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25 Absolute BEST Things to do in Calgary in Summer (2024 Guide!)

25 Absolute BEST Things to do in Calgary in Summer (2024 Guide!)

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Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a beautiful city with so much to see and do, and summer is the ideal time to visit.

There’s an international airport here which means lots of people fly in to visit the Rockies, but Calgary is so much more than a gateway to Banff. It has lots of outdoor activities and some of the best steak you’ll ever have. 

After spending a lot of my life in Alberta, summer is my favorite time of year in Calgary. It’s perfect for road trips, rafting, brewery-hopping, and, of course, it’s when the famous Calgary Stampede comes to town.

So if you’re going to be in Calgary between June and September, keep reading for all of the best things to do! 

Things to do in Calgary in the Summer

1. Go to the top of the Calgary Tower

Bailey stands on the glass viewing deck on the Calgary Tower
This is much scarier than it looks!
View of Calgary from the Calgary Tower in Canada
What a view!

One of the best ways to see the whole city (literally!) is to visit the famous Calgary Tower. Built in 1961, it’s 191 meters (626 feet) high and one of Calgary’s iconic landmarks.

Tickets are $19 CAD which gets you access to the main attraction: the observation deck. I loved the panoramic views up here that stretch from the downtown to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Add a little extra thrill by stepping onto the glass floor section of the deck – it’s a long way down!  

The Calgary Tower is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, staying open until 10 pm in the summer. Even if you only have one day in Calgary, this is an attraction I’d be sure to prioritize.

One of our favorite Calgary dining experiences is also located in the tower – Sky 360. The restaurant rotates (slowly!) while you dine, taking about 45 minutes to complete a full circle. It’s an awesome combo of great food and beautiful views, but make sure to reserve a table first! 

2. Visit Heritage Park

Horse saddle and equipment at Heritage Park in Calgary, Canada
Old Cash Register at Heritage Park in Calgary
Old cash register!

Calgary’s Heritage Park Historical Village is a cool immersive experience, dubbed Canada’s largest “living history museum.”

Everyone here is committed to the re-enactment, so you’ll find antique buildings, staff dressed as historical figures, and horse-drawn carriages passing by. You can stop in at a “saloon” for a drink, or wander the shops filled with historic artifacts.

Gasoline Alley was one of our favorite stops, with perfectly preserved antique automobiles to check out! Some areas of the park are seasonal, but Gasoline Alley is open all year round. The Heritage Town Square is also open year-round, and Harvey’s Confectionary is the place to go for some ice cream and old-fashioned sweets.

Get here easily by hopping on the C-Train line 201 (Red Line) to Heritage Station. Then take Bus 306 to Heritage Park. 

3. Go downhill karting

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the Luge in Calgary
Go-karting is so much fun!
People ride down the Luge on the track in Calgary
Gotta go fast!

We love fun-filled activities, so when we heard about downhill go-karting – we were locked in!

Just off the Trans-Canada Highway, Downhill Karting by Skyline Luge Calgary is one of the best activities to enjoy at Canada Olympic Park. After hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, it became a training center and a recreational park for activities like skating, mini-golf, and riding the go-karts.

It’s super fun, and also the longest go-kart track in the world, with a distance of over 5,905 feet (1,800 meters) – all downhill! You can control the speed, and we had loads of laughs whipping around the turns on the track. Tickets are cheaper online, and the most budget-friendly option gives you 3 downhill rides for around $31 CAD.

Related Read: If you’re flying into Vancouver first, check out all the cool stops on the drive from Vancouver to Calgary.

4. Go sightseeing 

Bailey walks through Downtown Calgary
There is so much to see!

There’s sightseeing, and then there’s sightseeing in style. This 70-minute city tour is awesome because you get to see Calgary’s most famous sights in a vintage sidecar motorcycle. It may be one of the most unique and adrenaline-pumping tours we’ve experienced!

It’s perfect for those who are short on time but want to check out some of the top sights in Calgary. If you’ll be here for a while, it’s also a good way to get your bearings in the city.

You’ll hit the road and stop for photos at places like Scotsman’s Hill and Crescent Heights Park, both of which offer beautiful views over the city. With the provided headset, we could enjoy commentary along the way. Plus, the tour only takes about 70 minutes, so it’s great if you’re pressed for time or have a short attention span on tours!

