Less than two hours from the Rocky Mountains, Alberta’s largest city may be perched on the edge of a natural wonder, but its downtown core is a wonder all its own. Filled with fitness, facials and tasty foods, here’s why the bustling metropolis is worth a visit this summer.
Best stay in Calgary
Located in Calgary’s East Village, a short walk from Inglewood (a hip shopping neighbourhood), the Calgary Stampede grounds (here are 10 things you may not know about “the greatest show on earth”) and Studio Bell (home of the National Music Centre), the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Calgary is a cozy gem in the heart of the city. Stay fit on vacay by splashing around in the indoor pool or lifting weights in the fitness centre. You can even bring Fido along to stay in a pet-friendly room.
Best beverage in Calgary
If you’re not already in love with kombucha, True Büch will make you a convert. Not only is their fermented tea good for your gut, but the bottled flavours (like vanilla chai and blueberry rooibos) and draft varieties (think root beer and hibiscus ginger) are legit tasty. They’re available at several restaurants, markets and yoga studios in Calgary and a portion of all proceeds goes to local non-profits.
Best facial in Calgary
Give your skin a little TLC by popping into XO Treatment Room, where they’ll utilize the latest techniques (rejuvenating lasers, peels, vitamin infusions and more) to get your skin in shape. Try the custom facial with owner Annie Graham and get her read on your skin health and the best treatment options for your unique needs. At $350 for an hour, it’s a splurge — but you’ll see real results.
Best surf studio in Calgary
Get ready for a major core workout, all while mimicking traditional surfer moves on the unstable (grounded) surfboards at Surfset YYC. Start with Surfer 101 for beginners, or move ahead to more advanced classes with weights, TRX suspension training or even boxing moves. And if playing surfer isn’t your thing, the studio also offers barre, Pilates and kickboxing. (Ever tried surfing in Ireland? Read up on why it’s a hot spot for beginners.)
Best buys in Calgary
Just one of many Inglewood stores packed with giftables, The Livery Shop is a collab between two local brands — jewellery maker CoutuKitsch and apparel line Camp Brand Goods — who came together to support dozens of indie labels from Calgary and around the world. The shop is housed in a big red stable and features simple and chic The Horse watches, luxe Sydney Hale room sprays and fragrant Leaves of Trees body lotions.
Best eats in Calgary
Whether you have a night or a week in Calgary, you won’t want to miss Foreign Concept, chef Duncan Ly’s love letter to creative, modern Pan-Asian cuisine. Order an assortment of small and large plates and be sure to choose the Bulgogi Imperial Rolls, Alberta Trout Cha Ca La Vong and an Asian take on Italian tiramisu — the Vietnamese Coffee Parfait. You’ll fall in love and wish cross-country food delivery were a thing.
Now that you’ve seen the best Calgary has to offer, head to Winnipeg for a weekend getaway.