Calgary Adventure Guide: Embark on a Journey Through Western Canada’s Gem

Discover Calgary

Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Canadian Rockies, Calgary boasts a unique blend of urban sophistication and natural splendor. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of downtown, immersing yourself in the city’s rich cultural scene, or embarking on outdoor adventures in nearby provincial parks, Calgary offers something for everyone. Calgary promises an unforgettable journey filled with excitement, discovery, and endless possibilities.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Three Fun Facts About Calgary


Sunniest City in Canada

Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, with an average of 333 days of sunshine per year. This abundance of sunlight contributes to the city’s outdoor lifestyle and recreational opportunities.



Calgary earned the nickname “Cowtown” due to its rich ranching and cowboy heritage, stemming from its history as a major cattle-ranching and meat-packing center in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


High Elevation

Calgary is situated at a relatively high elevation, approximately 1,048 meters (3,438 feet) above sea level. This elevation contributes to the city’s cooler temperatures and distinct climate.


Must See Attractions

See all

Calgary Zoo


Spend a day at the Calgary Zoo, home to over 1,000 animals from around the world. Highlights include the Canadian Wilds exhibit and the Penguin Plunge.

Heritage Park Historical Village

Tourist Attraction

Step back in time at Heritage Park Historical Village, where you can explore historical buildings, ride a steam train, and learn about Alberta’s pioneer history.

Calgary Stampede

Rodeo & Fair

Experience the excitement of the Calgary Stampede, one of the world’s largest rodeos and western festivals. Enjoy rodeo competitions, chuckwagon races, live music, and carnival rides.

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Nature & Parks

Escape to nature at Fish Creek Provincial Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. Enjoy hiking, biking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing amidst its natural beauty.

Glenbow Museum

Speciality Museum

Discover art, history, and culture at the Glenbow Museum, which features exhibits on Western Canada, Indigenous history, and contemporary art.

Calgary Flames Game

Sports & Entertainment

Cheer on the Calgary Flames, the city’s NHL hockey team, at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Experience the excitement of a live hockey game and join in the city’s passion for sports.

Lakes Near Calgary

Barrier Lake

2WFQ+G5, Kananaskis, Alberta T0L 2H0

Situated about an hour west of Calgary in Kananaskis Country, Barrier Lake is a stunning mountain lake surrounded by scenic views of the Canadian Rockies. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and paddling on the lake, as well as fishing for trout.

Distance from Calgary: 133 kilometers
hiking, picnicking, water sports

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr, Improvement District No. 9, Alberta T1L 1A1

Located about an hour and a half west of Calgary near Banff, Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in Banff National Park. It offers opportunities for boat tours, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing amidst the breathtaking mountain scenery.

Distance from Calgary: 132 kilometers
Boat tours, fishing, hiking, water sports

Chain Lakes Reservoir

2308 Hwy 22, Nanton, Alberta T0L 1R0

A spectacular drive with stunning mountain views as you travel from Calgary, Chain Lakes Reservoir is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and camping. Anglers can catch a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout and walleye, in the reservoir’s waters.

Distance from Calgary: 122 kilometers
Water sports, boating, kayaking

Secret Fishing Destinations Within 1 Hour of Calgary

Ghost Lake

Bow Valley Trail, Bighorn No. 8, Alberta T0L 1N0

Located about 45 minutes west of Calgary, Ghost Lake offers excellent fishing opportunities for trout, whitefish, and pike. Its serene waters and scenic surroundings make it a favorite spot for anglers seeking a quieter fishing experience.

Fishing: Shoreline, kayaking, boating
Trout, whitefish, pike

Waiparous Creek

Waiparous Village, Alberta T0L 1N0

Waiparous Creek is a lesser-known gem known for its pristine waters and abundant trout population. Anglers can enjoy fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout in a peaceful, natural setting.

Fishing: Shoreline, bridge
rainbow and brown trout

Pine Coulee Reservoir

Township Rd 140, Stavely, Alberta T0L 1Z0

Pine Coulee Reservoir is a hidden oasis for fishing enthusiasts. This man-made lake is stocked with walleye, yellow perch, and northern pike, offering excellent fishing opportunities away from the crowds.