We loved the feeling of riding around in a sidecar, and it was so much fun to be out on the open road, taking in all of the sights. Our guide was super friendly (and a safe driver!), and we learned lots of cool info about the city and its history. As a bonus, we got to wear a cool helmet and feel like part of a motorcycle gang!

This tour costs $219 CAD and leaves several times a day. There’s a minimum age limit of 9, but this could be a great activity for families with older kids. It’s equally great for couples and friends!

5. Visit the markets 

Bailey walks the Calgary Farmers’ Market in Calgary
Bailey walks the Calgary Farmers’ Market in Calgary
Daniel eats a doughnut in Calgary Farmers’ Market
Mmm doughnuts!

Calgary has a big agricultural industry, which means that there are tons of farmers’ markets to check out during the summer. It’s one of our favorite spots to wander around looking for local treats!

One of the best is the Dalhousie Farmers’ Market, which has a golden rule that 80% of the products have to be made, baked, or grown right here in Alberta. We really like that all of the funds raised by the market go towards community improvement projects, so it’s a great event to go and support. The market is open every Thursday from June to September, between 3:30-7:30 pm. 

Meanwhile the Farmers & Makers Market is another not-for-profit market. It runs twice weekly: at Central Memorial Park on Wednesdays from 3-7 pm, and the Sunalta Community Association on Saturdays from 10 am until 2 pm. About 90% of the goods are locally grown or crafted, so you can feel good about supporting local businesses! 

the indoor farmers market in calgary inside seating area of the food court
The Calgary Farmers’ Market even has a food court area where you can sit down and eat!

Calgary Farmers’ Market is a permanent indoor farmer’s market, and it’s so popular that it now has two locations. Both have a kids’ play area, lots of great gifts, and global cuisine, so there is something for everyone. The open hours vary between the South and West locations, so be sure to check before you go, but both are open from Thursday to Sunday, and the West Market is open on Wednesday, too. 

You can also book this tour of the Calgary Farmers’ Market West on select Sundays during the summer for $105 CAD. It takes you in-depth to sample food and drink at around 12 different stalls, so it makes the perfect weekend brunch! You also get a complimentary recipe book at the end so that you know exactly how to put fresh Alberta produce to good use. We think this is a great tour for foodies especially!

6. Check out the local breweries

selfie of Bailey and Daniel drinking craft beer at a brewery in Calgary
Cheers!

If you’re craving a cold one, no fear – there are over 40 breweries in Calgary!

We’ll help you narrow it down with some of our favorites, starting with Prairie Dog Brewing. It’s a spacious spot with an awesome beer selection and some seriously delicious food. Plus, they have a dog-friendly patio. Try their core beers, like Tail-Twitcher IPA and Crispy Gurl Cold IPA, which ended up being one of my faves.

Next up is The Establishment Brewing Company, which won Canadian Brewery of the Year for 2021! This sleek, modern taproom has lots of indoor and outdoor space to enjoy beautifully crafted brews. Food here is limited to snacky items – the focus is all on the drinks! Our top picks are their Jam Rock, a Blackberry Sour with vanilla or the barrel-aged Potion Approaching with a bit of hibiscus for tartness and color. 

If you’re a lover of Stouts and Sours, The Dandy Brewing Company is worth a visit. They’ve been around for a while – in fact, it’s the first small brewery in Alberta! We like The Dandy: Wild Sour Ale that’s well-balanced and the Dandy in The Underworld is a traditional Oyster Stout that’s their most popular brew for good reason!  

Of course, if you’re a real beer lover (like we are), then you’ll need to visit a few different breweries. The best way to do that? On a guided beer tour of course! This particular brewery tour of Calgary is the perfect choice for anybody who enjoys drinking beer and wants to see some of the cool street art around the city. We learned about the stories behind really neat murals while making stops for some local beer samples! Prices for this tour are reasonable too, at $136 CAD.

