Planning a trip to avoid the Summer Heat? Then check out “My Trip to Calgary” and see all that this amazing location has to offer. While we often think of this area as a Winter Wonderland, it is absolutely beautiful in July and August as well.
Escaping the Heat
If you live in one of the world’s warmer climates, you probably know that by August you just need a break from the heat. For me, I grew up in the Philippines and the heat was a natural part of life. Something that we just got used to.
Even when I moved to the US, I lived in the Southeast where Summertime is famous for it’s hot sticky weather. In fact, my husband who grew up in New England, used to complain about it all the time. Well, now that I live in Korea, I think I finally understand.
Here in Korea, we have all four seasons and it may surprise you to know that I have actually grown to love the cooler weather and now that the winter is coming to an end, I have started thinking about strategies to beat the Summer Heat.
With that in mind I was thinking about a trip I took at the end of Summer to visit my family in Canada and thought it might make a good article. Last article, I talked about what to do when people come to visit you, but in this article I will talk about what you can do when you go to visit them.
About Calgary, Alberta
While Canada is known for its cold winters, Calgary is actually one of the sunniest locations in this northern country, featuring an average of 333 sunny days each year. In addition, the average high temperature in July is a balmy 74° F. This makes Calgary one of my favorite places to get away from the Summer heat.
Despite the fact that Calgary has more than 1.4 million residents, it still finds a way to feel almost like a small city and not a major metropolis. In addition, the city is one of the most diverse in all of Canada and you may hear people talking in more than 120 different languages or dialects.
In fact, as most of you know, I am from the Philippines and so are the 2 Aunts I was visiting. They have both been living in Canada for quite some time.
Calgary actually has a pretty large Filipino community and this was evident when my Aunt asked her son what type of food he wanted for his birthday and he answered… “Canadian Food of course, I love Pancit!!!”For those of you that may not know, “Pancit” is a classic Filipino Noodle Dish and is not Canadian.
For more information about Calgary, check out the following link: https://www.lifeincalgary.ca/about-calgary
Things We Did in Calgary
As many of you can relate, traveling just to travel is a luxury most of us cannot afford. Consequently, going to Calgary really was a great way to both relax and see my family. Thanks to my wonderful Aunts, I had the opportunity to really get out and explore the area. I will forever be grateful for how amazing my aunts made me feel while I was there.
Too often, when we go to visit family, we settle for just the same ol’ same and don’t take advantage of exploring the new area that you are visiting. By simply being willing to look around and get out of your comfort zone, you can open yourself up to some fabulous opportunities.
While Calgary likely has become a little boring for my Aunts who live there, for me it was all so new and exciting, and I hope that showing me around reminded them of how wonderful this place really is. Below, I will discuss some of the really cool things we did while I was visiting.
1. Downtown Calgary
When visiting any place, it is always great to check and see who you might know. Sometimes I will need to travel to a location for one reason or another, and before I go, I will double check to see if any of my friends live nearby.
There is nothing better than seeing old friends during a trip. In Calgary, I was able to reach out to a colleague from my days working in Manilla, and we had a chance to get together for a girls day.
Being that I had only recently arrived, we decided to take a day and explore the city together. Below I talk about some of the things we found…
The Taste of Calgary
One of our first stops was the Taste of Calgary… While I lived in Charleston, SC my husband had the opportunity to work with the Southern Living Taste of Charleston and it really was an awesome experience.
Because it was so much fun, we decided to check out the event downtown. The food in Calgary was definitely a lot different from what I had experienced in the US and was very different then the Filipino food we ate together back home.
One of the most interesting foods we observed there was authentic Canadian Poutine. This is one of the most famous Canadian dishes which features French Fries smothered in Gravy and Cheese Curds…
The Peace Bridge
After eating all of that food, we decided to take a walk around town and explore all of the sights the city had to offer. Calgary is an amazing place with art scattered throughout the city. It really is a great place to just walk around.
Eventually, we made our way to the Peace Bridge to take some fun pictures…The Peace Bridge spans the Bow River and was designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, to carry bikers and pedestrians across the river from the community of Sunnyside to downtown Calgary.