Fishing: Shoreline, kayaking, boating
Walleye, yellow perch, northern pike

Best Hiking Trails Within 1 Hour of Calgary

Bebo Grove Loop

Southwest Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2W 5M1

The trail winds through lush forests, meandering alongside the clear waters of Fish Creek, providing ample opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and peaceful reflection. With its gentle terrain and well-maintained paths, Bebo Grove Loop is perfect for hikers of all ages and skill levels, offering a refreshing outdoor experience just minutes away from the heart of Calgary.

Distance: 4.8 kilometers
Elevation Gain: 
98 m
Time to Complete:
1.5 hours

Missinglink Mountain

Gorge Creek Day use, Kananaskis, Alberta T0L 1K0

Missinglink Mountain is a hidden gem nestled within the stunning landscape of Kananaskis Country, located just west of Calgary, Alberta. The trail to Missinglink Mountain presents a challenging yet rewarding journey, winding through pristine alpine meadows, ancient forests, and rocky ridges. As hikers ascend to the summit, they are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding peaks, including Mount Kidd and Mount Allan.

Distance: 4.2 kilometers
Out & back
Elevation Gain:
329 m 
Time to Complete:
2 hours

Fish Creek West Loop

13610 24 St SW, Calgary, Alberta T2W 4V8

As hikers traverse the trail, they are treated to enchanting views of the surrounding landscape, including glimpses of wildlife such as deer, birds, and occasionally, playful otters in the creek.

Distance: 8.4 kilometers
Elevation Gain: 
153 m
Time to Complete:
2.5 hours

Best Golf Courses Within 1 Hour of Calgary

Heritage Pointe Golf Club

1 Heritage Pointe Dr, Heritage Pointe, Alberta T1S 4H1

Located about 25 minutes south of Calgary, Heritage Pointe Golf Club offers 27 holes of championship golf designed by acclaimed architect Ron Garl. The course features immaculate fairways, challenging water hazards, and stunning views of the nearby Pine Creek Valley.

Holes: 27
Ron Garl

Visit their website for more information

Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club

1 Priddis Greens Dr, Priddis Greens, Alberta T0L 1W3

Situated approximately 30 minutes southwest of Calgary, Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club boasts two 18 hole championship courses—the Raven Course and the Hawk Course. Both courses offer a scenic and challenging golf experience amidst rolling terrain and lush forests.

Holes: 32
Bill Newis

Visit their website for more information

Cottonwood Golf and Country Club

88008 226 Ave E #200, Foothills, Alberta T1S 4A6

Located about 40 minutes northwest of Calgary in De Winton, Cottonwood Golf and Country Club features 18 holes of championship golf set against the picturesque backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The course offers a mix of tree-lined fairways, elevation changes, and strategic bunkering.

Holes: 18
Karl Holohan

Visit their website for more information


01 / Banff Sunshine Village

Located within Banff National Park, Banff Sunshine Village offers breathtaking scenery along with excellent skiing opportunities. With over 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, including wide-open bowls and challenging runs, it caters to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort receives abundant snowfall, ensuring optimal conditions throughout the winter season. Additionally, its high elevation and varied terrain provide thrilling experiences for both beginners and advanced riders. Visitors can also enjoy amenities such as cozy lodges, dining options, and stunning views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

young active snowboarder in bright sportswear jumping up on a mountain slope 1 1

02 / Lake Louise Ski Resort

Situated in the heart of Banff National Park, Lake Louise Ski Resort is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery and diverse terrain. With over 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, including groomed slopes, powder-filled bowls, and challenging steeps, the resort offers something for everyone. Beginners can enjoy gentle slopes and lessons at the dedicated learning areas, while experienced skiers can explore the vast backcountry terrain and challenging runs. The resort’s charming village atmosphere, complete with accommodations, restaurants, and shops, adds to the overall experience, making it a favorite destination for winter enthusiasts.

young active snowboarder in bright sportswear jumping up on a mountain slope 1 1

03 / Nakiska Ski Area

Located just a short drive from Calgary in Kananaskis Country, Nakiska Ski Area offers convenient access to world-class skiing and snowboarding. As the host of the alpine events during the 1988 Winter Olympics, Nakiska boasts well-groomed runs and modern facilities. With a variety of terrain suitable for beginners, intermediates, and experts, the resort provides opportunities for skiers and snowboarders of all levels to enjoy the mountain. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors can partake in other winter activities such as snowshoeing and tubing. The resort’s proximity to Calgary makes it an ideal destination for a day trip or weekend getaway, offering a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and accessibility.

young active snowboarder in bright sportswear jumping up on a mountain slope 1 1
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow

Tips on Renting a Vacation Property in Calgary

Start Early

Begin your search for a vacation rental well in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak seasons like summer or during major events like the Calgary Stampede. This gives you a better chance of finding availability and securing the property you want.

