Calgary Travel Guide

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Calgary Travel Guide

Calgary Local History

Calgary means "clear running water" in Gaelic. The citizens are not ashamed of their cowboy background and celebrate it with abandon for two weeks in summer.

The oil boom of the 1970s brought dramatic changes to the town which almost overnight emerged from a small sized town to a city of steel and glass. The city is the headquarters of the Canadian oil industry which means that its residents are generally well educated, if not well heeled.

Calgary Attractions

Calgary Shopping

Alberta Boot Co - You can visit both the factory and the store by the province's only Western boot manufacturer. Boots made out of ostrich, python, rattle snake, lizard, alligator, kangaroo and off course, cowhide can be yours, but not cheap, for between C$235 and C$1 700.

Eau Claire Market - This is a two story shopping mall that includes a produce market.

Riley and McCormick - Don't forget that you are in the wild West and therefore need cowboy hats, shirts, spurs and other Western gear. The shop is on Stephen Ave Walk.

Calgary Activities

Calgary Zoo - Besides animals, the zoo has a botanical garden with a tropical rain forest. There is also a prehistoric park featuring fossil displays. Picnic areas dot the zoo.

Calaway Park - This is an amusement park, said to be Canada's largest, which has live daily entertainment, mini golf, a playground and some 27 rides. The Twiz and Twirl, an interactive maze, is a recent new addition.

Calgary Parks & Gardens

Devonian Gardens - On the 4th floor of a shopping complex is this indoor garden of 20 000 plants besides fountains, benches, fish ponds and a sculpture gallery.

Calgary Restaurants and Bars

Calgary is the centre of the cattle industry in Canada and therefore there superior beef abounds. Calgary has a city lunch specialty known as beef dip, a thinly sliced roast served plain in a long bun (usually with chips) and a bowl of sauce to dip the meat into.Big Rock Beer is the big local brew.

Calgary Restaurants

Peter's Drive In - Service is through a walk up window where you place your orders. Meanwhile, cars idle in the drive up lane where they also place their orders. There is a big lawn with picnic tables for those who want to use them. The scene is typically American and so is the food. It is on 219 16th Avenue NE.

Ho Won - The 180 items on the menu are enough to make you go there out of curiosity. But then, the Chinese are noted for turning almost everything that moves and almost everything that grows, into food. On 115 2nd Ave NE, this Chinese restaurant apparently has a large following.

Wildwood - If you are that way inclined, Calgary is the one place in which to indulge in meat. Just as you wouldn't go to Austria without tasting their pastries, for example, Calgary is the home of prime and superior meat. The city is the heart of the Canadian beef industry and has lots of it to spare for export too. Wildwood, on 2417 4th Street SW, is the place to savoir the taste of meat. Besides beef, the choices include elk, lamb and caribou.

Brewsters Eau Claire - Lunch is between C$13 - C$14 and dinner C$11 to C$20 and worthwhile including in the meal is a beer. The venue is part of a small chain and brews its own beer on the premises including some fruity ones. There is more than the standard pub grub and the pepper seared tuna sandwich sounds particularly appetising for lunch and the Irish ale salmon for dinner.

Calgary Bars & Clubs

Ship and Anchor - This is a neighbourhood pub on 534 17th Ave SW that draws a mixed crowd. When the weather is fine, patrons can sit on the patio and watch the world go by. If they are indoors, they can amuse themselves with the television that inevitably means sport. There is both live and canned music.

Ceili's - Every city has its trendy spot where the "who is who" of converge. But you don't have to be part of this set to be there. If you just want a good night out in congenial surroundings, then this is it. Ceili is an Irish Gaelic term meaning "a gathering of friends for song, dance and drink" which gives away the fact that this is an Irish pub and restaurant. Their beef and barley soup, containing diced beef, vegetables and Guinness Stout, sounds interesting enough to try.

Ming - This has a trendy urban setting, stainless steel stools and tables. Located on 520 17th Ave SW, its house special is sweet potato fries served with banana ketchup and mesclun greens.

The Palace Nightclub - This was once a theatre built in the 1920s that has been renovated into this rather extravagant night spot. There are huge columns, Egyptian statues and a wall of water as part of the decor, and dancing girls complete the ssccenery. There's a quiet lounge for those who would rather take in the scene than get onto the dance floor. It is on 219 8th Ave SW.

Calgary children's activities

Calgary Zoo - Besides animals, the zoo has a botanical garden with a tropical rain forest. There is also a prehistoric park featuring fossil displays. Picnic areas dot the zoo.

Calaway Park - This is an amusement park, said to be Canada's largest, which has live daily entertainment, mini golf, a playground and some 27 rides. The Twiz and Twirl, an interactive maze, is a recent new addition.

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