7. Float down the Bow River

The Paddle Station river float rafts in Calgary
Photo credit: The Paddle Station

The beautiful Bow River runs through Calgary, and rafting on the river is one of the best ways to take advantage of a sunny day in the city! While we’ve done some extreme rafting tours, this isn’t it! It was a very chilled-out and nice way to take in the sights

There are a couple of reputable places to rent rafts in Calgary. Paddle Station offers rafts for between two and 20 people, and the 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) route takes you from Shouldice Park to St. Patrick’s Island. Prices start at $79 CAD for a small raft, and the crew handles everything for you so all you need to do is show up and enjoy. Their rafts are available from late May until late September, although they’re usually closed midweek. 

Lazy Day Raft Rentals are another top choice, and they offer free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance. They do require you to have basic paddling experience, and prices start at $89 CAD for a 4-person raft. If you need transportation, they also offer a shuttle service from central Calgary to the launch point in West Baker Park for $7 CAD. They’re usually open daily between mid-May and the first weekend of September. 

8. Go to a summer event

Chuckwagon Racing in Calgary Stampede, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Calgary Stampede

You can’t talk about Calgary without mentioning the famous Calgary Stampede! It’s a BIG deal, and tons of people come into the city every July to enjoy the 10-day event, which includes a parade, derby, and of course – the rodeo!

From bull riding to wild pony racing, the rodeo events draw huge crowds and are the mainstay of the Calgary Stampede. Get your tickets beforehand, and don’t forget to book a hotel in Calgary well in advance!

Besides the stampede, we think foodies will love August’s Taste of Calgary, a food festival with live music and loads of delicious foods to sample. Stick around for the epic Alberta Country Thunder, a 3-day festival that typically features big names in country music!  

9. See some local art

Daniel poses for a photo on the art walk on Stephens Ave
Cool art everywhere!
Bailey at a display on Stephens Ave at the art walk
Enjoying the Art Walk!

If you’re downtown, you’re bound to find yourself on the famous Stephen Avenue. It’s Calgary’s main pedestrian-only street with lots of goodies – from beautiful historic buildings, cute shops, cafes, and some great restaurants to stop at for a bite. We loved admiring all the art on display here!

For an immersive downtown experience, catch Calgary’s annual ArtWalk, a cool initiative that started decades ago. Every September for 2 days, Calgary galleries put on exhibitions, workshops, and tours for the general public to enjoy at their own pace – for free! Hit up as many galleries as you’d like and can create your own personal ArtWalk all over the city.  

If you miss out on ArtWalk, don’t worry – the city of Calgary has your back with its Public Art Map! View information on public artworks throughout the city, and curate your very own free mini art tour.  

And if you’re anything like us, booking this combo art and craft beer tour is the perfect way to see Calgary’s street art because it also includes two brewery visits! We started and ended the tour with a tasting flight and got a great taste of the city’s craft brewery scene as well as its fascinating street art. It costs $136 CAD and for us, it really is the ideal way to spend a summer’s afternoon in Calgary. 

10. Go on rides at Calaway Park

roller coaster passing through loops at Calaway Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Calaway Park

From May to October, head to Calaway Park – Western Canada’s largest amusement park!

It’s located just outside the city limits of Calgary, so your best bet is to get here by car on the Trans-Canada Highway. From the downtown core, it’s about 30 minutes or so – an easy drive for a fun-filled day! 

We love that this place is family-friendly with something for everyone. There are 32 rides in total with favorites like bumper boats and the merry-go-round to the Vortex roller coaster and Sky Wynder freefall drop for the braver ones in your group.

Other fair favorites like games and food are here too. So if mini donuts and cotton candy are calling your name, you’re in luck! There’s a spray park inside for those hot summer days, so bring a bathing suit. You can also catch a show in the 3D theatre or see some of the performers like stilt walkers and jugglers around the park.

What’s great about this park is that you pay one admission price for everything – no pesky ride tickets to redeem or keep track of! Admission is $51.95 CAD for everyone ages 3-49, kids under 2 are free and seniors get a discount. You can also come after 2 pm for a reduced rate of $35.95 CAD.

Calaway Park is only open daily from the end of June until early September from 10 am to 7 pm. You can also visit on weekends in May, June, September, and into October from 10 am to 7 pm. Parking is completely free!

