Compared to cities in Europe or even other parts of North America, Calgary's young. But make no mistake, there's plenty of history here. Spend a day sampling it!
Start close to downtown, at Fort Calgary (750 9 Ave. S.E.), where you can explore an authentic reconstruction of an 1875 North West Mounted Police fort.
The Grain Academy Museum, in the BMO Centre on the Plus 15 level in Stampede Park, provides a look at the grain industry and how it shaped the settlement of Canada's prairies. Ever wondered how a grain elevator worked? You can see it here.
Just south of the Stampede Grounds, the Reader Rock Garden (311 25 Ave. S.E.) is a haven for nature lovers. The garden, named for William Reader, superintendent of the City's Parks Department from 1913-1943, has been restored to the original plans. Reader designed and built the garden himself, proving that plants (over 4,000 varieties!) from all over the world could grow in Calgary's climate, Stop for a bite at the Reader Café, in the former superintendent's house.
Lougheed House (707 13 Ave. S.W.), a historic sandstone mansion, was once the home of one of Calgary's most distinguished families. Now a National Historic Site, the house and gardens have been carefully restored. The restaurant is open for lunches Wednesday to Saturday, and for dinner on the weekends.
It's easy to lose track of time at Heritage Park Historical Village (1900 Heritage Drive S.W.), Canada's largest living history museum. Wander through the village and see how people lived circa 1910, hop on the train for a tour of the park, or check out the midway rides. You'll find shops and restaurants throughout the park, but check out the newest addition: Gasoline Alley, a tribute to Alberta in the 1930s.