Young, bold and pulsing with energy, Calgary is a city that's always moving forward. From the high-octane spectacle of the Calgary Stampede – the biggest and richest rodeo in Canada – to the jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies on the horizon, everything here seems a bit larger than life. Book a hotel in Calgary and get set to explore the best of this vibrant, cosmopolitan city – which is also a convenient gateway to the stunning beauty and outdoor attractions of the mountains beyond, including destinations such as Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.
Founded in 1875 as a police outpost to defend the fur trade and deter whisky smugglers, the city really took off when oil was discovered in the early 20th century. Today, a cluster of glittering skyscrapers surge upward from the flat surrounding prairies, lending a futuristic air to the landscape. From world-class museums and fascinating historic sites, to outdoor activities and stylish shops, there's something to entertain every kind of traveller here.
Start by admiring the fantastic views from the top of the Calgary Tower, then pick up some local history at the Glenbow Museum – also home to one of Western Canada's largest art collections – and the Heritage Park Historical Village, where you can check out steam locomotives and an electric streetcar, among other attractions.
Families will enjoy a trip to the Calgary Zoo and the excellent hands-on exhibits at the TELUS Spark science centre, while sports lovers should try to catch local NHL hockey team the Calgary Flames in action. Alternately, take a short jaunt to Spruce Meadows, one of the country's foremost equestrian show jumping complexes, or tour the facilities at Canada Olympic Park, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
If you're visiting in July, don your cowboy hat and boots and check out the action at the Calgary Stampede – it's a must-see. Along with typical rodeo events during the day, at night you can catch thrilling chuck wagon races, live music, extreme sports demonstrations, funfair rides, food stalls and more. Feeling overwhelmed? Escape for a relaxing stroll through Prince's Island Park, a peaceful green space set on an island in the middle of the Bow River.
Finally, finish your day by hitting up the shops, bars and restaurants along 17th Avenue SW, Calgary's most happening district. Whether you're looking for eclectic cuisine, major brands or sophisticated nightlife, there's never a dull moment in Calgary's thriving downtown.
Ready to saddle up and discover this dynamic Alberta city? Marriott offers a selection of hotels in Calgary. Book your room today, and start planning your own Calgary adventure.