Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Destinationreport: Calgary ; Five Pages of Fabulous Holiday Ideas Start Here

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Destinationreport: Calgary ; Five Pages of Fabulous Holiday Ideas Start Here

Article excerpt

AVIBRANT, cosmopolitan city of skyscrapers nestled between prairies and mountains, Calgary is often referred to as 'Cowtown' or the Canadian gateway to the Rockies. Known to enjoy the sunniest climate in Canada, it is famed for its chinook winds which blow in from the Pacific during the winter months, bringing with them a rise in temperature - as much as 20 degrees in a matter of hours.

MUST SEES FOR FREE: Get to know the city and take a look around some of its neighbourhoods. The 17th Avenue retail and entertainment district is close to downtown and offers many stores and restaurants. Explore Chinatown, which hosts a street festival in August, or visit 8th Avenue Southwest for a photo opportunity with the popular public art sculpture, Wonderland by Jaume Plensa.

Further out is Fish Creek Park, a 20-kilometre nature reserve where the wildlife includes frogs, deer, coyotes and eagles and there are incredible vistas to admire.

TOP SEES FOR A FEE: The Calgary Stampede is a major 10-day festival which takes place every July. It's a tradition dating back to 1896 and counts rodeo contests, derbies and chuckwagon races among its festivities. The events are ticketed, all with varying prices. Value tickets cost around $50 and will permit entry to more than one event. More information is available at www.calgarystampede.com.

The Calgary Tower stands at 191 metres high and offers a 360- degree view of the city skyline. Admission $11, evening and craft beer tours available at an additional cost. There's also the opportunity to dine at the revolving restaurant, Sky360.

Those with a keen sense of adventure can head to the Canada Olympic Park, where the 1988 Winter Olympics were held. The park offers skiing, mountain biking, ziplining and summer bobsleighing. Prices vary depending on activity. Family tickets from around $46.

GETTING AROUND: The best way of getting around Calgary is by light rail. Known as the C-Train, the network is powered by electricity generated by wind farms and is free in downtown Calgary. The city has one of the largest elevated walkway systems in the world, connecting shops, restaurants and buildings, and has multi- use pathways for walking and cycling. …

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