All eyes were on Calgary, Canada during the winter Olympics. Why not start making plans to make it your next destination? With so many things to do in Calgary, you'll likely be making return trips to include all of the best attractions in Calgary on the map. Expedia is like having a free travel agent, helping you to choose all the must see Calgary activities as you make your travel itinerary. From tourist favorites to local top spots, Calgary is packed to the brim with a long list of Calgary excursions. Get a jump start on making the trip of a lifetime happen now!…
Top 19 Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
Start your day bright and early in Alberta, getting picked up from your hotel in Banf, Jasper, or Lake Louise. Grab a seat on a comfortable vehicle as you cruise through the Canadian wilderness, watching the passing scenery of expansive lakes, the hillside vineyards and orchards of the Okanagan region, and the rugged mountains surrounding Roger's Pass. Stop in Blue River for lunch and a chance to spot wildlife like deer, moose, bear, and eagles.
Travel along the Thompson River Valley, arriving in Sun Peaks in the Shuswap Highlands for a relaxed overnight stay at this beautiful alpine resort. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, exploring the village, hiking on the area's walking trails, and checking out the scenery before turning in for the night.
The next morning, kick off your day with a ride on the airtram in Fraser Canyon, drifting over a magnificent display of Mother Nature's power at Hell's Gate. Watch as 200 million gallons (750 million l) of whitewater charge through the 108-foot-wide (33-m) passage below you each minute. From there, pass through the rolling ranchlands of British Columbia, driving through eclectic villages like Spences Bridge, built during the Caribou Gold Rush of the 1850s.
Continue on to cosmopolitan, seaside Vancouver, where you're dropped at your hotel with a wealth of restaurants, museums, and cultural sites to explore. Read More close
Make your way to a helipad on the banks of the beautiful Cline River, just a stone’s throw from the protected wilderness and pristine mountain landscapes of Banff National Park. Climb in and peer out the window as your pilot spins the chopper into action and you take off, the ground dropping away beneath you as you cut a course toward the peaks.
Zip through Cline Pass and soar over the ancient glaciers of Cline, Lion, and Lioness. These slow-moving, frozen hulks carve valleys, rivers, and lake beds as they inch across and erode the mountainside over the course of millennia. Marvel at their icy mass, and then touch down in a picturesque meadow and hop out of the helicopter for your hike.
Follow your guide along an easy trail, enjoying the remote and secluded environs as you admire evergreen forests, wildflower-blanketed knolls, and rocky ridges that drop into grassy valleys. The pinnacle of your hour-long nature walk is a 900-foot (274-m) waterfall that plunges down from 2 aqua-hued alpine lakes with the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies as its backdrop. Read More close
Categories: Air, Balloon & Helicopter Tours
Take a step back in time to an 1880s pre-railway settlement, complete with homesteader log shacks, ruthless whiskey traders, and lawless police officers. Venture to the 1860s fur trading fort, where you can explore artifacts from the First Nations People.
At the prairie railway village, circa 1910, hear fascinating stories from the diverse groups of settlers that established several small towns in Western Canada. Visit a cottage that served as both a hospital and church, and then explore a 1-room schoolhouse, which was used to educate farm students from grade 1 to 8. Arrive at Heritage Square, typical of a Southern Alberta town square in the 1930s, and view a replica of Calgary's third Canadian Pacific Railway Station.
Throughout your time at the park, enjoy seeing Western Canada's rich history preserved and thriving, with many historic buildings transported here for display.
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After being picked up from your hotel, travel along the Bow Valley Parkway, a 32-mile (51 km) scenic drive through the mountains into Banff National Park. At Johnston Canyon, take a mid-morning stroll to see the area’s tumbling waterfalls and the deep emerald and azure waters of the Ink Pots.
Stop for a picnic lunch near the iconic railway hotel the Fairmont Chateau, which offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of Lake Louise. Next, travel to glacial Moraine Lake—nestled within the Valley of the Ten Peaks, this deep blue lagoon is framed by 10 towering mountains and is one of the most photographed sites in Canada.
