48 Hours In Calgary, Alberta

Above: Cowboy country isn't just for cowboys anymore
48 Hours in Calgary

The city of Calgary used to be known as the hub of Alberta, known for it’s vast oil reserves and cattle country. A few years back you would expect to find not much more than steak houses and cowboy hats. But all that has changed as the city has grown into its own.

We spent a weekend in the summer heat during Stampede and uncovered some great places to eat, shop and go out in this metropolitan city.

What to do?
Of course the best time of the year to experience Calgary at its finest is Stampede time. But there are many other things going on throughout the year. Consider checking out the Calgary Tower, the Olympic Park or the Glenbow Museum. Better yet, rent a car and head out to one of the many ranches that offer horseback riding and experience true cowboy life.

Where to eat?
Calgary is ripe with amazing food options. You may think that this city is only known for steak houses but it surprisingly has many other options. Be sure to check out Alloy for some great local ingredients with a Asian / Mediterranean angle. Blink is has been wowing diners for over 20 years and consistently still serves great grub. If Mexican is more up your alley try Native Tongues. But if you are really hankering for a great steak, you should head to Saltlik or Charcut.

Going out?
When in Calgary you must go to a country music bar and at least try your hand (or feet for that matter) at some line dancing at Ranchman’s or Cowboys. If a chill evening at a great lounge style bar sipping on craft cocktails are more up your alley, don’t worry Calgary has some great options as well. Check out Proof, Model Milk or Milk Tiger (yes, they like milk in Calgary it seems).

Where to shop?
Although Calgary may have been known for the finest cowboy hats (check out SmithBilt Hats) and boots, the city has become a fashion destination for the west. In the downtown core you can find outposts of Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew and Simons. But we found great smaller local stores like Understudy, Less 17, Leo Boutique and gravitypope.

Where to stay?
The Calgary location of Le Germain Hotel just might be in the perfect location in the heart of the city. This modern and sleek hotel features everything you would expect to find at any Le Germain – modern design and understated luxury. The beds are comfortable and feature their signature bedding. But our favourite feature might be the oversize shower with window – perfect for one or two to get clean after a long day. Located within walking of shopping, going out and great restaurants. P.S. The lobby bar makes great classic cocktails.

Tags: Calgary, Cowboy, Horseback Riding, Stampede, travel, Travel Essentials, Travel Guide

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