Guide: 8 staycation activities that will make you feel like a tourist in Calgary
Via ShutterstockVia Reader's Rock Garden Cafe / FacebookVia Peter Lougheed House / FacebookVia @cityofcalgary / InstagramVia Studio Bell / Bitterminn PhotographyVia Philip Davis / UnplashVia Unplash Patrick Mcvey
Some of us have been inside for far too long. In another attempt to see the bright side of all of this, being in quarantine has actually presented us with a rare opportunity to see the city with fresh eyes! What better time to take a staycation than right now?!… or in the coming weeks. Whenever you’re ready. Guys, there is so much to see and do here! However, in case you need a prompt or an itinerary, here are 8 awesome things to do in Calgary that will make you feel like a tourist in your own city.
Note: Many of these locations are at least partially closed to the public at the current time. Be sure to call ahead or check the websites to get all the information on access and opening times that you need.
The Reader Rock Garden is a local gem and one of our favourite hidden spots in Calgary. Climb the cobblestone staircases or grab a bite at the beautifully-restored Reader’s Cafe which used to be William Roland Reader’s home. Then look, but don’t touch the thousands of flowers and exotic looking plants collected from all over the world during Reader’s lifetime.
Where: 325 25 Ave SE, Calgary
The Peter Lougheed House is another beautifully landscaped historic site in Calgary’s inner city. Formerly owned by local businessman, lawyer, and politician, Senator James Lougheed, as well as his wife, Lady Isabella Lougheed, this 14,000 square foot property and sandstone mansion has been the backdrop of thousands of spiffy events, weddings, and parties. Also, it’s said to be haunted so that’s pretty cool too.
Where: 707 13 Ave SW, Calgary
Named after former Mayor and Premier Ralph Klein, this man-made wetland is used to educate and hold killer picnics. This ‘day-use area’ has beautiful pathways, benches, and a serene view meant to make you feel like you’re nowhere near a bustling city. Due to COVID-19, some parts of the learning centre are currently closed, but trust us when we say it’s still worth just taking a look at this place.
Where: 12350 84 St SE, Calgary
Studio Bell is one of, if not the coolest buildings in the city from the outside. Inside though, is where the magic happens. See legendary equipment used in the studios of the Rolling Stones, read original lyrics in the handwriting of Canadian icons, and get interactive in the recording booth. Due to COVID restrictions, it’s currently closed to the public, but we’d expect that to change real soon.
Where: 850 4 Street SE
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Hidden on the top floor of the CORE Shopping centre, there’s a tropical oasis. One minute you’re in a mall food court, and the next you’re in the rainforest. The Devonian Gardens are absolutely beautiful year-round. The fountains and vine-covered walls make for an incredible photo-op or a comfortable place to get some work done.
Where: 324 8 Ave SW, Calgary
Heritage Park is an old-timey attraction where everyone is truly committed to the whole production. Kind of like Disney Land, the staff never break character, which makes for a uniquely authentic experience. The food around the park is incredible, there are rides, horse-drawn carriages, and a ferry that will take you around Calgary’s reservoir. A few of the attractions will be closed this summer, but there is still plenty of fun to be had and interesting things to learn.
Where: 1900 Heritage Dr. SW, Calgary
Lace-up your walking shoes and take a sunny stroll through Prince’s Island Park. Stop for something to eat in Eau Claire, grab a cone from the waterfront food truck, or sit by the Bow’s edge and watch geese.
Where: 698 Eau Claire Ave SW, Calgary
Go for a drink, do some shopping or take in the sights on Stephen Avenue. This hotspot is kind of the heart and soul of Calgary’s inner city. It’s super vibrant, comfortable, and necessary. Seriously, guys, you can’t truly wear your tourism pants if you don’t check out Stephen Ave.
Where: 8th Avenue 4th Street, Calgary
Well, there you go, friends super tourist-ey things to do in and around Calgary! Go on, get out there, and experience the city like it’s the very first time! … again, only when you’re ready!