At the Spiral Tunnels viewpoint in Yoho National Park, learn how the tunnels were carved through the mountainsides in the late 1800s—you may even see a train chugging along the old tracks. Try to spot the wreckage of an old derailed train, and take in sweeping views of the Yoho Glacier and Mt. Ogden.
As you continue on through the magnificent Yoho Valley, keep your eyes peeled for grizzly and black bears. Your final stop is at the thundering Takakkaw Falls—cascading down 1,260 feet (384 m), this is one of Canada’s highest waterfalls. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
The Calgary Tower has one of the highest observation decks in the world, and is just steps away from downtown Calgary’s museums, art galleries, theaters, restaurants, and shops. Enjoy a tour on the observation deck, check out distant landmarks with high-powered binoculars, and learn about Calgary’s history and future plans.
Step out onto the glass-floored viewing platform for a stomach-clenching view down to the city streets below. Gaze out over iconic Calgary structures like the Saddledome, Canada Olympic Plaza, the Stephen Avenue Walk, and the East Village.
If you’d like to dine in one of the tower’s sky-high eateries, SKY 360 is a rotating restaurant with a contemporary design, and Ruth’s Chris, on the second level, dishes up New Orleans-style cuisine. Read More close
Learn about the area's unique ecosystem and the creation of this important glacial system as you make your way along one of the most spectacular routes—the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefield. View sprawling rocky mountain vistas and local wildlife along the way with photo stops at Athabasca Falls and Stutfield Glacier.
Breathe in the fresh mountain air at several scenic viewpoints of Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier, Crowfoot Glacier, and Peyto Lake. Then, board an all-terrain Ice Explorer to traverse the ancient ice of the Athabasca Glacier.
Take a stroll through the Glacier Gallery and gift shops of the Icefields Centre before you enjoy a hot buffet lunch. Your return journey allows for some free time in Banff to visit the gift shops or museum before your return back to Lake Louise, Canmore, or Calgary. You may conclude your tour in Banff or Lake Louise if you’ve made prior accommodation arrangements. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Make your way through the spectacular scenes of Clearwater County to a helipad nestled at the edge of Banff National Park’s untouched wilderness. Climb aboard a comfortable helicopter, get acquainted with your pilot, and take off, gazing down as you veer toward the untamed alpine world to the west.
Soar high above the peaks and valleys below you at an altitude of 12,400 feet (4,000 m) for truly unencumbered panoramas that stretch out as far as the eye can see. Cruise over icy glaciers, emerald-hued lakes, and tumbling waterfalls between stretches of rocky ridges and dense evergreen forests, flying above the turquoise waters of Lake Louise and passing over the Great Divide.
Approach the Columbia Icefield and marvel at its incredible expanse. This wonder sprawls out over 325 square miles (125 sq km), making it the largest body of ice in the Rocky Mountains. See miles-long tongues of ice stretching through slow-carved valleys, peer down into frozen crevasses in the blue and white mass, and snap photos from your sky-high vantage point before looping over the park to touch back down. Read More close
Meet your guide at Calgary Tower and jump aboard provided transportation to head to your first location. Stop at Village Brewery, where you are treated to a tasting and a tour of the bottling area. Learn how this location strives to be a place that supports Calgary's artists by donating part of their proceeds to the arts community.
Next, head to the Craft Beer Market, where a prearranged tasting and satisfying lunch are waiting for you. Afterwards, walk through Craft's keg room and discover how beers like Grizzly Paw Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat Ale are made.
Make your way to 3 more breweries, which might include Dandy Brewing Company, Tool Shed Brewery, and Last Best Brewing and Distilling. At each of these locations you are treated to a beer tasting and a tour of the brewery. As the day comes to an end, you can choose to stay at the last location or be dropped back off at Calgary Tower. Read More close
Make your way into remote and untouched Clearwater County and step aboard a comfortable, state-of-the-art helicopter on the banks of the Cline River. Lift off and turn your gaze toward the dramatic peaks and dense forests of Banff National Park as your pilot cuts a course in the direction of the Wilson Icefield.
