calgary stampede

Mar 20th, 2004, 06:39 AM
  #1  
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calgary stampede

I will be staying in Calgary Thursday 15th July - Monday 19th July, & would like to experience as much of the Stampede as possible. Please give me any tips and let me know what to expect and what's worth spending money on.
I'm looking at accom. in a convient location:
Calgary City View B&B: 2300, 6th street SE
Calgary Historic B&B at Twin Gables: 611-25Avenue S.W
Hillcrest houseB&B: 600 Hillcrest Avenue S.W
I found these at B&B association of Calgary. Please advise my on these locations and suggestion any other accom.
gwyther is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 07:52 AM
  #2  
 
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Hello Gwyther,

I'm not familiar with any of the B&B establishments you found on the Internet, but they are all pretty close to Stampede Park.

Hillcrest House and Twin Gables look as if they are in a nicer area than City View. Hillcrest House looks as if it's in Mount Royal, an upscale residential area, old by Calgary standards, and located on a hill that's close to downtown and Stampede Park.

Twin Gables looks as if it's down the hill from Mount Royal, on the border of two neighbourhoods that also are old by Calgary standards and also are close to downtown and Stampede Park. The more upscale of the two neighbourhoods, into which Twin Gables may technically fall, is Elbow Park. (This location has the added advantage of being virtually across the street from a lovely walking path along the Elbow River.) Next door to Elbow Park, and across the street from Twin Gables is a neighbourhood called Lower Mount Royal. I don't quite know how to describe it. Because it's close to downtown, it is not cheap either. But it's not quite as upscale as Mount Royal or Elbow Park. I would describe it as funky. In some cases younger couples have bought old houses and painted them unconventional colours or painted lively murals on them. The area however, does have heaps of restaurants and entertainment. If Twin Gables is where I think it is, it's close to a busy intersection with a Safeway supermarket across the street.

City View is east of the Stampede Grounds close to a spot that Calgarians have nicknamed Scotsman's Hill. It's a hill overlooking Stampede Park, and people who don't want to pay the admission price go there to view the rodeo events and chuckwagon races. The area is not too far from downtown, the Calgary Zoo and an area called Inglenook that used to be down-at-heel, but that has become a bit more gentrified with some restaurants and antique stores. Although it does have some amenities quite close to it, I don't think City View B&B is quite as well conveniently located as Twin Gables.

When it comes to choosing between Twin Gables and Hillcrest House, Twin Gables is technically in a residential area, but right on the boundary of a shopping / restaurant district. Hillcrest House is not far from the same shopping / restaurant district, but is more set back from it, totally surrounded by residences. That is, if I've visualizing their respective locations correctly, which I believe I am.

As to Stampede activities, there are rodeo events (bull riding, calf roping, etc.) every afternoon, and one needs to buy a ticket to view them (i.e., over and above the general admission ticket to Stampede Park.

In the evenings there are chuckwagon races, and they too require an admission ticket over and above the general admission ticket to the Stampede grounds.

The rodeo and chuckwagon events both are exciting but, to my taste, the chuckwagon races are more so.

There are many other things to see at Stampede Park : extensive agricultural displays (all sorts of farm animals), a midway (rollercoaster rides, etc.), country and western music ("Nashville North") and a First Nations teepee village -- to name only the main displays that come to mind.

I would say all of this could keep a person occupied for one full day at least, two full days if he/she was REALLY interested in rodeo sports / cowboys / agriculture.

Beyond that, if you don't already have plans to visit the Rockies before or after Calgary, you would be cheating yourself horribly if you didn't take at least one day to drive to Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and Banff townsite.

Another worthwhile day's outing is a visit to the dinosaur skeletons at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.

It's also worth spending a day in downtown Calgary. Walk along the Stephen Avenue pedestrian mall (which used to be 8th Avenue). Starting at the east end of the pedestrian mall, there no doubt will be a band performing in Olympic Plaza (playing what else but C&W). Moving westwards you'll pass Calgary Shoe Hospital which has more kinds of cowboy boots than you knew existed.

At 1st Street S.W. you'll reach The Bay. It looks like a regular department store, but is the oldest corporation in the world. It's really the Hudson's Bay Company, and it got its charter from King Charles II in 1670. It operated the fur trade that attracted European traders to the more northerly reaches of North America, and played a big role in creating some European-style infrastructure in what would become Canada. But I digress. The main point about The Bay is that it offers the best value for money, in my opinion, when it comes to souvenir offerings. The Canadiana collection was housed in the basement, easily reached by an escalator, the last time I was there.

Then just west of The Bay on Stephen Avenue there are a few western outfitting stores. Again, more cowboy boots and belt buckles than you could have imagined. They're worth a look, just for the cultural experience. Riley & McCormick's is the largest of these stores.

Between 2nd and 3rd Streets and Stephen Avenue and 7th Avenue S.W. is a building called Toronto Dominion Square. On the fourth level, accessible by escalators or elevators, are the lovely indoor Devonian Gardens. You'd be seeing them in summer, so they may not seem like a big deal to you. But to understand what they mean to us Calgarians, you need to try to imagine how much we enjoy them in winter when it's -25 deg C outside.

From Stephen Avenue you could walk northwards to the Bow River. There are some shops and restaurants at Eau Claire Market, and there's are pleasant walking paths on both banks of the river. There 's a very pleasant park on Prince's Island, in the middle of the river, accessible by pedestrian bridges from both banks.