Princess Island Park
As our journey continued, we eventually found ourselves in Princess Island Park… The park is considered an Urban Oasis and is a favorite spot to go for local residents. There are some great trails and hiking paths including the Chevron Learning Pathway, but for me the coolest thing to see were the massive squirrels.
Yes, I have lived in areas with squirrels before, like Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, but nothing like these… they were like the size of Bears… No, really… Okay, okay… maybe I am exaggerating a little bit… but just a little… they really are giants compared to the squirrels that I was used to seeing.
Another place you may want to check out if you visit, is the Calgary Tower, which was previously known as Husky Tower. It has an observation deck that allows for a 360° view of the city. and is well worth the stop.
For ticket information click on the following link: https://www.calgarytower.com/visit
Banff National Park and the Lake Louise Area
Speaking of enjoying the view… One of my favorite things that I did while visiting, was to travel to Banff and Lake Louise.
Banff is Canada’s first National Park and features more than 2500 square miles of beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountain Wilderness. It is a natural wonderland filled with crystal clear lakes and mountain peaks that have inspired artists and couples alike.
The area is a great place for those that love outdoor activities like hiking and camping. It is also home to Lake Louise.
Click on the following link for more information: https://www.banfflakelouise.com/
One must try activity when visiting Banff is riding the Gondola up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain where you can see six different mountain ranges on a clear day. What a great way to experience the amazing landscape.
Banff Downtown Ave.
Ready for a break from your wilderness adventure? Then head to the town of Banff, once a stop on the Canadian Pacific Railroad and a great place to grab a cup of coffee, or even a beer at the Banff Ave Brewing Co.. Do you have a sweet tooth, then check out the Banff Sweet Shoppe on the strip.
Once you have recharges in the town, consider traveling to Lake Louise to see this amazing alpine waterway. While it was a bit gloomy when we went there, the views were still quite dramatic and the camera does not really convey the stunning color of the water.
Looking for a place to rest for the night, consider the majestic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel. Built more than 100 years ago, the hotel has been a launching point for many mountain adventures over the years and is open all year round.
For us it was a great place just to take some pretty cool pictures, as the view from the hotel was breathtaking. Not looking for a place to sleep, check out the amazing food and beverage options that are also available there.
For more information, click on the following link: https://www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/
4. Visit Moraine Lake
Lake Moraine is located only 15 minutes from Lake Louise and is also a must visit for anyone in the area. While it was still very gloomy out while we were there, the amazing colors of the water and rock just did not translate to the photos.
For me, I was reminded of my trip to the Grand Canyon, and how the pictures we took could not do it justice. The colors really were stunning and view of the landscape reminded me how beautiful the natural world really is.
This is one location that I plan to return to and explore some more. There are some great trails to hike and I know I could spend days checking out the area.
5. Heritage Park Historical Village
Located on the bank of the Glenmore Reservoir, just 15 minutes from the city is Canada’s largest living history museum… The Heritage Park Historical Village. The park features more than 180 exhibits designed to help people today understand the struggles of the original Western Settlers.
It really was a amazing experience to learn about all of the challenges that those brave first residents faced. Thankfully getting around the park is anything but challenging as it was well designed with plenty of activities for the whole family.
It is definitely a place you want to take the whole day to explore and the good news is there are multiple places to grab either a meal or just a snack to provide you with the energy that you need to carry through a busy day.
For more information click on the following link: https://www.visitcalgary.com/things-to-do/attractions/heritage-park-historical-village
As you can see my trip was packed with exciting adventures and really was a great way to get away from the Summer heat, spend some quality time with friends and family, and still experience some of the best things that Calgary has to offer.
And that is the trick to visits… find some activities that allow you to combine family time with fun time. Whenever I go traveling I always make a list of all that an area has to offer and I try to find ways to accomplish both the original goals of the trip, but also to find ways to “Make the Most out of Everyday Life!!!!”
If you are planning a trip to Vancouver, then check out my friends newest article about things to see there as well “21 Worthwhile Sights in Vancouver” There are some fantastic thing to see and I know you will really enjoy reading it.
If you enjoyed the article, please consider sharing it using the tabs below through your favorite SM platform, like my post, or comment and tell me what you do to make your visits a little better. As always, that you again for joining me in this adventure we call life and I will look forward to reading your comments.