Calgary or vicinity suggestions

Jul 25th, 2006, 03:12 AM
  #1  
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Calgary or vicinity suggestions

We are going to get into Calgary much earlier in the day than we originally thought so now we are considering doing some sightseeing in Calgary or in the area. The next day we will head out towards Banff/Lake Louise to stay at Baker Creek. Any suggestions of things to see in town or north/south of town? It would be a Wed. early evening/Thurs a.m ...
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 06:34 AM
  #2  
ltt
 
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there are some nice trails down by the river
they have a pretty nice zoo
go to olympic park and rent bikes
ltt is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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If I remember correctly from your previous posts, you will have a short stay in the Rockies -- 4 nights or something like that as I recall.

Also, you'll be coming some time in September, except I can't remember if you mentioned specific dates and, if you did, I can't remember what they are. The time of year is relevant because of sunset time. Sunset in Calgary is approximately 8.20 p.m. at the beginning of September, moves forward to 7.50 p.m. around the middle of the month, and moves even further ahead to 7.15 p.m. at the end of the month. I was going to suggest that, since you would have such a short stay in the mountains, you should get up there ASAP, which would have been feasible if you'd been coming in the summer. However, if you headed to the mountains after your flight, you might approach them in the dark, and that would be a shame. So, yes, I guess it would make sense to stay in Calgary on the night of your arrival.

There is nothing just to the south or north of Calgary that I think would be worthwhile for you to see on such a short visit. The Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, which is to the northeast of Calgary, and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump between Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, which is 2.5 hours to the south of Calgary, each would require a day trip. Obviously that would not be feasible for you. If you have a short stay in Calgary, the most charming part of it is the downtown core. Eighth Avenue / Stephen Avenue Mall is pleasant, and so is the path along the Bow River, which is at the north end of downtown core. By the river you have the Eau Claire Market area and the park on Prince's Island, which are nice.

There are some pleasant restaurants in the Eau Claire Market area. I am partial to moderately priced Joey Tomato's. River Cafe on Prince's Island is very nice but also very pricey.

For the love of Pete, don't stay in Calgary on the Thursday morning. Get yourselves to those mountains.

I think you will have a late flight out of Calgary on your departure day. You may want to drive the longer, more scenic way from Banff to Calgary, which goes through Kananaskis Country, the Highwood Pass, and the hamlet of Bragg Creek, on the day of your departure.

If you don't do the Kananaskis drive on the day of your departure, you would have time to do it on the Thursday, when you drove from Calgary to the mountains.

Directions are on this page of my website. If you do the drive from Calgary to the mountains instead of from the mountains to Calgary, you'll need to reverse my directions.

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...iscountry.msnw

If you are insane enough to waste time in Calgary on the Thursday morning, the suggested downtown walking itinerary on my website may be of help:

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...ofcalgary.msnw

One of the newer suggested itineraries on my website is a 3-night / 4-day itinerary based in Lake Louise. I'm not sure if it was there when I first introduced you to my website. Anyway, it too may be of assistance.

I've probably mentioned the What To Pack page to you before but, if not, here it is:

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...urwebpage.msnw

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 01:22 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the advice. I think we will just plan on something low key for Wed nite. We're scheduled to get in around 2pm and by the time we get luggage, car, etc I suspect it will be close to 3pm so perhaps we'll just stay close to downtown at a B&B and walk into town for dinner. Any suggestions?
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 02:33 PM
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If thatís when youíre getting in, you easily can get to Banff in time for dinner. It usually takes about an hour to clear immigration and customs at Calgary Airport. Then it takes 2 hours to drive to Banff townsite. So you could reasonably expect to be in Banff townsite by 5.00 p.m.

However, you may have had to get up very early that morning to catch your flight, and 5.00 p.m. in Alberta will feel like 7.00 p.m. to you, so there may be some merit in spending that night in Calgary.

In case you do want to stay in Calgary, Iíll try to answer your questions about accommodation.

I am not familiar with B&Bs that are within easy walking distance of downtown.

A good B&B is Lions Park B&B. Itís on a leafy residential street, and yet itís also close to the TransCanada Highway / 16th Avenue, which you use when youíre driving out to Banff. Itís within walking distance of a shopping mall and a train that gives you good access to the downtown core. Itís also within walking distance of Kensington, which is a funky restaurant / shopping district just across the Bow River from downtown. One of my favourite Calgary restaurants is in Kensington. Itís Ristorante La Luna Rossa.

There are about three B&Bs that are near the intersection of Elbow Drive and 4th Street SW. There are a number of good restaurants on 4th Street. Wildwood is the best of them. This area also is within easy walking distance of Uptown 17th Avenue, which has still more restaurants. One of my favourites along there is Cilantro. Walking from Elbow Drive to downtown is doable. However, if you consider it to be too long a walk, the #3 bus provides frequent service to downtown. Fourth Street has a somewhat similar vibe to Kensington. However, if you stayed there it would take you a little longer to get onto the highway headed for Banff the next morning. B&Bs in this area include Twin Gables, Elbow River Manor, and Calgary Westways Guest House.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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I do agree with Judy. The reason to go to Calagary, is not Calagary, it is the mountains.

By the way, in my opinion the mountains beat Calgary even during the Stampede.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 08:34 PM
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Calgary, Calgary, Calgary.

I cannot spell this evening.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Just did a quick google search and found the River Wynde Executive B&B. It is located at 220 - 10A Street NW, which is in the Kensington area. It would be an easy walk across the Louise Bridge to downtown or to Prince's Island Park. The website is www.riverwynde.com.
Lenore_Trippy is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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I have flown to Calgary several times and always thought that the right thing to do was to bypass it and get to the mountains.
Last summer, we took one full day to visit Calgary's sites and sounds.