Fly through Cline Pass and gaze down at the massive icy hulks of millennia-old glaciers, slowly carving tracks along the mountainside as they morph and crawl down valleys and ravines. Peer into the chasms and crevasses of the Cline, Lion, and Lioness Glaciers, and then fly by a stunning twin waterfall, tumbling down from 2 emerald lakes, before curving back toward your starting point and touching down. Read More close
Your journey begins with convenient hotel pickup. Travel to the famous Banff Gondola. Hop aboard for a memorable ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Along the way, be on the lookout for local wildlife such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, hoary marmots, and birds like Clark's nutcrackers and Canada jays. Capture stunning views of 6 mountain ranges as you climb from 2,300 feet (700 m) to an elevation of nearly 7,500 feet (2,300 m). Once at the top, enjoy free time to walk the summit trail and enjoy panoramic views of the Bow Valley.
Stop for photo opportunities at Two Jack Lake and the beautiful Lake Minnewanka. This exciting tour includes additional photo opportunities at Bow Falls, Tunnel Mountain Drive, Surprise Corner, and Hoodoos. Then enjoy some free time to explore Banff before heading back to your hotel.
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Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Upon arrival at the heliport, board your helicopter, strap in, and reach speeds of 100 miles per hour (60 km/h) on your ascent to 8,000 feet (2,438 m) above the ground. Your expert pilot takes you over Barrier Lake—a manmade reservoir that creates hydroelectric power—and the area's striking landscapes. Pass Heart Mountain, whose peak features a heart-shaped layer of limestone.
Then, your pilot lands with ease in the backcountry so that you have the opportunity to enjoy a short hike through the lush, alpine wilderness. Be sure to snap plenty of photos before hopping back into the helicopter and returning to the base. Read More close
Make your way to Kananaskis on your own, or opt for convenient pickup from Banff or Canmore. The helipad and launching point for your tour is situated in the perfect location for accessing the snow-capped summits and stunning emerald lakes of the region. Meet your pilot and get situated inside helicopter, and then watch the ground drop away beneath you as the rotors whir into action and you lift up into the sky.
Listen as your pilot offers commentary about the region’s geology and points out interesting natural features. Spot the distinctive trio of peaks known as the Three Sisters, and swoop down over the glacial blue waters and pebbly shores of Lake Minnewanka. Looping back over dense evergreens, circle the snow-dusted, 10,000-foot (3,200-m) summit of Mount Sparrowhawk. Take a final pass over Mount Allen’s steep ridges to see where downhill skiers competed in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games before heading back to Kanaskanis and touching down. Read More close
Choose from pickup spots including Calgary, Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise. See scenic mountain vistas and wildlife along the way, with photo stops at Athabasca Falls. Then head to the Columbia Icefields and reach the Athabasca Glacier via the Ice Explorer, a massive vehicle specially designed to travel on glaciers. Step onto the glacier's surface for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and then stop for a hot lunch at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre.
Next, take a 5-minute shuttle ride to the Glacier Skywalk and feel your heart pump faster as you step out on the walkway, made of clear glass over a 918-foot (280-m) drop. Feel like you're floating above the snow-capped mountain peaks and vast valleys as you walk along the observation platform above the Sunwapta Valley—filled with boulders, streams, and wildlife.
This tour also includes stops in Lake Louise, Bow Lake, and Peyto Lake. Stops are approximately 15 to 25 minutes to explore around each lake and take photos.
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Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Before you head out onto the river, certified guides make sure you have all your rafting gear and provide a detailed safety briefing. Then it's down to the river’s edge to board the raft and push off into the river’s current. There is plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the raft, paddles, and the guide’s commands as you and your fellow rafters begin to navigate the river.
You may see birds that frequent the river valley, like the osprey, harlequin duck, and bald eagle, as the riverbanks glide by. If you are really lucky, you may spot a grizzly bear, elk, or mountain goat during the trip.
