top 5 in calgary?

Jun 5th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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top 5 in calgary?

I hope to plan a trip to calgary in Sept or Oct what are the top 5 attractions? Thanks in advance for any all advice!
sweetmnm is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Here are some suggestions:

- Calgary Zoo
- Canada Olympic Park
- Calgary Tower
- Glenbow Museum
- Heritage Park (if your here before Oct 8)

ShelliDawn is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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ShelliDawn is very good because she answers the questions that people ask.

More often than not, I answer the questions that I think people should have asked but didn't.

My top 5 in Calgary are:

(1) Moraine Lake
(2) Lake Louise
(3) Johnston Canyon
(4) Royal Tyrrell Museum
(5) Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

The only problem with my top 5 list is that none of these attractions is in Calgary.

The first 3 are in the Canadian Rockies. They're all do-able in a day trip from Calgary. If you do them as a day trip, I recommend going to Johnston Canyon first. In the latter part of September, the sun gets up over the surrounding mountains and shines on Moraine Lake only after noon or so. You need that sunshine to turn the lake's very pleasant blue-turquoise water into a glorious green-turquoise colour.

The Tyrrell Museum has an AWESOME collection of dinosaur skeletons. It's located in Drumheller, about 2 hours' drive northeast of Calgary. (After Canadian Thanksgiving, which is the second Monday of October, it's closed on Mondays. But I hope you won't come after that, because the road to Moraine Lake might be closed by then, and the fall colour in the mountains will be getting past its peak.)

Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre is about 2.5 hours' drive south of Calgary. It is a museum that depicts the hunting-gathering lifestyle of the First Nations people of the plains. It's a fascinating museum if you're interested in that sort of thing, as I am. Calgary's Glenbow Museum has quite a good First Nations exhibit, but it's much more limited in size. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump has the advantage of being nested right in the landscape in which the events that it depicts took place.

I grew up in the African bush, surrounded by oceans of impalas, zebras, wildebeest, etc. It almost makes me throw up to see them in a zoo. But that is a very personal reaction on my part. Other people say that the Calgary Zoo is good as zoos go.

I do like Calgary's Heritage Park, which is a pioneer village that shows what life was like for European settlers in the first decade of the 20th century (blacksmith's shop, one-room school house, and stuff like that).

I also think the indoor Devonian Gardens are quite interesting. They're located on the 4th floor of a building called Toronto Dominion Square. If you visit downtown Calgary, you'll also see the overhead, glass-covered, pedestrian walkways that connect many of our office towers. They're called "Plus Fifteens" because regulations dictate that they be built 15 feet above ground level. If you're here on a warm day you have to use your imagination to picture what the Devonian Gardens and the "Plus 15s" mean to us Calgarians on a -25 deg C winter day. They enable us to traverse our downtown core without coats and boots and to sit an eat our lunch time sandwiches amongst greenery.

If you in any case will be visiting the mountains as part of your trip, my listing of the mountain attractions is redundant. But that is why there is so much value in providing more context when one poses questions on a forum.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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I agree with Judy. Having seen it all, I would do the same.

If you must be within the city limits of Calgary, then Heritage Park is at the top of my list.

I stayed one evening until I had to leave for 2 reasons: the place was closing and I had a dinner invitation that proved to be better than Heritage Park.

The Glenbow Museum is ok.

I agree with Judy on the zoo. Most of them are ugly places.
bob_brown is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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I agree with Judy on the zoo. Most of them are ugly places.

Hi bob,

If you are against keeping animals in captivity zoos in general and that's what you consider ugly, that's your opinion and I respect that. Part of me also has issues with animals in captivity.

However, if you haven't visited the Calgary Zoo, then I would appreciate that your comments reflect that you object in principle and not in particular to this zoo.

The Calgary Zoo has a reputation of being a world-class facility devoted to conservation and education. The outdoor gardens and conservatory are wonderful places to relax and enjoy an afternoon. I personally can sit in the butterfly garden for hours.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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I will admit that modern zoos are better than the old animal jails.

Butterfly houses are a little different. I agree that some of those enable us all to see something we cannot see in the wild.

I somehow don't get emotional over seeing a lion or an elephant in a fancy cage. They are, however, protected. No lion is going to eat the antelope in the next compound.

No poachers are going to shoot them either.

Even so, I tend to agree more with Judy than with other observations. Sort of like the term "nice jail."

bob_brown is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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>>>>>>The Calgary Zoo has a reputation of being a world-class facility devoted to conservation and education. The outdoor gardens and conservatory are wonderful places to relax and enjoy an afternoon. I personally can sit in the butterfly garden for hours.<<<<<<<

I agree that the Calgary Zoo is involved in conservation in the wild. They work with the Jane Goodall Institute and other worthy organizations.

I agree that there are good aspects of the zoo. I too like the conservatory and butterfly garden. When my kids were young, I took them to the zoo quite regularly, because it was fun for them and educational. Even if I had to hold my nose a bit, because of my philosophical inclinations, I couldn't see how else I could provide them with the educational opportunities that the zoo provided.

Another thing I like about the zoo is the outdoor part that simulates the Badlands, with the life-sized models of dinosaurs. If a short-term visitor to Calgary cannot do the day trip to Drumheller, a trip to Calgary Zoo can give them a small taste of what they'd see in the Tyrrell Museum.

I find it very difficult to know whether or not to include the zoo in a suggested list of Calgary attractions if the original poster does not provide any context. If they'd said they had young kids, I might have suggested the zoo. That would be all the more true if I knew they lived in a small town where they didn't normally have an opportunity to visit a city zoo. But if I knew they lived within striking distance of the San Diego Zoo, I wouldn't recommend the Calgary Zoo.

If they were a party of adults, I normally would not recommend the zoo. Also, if they had not yet been to the mountains, and especially if their time in the area was going to be short, I usually would suggest that they get out of Calgary altogether.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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Hi Judy,

I agree that it can be difficult to give suggestions to someone who doesn't provide much context. That's why, as you stated above, I just answer the question. The OP asked for the top 5 Calgary attractions and that's what I tried to give.

BTW, I go to the zoo annually and prefer to go without children. Otherwise we invariably have to spend an hour or more at the play park which is a bore for me.

Sometimes, I'm a little annoyed at your postings, because if somebody asks about Calgary the first thing you say is to get out of town. I'm a native Calgarian and love my city and think there's lots to do inside of it as well as outside. That said, I almost always take my out of town guests to the mountains and also try to get out to foothills and/or badlands as well. I consider that all part of the Calgary experience.

Your responses always have great information in them and are probably the best source of information for people visiting the area. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer all the questions you do, in the depth that you do.
ShelliDawn is offline  
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