11. Take a day trip to Banff and/or Lake Louise

Evelyns Cafe in Banff, Canada
Walking Banff with a coffee!
Bailey on the shores of Lake Louise at sunrise
Bailey on the shores of Lake Louise at sunrise

Banff is an AMAZING mountain town right in the middle of the Canadian Rockies, and it’s a must-visit when you’re in this part of the country. It’s one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations! We’ve spent a ton of time here and always enjoy the picture-perfect views, relaxed vibe, and all the amazing activities (our list of the best things to do in Banff has 50 ideas!).

Banff is 127 km (79 miles) from Calgary, so you can easily drive there in about 1.5 hours and then it’s another 40 minutes or so to Lake Louise from Banff. Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful lakes in the entire country, so it’s worth stopping by if you can. It does make for a longer day from Calgary, but it’s a way to get a taste of the mountains without having to pay for a more expensive hotel in Banff!

But if don’t have your own wheels or just want to leave the driving and day trip planning to a pro, we recommend this full-day Banff National Park tour. It’s got a great itinerary that a local expert carefully crafted, so you’ll get to visit some true hidden gems – which really sets this tour apart.

It’s also a small group so you get to know your guide and can experience the area like a true local. The guides really make this tour – they’re so fun, friendly, and passionate about traveling in the Rockies. Our guide, Murray, was awesome and had us laughing the entire time. Plus he took some great photos of the two of us – a bonus!

This tour includes all the top spots including Lake Minnewanka, Castle Mountain, and of course, the beautiful town of Banff itself. You’ll also head to Canmore (where we used to live!), and if the group is keen, there might be an extra stop at Lake Louise, which is one of our absolute favorite spots. This tour costs $177 CAD per person during the summer, and you can arrange hotel pickup and drop-off.

It’s really such a wonderful day out, and we would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to experience the beauty of Banff – it stands head and shoulders above the rest. But don’t just take our word for it, read the 300+ glowing reviews here!

Related Read: You don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy Banff. Check out our guide to Banff on a budget for ideas!

12. Visit the Calgary Zoo

Gorillas-in-Calgary-Zoo
Gorillas!

Visiting the Calgary Zoo is a nice low-key activity and a great place to take kids for a fun day checking out the animals.

Located east of downtown, you can drive here or hop on the C-Train and take Line 202 (Blue Line) to “Zoo” Station.

The Calgary Zoo is HUGE and is known for its conservation work and commitment to animal care. We checked out all corners of the zoo – they’ve got everything from a butterfly conservatory to gorillas and Komodo dragons.

From April to August, you can even get tickets to the Polar Bear Breakfast, a before-hours event where you can learn more about Baffin and Siku, the zoo’s polar bears, and then, enjoy a buffet breakfast. We think this would be a great family activity if you are visiting with kids.

The zoo is open daily, 9 am – 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm. Tickets are $37.45 CAD for adults and $26.95 CAD for kids.  

13. Walk/bike along the river

View of the river valley in Calgary in Fall
The views are just stunning!

Stretch those legs and take in some views by checking out the extensive Calgary trail networks open to pedestrians and cyclists, including the well-known Bow River Pathway and Elbow River Pathway. One of the highlights of these trails is the Peace Bridge, which opened in 2012 to connect downtown to the southern part of the Bow River Pathway.

The City of Calgary has a great map of the pathways and trails, which includes any closures or important information.

Or, you can amp it up a bit with this 3-hour bike tour along the Bow River with stops like Prince’s Island Park, Fort Calgary, and the Beltline. You’ll have a knowledgeable local guide to tell you the stories and history of Calgary, so it’s a great way to get to know the city. The tour is around $136 CAD and includes your bike rental or you can upgrade to an e-bike.

14. Go golfing 

Two people play golf in Calgary

Golf season in Calgary usually runs from April to October, and there are plenty of excellent courses that offer beautiful views throughout. Bearspaw Golf Club is one of the most popular, thanks to its epic lake and mountain views and an 18-hole game here costs $125 CAD during the week or $140 CAD from Friday-Sunday as a non-member. 

The D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club is also renowned for its stunning views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s about a 20-minute drive from central Calgary, and we like that it’s one of the more affordable choices around at $90 CAD for an 18-hole game during the week and $97 CAD on weekends.

