Alberta Bound


Welcome to wild rose country!

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is the largest city in the Canadian province of Alberta and is affectionately referred to as “the heart of the new Canadian west.”  It’s home to the Calgary Flames, the Calgary Stampeders, and the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the Calgary Stampede. Outside of the ten days in July when thousands of visitors stream through the gates of the Stampede for rodeos, rides, and mini-donuts, Calgary isn’t exactly a conventional vacation spot. However, there are plenty of reasons to visit the Stampede City!

In the interest of greater ease in getting around Calgary, I’ve picked attractions near or on the route of Calgary’s light rail transit system, the C-Train.



Heritage Park

Located within walking distance of  the Heritage C-Train station, Canada’s largest living history museum tells the story of the settlement of the Canadian West from the 1860s through to the 1950s. Visitors can stop in at a Hudson’s Bay Company trading fort, take a ride on an old-fashioned Ferris wheel, ride a steam engine, and even take a guided tour of the park in a horse-drawn wagon led by an interpreter in period costume.


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Stephen Avenue

Where else can you hit up a Top Shop pop-up and a store specializing in Western wear but Stephen Avenue? A block from the 1st Street SW and 4th Street SW C-Train stations, Stephen Avenue is easily accessible by public transit and is home to shops that carry everything from high-end designer fashion to handmade chocolate truffles to cowboy boots. It’s also one of the best spots in the city for people watching and acts as a stage for some incredibly talented buskers. If you visit around the lunch hour, you might even be fortunate enough to sample some of the fare offered by Calgary’s fleet of food trucks.


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Big T’s BBQ and Smoke House

Recently featured on “You Gotta Eat Here,” Big T’s is famous for its pulled pork, deep fried pickles, and Elvis platter. Located two minutes from the Banff Trail C-Train station and right across the street from McMahon Stadium, Big T’s is a popular post-football game spot. The portions aren’t small, so make sure to bring your appetite – since you’re definitely going to be tempted to try an appetizer or a slice of their Wild Turkey Pie.

Along with the great reasons to visit listed above, Calgary also offers NHL hockey at the Saddledome and winter sports at Canada Olympic Park (the location of the 1988 Winter Olympics) during the winter, along with CFL Football action, lacrosse, and the Stampede in the summer months. If you’re a fan of all things geek, the last weekend of April hosts the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, one of North America’s most rapidly growing comic conventions.

So, next time you’ve got Travelocity open in your browser and you’re looking for a place to get away, consider hopping a flight to the Stampede City!


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  • Reply August 20, 2013

    Frances Stuart

    Well another great article Ally. I have always loved Calgary, even before I relocated to the city. Keep up the great writing, I enjoy reading the articles.

  • Reply August 20, 2013


    After reading that article, I totally want to see Calgary and hang out in the Stampede City!