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Calgary A likeable and booming place, whose downtown skyscrapers soared almost overnight on the back of an oil bonanza in the 1970s, CALGARY 's tight high-rise core is good for wandering, and contains the prestigious Glenbow Museum.
The wooden houses of the far-flung suburbs, meanwhile, recall the city's pioneering frontier origins, which are further celebrated in the annual Calgary Stampede, a hugely popular cowboy carnival in which the whole town and hordes of tourists revel in a boots-and-stetson image that's still very much a way of life in the surrounding cattle country.
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Year-round you can dip into the city's lesser museums and historic sites, or take time out in its scattering of attractive city parks.
Downtown Calgary lies in a self-evident cluster of mirrored glass and polished granite facades bounded by the Bow River to the north, 9th Avenue to the south, Centre Street to the east and 8th Street to the west. A monument to oil money, the area is about as sleek as an urban centre can be: virtually everything is brand-new, and the modern architecture is easy on the eye. The city centre , so far as it has one, is traditionally 8th Avenue between 1st Street SE and 3rd Street SW, a largely pedestrianized area known as Stephen Avenue Mall .
Any city tour, though, should start with a trip to the Glenbow Museum , while a jaunt up the Calgary Tower , across the street, gives a literal overview of the Calgarian hinterland. Thereafter a good deal of the city lends itself to wandering on foot, whether around the mall-laden main streets or to Prince's Island , the nearest of many parks, and gentrified Kensington , a busy shopping and café district. The appeal of attractions further afield - Fort Calgary , Heritage Park and the Calgary Zoo - will depend on your historical and natural-history inclinations. These sights, together with a crop of special interest museums , can be easily reached by bus or C-Train.
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