Once seen by visitors simply as a gateway to Canada’s great outdoors, Alberta’s largest city is now a vibrant destination in its own right. Discover an eclectic mix of cowboy culture, à la carte eateries and stunning scenery on a holiday to Calgary from Glasgow Airport.
With the lofty beauty of the Rocky Mountains on one side and the Great Plains with their endless skies on the other, Calgary is surrounded by natural splendour. Winter sees snow sport fanatics converge on Nakiska Mountain Resort (Kananaskis) for Olympic-standard skiing, and in summer the secret lakeside beaches around The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (Old Lodge Road) in Jasper National Park offer the ultimate escape from urban life.
Back in the centre of Calgary, an elite selection of trendy new eateries is putting the city on the gastronomic map. Sirocco, west of Sarcee Trail, is where the locals head when they want a treat for the palate. Sample the scrumptious breakfast at Bistro Rouge (1919 Sirocco Drive SW) before heading east along 17th Avenue to iconic Cilantro (338 17th Avenue SW) for a truly upmarket dining experience. Browse a selection of the best fresh produce at Crossroads Market (1235 26th Avenue SE), which also has a good selection of antique and bric-a-brac stalls.
A question of sport
Calgary is built on cowboy culture, so it’s not surprising that the biggest event of the year is the Calgary Stampede (July). This giant rodeo, country music fest, parade and mega-market has given the city its informal ‘Cowtown’ nickname – but the local obsession with sport goes beyond the famous annual rodeo. Watch an ice hockey match at the Scotiabank Saddledome (555 Saddledome Rise SE), play a round of golf at the Glencoe Golf & Country Club (31002 Elbow River Drive SW), or try your hand at downhill mountain biking at the Canada Olympic Park (88 Canada Olympic Road SW). Sports fans of both the active and couch potato types will find plenty to tickle their taste buds in Calgary.