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Destination inspiration: Calgary, Canada

Calgary is synonymous with rodeo – thanks to its yearly 'Calgary Stampede'

Calgary is synonymous with rodeo – thanks to its yearly 'Calgary Stampede'

Why go?

The modern metropolis of Calgary sprawls out between the rugged foothills of the Canadian Rockies and the arid Alberta Prairielands, carved through by the meandering Bow River.

Perhaps thanks to its rural locale, the city radiates a warm hospitality – and it’s not unusual to receive a cheerful “howdy!” from strangers in the street. To experience this friendly culture under one welcoming roof, head to the Ship & Anchor on 17th Avenue. The pub is a local institution, with a diverse crowd of regulars and an amicable atmosphere that makes it a must-visit for anyone new in town.

The Canadian Rockies await, just an hour outside of town

The Canadian Rockies await, just an hour outside of town

But you can’t talk about this city, without mentioning the ‘Calgary Stampede’. This world-famous event arrives here every July, featuring some spectacular rodeo displays, chuckwagon racing, a funfair, and more. It’s earned Calgary the nickname ‘Cowtown’, along with some serious cattle-wrangling credentials. Even the local flag wears a stetson!

And then there’s the great outdoors. The hikers’ playground of the Rockies is just an hour’s drive away. Plummeting temperatures bring the skiing season, too, with the crisp slopes of Lake Louise waiting nearby. You might still want to bring a pair of shorts, though – the warming bluster of the Chinook winds can take the temperature up 15 degrees in a single day.

The region's popular ski season runs from November to March

The region's popular ski season runs from November to March

When to go?

Rodeo fans should head on over in the second week of July to catch the Stampede, while November to March is prime slope time for skiers and snowboarders. Calgary is Canada’s sunniest city, so there are no worries about the weather, though most events take place between June and August.

Grey Eagle Resort

Grey Eagle Resort

Where to stay?

Grey Eagle Resort – Calgary, Canada

Sleek and modern Grey Eagle Resort is a big hit with guests, who particularly like tucking into the delicious breakfast. A selection of rooms are available – some with truly breathtaking mountain views. As you’d expect from friendly Calgary, the helpful staff receive high praise in reviews.

The Fairmont Palliser

The Fairmont Palliser

The Fairmont Palliser – Calgary, Canada

The Fairmont Palliser is a luxurious hotel with its own beautiful day spa and fitness centre. Guests really love the attentive, smiley staff here, mentioning them time after time in reviews. As for location, The Fairmont is just five minutes’ drive from the legendary Calgary Stampede venue.

Westmount River Inn

Westmount River Inn

Westmount River Inn – Calgary, Canada

Westmount River Inn offers cosy, smaller-scale accommodation run by a true Calgarian couple. The hosts have lived here for more than 30 years, and are more than happy to give tips and advice. Guests can borrow bicycles to explore the area’s extensive cycle routes, or curl up with a book in the library.