Define Your Needs

Consider your preferences and requirements for the vacation rental, such as the number of bedrooms, amenities (like a full kitchen or laundry facilities), location (downtown, suburbs, near attractions), and budget. This will help narrow down your options and find a property that suits your needs.

Consider Location

Choose a vacation rental located in a convenient and safe neighborhood that offers easy access to the attractions and activities you’re interested in exploring. Consider factors like proximity to public transportation, grocery stores, restaurants, and outdoor recreation areas.

Leave a Review

After your stay, take the time to leave a review of the vacation property to share your experience with future guests and help them make informed decisions when booking their stay in Calgary.

image 392
image 401 1
Jet Skiing

Traveling to Calgary presents an exhilarating experience, inviting visitors to explore the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and endless adventures that define this Canadian gem. Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Calgary boasts a dynamic blend of urban sophistication and outdoor splendor, making it a captivating destination for travelers of all interests.

Begin your journey in downtown Calgary, where the iconic Calgary Tower offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the surrounding mountains. Delve into the city’s rich cultural scene by visiting the Glenbow Museum, home to an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and exhibits showcasing Alberta’s history and heritage.

For nature enthusiasts, Calgary serves as the perfect gateway to the breathtaking beauty of Banff and Jasper National Parks. Embark on scenic drives along the Icefields Parkway, where glaciers, turquoise lakes, and rugged peaks create an awe-inspiring backdrop for hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography.

Back in the city, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Calgary Stampede, often referred to as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” This iconic event celebrates Western heritage with thrilling rodeo competitions, chuckwagon races, live music, and carnival rides, offering an unforgettable taste of cowboy culture.

Indulge your taste buds with Calgary’s diverse culinary scene, featuring everything from Alberta beef steaks and gourmet cuisine to international flavors and craft beer. Explore the trendy neighborhoods of Kensington, Inglewood, and 17th Avenue SW, where local eateries, cafes, and breweries beckon with mouthwatering delights.

Discover the city’s artistic side at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, where interactive exhibits and live performances celebrate Canada’s music history and innovation. Wander through public art installations, like the Wonderland sculpture or the Bowfort Towers, which add color and creativity to Calgary’s urban landscape.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Calgary offers an abundance of recreational opportunities year-round. In the summer, take advantage of hiking, biking, and river rafting along the Bow River, while winter brings world-class skiing and snowboarding in nearby resorts such as Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.

As you explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods and attractions, you’ll encounter the warmth and hospitality of Calgarians, known for their friendly demeanor and welcoming spirit. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or immersing yourself in cultural experiences, Calgary promises an unforgettable journey filled with excitement, beauty, and endless possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Calgary

Calgary has a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses and the CTrain (light rail transit). You can also rent a car for more flexibility or explore downtown on foot or by bicycle using the city’s pathways and bike lanes.

Some must-visit attractions in Calgary include the Calgary Tower, Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park Historical Village, and the Glenbow Museum.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities like hiking in Banff National Park, skiing in nearby resorts like Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, and exploring the scenic trails in Fish Creek Provincial Park.

The best time to visit Calgary is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is mild and outdoor activities are plentiful. However, winter (December to February) offers opportunities for skiing and winter sports.

Family-friendly activities in Calgary include visiting the Calgary Zoo, taking a ride on the Calgary Stampede midway, exploring Telus Spark Science Centre, and enjoying the outdoor playgrounds and parks.

The Calgary Stampede is a world-famous annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival held every July in Calgary. It features rodeo competitions, chuckwagon races, concerts, parades, and more.

From Calgary, you can easily access the Canadian Rockies by car or guided tour. Popular destinations include Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Canmore, offering stunning scenery, hiking trails, and outdoor adventures.

Rent a Property

Looking for a cottage in Calgary?

Find a Property

Become a Host

Want to list your Calgary cottage? Get started here.

Find a Property

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.