If you want to challenge yourself, the Blue Devil Golf Course is famously tricky, so where better to sharpen your skills? This is also a great choice for those traveling with kids, as their 9-hole Lil Devil course is perfect for youngsters and beginners. Try to book early for this one, as they use dynamic pricing (like surge pricing on Uber), so booking ahead can save you a chunk of money. 

15. Granary Road

So much fun for the kids!

Just outside Calgary, a stop at Granary Road Active Learning Park & Farmer’s Market is a must in the summer! This is the kind of place I dreamed about visiting as a kid with HUGE outdoor playgrounds and activities galore – from trampolines to a petting zoo, a maze, and ziplines.

Each of the outdoor areas has a specific theme from a giant spider web to the Orchard Tree House with its fruit slides and a massive 4-story ant farm climbing structure. All the areas are connected with walking paths and we saw so many families having a blast. I especially liked the rubber duck races at the water pump area and the mini tractors kids were ripping around on!

There’s also a Farmer’s Market here which is worth wandering through. The building was inspired by a winery in California and I loved the wood interior, vaulted ceiling, and tons of natural light. Not to mention the food! There’s pizza, ice cream, and even dishes from Sri Lanka, Fiji, and Mexico that reminded us of our travels. Although, I picked up an Oreo cheesecake cup that was to die for.

Granary Road is open daily from May to October and the Farmer’s Market is open Friday-Sunday during those months. It’s cheaper to buy tickets online for $22.95 CAD a person (you save about $3 that way). If you’re visiting with kids, it tends to be quieter on weekdays and there are still snack shops open along the walking paths even if the Farmer’s Market isn’t running.

16. Patio-hop downtown 

Stephen Avenue in Calgary
Stephen Avenue in Calgary

There’s nothing better than patio hopping during the summer in Canada, and there are some fantastic ones along Stephen Avenue. We love grabbing drinks down this street because it’s pedestrian-only, so the lack of traffic makes it the ideal place to enjoy a drink in the open air and people-watch. 

Milestones is one of the street’s biggest patios, and it’s a laidback spot to enjoy a drink in the sun. You can even snag a $6 CAD bellini during their “Happier Hour”, although the times change so make sure to ask your server. 

The James Joyce Irish Pub has a fantastic atmosphere – the Irish do know how to drink, after all! You can enjoy a beer or a whiskey flight out on their patio alongside some of their homestyle Irish dishes, like bangers and mash or shepherd’s pie. We love their fun twists on fast food classics, like a Guinness and jalapeño bacon burger! 

Meanwhile, Saltlik is an excellent steakhouse serving up delicious Alberta beef, and they’ve got fine wines and craft cocktails to enjoy out on the patio, too. It’s best to reserve a table, as this is a popular spot. 

17. Have a picnic in the park 

View of a park trail on a bike tour of Calgary, Canada
The trails take you right around the city and the river valley!

Who doesn’t love a picnic during the summertime? Fortunately, Calgary is home to lots of beautiful parks where you can enjoy a picnic in the sun. 

Fish Creek Provincial Park has 13 day use areas, with picnic tables, washrooms, and shelters, so we’d say that it’s an ideal spot! There are also 80 kilometers (50 miles) of hiking trails within the park, as well as a fenced-in aquatic facility where you can swim during the summer. Plus, the park is only a 20-minute drive south of Calgary, so it’s pretty easy to get to. 

For something even closer, you can enjoy a picnic at Prince’s Island Park, which is right in the middle of the city. It’s a very well-kept urban park with plenty of picnic tables to make use of, as well as a kids’ play area. After you’ve eaten, you can always let your food digest with a stroll around the pathways to check out the fountains and flower gardens.

Alternatively, Nose Hill Park is located in northwest Calgary, and you could even bring your picnic to the top of Nose Hill to enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains and Bow River while you eat. This is a natural environment park, designed to preserve the area’s grasslands, which means there aren’t many benches and picnic tables around, so we suggest bringing a blanket! 

Related Read: If you’re headed to Jasper next, we’ve got an entire guide to the best things to do in Jasper during the summer!

18. Visit Fort Calgary

Historic site of Fort Calgary in Alberta, Canada
Fort Calgary!

Fort Calgary has great exhibits about the Indigenous history of Alberta and the early settlement and establishment of Calgary. We also learned a lot during the self-guided tours of the historically significant lands surrounding the Bow and Elbow Rivers.