If you stay at a B&B, ask your hosts for restaurant recommendations. In my experience, B&B hosts know a lot about the amenities in their areas.

Hope this helps.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 09:28 AM
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Gwyther, a post script. If you will be visiting the Rockies before or after Calgary, and don't need to spend a Calgary day in the Rockies, you could spend the day at Heritage Park in the southwest quadrant of Calgary.

Heritage Park is a pioneer village on the shores of Glenmore Reservoir. Heritage Park consists of early 19th century buildings that were relocated there from their original locations. Thus there is a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith's shop, post office, bank, trading stores, houses, the Wainright Hotel, and so on. There is a working farm that uses authentic methods (horse-drawn machinery, etc.). There's an old fashioned midway (ferris wheel, merry-go-round, etc.), a steam train, and a paddle wheeler that plies the lake (Glenmore Reservoir).

You can drive there. You have to pay admission to get into Heritage Park, but parking is free.

Alternatively you can get there by public transportation. Take the train south to Heritage Station and catch the Heritage Park feeder bus (Bus #502).

Another way to do it is to catch the #3 bus going south. (If you were staying at Twin Gables B&B, the #3 bus would pass very close to you.) Ride the bus south as far as the intersection of Elbow Drive and Heritage Drive. Heritage Park is within walking distance of that intersection, but you also can catch the #502 Heritage Park feeder bus as it passes there on its way from Heritage Station to Heritage Park.

A single transit ticket is good for 90 minutes, and you can use it to connect to as many trains or buses as you like in that time.

Another good thing to know, for traversing downtown, is that the train is free through downtown, along 7th Avenue South.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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>>>>>>Heritage Park consists of early 19th century buildings that were relocated there from their original locations.<<<<<<

Arghhhhhh!!! I don't know where I parked my brain. The buildings are early 20th century. That's what passes for old around here. Unless one goes to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre near Fort Macleod, in the very southern part of Alberta, and then one is looking at a site that is up to 6,000 years old.

Okay, guys, I'm off to do errands.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 08:58 AM
  #5  
 
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I think Judy in Calgary meant to say Inglewood not Inglenook. My choice would be either Calgary Historic B&B or Hillcrest House. If you want to go to either the rodeo or chuckwagon races you should order tickets over the Internet either at Ticketmaster or the Calgary Stampede website. If you have these tickets in your hand, you don't have to pay the entrance fee into Stampede Park.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 11:37 AM
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>>>>>>I think Judy in Calgary meant to say Inglewood not Inglenook.<<<<<<

Thanks, Cruiseryyc.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2004, 07:58 AM
  #7  
 
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My family was in Calgary during the Stampede a few years ago and loved how the event captured the whole city. We went to some rodeo events and the chuckwagon races (we preferred those). The whole city really gets into the mood. You'll see office workers on the train wearing jeans, western shirts, big belts and cowboy hats. Major companies sponsor pancake breakfasts and hot dog lunches. Local bands entertain. They set up big tables outside and it's all free! At least that's what happened when we were there. The newspapers are full of Stampede news. People decorate their yards. Yee-haw!

I also encourage you to visit the Banff area (they have a a pancake breakfast in the streets to kick off Stampede week) and the museum in Drumheller while you are in the area.
sluggo is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 09:37 AM
  #8  
 
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A correction to my earlier statements about Hillcrest House B&B and Twin Gables B&B.

Last night I was passing through the area in which these B&B establishments are located, and made a small detour to check out their locations.

Twin Gables is pretty much where I thought it was. But, rather than being some distance away, as I thought it was, Hillcrest House B&B is across the street from Twin Gables!


Both B&B establishments are located on a hillside as one descends from the prestigious residential neighbourhood of Mount Royal into the more "funky" neighbourhood of Lower Mount Royal. They also are virtually adjacent to another upscale residential neighbourhood called Elow Park.

Twin Gables and Hillcrest house are set amongst houses, but in one direction they're across the street from small apartment buildings, and in the other direction they're almost across the street from a Safeway supermarket.

They are, however, a block from the attractive Elbow River walking path, as I originally had thought in connection with Twin Gables. They're also a block from 4th Street S.W., which has restaurants and shops and is a frequently serviced bus route.

The restaurants and shops take on a more upscale tone a few blocks away, in the vicinity of a small, fashionable mall called Mount Royal Village, at the corner of 17th Avenue and 8th Street S.W., which is the heart of Calgary's "uptown" shopping district.

Both Twin Gables and Hillcrest House are pretty close to Stampede Park and to downtown.

Let me return for a moment to the surprise I received when I saw where Hillcrest House B&B was located. I previously had thought, based on the fact that it was situated on Hillcrest Avenue, that it would be in the exclusive neighbourhood of Mount Royal.

My hunch was based on the fact that Hillcrest Avenue is located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Mount Royal, which is perched on top of a hill. What I hadn't counted on was the fact that Hillcrest Avenue descends the hill into the funky neighbourhood of Lower Mount Royal. Hillcrest B&B is located at the lower reaches of Hillcrest Avenue, where Mount Royal gives way to Lower Mount Royal.

I apologise for any confusion I may have created, and I hope this clarification helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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