Calgary for just a few days next summer

Sep 11th, 2009, 09:07 AM
  #1  
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Calgary for just a few days next summer

My family (my wife, me, and three sons) will be going to a family reunion in Glacier NP in Montana next July. We will be in that park for 4 days, but plan to take a 8-9 vacation.

Due to certain restrictions, in order to use our frequent flier points to get free airfare, we need to fly into Calgary which is about a 5 hour drive from the park.

So, we have 4-5 extra days to fill. Since we have to get back to Calgary for our flight out, the thought is to spend several days there, with perhaps some visits to Banff. Also the Calgary Stampede is that week.

I need recommendations on where to stay those 4 nights, and what to see. Is Calgary close enough to Banff to take day trips? is Banff worth day trips, given that we just spent four days in Glacier (i.e. are they very different)? Is the Stampede worth the large amount of money it seems to cost? Any great idea on getting discounts? Anything else to do with 8, 10 and 15 year old boys?

Thanks in advance.

Steve
CltLwyr is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 11:07 AM
  #2  
 
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Calgary to Banff/Lake Louise is about 170km (100mi). Arguably close enough for day trips, but it is certainly worth a few days, and is a great destination in itself. Magnificent scenery and wildlife. Lots to do outdoors and a great place with kids.

No, it's not like Glacier NP.

Sorry can't help with the Stampede. But I'd forgo the Stampede in a second if I'd never been to Banff before. [yes that's a personal opinion]
dfr4848 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 11:21 AM
  #3  
LJ
 
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Don't want to start a feud on Calgary Stampede (I loved my visit and I am willing to bet your boys will be thrilled) versus Banff and luckily you don't have to decide...you can easily do both in 4-5 days.

But accomodation should be booked well in advance as Stampede time is a huge deal in Calgary with every office worker in town dressing 'country' for the occasion.

In Banff, if money is not object, treat yourself to the wonderful old CN hotel now known as the Banff Fairmont and get a room with a view-absolutely breath-taking.
LJ is offline  
Sep 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM
  #4  
 
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With boys that age, I suspect that they would really enjoy a day trip to the Tyrell Museum (dinosaurs). http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/

Although there are midway rides at the Stampede, they're expensive and Calaway Amusement Park may be a good option for the kids to burn some energy for a day. http://www.calawaypark.com/

As for the Stampede, it can definitely be a fun time. There's activities all around the city during the week, but the main events are at the Stampede grounds. I like to visit the agri exhibits and avoid the midway (rides, games etc.). There's stuff like sheep-shearing, blacksmithing, tractor pulls etc. that I find enjoyable. You can also visit the barns and get close up to cows, horses, pigs etc. If your a city family, these sorts of things may be interesting and even new for your sons.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 10:29 AM
  #5  
 
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Just to correct one comment by "LJ"; the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel was run for many years by the Canadian Pacific Railway, not CN. I know it's a little thing but .....
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 12:08 PM
  #6  
LJ
 
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Cruiseryyc: oops...my grandfather would roll over in his grave if he thought I was getting CN and CPR mixed up!
LJ is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 07:39 AM
  #7  
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Thanks to all.

Money IS an object, so if there are hotels in Banff you think are reasonable, please let me know.

Steve
CltLwyr is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 12:30 PM
  #8  
LJ
 
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You might want to do a search on this...there was a thread not too long ago about Banff budget-wise accomodation.Or go back and re-post specifically about that.
LJ is offline  
Sep 17th, 2009, 05:26 AM
  #9  
 
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Definitely didn't want to start a feud about Stampede - it IS a great event. It's just that we live in a large city that every year puts on what is claimed to be the largest livestock show and rodeo in the Western Hemisphere. What we don't have is the magnificent Canadian Rockies nearby, so we like to spend every spare minute we have visiting them.

But as LJ says, you should have time for both.

Yes, there was a recent thread on budget accommodations so it should be easy to find.
dfr4848 is offline  

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