It’s located just a few blocks east of City Hall LRT station (hop on the Red or Blue line), or opt for a nice 15-minute stroll along the River Walk.

It’s open Friday-Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. General admission is $10 CAD, and it’s free to enter for Indigenous peoples. 

19. Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
Photo credit: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
dog at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Animal lovers, this one’s for you! Head about 45 minutes northwest of Calgary to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. This hidden gem is a non-profit that cares for rescued wolfdogs. We were able to spend time here learning about the wolves and see them in their own environment.

Before you visit, be aware that children under the age of 6 are not permitted to visit. Also, dogs and faux fur or real fur clothing items are not allowed in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is open Thursday – Monday from 10 am – 5 pm.

Once you arrive, there are a few different tour options like the self-guided Sanctuary Walk (General admission $29 CAD) or the Intro Tour ($43 CAD), with a trained guide and some awesome photo ops! The Interactive Tour ($73 CAD) has to be booked in advance and gets you right up close with the wolfdogs – you might even get to hand-feed one! 

Related Read: A great activity to do with kids who are too young to visit the sanctuary is to take a trip to Drumheller to see the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum!

20. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Centre

White Pelicans at the Bow RIver in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Pelicans!

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center is another addition to Calgary’s list of free parks and trails to enjoy. This beautiful spot is located along the Bow River and is a hangout for migratory birds passing through.

You can walk the trail and boardwalks, catching glimpses of ducks, geese, and maybe even deer. So far, 270 different species of birds have been spotted here! It took us about 40 minutes or so to walk the entire loop, and it’s so peaceful you’ll forget you’re in the middle of Calgary!

The Nature Center is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday and has lots of good info, but the sanctuary and trail stay open daily from sunrise to sunset. 

21. Go hiking

Bailey at Grassi Lakes with polly our dog in Canmore, Alberta
Hiking Grassi Lake near Canmore
River runs through Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park
Johnston Canyon!

If you want to hike, you can do that without even leaving Calgary! Nose Hill Park is the third largest park in Canada located within a city and offers a wide range of hiking trails right in Calgary. One of the easy trails that we like is called Nose Hill Trail. It is an out-and-back trail that covers almost 6 km (3.7 mi) and takes around 1.5 hours to complete at a steady pace.

There are also great hiking trails near Calgary if you’re up for a quick road trip. Head to Canmore for the Grassi Lakes Trail, which is incredibly popular (and also one of our favorites). We love just how scenic this hike is, and it’s also easy enough that beginners can enjoy the views as well.

Another great option we recommend is Johnston Canyon. The relatively easy hike in Banff is about 5 km (3 mi) roundtrip and follows a boardwalk to some incredible waterfalls. We think the scenery on the way to the waterfalls is pretty spectacular, too!

22. Eat at River Café

Eggs Benny at the River Cafe in Calgary
Eggs Benny at the River Cafe in Calgary
Drinks at the River Cafe in Calgary
We opted for beer and cider instead of coffee!

Hidden away in Prince’s Island Park, River Cafe is a great place to grab a delicious meal! The cafe has a beautiful rustic interior dining room, but we enjoyed sitting on the patio, surrounded by trees and overlooking the Bow River. They’re committed to serving up fresh, local meats and produce, so the menu changes seasonally – but it’s always amazing! 

Our weekend brunch here was delicious, with some of the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had – served on fresh garlic and rosemary biscuit. So good! 

Reservations are a good idea here – they’re open on weekdays for lunch 11 am – 4 pm and dinner 5 pm – 10 pm. You can also opt for brunch (which we recommend!) on Saturdays and Sundays.

23. Go river surfing 

River surfing is, well, exactly what it sounds like. The City of Calgary is actually in the process of developing River Wave Park along the Bow River, but for now, you can hit the water at The Wave and enjoy the thrill of surfing without being anywhere near the ocean. River surfing is more similar to wake surfing or indoor surfing than the traditional kind, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s gaining popularity all over Alberta. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t yet any places to rent a river surfboard in Calgary, but they are available to buy in shops like AQ Outdoors or Abom if you don’t have your own. And if you don’t want to hit the waves, you can always enjoy watching the surfers do their thing from the bridge overhead

24. Visit the Kananaskis

Bailey at Upper Kananaskis Lake, Alberta
Upper Kananaskis Lake!
Bailey walks accross Blackshale Suspension Bridge in the Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada
Blackshale Creek Suspension Bridge

If you’re looking for a little day trip from Calgary, then visiting the Kananaskis is a great place to start. About an hour from the city, the Kananaskis has over 4,000 square kilometers (1,550 square miles) of hiking and mountain bike trails.

