The luxuriously appointed, privately owned “Rocky Mountaineer” runs between Calgary (or Jasper) and Vancouver, cutting westward on the historic Canadian Pacific line through the soaring mountain wall of the Rockies. At Canmore, providing the weather is good, there is a fine view of the snow-capped “Three Sisters.” Soon afterwards, the popular winter resort of Banff is reached. Other highlights on this mountainous section (where peaks top 3,600 meters) include Lake Louise, Kicking Horse Pass, and Rogers Pass.
Where to Stay in Calgary:
Mid-Range Hotels: Right downtown, just a short walk from Prince’s Island Park in the Bow River and offering large suites at an affordable price is the upscale International Hotel. The award-winning, boutique Hotel Arts, an easy stroll from the Calgary Tower, has custom contemporary dcor in all the rooms. South of downtown, but very close to Fish Creek Provincial Park, is the Wingate by Wyndham Calgary. With an indoor pool and waterslide, this hotel is a good choice for families.
With an extensive permanent collection and an ever-changing array of traveling exhibitions, the impressive Glenbow has plenty for the history buff, art lover and pop-culture fiend to ponder. Temporary exhibits are often daring, covering contemporary art and culture. Permanent exhibits bring the past to life with strong historic personalities and lots of voice recordings. Hang out in a tipi, visit a trading post and walk through the rail car of a train.
Dig Up Some History at The Royal Tyrrell Museum
Create a cast of a real fossil, try your hand at digging in a quarry, or stand back and take in one of the worlds largest collections of dinosaur skeletons. Discover the fascinating history of life on planet Earth at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
Become a Cultural Explorer at Glenbow Museum
Over a million objects, documents, photographs, and artworks make Glenbow Museum a must visit destination in western Canada. Explore distinctly Canadian art on the second floor and discover the rich history of Canadas First Nations Peoples in The Blackfoot Gallery.
One of Western Canadas largest museums, the Glenbow features 20 galleries, with permanent exhibitions on Western and Indigenous cultures, military and war history around the world, Asian and African artifacts, and Alberta mineralogy. The museum also plays host to a rotating selection of visiting exhibitions from across the country, and the globe. Glenbow maintains a digital archive of online exhibitions, including some that mirror current in-house galleries, allowing patrons to visit exhibits from afar or at home. Admission: adult $16, senior and student $11, (youth (7-17) $10, children six and under are admitted free, as well as annual membership holders. www.glenbow.org
The world-class, high performance atmosphere of the Olympic Oval skating rink is not just for professional athletes. Located at the University of Calgary, the 450 meter oval ice surface is open to the public, with equipment rentals available at the Skate Shop. The facility also houses artwork that fosters a connection between artists and athletesits worth checking out. Admission: adult $7, youth and senior (55+) $4.75, family $18.50, special needs (with assistant) $5. Children five and under are admitted free. www.oval.ucalgary.ca
The Military Museum of Calgary
Uncover the triumphs, misfortunes and sacrifices of the Canadian Forces at the second largest military museum in Canada. Their eight museums and galleries include the Army, Naval, and Air Force Museums of Alberta. Walk through a World War I trench, enter the wheelhouse of a World War II ship model, and visit exhibits at The Founders Gallery. Admission: adult $15, seniors, students and youth $5, children 7 and under, along with military veterans, are admitted for free. www.themilitarymuseums.ca
The North West Mounted Police built this National Historic Site in 1875. Located on a 40 acre riverside park where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet, Fort Calgary features exhibits, an interpretive centre, and recreations of the forts 1875 palisade and 1888 barracks. Learn stories about Calgarys past, try on an authentic RCMP uniform, stand behind bars in the jail cell, treat yourself to vintage goodies at the Museum Shop, and visit their Community Garden. Admission: adult $12, seniors and students $11, youth (7-17) $7, children (3-6) $5, children 2 and under are admitted free. www.fortcalgary.com
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