Calgary highlights
September 11, 2013 7:27 PM   Subscribe

What is worth seeing or doing in Calgary? I've got two-and-a-half free days in the city before a business trip. Tell me what I shouldn't miss.

I'll be there this weekend if there are any time-sensitive suggestions you want to make. Of course the Masters was last weekend at Spruce Meadows, but I didn't get to pick the timing of the trip.

If it matters, I'll be staying at the Hotel Le Germain.
posted by sardonyx to Travel & Transportation around Calgary, AB (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Should have added I'm up for typical tourist things, shopping, walking around and getting to see the city plus any other fun/quirky/compelling sights/places the city can throw at me.
posted by sardonyx at 7:48 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Love the Germain.

Downtown Calgary is all business, so it's dead at night, but it's pretty good shopping for the middle of Canada, especially in terms of fashion. The Chinatown is also not bad. For general daytime walking, get to the north edge of downtown, near the river and Prince's island, which also has the best weekend breakfast spot in the city... which I hope someone else remembers the name of.

(If you really need to shop, though, the Chinook Mall down south is probably better. 15 minute drive/taxi.)

For night life, downtown is near-useless, so you want Kensington or Uptown 17th: bars, music and food after dark.
posted by rokusan at 8:37 PM on September 11, 2013

I'd say rent a car and drive the hour and a half to the mountains, myself. Alternately, Nose Hill Park is a big open space and has good views of the city.
posted by irrelephant at 9:04 PM on September 11, 2013

Stephen avenue mall downtown. Kensington area uptown. Stop by "Indochine" restaurant in Banker's hall for affordable French/Vietnamese fusion cuisine. 17th ave "red mile" for bars at night.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:49 PM on September 11, 2013

Beakerhead! is happening all over Calgary this weekend. It's the first year of this event and it looks great.

You'll also be within walking distance to the Glenbow Museum, the palomino smokehouse and charcut to name a few.

If you're looking for nightlife on 17th ave you'll want to stay roughly between 2nd st SW and 14th st SW. Not much happening outside of those boundaries.
posted by saukrates at 10:13 PM on September 11, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the good answers. They give me a place to start my explorations of the city.
posted by sardonyx at 5:07 PM on September 12, 2013

Response by poster: Just thought I'd come back with an update.

CharCut was very good. SaltLik's service was great but the food was so-so. Blink's food was good.

Staff at the hotel were great. Accommodations were sub-par. The bed was way too mushy and soft and I woke up (not that I really slept) in pain every day. Found the room was too dark (insufficient lighting), heating/air conditioning system was way too noisy and kept waking me up.

Saw the giant purple hippo at Beakerhead.

Took in the night market in Inglewood. Wandered through Kensington. Shopped in the downtown core, took a break in the Devonian Gardens. Hopped the train to the Chinook mall.

Hadn't planned on going out to the mountains, but changed my mind when I got there, so I rented a car for a day and went to the Rockies.
posted by sardonyx at 8:18 PM on September 20, 2013

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