How to Spend 3 Days in Calgary
At the foot of the Canadian Rockies, Calgary is the perfect base for exploring the mountains and parks of Alberta if you don’t have much time in the province. With just three days, you can check out a museum or two, hike or ski before soaking in hot springs, and look for dinosaur fossils. Here’s how.
Day 1: Visit Calgary’s museums
Learn about the history and culture of one of Canada’s biggest cities and spend a day exploring Calgary’s museums. At Heritage Park Historical Village, see what life was like in 19th-century Wild West Canada; or take a look at the Glenbow Museum’s inspiring collection of art and historical artifacts. Travelers with kids should also check out the highly regarded Calgary Zoo, home to more than 1,000 animals belonging to more than 100 species. Go to these year-round attractions on your own or on a guided tour that includes stops at additional city sights.
Day 2: Get outdoors in Banff
About a 90-minute drive from Calgary, Banff is an ideal day-trip destination, and you can be as active or as laid-back as you like there. Depending on the season, hit the ski slopes or the hiking trails while enjoying views of the Rocky Mountains. Alternatively, take a gondola ride or unwind in the hot springs. Some guided tours of the area also visit nearby attractions such as the picturesque, turquoise Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, surrounded by snowcapped mountains.
Day 3: Step back in time at Dinosaur Provincial Park
If you’re up for another day trip, don’t miss Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site about a 2.5-hour drive east of Calgary. An enormous number of dinosaur fossils are on display, with many still to discover in the park. Stop by the visitor center to learn more about the prehistoric site, and marvel at the contemporary landscape of hoodoos (aka fairy chimneys).