the city. Of course, during the summer months, the vast network of mountain trails are popular with hikers and mountain bikers.
For those seeking more relaxing pastimes the stunning Bow River offers incredible fly-fishing, where expert and amateur enthusiasts can tackle hard-fighting brown and rainbow trout. More serene activities include wildlife watching at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary where visitors may observe a wide variety of wild mammals, birds, plants and other natural inhabitants. Golfers will be amazed by the number of stunning courses here, which include some of the best private and public clubs in the country.
Culture vultures can spend countless hours in Calgary's many museums and galleries. Art lovers will discover local and international works at the Glenbow Museum and the Art Gallery of Calgary, while industrial historians will delight in the collections housed in the Aero Space and Gasoline Alley museums. The innovative Cantos Music Foundation enthralls visitors of all ages, and the newly opened 40,000 square foot facility at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is guaranteed to entertain and inform fans.
When the sun goes, Calgary truly shows another side. The highly regarded Calgary Philharmonic, Alberta Ballet, Calgary Opera and numerous professional theatre companies ensure that Calgarians always have something to keep them entertained in the evenings.
The city also has earned a justified reputation as a food-lover's paradise. A huge variety of restaurants, diners and cafes offer all manner of tempting culinary treats, from familiar family favourites to world-class haute cuisine. Popular bars and pubs also provide a range of dining options, plus a wide selection of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails from the region and around the globe. Late night revellers will discover lively nightclubs and live entertainment venues all around the city.
So, you may think you know Calgary, but you could well be surprised by just how much this Canadian city offers vacationers and residents all year-round. Why not come and check us out, and discover for yourself why this twenty first century city is fast becoming on the continent's most desirable locations.
By the Kirby Cox Writing Team