The gentle swirling waters lead to some exciting Class II and III rapids that get the adrenaline pumping and give you a chance to show off your teamwork and rafting skills as you try to paddle in unison. There are sure to be some rapids that get the crew a little wet.
After an enjoyable trip down the river, end your journey with a delicious barbecue lunch on the riverbank of the mighty Kicking Horse River. You can also play volleyball and enjoy other lodge amenities at the private Hydra River Guides site.
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The pick-up and drop-off locations in Calgary are:
Calgary City Center & Airport
Select this option for hotels located in Calgary City Center or Calgary International Airport.
The pick-up and drop-off locations in the Rockies are:
Banff City Center
Select this option for hotels located in Banff.
Lake Louise City Center
Select this option for hotels located in Lake Louise.
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Categories: Airport Shuttles & Limos
There's nothing quite like a luxurious spa treatment to take you from tired and stressed to radiant and centered. With the Spafinder gift card, you can check in at salons, spas, gyms, or therapeutic centers that cover everything from facials and haircuts to Pilates and chiropractic work. Unwind and get glowing with a beautifying, de-stressing service at an elegant day spa, or find a fitness studio and work it out in a toning Barre class or a calorie-busting boot camp.
Your gift card never expires, and can be used on a wide range of treatments, classes, services, and products, whether you're in the market for a new yoga mat or wanting to touch up your hair color before a big event. Treat yourself to wellness—your body and mind will thank you. Read More close
Categories: Spas & Beauty
After meeting your guide at Calgary Tower, jump aboard provided transportation that shuttles you from one stop to the next throughout the entire tour. Your first stop is at Big Rock Brewery, the oldest craft brewery in Alberta that offers tastings of craft IPAs, lagers, and wheat ales. Go on a tour of the facility and discover how their beer is made.
Make your way to the Chinook Honey Company and Chinook Arch Meadery that offers fantastic cocktails and a chance to watch beekeepers in action. Learn how the honey produced by the bees you see is used in the production of mead.
As you head to your next stop, visit the Okotoks Erratic, a massive boulder the size of a 2-story house that lies in the middle of a flat prairie, a thoroughly impressive sight. Your last destination is the Eau Claire Distillery, where craft gin and vodka are produced. Taste the various spirits offered here before being taken back to the original meeting point. Read More close
Head to Kananaskis on your own or opt for convenient transportation from Banff or Canmore and make your way to the helipad, getting acquainted with your pilot as you grab a seat by the window and the engine roars to life. Watch the landscape spread out beneath you as you climb skyward and your pilot sets a course for the untouched wilderness and pristine surroundings of Banff National Park.
Wind your way over glimmering emerald lakes and millennia-old glaciers, slowly carving their way down mountain ridges and through forested river valleys. Cut through passes to reveal new panoramas from the Kananaskis Valley to Nakiska, home of the 1988 Olympic downhill skiing events. The climax of your adventure is an unparalleled view of the dramatic peak of Mount Assiniboine, the highest summit in the Southern Rockies, known as the Matterhorn of the Rockies for its resemblance to the jagged mountain in the Swiss Alps.
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Your trip starts before you hit the water, with a detailed safety briefing from a licensed river guide. Then get geared up with all your rafting equipment and take a short trip to the launch point. Enjoy a close-up view of the raging Kicking Horse River before stepping into the raft and shoving off into the swirling currents.
The guide then runs through some standard rowing instructions needed to navigate the upcoming sections of river. The upper Kicking Horse River is known for deep canyon walls and mighty white water; it features 6 class IV downstream rapids sure to amp up your adrenaline. The river is cold and fast, the rapids are big, and the water roars over the edge of your boat, soaking you and your fellow rafters as you power through the curlers, standing waves, and heavy water that lies before you.
After an intense whitewater ride, the river calms and ends in the town of Golden. Dry off and enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch on the riverbank. You can also play volleyball and take advantage of other lodge amenities at the private Hydra River Guides site. This trip is sure to satisfy even the most adventurous thrill seeker!
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