March 2, 2023

So, you’ve planned a Canadian RV road trip and have time to kill in Calgary. You’ve never been there before so you’ll be wondering what are the best things to do and see in Calgary.
Well, we can tell you that there are top Calgary attractions for all ages and interests, from history buffs to nature lovers. From world-class museums to exciting live shows, indoor and outdoor activities, there's more than enough going on in Calgary to keep you busy for days. But when you have more than a few days to spend, why not also explore some of the city's lesser-known Calgary attractions? Check out one of Calgary's many art galleries or take a leisurely stroll through downtown. Maybe you'd like to try your hand at whitewater rafting? Or take in a game at the nearby stadium! Whatever you choose to do in Calgary, there's sure to be something that'll suit your taste. Here's some suggestions for:

Year-Round Calgary Attractions

Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park

Return to the golden age of the automobile at Gasoline Alley Museum. Boasting one of the world's largest public collections of antique vehicles and oil and gas-related artifacts, this expansive three-story museum brings auto history from the turn of the 20th century to the 1950s to life. Immerse yourself in a bustling street scene, enjoy a blast from the past with a display of a vintage drive-in movie, and enjoy some family fun and crafts in the Family Gallery! 

Gasoline Alley, Heritage Park
Gasoline Alley - Photo: Heritage Park Historical Village

The Calgary Zoo

The penguins are popular at the Calgary Zoo
  The Calgary Zoo has been one of the top Calgary attractions for families since 1929.  It is one of the most visited zoos in Canada, having welcomed some 2 million guests over the past 9 decades! Calgary Zoo’s diverse collection includes more than 600 animals representing more than 250 species from all around the world, so there is something for everyone at the zoo! From elephants to penguins and giraffes to polar bears, Calgary Zoo has everything that you could possibly want from a zoological park. 

Calgary Tower

Ever wondered what it feels like to stand at the top of a skyscraper? Now you can experience that feeling in Calgary. You'll be able to take in one of the most impressive 360-degree views of the city from up on top of the Calgary Tower. The observation deck is open daily, and offers visitors free WiFi access, so you're free to log on and send a message or two while up there. Be brave and stand on the glass floor, affording a drop-down view of the tower and the street below. The Calgary Tower has been among the top Calgary attractions since 1972 and is 251 meters tall, making it one of the tallest buildings in North America. It's no wonder that this iconic landmark has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the world's most beautiful skylines!   Calgary Tower at Night
Calgary Tower at Night - Photo: Jordan Dahl @jorddahl 

The Military Museums

If you're a fan of military history, then Calgary’s Military Museums are for you. Housed in a historic building and with exhibits that trace six centuries of Canadian military history (army, Air Force and Navy), it's one not to be missed. The museums tell the story of how we have come together to defend our country and how we have become an international force that inspires confidence worldwide. From amazing aircrafts to interactive educational displays, the Military Museums have something for every age and interest.

Studio Bell

Man operating an audio mixer at Studio Bell
Photo: Studio Bell/Leblond Studio
  Studio Bell is home to the National Music Centre and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It is your go-to place for exploring the vast and rich history of Canadian music. From interactive learning programs to live music performances, exhibitions, and more, this space is jam-packed with ways to get immersed in our country's music culture. And it's all done in a way that's fun, engaging, and accessible to everyone! 

Wonderland Sculpture

This 12-metre tall bent-wire sculpture of a young girl’s head can be found in front of the Bow Building at 110 6 Ave SE. It is meant to represent the dreams of the young people of the province of Alberta. It’s free to visit and you’re welcome to view it from both the inside and the outside.
  Look out from inside of Wonderland Sculpture
Wonderland Sculpture, Downtown Calgary

Calgary Central Library

Entrance to the Calgary Public Library.
  You don’t need to be borrowing a book to have an excuse to visit Calgary’s new Central library building. The building and its architecture are a drawcard in itself. The entrance to the building references the Chinook cloud arches which are commonly seen over the Calgary landscape and the interior provides serene spaces to just sit and relax. The Calgary C-train line has been incorporated into the design of the building which is situated next to Studio Bell.  

Telus Spark Science Centre

Telus Spark is a science museum with interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and educational demonstrations. It’s a great place to visit both with and without kids. Located on Saint George’s Drive, not far from the Calgary Zoo, Telus Spark features an Infinity Dome theatre where various space related short movies are shown. Paid parking is available on-site.

Child playing with exhibit at Telus Spark

Telus Spark Kids Creative Museum - Photo: Telus Spark

CF Chinook Centre

CF Chinook Centre is the largest shopping mall in Calgary and a destination in itself. Hundreds of brand name stores are featured in over 1.3 million square feet (127,000+ square metres) of covered space. Anchor tenants include Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. If shopping is on your agenda, this is the place to go.

Bowness Park

Bowness Park is an extremely popular urban park in the city’s northwest quadrant. It features a shallow lagoon which is ideal for paddle boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter. The park itself was built before the first World War as a weekend retreat for nearby Calgarians and today offers picnic areas, bookable firepits, numerous pathways and BBQ stands.


Girl on Zipline at Winsport Canada Olympic Park
Zipline - Photo: Canada Olympic Park
  Canada Olympic Park/Winsport, is a multi-purpose training and competition facility for high performance athletic training and recreational use by the general public. Summer activities include a zipline, luge, and the only lift-accessed mountain biking park in Alberta. Canada Olympic Park (formerly known as Paskapoo Hill) has evolved since 1988 when it was the primary venue for that year’s winter Olympic ski jumping, bobsleigh and luge events. Home to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, It’s a family destination with something for everyone.