Let me suggest that Heritage Park in the southwest quadrant of the city is a very interesting place to visit. There are re-creations of historical buildings and trains. In many cases the employees are actors dressed in period costumes and they try to emulate conditions and events of the early days of Calgary.

I enjoyed my afternoon there. It gives a little different flavor to the experience. Calgary to me is now a little more than a city with an airport.

If I may indulge in an editorial opinion, I think Calgary is part of Alberta, and going just to see mountains is a little one sided; one should endeavor to embrace the full picture.

Besides, one meets a lot of nice people that way. As a whole, I find many many Calgarians to be warm, friendly people with whom I enjoy talking.

bob_brown is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 04:40 AM
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Thanks for the compliment Bob_Brown! Calgary is a great place to visit and visitors to the area should take at least a day or two to see the sites.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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The fact is, Bob Brown, is that most people do go to Calgary only as a jump off point for the mountains because they only have, say, a week to do it all. Alberta is huge. If you are going to Drumheller, Smashed in Head Buffalo Jump, Edmonton and Jasper, you cannot do all of that in a week because it is so spread out.

And northern Alberta is largely inaccessible.

Personally, when I did my two week exchange in Calgary about 10-12 years ago, I was not impressed with the Stampede, but I loved the scenery outside of Calgary. While there may be things to see in Calgary itself, we did spend a lot of time in the car driving around. I still rate the mountains as the best of the experience with the Drumheller museum and whitewater rafting on the Kicing Horse as pretty terrific too.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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I think I have visited the Canadian Rockies and Calgary enough to know what is where and what people do. The fact that many people ignore Calgary does not mean that it is proper or improper.

My point is that that when visiting a region, the person seeking to know the country will try to see it all.

Now that raises an interesting question:
is the Smashed Head place any more interesting than places in Calgary. I have seen both, and the answer is no, not to me it isn't.

I think I have trudged enough CR trails to know the area, and visited enough places to know the comparison. Just because people do it does not mean that there other facets to the visit. Alberta is no more just the Canadian Rockies any more than Washington D. C. is all museums and monuments.

I know what I have done in Alberta and eastern BC and I know what I have enjoyed in about 9 visits since 1986.

Last summer we had a fun visit that reached from the upper reaches of a high hanging valley in the Rockies well away from marked trails to Heritage Park.
Will I go back? Sure.

bob_brown is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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But, even in a two week visit to Washington, DC, 99% of the people do not go out and visit DC's neighborhoods and parks unless they are visiting family. They come to DC to see the monuments and museums. Those of us who live in the area (I live in the VA suburbs) visit those places, but tourists are too busy seeing their "A list" sites. The parks, trails, etc., simply do not make that list.

The choices are perfectly understandable, as is the choice to skip the city of Calgary and head for the Rockies.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 04:43 AM
  #14  
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I really appreciate all these posts and while we are excited to see the mountains and lakes we'd also like to get a feel for what downtown Calgary is like. As Bobbrown and cruiser have said I think Alberta is more than just the Icefields Parkway, Banff and Lake Louise and since we won't have time to explore some of the other places mentioned in the posts I think spending a night in Calgary at a B&B since we'll be beat from a long flight may be a good plan before heading out the next a.m.
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 06:17 AM
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Leahinsc, if you are looking for a B&B in Calgary, the location of the one that Lenore_Trippy mentioned would be ideal. I've never heard of the B&B in question, although I must have walked close to it many times.

Judging from its address, River Wynde Executive B&B must be very close to a pleasant, moderately priced East Indian restaurant called Maurya.

It's also close to an excellent but expensive Italian restaurant called Osteria de Medici.

The moderately priced and pleasant Broken Plate (Greek) is within easy walking distance too.

But my favourite restaurant in that area still is Ristorante La Luna Rossa, which represents better value for money than Osteria de Medici in my opinion.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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thanks for the B&B recommendation for Calgary - have sent them and e-mail to check on availability
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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<<For the love of Pete, don't stay in Calgary on the Thursday morning. Get yourselves to those mountains.>>

Loved that Judy! And from someone who has been both a tourist and resident of Calgary, I would have to agree with you.

leah~spending one night in Calgary when you only have a short amount of time in Alberta will be more than enough. If you had 2 weeks for your holiday or if this weren't your first visit, then it might have been nice to walk the trails, go to Heritage Park or the Zoo. But you don't have 2 weeks.

As a city Calgary has its charms to be sure, and a walk to Prince's Island would be one you may have time to enjoy, but it can't hold a candle to the spectacular beauty waiting for you just a few miles to the west.

Have a wonderful time but try and leave early Thursday!
TobieT is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Leah - Judy's restaurant recommendations are spot on! Skip Osteria (unless you are interested in a formal atmosphere and inflated prices). I've been to Broken Plate many times - it's one of our favourites. I have yet to go to Luna Rossa (thanks for the tip Judy - our fave italian is Abruzzo just on the other side of the river).

If you want casual pub food, there is Original Joe's as well. I can recommend the sushi place on Kensington Road. If you're up for some italian gelato you have two options. Number one is right in kensington on 10 st (can't recall name) but our favourite is slightly west on Kensington Road. Probably a 10 - 15 minute walk. Mario's is awesome and worth the extra effort to get there! They're open late so it would be a nice way to see a bit of the neighbourhood and work off the dinner in anticipation of gelato.
Hana is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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oh yes, forgot to mention. My friend stayed for an extended period (a couple of years ago now) at RiverWynde and she enjoyed it - I think she had their superior room on the second floor with the balcony. I walked through the house a few times - cute charming character home that is in a great spot!
Hana is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 09:36 AM
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I was considering River Wynde but am not so crazy about shared bathrooms so i will keep looking.
leahinsc is offline  

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