Things to do in the Calgary Area
Beyond Calgary (day trips and tours)
Airport Shuttle Express Sightseeing Tours
Airport Shuttle partners with several other local tour operators to offer a wide selection of sightseeing tours to the Rockies, Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump, the Royal Tyrrell Museum and more.
Make sure to find out where your tour ends as they do not all return to Calgary!
A local tour operator offering tours of Calgary and area, including Banff.
Banff National Park
Canada's first national park and the world's third. Spanning 6,641 km2 (2,564 square miles) of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers, Banff National Park is one of the world's premier destination spots for outdoor enthusiasts. Did we mention the hot springs? Try spelunking or take a trip across a glacier at the Columbia Ice Fields.
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site and the Cowboy Trail
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site is located approximately 100 km (62 miles) south of Calgary on Highway 22, 13 km (8 miles) south of Longview. Set in the rolling foothills of the Rockies, the Bar U Ranch is the only National Historic Site to commemorate the history and importance of ranching in Canada. Highway 22, also known as The Cowboy Trail. Nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian prairie, in the high ranching country of Alberta, is the historic Cowboy Trail. This 700 km route along Highway 22 is the source for western vacations and adventures. Even part of it makes a beautiful drive through the foothills of Alberta.
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Blackfoot Crossing, the Historic Site of the signing of Treaty No. 7, is of National and International historical and archaeological significance. It is a designated national Heritage Site and is recommended to be a World Heritage Site. Located approximately 60 minutes from Calgary, embark upon an unforgettable journey as you delight in fantastic exhibitions, sample delicious food in the restaurant and learn more about the language, culture and traditions of the Siksika Nation Peoples.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Some of the most extensive dinosaur fossil fields in the world are found here; the area badlands & cottonwood river habitat are the other significant features that resulted in the park's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Strange land formations rise up on all sides, sculpted by wind and water into hauntingly beautiful shapes sunbathed in terra cotta, bronze and amber.
Brewster's Explore Rockies offers a variety of themed tours that depart from Calgary, mainly on Fridays and Sundays. Check the website for more information and booking - make sure to find out where your tour ends as they do not all return to Calgary!
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is known around the world as a remarkable testimony of prehistoric life that bears witness to a custom practiced by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6000 years. The interpretive centre contains exhibits depicting the ecology, mythology, lifestyle and technology of Blackfoot peoples.
Royal Tyrrell Museum and the Badlands
Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Badlands, only 90 minutes northeast of Calgary, this paleontology museum is situated in the middle of the fossil-bearing strata of the Late Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation and holds exhibits of numerous specimens from Dinosaur Provincial Park as well as a window into the "Preparation Lab." Floodwaters from melting glaciers carved the Red Deer River valley more than 10,000 years ago, creating the badlands. After a visit to the museum, explore this unusual landscape along several hiking trails that begin at the museum's entrance.
For those of you who would like to take in the last of the season’s skiing, check out Sunshine Village. Every year they hold a Slush Cup where a number of participants attempt to jump over a large pool of cold water using either skis or snowboards. Many of the participants in the challenge adorn eccentric costumes as they attempt to brave the cold for a slice of fame. Aside from the great festivities of the Sunshine Village Slush Cup, the day also marks the official end to the Banff ski/snowboard season. Held this year on May 23, 2011.
Torrington Gopher Hole Museum
Strange but true, Torrington, Alberta is the home to the famous Gopher Hole Museum. This attraction features stuffed gophers (Richardson ground squirrels) posed in a series of 47 anthropomorphic scenes, from a hair dresser to a preacher to an RCMP officer. Though the museum is closed until June 1, off season visits may be arranged. To arrange an off season tour, call Diane at 403-631-2133 or Bev at 403-631-3805.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Rugged, windswept mountains rise abruptly out of gentle prairie grassland in spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park. Waterton is quiet, uncrowded National Park. The Perfect place to view spectacular scenery, wildlife and enjoy outstanding recreational opportunities. The highlight of Waterton's sparkling chain of lakes is the international Upper Waterton Lake, the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies. In 1932, the park was joined with Montana's Glacier National Park to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park - a world first. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park became a World Heritage site in 1995.