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Extra Days in Calgary and Banff, what is a must see in July?

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May 6th, 2014, 03:24 PM
  #1
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Extra Days in Calgary and Banff, what is a must see in July?

Traveling from Indiana, USA to Calgary for business on July 8-9. However we decided to arrive early so we are flying into to Calgary on July 5, late in the night arrival. We will be able to tour the city all day July 6 and 7 before going to meetings on the 8th. Rooms were booked in advance at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre by the company so we don't have to worry about where to stay. What are the must see attractions for someone who has never visited Calgary?

Then after the meetings, we will have three additional days ( 10, 11, 12) before heading home on July 13 from Calgary. Should we head to Banff or does anyone have suggestions? We are a moderately active couple who enjoy the outdoors. Will need to book rooms asap for this portion of the trip.

Any suggestions?
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May 7th, 2014, 04:10 AM
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By all means, head to Banff!
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May 7th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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For sure go to Banff! It's one of the prettiest places we've visited.

It's an easy drive from Calgary.
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May 7th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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Order tickets to the Stampede on Sunday night. Also booked a hotel in Banff for the 10th and 11th. Now I just need to figure out what to see.
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May 7th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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I would get out of Calgary and go see Banff and Lake Louise. Unless you are particularly interested in the Stampede, it's a good time to leave the crowds & traffic jams of Calgary behind and enjoy the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

You will definitely want a car - spend a day in & around Banff, another day going part way up the Icefields Parkway & back, then another day in Banff and/or Yoho. Since the city will be really crowded, I suggest taking a shuttle to Banff and renting a car there. Or at least renting from a location outside the city core so you aren't dealing with downtown one-way streets and street closures.
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May 7th, 2014, 03:07 PM
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Thank you. I never thought of a shuttle and then renting a car. If anyone has recommendations on which ones, I'd live to know more information.
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May 7th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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Spend as much time as you can in the Canadian Rockies. From Calgary, you'll be there in 1-1/2 hours to the Banff side entrance. Now, Banff and Lake Louise are close enough within the park that you don't need to move lodging, really. But Jasper is a beautiful scenic day's drive, and deserves 2 or 3 nights on its own.

If you are short on time, you could do a day trip from Banff up the Icefield Parkway towards Jasper, and stop at the Icefield Discovery Center. Maybe take a snowcoach tour (assuming you have made an early morning departure), then return to Banff. Save Jasper for another trip in that case, if you have to. That will be full, long day - but worthwhile.

Budget wise, you can look for lodging in Canmore. It will add about a half hour to your commute into Banff National Park, but there is a lot more availability.
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May 8th, 2014, 03:55 AM
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Or splurge and stay in Banff! I will never forget walking through the town all day looking up at the magnificent Mt Cascade.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=mount...8%3B1024%3B767
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May 8th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Thank you everyone. I think I will take snowgirls advice. As a farming family with livestock our vacations are few and far between. A splurge is needed. Banff looks beautiful and that is where we decided to stay. 3 days with 2 nights. We won't get to see everything but will try.
After the meetings in Calgary, we'll rent a car and head towards Lake Louise since we won't be able to check into the hotel until afternoon. I'll look into the Icefield Discovery Center. The rest is yet to be determined.
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May 9th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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You will have a wonderful time, enjoy!
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May 9th, 2014, 08:53 AM
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Last summer I spent a week in Glacier NP in Montana. Since I was flying into and out of Calgary I added 2 days to scope out Banff & Jasper for a possible future trip.

My priorities are spectacular scenery, wildlife and waterfalls. I'm also an amateur photographer so those interests.

I did a lot of research on how to get the most out of 2 days (turned out to be 2 1/2 days).

I posted the trip report in the Montana forum and a copy here (Aug 2013). You can see what I did.

Also, you can see my photos of the trip at:
www.travelwalks.com

In those 2 1/2 days we saw ewes, bighorn sheep, deer and several black bears and cubs. But I went to places they frequent early and late.

I made it a point to spend as little time as possible in the towns of Banff & Jasper. Just sleeping and eating dinner.

We went to Johnston Canyon, Lake Minnewanka scenic road (bighorn and ewes), Mount Norquay Rd (black bears), Lake Louise, Moraine Lake (more spectacular by far than Lake Louise), Maligne Road just above Jasper (black bear and cubs), Trail of the Glacier just below the town of Jasper (spectacular), stopped at the Ice Fields Visitors center (no time to go to the Athabasca Glacier). Also, made stops at various waterfalls along the way. Some required a short hikes while others (Tangle Falls) were roadside.

What I found amazing was the amount of roadside spectacular scenery.
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May 12th, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Thank you Myer. Your photos are amazing and I enjoyed reading your trip report. Now I just need to plan our trip and figure out how many of these places we can make it to in just a few days.
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May 14th, 2014, 02:18 AM
  #13
 
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For suggestions what to see and do in Calgary, you might be interested in my page 'Calgary in a Day' http://www.tour-guide-canada.com/des...n-calgary.html. Hope this helps!
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