My favorite hike in this area is the Troll Falls hike, an easy trail of about 3.4 km (2.1 miles) to the falls and back – so peaceful! The waterfall is stunning in the summer.

A close runner-up for me for the best hike nearby is Blackshale Creek Suspension Bridge. It’s often known as one of Alberta’s best-kept secrets. It’s a quick hike along the High Rockies Trail before one of the most spectacular suspension bridges we have ever seen comes into view! It’s located just off the Smith Dorrien Highway in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

Daniel and Bailey horseback riding at Boundary Ranch 
Horseback riding at Boundary Ranch!

One of our favorite summer experiences in the Kananaskis was going horseback riding at Boundary Ranch. It’s great for all abilities and they even have ponies for children to ride. The Ridge Ride is the most popular route and the views of the entire valley took my breath away. Or this 1 hour horseback ride is a shorter trail around the Buffalo Loop that’s best if you have kids. You’ll ride past the buffalo paddock and through the forest where you might spot marmots, deer, or elk. The longer Ridge Ride is $191 CAD and the short ride is $97 CAD.

25. Village Ice Cream

mouth watering ice cream at Village Ice Cream in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Village Ice Cream
variety of ice cream flavors at Village Ice Cream in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream is one of our favorite spots in Calgary to satisfy a sweet craving. They have locations throughout the city, so chances are you’ll find yourself close by one during your time here. Or make a special trip – no judgment here!

Made with love in small batches, they’ve got awesome flavors like toasted coconut, maple pecan, and salted caramel (even better in a perfectly rolled fresh waffle cone!). We like that they’ve got seasonal and non-dairy options, too. Check here for their daily flavors and locations before heading out. 

Where to Stay in Calgary

the outside of the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire
This hotel is huge! Photo Credit: Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire

Calgary is a pretty large city, so you can bet that there are a ton of options when it comes to places to stay! To help you narrow it down, here are some of my top picks for accommodation in Calgary:

Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire – $$$

For a really luxurious stay, you’ll want to check out the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire, which must have one of the most amazing views of the Bow River we’ve seen in Calgary! The hotel also has its own indoor pool (with a waterslide), a hot tub, a fitness center, a hair salon, and so much more. With a wide range of suites on offer, this is also a great option if you’re spending your honeymoon in Calgary.

You can book a room here at the Sheraton for as low as $246 CAD; however, rooms usually average $300-400 CAD per night.

Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites – $$

Our favorite mid-range option is the Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites, where all rooms come equipped with a full kitchen – great for homemade meals that can save a lot of money! With its very own on-site fitness center, this hotel is also located in the middle of downtown, which is ideal for this itinerary.

Rooms here start at $167 CAD per night, which we think is great value considering the location and breakfast being included too. You can secure your reservation online here.

Wicked Hostels – $

Right in the center of the city is Wicked Hostels, which is a great choice for travelers on a budget. We’ve found this hostel to be super clean, comfortable, and located in a great area too (bonus points from us)! While there technically are cheaper places to stay in Calgary, the location and the reliability of clean dorms here put Wicked Hostels at the top of our budget category in Calgary.

Dorms here start from $90 CAD per night and can be booked online on Hostelworld or Booking.com.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a photo in the Calgary Tower
Thanks for reading!

Visiting Calgary in the summer is a lot of fun – there’s so much to do from floating down the river to hiking or exploring the city. Plus, there are cool events happening like the famous Calgary Stampede. It’s absolutely worth it to spend time in Calgary during the summer months!

If you found this blog helpful, you can check out more of our blogs about Alberta. Get started with one of the related guides linked below:

How to Spend ONE DAY in Banff: An Ideal 1-Day Itinerary

Lake Minnewanka Cruise Review – Is it worth it?

8 BEST Athabasca Glacier Tours to See the Columbia Icefield