It’s a weekend down from Edmonton, it’s a staycation in the city, it’s a layover on your way across the country. You’ve got 24 to 48 hours in Cowtown — “now, what to do!” Well then, this is for you. While I had a total of 24 hours in Calgary, these are great food and fun options in the city for whoever’s looking to slap a few new experiences, tastes, and views onto their travel resume.
First things first, where to stay in Calgary…
I had the pleasure of staying at the Calgary Downtown Marriott Hotel. This hotel was bustling with businessmen and women; it includes a Starbucks, a restaurant and bar, a computer lab complete with beautiful Mac desktop computers, a fireplace (it was really cold, okay?), friendly staff, and beautiful rooms. I highly recommend staying there if you can.
If you’re looking for an equally-affordable accommodation, you’ll likely want to check out the International Hotel Calgary with the added bonuses of free Wifi, hot breakfast, a fitness centre and a pool.
Things to Do in Calgary
Once you’ve arrived downtown, take a walk to the many beautiful public parks along the Bow River. Staying on 9th Avenue, one of the main streets home to a number of hotels and restaurants, it was easy to walk all the way down Centre Street to arrive at Sien Lok Park, which then takes you across the river to Rotary Park. I also recommend walking up the boardwalk stairs to get a gander at the beautiful homes that overlook the Calgary skyline. I promise the view is unlike anything you’ve seen from your average suburban neighbourhood. Find a bench, take a seat, enjoy the sounds and smells of nature. If the sounds of nature evolve into the sounds of your stomach growling, I’ve got a few solutions to this problem.
Next up, coffee…
Head to 6th Avenue for a hot cup of caffeine at Deville Coffee. A modern coffee shop with a vintage coffee truck to match – if you’re lucky, you’ll find the Deville latte truck quicker than your coffee withdrawals kick in. Follow @devillecoffee on Twitter for the know-where on their latte truck.
A more ubiquitous option, neck and neck with Tim Horton’s, Good Earth Coffeehouse seems to be on every street corner, waiting for your inner addict’s needs. Give in to your basic necessity and try their pumpkin latte – your Ugg boots will thank you.
A Market Lunch
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing – stop, call an Uber, and head to the Crossroads Market for lunch. With over 150 market vendors in a 100,000 square foot facility, you will no doubt find something you like. My recommendation? Get your bao on at Eats of Asia.
You might not be in Rome, but you can surely enjoy some classic Italian food while in Calgary. Murrieta’s is my top pick for dinner. A bit pricey, but completely and utterly worth it. You’re on vacation, remember? Enjoy the interior of the restaurant with giant brick walls and a sunroof overhead, displaying the beautiful night sky. Or, get the best view of the Calgary nightlife with their upstairs deck and seating area.
Take A Walk On The Wild Side
Simply using your time and energy to walk around the city streets is a perfectly acceptable and encouraged use of your time. The architecture, smells of Chinatown, visibility of cultural variety along Stephen Avenue and plentiful shops and cafes are worth bringing your clunky walking shoes along with.
This article was adapted from a piece from Room5 US.