10 Must Do Summer Experiences in Calgary

elevated swing ride at the Calgary Stampede midway
elevated swing ride at the Calgary Stampede midway
Make Calgary Part of Your Rockies Getaway

10 Must Do Summer Experiences in Calgary

Summer memories you will never forget with 10 must do experiences in Calgary.

Once in a lifetime experiences in Banff and the Canadian Rockies are just a short drive from Calgary, but unforgettable experiences can start right when you arrive in the city. Saddle up for The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, float down the Bow River, fly down the luge track while Downhill Karting, and travel back in time at Canada’s largest living history museum. 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.

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Experience The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

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 few days in Calgary to experience everything the Calgary Stampede has to offer.

Location: 650 25 Ave SE (Stampede Park)


Bring your blanket for a summer music festival

There is nothing like live music during Calgary’s long, sunny days summer. Spread out a picnic blanket in Prince’s Island Park and experience the Calgary Folk Music Festival, right in the heart of the city, for the best in folk, rock, indie, and alternative bands from across the country and around the world. With single concert tickets, day passes, and festival passes, summer music festivals like Sled IslandChasing Summer, and Country Thunder are a great addition to any Rockies getaway no matter how much time you have in the city.

Location: Various

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couple in western wear holding hands and walking through the midway grounds at the Calgary Stampede

Visit the Calgary Stampede to experience the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth (photo credit: Colin Way)

crowd seating on blankets and in lawn chairs enjoying live music onstage during Calgary Folk Fest

See a music festival on Prince's Island Park, a small island in the heart of the city (photo credit: Calgary Folk Music Festival/Jarrett Edmund)


Float down the Bow from Edworthy Park to Prince’s Island Park

The beautiful Bow River runs right through downtown Calgary and is a popular spot for kayakers, river surfers, and rafters each summer. Start your journey at Edworthy Park and float the Bow to Prince’s Island Park for a two hour river experience with epic downtown views. Lazy Day Raft Rentals and The Paddle Station have all the gear you need to get into the water and safely travel this memorable stretch of Alberta waterway.

Location: 5050 Spruce Dr SW (Edworthy Park)


Grab patio pints on 17th Avenue SW

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. Experience some of Canada’s top restaurants, like Lulu Bar and Lonely Mouth and keep the party going at popular local spots like the Ship & Anchor and National on 17th.

Location: 550 17 Ave SW (National on 17th)

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people floating and paddle boarding along the Bow River beneath Calgary's peace bridge

Float the Bow River for epic nature and city views (photo credit: Anshoo Srivastava)

couple sitting on the patio of National 17 enjoying pints of beer on a summer day

National on 17th Avenue is perfect for sunbathing and people-watching (photo credit: Travel Alberta/Roth & Ramberg)


Fly down the luge track while Downhill Karting at WinSport

Race your way to the finish line at Downhill Karting with over 50 twists and turns on 1,800 metres of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. It’s easy to learn and perfect for riders of any age and ability. Choose individual rides or family packages and experience one of Calgary’s favourite summer attractions. Located at WinSport, you can pair the adrenaline rush of Downhill Karting with other adventure sports activities all in the same day, with free parking available on site.

Location: 88 Canada Olympic Rd SW


Take a self-guided food tour in Kensington

Food is the key to really knowing a city. Alberta Food Tours has a self-guided food tour you can do almost anytime. It sets you up on an adventure in Calgary's cozy Kensington neighbourhood, just North of downtown. You'll spend two to four hours solving clues that will lead you through the area with some free samples, great discounts, and the discovery of hidden games. Check out the Alberta Food Finder game. All you need is a GPS-enabled mobile phone and your appetite.

Location: Kensington Road NW

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people of all ages riding in karts at Downhill Karting

Get a rush of adrenaline at with Downhill Karting at WinSport

three ladies interacting with the self-guided Alberta Food tour app

Try the self-guided Alberta Food Finder Game in Kensington, or book a guided tour to curate a custom itinerary


Bike the Bow River Pathway

Calgary is home to the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway system in North America with over 1000 kilometres of regional pathways and 96 kilometres of trails. It’s the best way to discover the city and see it in new ways you just can’t from the car or on foot. Take a spin around the Glenmore Reservoir, escape the city in Nose Hill Park, explore Fish Creek Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America, or let the Bow River Pathway be your guide for your ultimate summer ride.

You can rent bikes along the Bow River with Pedego Electric BikesBow Cycle E-Bikes, or Joe’s Garage Bicycle Rental and Repair. Ready to ride? Check out ten epic bike pathways in Calgary.


Travel back in time at Heritage Park

Add a visit to Heritage Park, the largest living history museum in Canada, to your summer vacation. Tour historic homes, hop on the vintage midway, or take a ride around the park on the steam train. Hungry? Classic snacks are around every corner at Heritage Park with old fashioned candy floss, cinnamon buns, tarts, or ice cold root beer. Make a stop at the Club Café for a traditional Cantonese pot sticker or fish and chips at the Wainwright Hotel.

 Location: 1900 Heritage Dr SW

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a couple biking along the Bow River pathway with the cityscape in the distant background

Cycle along the largest urban pathway network in North America (photo credit: Travel Alberta/Chris Amat)

young couple interacting with antique museum display items at Heritage Park Historical Village

Visit Heritage Park, the largest living history museum in Western Canada (photo credit: Heritage Park/Brad Bergevin)


Catch the sunset over downtown from Scotsman’s Hill

Take in panoramic views of the city at Scotsman’s Hill, the perfect spot to catch the sunset after a day exploring Calgary. Walk the ridge to find the best vantage point for your next Instagram worthy shot, and with just the right light, you can even see the Canadian Rockies. Locals know this is a great spot to catch the nightly fireworks after the Grandstand Show each night of the Calgary Stampede in July.

Location: T2G 2Y3 (Scotsman’s Hill)

Scotsman’s Hill (Photo credit: @timesmikethese on Instagram).


Cheers to a brewery tour

Let craft beer be your guide and get the grain to glass experience firsthand, with Alberta barley and fresh glacier water coming together at 40+ craft breweries in Calgary. Brewmasters are creating flavourful ales, lagers, IPAs, and pilsners along with some of Calgary's most unique brews that you can't miss sampling. Local breweries like Establishment BrewingCabin BrewingBorn Brewing, and Annex Ale Project are all within walking distance of each other for the ultimate self-guided brewery tour this summer.

Location: 4323 1 St SE (Annex Ale Project)

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Man an women enjoying a beer flight at Annex Ale Project

Annex Ale Project (Photo credit: Travel Alberta/Chris Amat).