MOST coming to Alberta are doing so to visit the province’s typical tourist destinations, the scenery of Banff, Canmore, Jasper and Lake Louise, but with its “small town within a big city” feel, Calgary should equally be top of people’s lists.

Outside of the famous Calgary Stampede, which transforms the city each year for 10 days into a western playground (and of course, free pancakes), the city is notable for its street festivals, nightlife and outdoor activity. While day trips from Calgary are of course popular, equally so are day trips within the city. Calgary features around 800km of paved pathways perfect for cycling, which wind past public art, through protected parks and rivers, and through neat boutique and retail neighbourhoods.

There is enough to eat and drink in Calgary for a lifetime. Between the city’s European-inspired beer halls, cocktail bars and casual dining options, there is also modern-retro dining, family style restaurants and hearty takeaway.

A trip to Alberta would not be complete without a venture into the Canadian wilderness, with many travellers making Calgary base for visiting the Rocky Mountains and the Badlands, where one can call into the Red Deer River, Dinosaur Provincial Park and Drumheller, home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

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