Stephen Avenue

A walk in Calgary’s downtown isn’t complete without a stroll down Stephen Avenue. It’s Calgary’s only pedestrian mall featuring some of Calgary’s best restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes, many with outdoor patio dining.  Many of the buildings are made of sandstone quarried locally. It was the busiest street in Calgary in the 1890s. From Stephen Avenue it’s an easy walk to many other top Calgary attractions.


Pedestrians on Stephen Avenue Calgary
Stephen Avenue - Photo: Shawn Parker @flashparker

Seasonal Calgary Attractions

Spring through Fall

Heritage Park Historical Village

s.s. Moyie Paddlesteamer on Glenmore Reservoir
s.s. Moyie - Photo: Heritage Park Historical Village
  On the same site at the Gasoline Alley Museum, Heritage Park Historical Village is open from late May to Canadian Thanksgiving. Heritage Park is a top Calgary attraction for families in the summer months. The park’s attractions and exhibits span Western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s in four distinct areas of the park. Plan to spend at least half a day here and don’t forget to ride both the steam train and the paddle-wheeler S.S. Moyie.   

Fort Calgary

Established in 1875 as Fort Brisebois by the North West Mounted Police (NWMP)  (forerunner to today’s Canadian Mounted Police) Fort Calgary is situated at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Allow about an hour here viewing the displays in the interpretive center covering the life of the First Nations people, early pioneers and the North West Mounted police. The outside barracks are an exact replica of the original fort.   Horse Statue at Fort Calgary
Fort Calgary - Photo: Ian Holmes @irrationalcarny

Callaway Park

Western Canada’s largest amusement park is a top Calgary attraction during the summer months. Callaway Park occupies approximately 160 acres of land about 4 kilometres west of Calgary’s city limits on the main highway to Banff in the Canadian Rockies. Callaway Park is a great place to spend time with kids. Attractions here include thrill rides, u drive, an old-fashioned carousel, bumper cars and food stalls/restaurants.

Spruce Meadows

Horse jumping an obstacle at Spruce Meadows
Horse Jumping - Photo: Travel Alberta
  If show jumping is an interest, Spruce Meadows is the pace to be if  if there’s an event on coinciding with your visit. Spruce Meadows also hosts a big Christmas Market with over 300 local vendors on selected weekends in November and December. Spruce Meadows is a top Calgary attraction for show jumping and is located in the south of Calgary near the communities of Bridlewood and Somerset.  

Calgary Stampede

The top Calgary attraction in July must be the Calgary Stampede. With more than 100 years of tradition behind it, the Stampede is dubbed the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth featuring one of the world’s largest rodeos and Canada’s richest. Enjoy stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and a First Nations village. General admission will get you into most exhibits. Evening entertainment includes a Grandstand Show following the evening’s Chuckwagon races. Tickets are extra and should be purchased in advance. Each evening is topped off with a fireworks show, the explosions from which can be heard across the city.   Chuckwagon Racing at the Calgary Stampede
Chuckwagon Racing - Photo: Calgary Stampede

Prince’s Island Park

Among the top Calgary attractions which are free to visit is Prince’s Island Park. It’s located on an island in the Bow River just north of the downtown area. The park is accessed by one of three foot bridges on its south shore or by other pedestrian bridges crossing the Bow. The park is abuzz during summer with busking events, festivals like the Calgary Folk Festival, expos and outdoor theatre and is a handy place to spend a lazy afternoon.

What are some top Calgary attractions in Winter?

Calgarians embrace Winter. If they're not out in the mountains skiing or hiking, you might find them taking a stroll through one of Calgary's many public parks or out skating on a public rink.

Bowness Park

Ice skaters on Bowness Lagoon
Bowness Park Skating - Photo Travel Alberta  Roth and Ramberg
  The shallow lagoon used for boating in summer at Bowness Park is transformed into an expansive Ice skating rink from mid-November to March and is a top Calgary attraction in winter. Firepits help keep skaters warm and skate rentals are available. Bowness Park in winter also has other fun things to do including ice biking, crokicurl, and cross country ski trails. Free ice skating is also available in downtown Calgary at Olympic Plaza and in the south-east at North Glenmore Park.  

Canada Olympic Park (Winsport)

The fun continues at Winsport in winter. Canada Olympic Park has a beginners’ ski hill, along with snowboarding and tubing. 

Zoolights at Calgary Zoo

Zoolights Calgary Photo: Travel Alberta/CakeWalk Media
  Christmas comes alive between mid-November and early January with the magical tradition of Zoolights. With admission fees supporting wildlife conservation, Zoolights is Calgary’s premier Christmas Lights festival. Exciting themed areas include the Prehistoric Park, Polar Wonderland, the Tunnel of Light, a skating rink, firepits and Axe throwing. Advance tickets are strongly recommended as this top Calgary attraction is extremely popular.

Christmas at Heritage Park

Experience Once upon a Christmas at Heritage Park and enjoy both indoor and outdoor Christmas activities with the whole family. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride, visit with Santa, enjoy a scavenger hunt, crafts, music and entertainment and so much more. Once Upon a Christmas takes place on weekends from late November to mid-December.

Take in a Calgary Flames hockey game

Ice hockey is a Canadian tradition. As the national winter sport of Canada, hockey dominates TV programming and conversations from October to May. Calgary is home to the Calgary Flames who play their home games at the Saddledome. Try to snag some tickets to experience this iconic sport as a spectator. 

In reviewing our list of top Calgary attractions to see and do, you'll realize that one day in Calgary isn't enough. Choose your activities based on the time you have available then we suggest you bucket list others for a return visit. When you do, we'll be here to help you plan your next RV vacation with us. In the meantime, please subscribe to our Guest news emails so you'll be the first to hear our latest news and special offers.
Many of the top Calgary attractions mentioned above are partners with CanaDream Club and offer CanaDream Guests discounted admission when they book through CanaDream.

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