Once in a lifetime experiences in Banff and the Canadian Rockies are just a short drive from Calgary, the perfect place to start or end your bucket list adventure. Make memories in the city and know you are picking the best of the best with must see Calgary experiences ready to add to your Rockies getaway.
10 Must Do Calgary Experiences
10 Must Do Calgary Experiences
17th Avenue Retail & Entertainment District
Make 17th Avenue SW your first or last stop on your Rockies getaway for the ultimate neighbourhood experience in the city. This unique collection of shops, pubs, and restaurants is the perfect place to share a pint with friends, people watch from the patio, or shop for local gifts you can only find in Calgary. Get your big city dining fix at restaurants like Pigeonhole, Ox Bar de Tapas, and Model Milk and keep the party going at popular spots like the Ship & Anchor and National on 17th.
Big Rock Brewery
Make craft beer your guide to Calgary and see the farm to glass experience firsthand, with Alberta barley and fresh glacier water coming together at Big Rock Brewery. This popular Calgary brewery has been in the craft beer game since 1985, when Ed McNally named his brewery after a 16,000-ton boulder in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, and created what has become Canada’s biggest craft brewery. You can even visit the original 'Big Rock' in Okotoks, a 45 minute drive outside of Calgary.
Experience the energy of a hockey city with live NHL action in Calgary. Start the night with dinner and drinks on 17th Ave then cheer on the Calgary Flames with the C of Red, the loyal fans of the hometown team. The Calgary Flames play 41 home games from early October to early April each year, making it a great night in the city during a trip to the mountains. Feel the heat of the flame every time the home team scores and stick around for "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash after a Flames' win.
Calgary Food Tours
Food is the perfect way to explore a city. Calgary Food Tours will take you on a culinary adventure through Calgary neighbourhoods to meet the chefs and producers of the region’s best flavours. Tours range from two to four hours long with multiple tastings to satisfy even the most passionate foodie in the group. Tours like Inglewood Edibles, Savour 17 Ave SW, and Craving Kensington are great ways to meet locals, and explore Calgary neighbourhoods and flavours.
Calgary Stampede & Summer Music Festivals
Check the Calgary Stampede off your bucket list and experience the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth in Calgary. For 10 days each July, the Calgary Stampede entertains visitors from around the world with rodeo action, midway games, and live music. Plan to spend a day or two in Calgary to experience everything the Calgary Stampede has to offer.
With single concert tickets, day & festival passes, summer music festivals like Sled Island, Chasing Summer, Country Thunder, and the Calgary Folk Music Festival are a great addition to any Rockies getaway no matter how much time you have in the city.
The Calgary Tower has been an iconic part of the Calgary skyline for 5 decades and is a must-see stop in the city. Standing 191 metres above the downtown core, the Calgary Tower observation deck gives you a 360
Featuring 100 outlets and 200 stores, CrossIron Mills is a must-see shopping experience in Calgary. Enjoy upscale retailers like Saks Off 5th or gear up for your mountain adventure with Bass Pro Shops. It's a great idea to visit the Guest Services desk for a savings booklet available to all out of town guests. You can even purchase your Parks Canada Discovery Pass to make entry into Banff a breeze. Conveniently located just a few minutes from YYC Calgary International Airport, CrossIron Mills is a great place to spend a few hours before your Rockies getaway or before your flight takes off.
Nightlife in the City
Hit the dance floor and explore Nightlife in the City before your Rockies getaway. Live music and custom cocktails are all part of a vibrant nightlife scene in Calgary you won’t find on the other side of the mountains. Two step your way to classic western dance halls like Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall, dance the night away at Cowboys Dance Hall, and experience the longest running house night on the planet at The HiFi Club.
WinSport Skiing and Snowboarding
Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games and continues its Olympic legacy at WinSport with heart pumping experiences like the ski hill and Super Pipe. Take a trial run in Calgary and test out your gear on a hill built for everyone from beginners to experienced skiers and snowboarders. Looking for a real rush of adrenaline? Try the Under Armour Super Pipe, the largest pipe in western Canada.
WinSport Monster Zipline
Calgary is home to the fastest zipline in North America. The WinSport zipline course consists of three lines that will get your soaring through the air with great views of Calgary and the Canadian Rockies. The Monster Zipline launches from the top of the 90 metre ski jump tower, the highest vantage point in Calgary, before a thrilling ride that reaches than 100 kilometres per hour. The complete zipline experience at WinSport takes approximately one hour to complete.