More than the Rockies or Badlands will take your breath away. Alberta's cities have enough urban attractions to ratchet up anyone's pulse.
Skeptical? Try, if you dare, one of Canada's top adrenaline kicks - a heart-thudding ride on the Road Rocket at Canada Olympic Park. As you hurtle downhill at 95 kilometres an hour - strapped into the bowels of a modified bobsled on wheels, take note: there is no driver and no brakeman. Just you and three other people pitted against a twisting, turning concrete chute. The Road Rocket at Canada Olympic Park is just one unique idea to emerge out of the legacy of the Winter Games hosted by Calgary in 1988. You'll discover more on a tour of this tremendous facility, which also includes the Olympic Hall of Fame Museum.
Once you catch your breath you may prefer something tamer on the adventure scale - a sail around the Glenmore Reservoir, a raft trip down the sparkling Bow River or a bike ride along the 460-km stretch of continuous pathways? You'll find that most major attractions - the Calgary Science Centre, Eau Claire Market, the Calgary Zoo, Fort Calgary, Heritage Park, Canada Olympic Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary - are located on this vast path system.
Plus, right downtown is one of Calgary's greatest anomalies - Prince's Island Park - an urban playground, with its peaceful lagoon, resident ducks and charming restaurant. Not to be dismissed is the No.1 teen pleaser - the Shaw Millennium Park, a skater's heaven loaded with ramps, rails, fun boxes, pyramids and quarter pipes.
From Comedy Festivals to the Calgary International Jazz Festival, to the Folk Festival... virtually every weekend from June until September is tied to an event, with the biggest of the lot being the Calgary Stampede.
As for food, you'll find new trendy cafes like Divino's, the Latin Corner and Catch (rated Canada's No. 1 new restaurant by En Route magazine) as well as lots of outdoor patios (don't miss a fine evening on the banks of the Bow at the River Cafe) and rooftop restaurants such as Hurley's, Ceili's and the Whiskey.
If you're in Calgary during Stampede you're bound to be invited out for a free pancake breakfast (a Stampede tradition thrown by virtually every company in "Cowtown" and then, later, be sure to feast on Alberta's world-famous beef at a classic steak house such as Saltlik, the Chicago Chop House and Hy's. And be sure to wash all that down with a chilled bottle of Big Rock Beer, brewed right here in Calgary and shipped as far as California.
Calgarians love the summer as much as the winter, purely for its diverse attractions. Whether you're there to see the chuckwagon races at Stampede or to hike in the nearby Rockies, Calgary's attractions straddle both worlds - inside and out. World-class museums such as the Glenbow brag of international exhibits such as Inusivut: The Way We Live (which depicts the lives of Northern people throughout the centuries) as does the Art Gallery of Calgary.
For pure whimsy, take a stroll through our Udderly Art Legacy Pasture (a herd of lifesize, handpainted cows) in the Centennial Parkade +15 walkway. For an amble through Calgary's past, visit the antique strip in Inglewood, Calgary's very first neighbourhood.
ATTRACTIONS IN CALGARY
Canada Olympic Park
ACCOMMODATIONS IN CALGARY
Best Western Calgary Centre inn
Calgary Marriott Hotel