By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated: Feb 18, 2014
Calgary, Alberta is a young, dynamic city geared towards all season entertainment and activities indoors and out. We're talking oil and cowboys here, and the booming economy and location of the city attract young people and travelers from everywhere.
The city is world famous of course for it's Stampede Rodeo, held each summer in July. But away from all the crowds, there are many more attractions in Calgary that are ideal for a travel & romance. And only 110 Km's west (70 miles) are the Canadian Rockies, including Banff and fabulous Lake Louise, AB.
Here's our ideas for a couples weekend in Calgary, or a romantic getaway in southern Alberta anytime of year.
Some of our favorite romantic spots in Calgary & things to do include...
Stephen Ave - most of downtown Calgary is cars and office buildings, which is what makes Stephen Avenue somewhat special. It's the city's only pedestrian mall, a mix of medium/high-end shopping, buskers, sidewalk art, cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating (great in the summer and early autumn).
Calgary Tower - not the best looking tower you'll find, but the 360-degree views of the downtown and Rocky Mountains to the west are worth the $15 cost. At the top you'll also find Sky360, the only revolving restaurant in Calgary. The Tower is popular as a wedding location, and as a place to propose in Calgary. (101 9th Ave SW)
Kensington Village - the hub of Calgary's "counter-culture", a cool look at the un-cowboy side of the city. But what we mostly enjoyed here was eating, and we can heartily recommend Pulcinella (1147 Kensington Cres NW 403-283-1166) for their outstanding pizza and nice comfortable seating outside on the 2nd floor balcony.
Heritage Park Historical Village - step back to Western Canada and romantic Calgary in the late 1800's. In the summer, the SS Moyie paddle wheeler offers cruises around the reservoir where you can see the city and Rockies to the west from a different perspective. (1900 Heritage Drive SW)
Devonian Gardens - especially enjoyable on a winter getaway to Calgary, as you can wander through the indoor gardens of waterfalls, flowers, and marine life. (317 7th Ave SW)
Bow River Valley - Princes Island Park is accessible by pedestrian bridge, and is a great spot for a romantic picnic in Calgary by the Bow River.
More Calgary Attractions for Couples - for fun entertainment, shopping and eating, try the Eau Caire Festival Markets on Barclay Parade SW. Or, if you'd rather see more of Calgary higher up, Sundance Balloons (403-203-9310) offer special anniversary rides & romantic Calgary honeymoon packages.
CHARCUTT - mentioned above as part of the Hotel Le Germain, consistently tops the romantic Calgary dining lists. Don't usually think of burgers in a dining room like this, but their Charcutt Style with Parmesan fries is awesome. (101-899 Centre St, Calgary 403-984-2180)
Sultans Tent - in the Kensington Village, you come to expect the unusual, and this Moroccan diner doesn't disappoint. The Casablancan booths add a fair bit of romance to the evening as well. (4 - 14th St NW, Calgary 403-244-2333)
La Chaumiere - quiet atmosphere and classic French cuisine make this one of Calgary's best restaurants. (139 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB 403-228-5690)
Escoba Bistro & Wine Bar - popular for it's Mediterranean/Californian fusion menu, and offers an intimate, secluded atmosphere just right for romantic Calgary dining. (513 - 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB 403-543-8911)
Banff - the distance from Calgary to the Canadian Rockies is only 1 hour by car, so this is a natural spot for daytrips and weekend getaways from Calgary.
Waterton Lakes National Park is a fabulously scenic spot, and includes fabulous Waterton Lake and the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park.
There are several romantic Wateron Lakes lodges and inns which would make a fine base for an Alberta honeymoon that's peaceful, secluded, and close to Canadian Rockies hiking and wildlife (we saw a black bear catching fish in a stream!). It's a scenic drive of just 160 miles (265 km) south of Calgary.
The distance from Calgary Airport to downtown Calgary is about 20 km (12 miles). A taxi ride will cost about $40.
Calgary is only about 90 km (55 miles) from Canada's Rocky Mountains. The best way to travel from Calgary to the Rockies is by car. The highway is a wide, 4-lane divided freeway that is easy to drive on. Occasional winter snow storms can cause delays.
Distances From Calgary to: