Calgary, Alberta

Calgary was our first stop on the way to Banff.  A quick 2 hour Alaska flight out of Seattle made it a no brainer.  The entrance to Banff is a short 1.5 hour drive from Calgary, so we decided to spend a couple of days exploring the city before heading to our final destination.

A charming city in its own right, Calgary had a fair amount to offer.  In hindsight, however, one day would have been plenty.  This is not to say that our time spent wasn’t well spent, but only to say if time is limited, choose Banff!

Where to stay // 

We rented a perfectly cozy Airbnb near the city center in a neighborhood called Bridgeland. It was nothing fancy — inexpensive, clean, and all that we needed for a great crash pad.  There are tons of cute pockets surrounding Calgary, so if you have a car, the smallest amount of research will easily land you somewhere swell.  I found the city and surrounding areas to be very easy to navigate, so don’t hesitate to get adventurous with your lodging.

Our condo was situated just shy of a small farmer’s market.  It made for a perfect afternoon snack adventure.

 

Where to eat // 

The food here was phenomenal, as far as we could tell.  Because we spend a lot of time researching food in new cities, we usually eat well, but we’re definitely not without letdowns.  Our couple of meals were all fantastic.

Boxwood Cafe

Clean, organic food the way you want it to be: hearty, satisfying, and DELICIOUS.  The space itself is situated in the city, but adjacent to a large greenspace, making it the perfect location for a glass of wine and a slow lunch.

 

Dairy Lane

I don’t know how I managed to fail at operation food photo, but I blame it on the night before (read: wine) and the crazy long wait to sit at Dairy Lane — I couldn’t spare even a brief moment before shoveling breakfast in at the speed of light.  What I remember of the blur that was breakfast: excellent food, tiny space (be prepared to wait), okay service, good bloody marys.  Worth the wait?  Sure.

Proof YYC

We popped in for a pre-dinner drink.  Had a nibble, and moved on.  Cool space, okay vibe, great cocktails and happy hour snacks.

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Sunnyside Natural Market

We LOVE a good organic grocer.  We opted to grab lunch, stock up on snacks, and a get the fixings for a meal in at Sunnyside Natural Market.  Their deli is exceptional (fresh baked breads that’ll make your heart skip a beat).  We had made-to-order sandwiches and we all left full and happy.

Where to wander // 

Prince Island Park

Definitely the highlight of Calgary for me.  Think Central Park in a quieter city with beautiful boardwalks and river and wildlife.  The fall colors were breathtaking against the blue sky.

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