The colourful history of the West is front and centre at the Calgary Stampede. History buffs and culture lovers will find other opportunities to immerse themselves in bygone eras at several interesting venues around town.
To get to the Stampede, take the C-Train to Stampede Station. If you're downtown already, walk to 7 Ave. S.W. and board an eastbound train. It's a short trip to Stampede Park.
Prince's Island Park is walkable from most downtown hotels. The park lies north of Eau Claire market, about six blocks from the 7 Ave. C-Train line.
Fort Calgary is in the Downtown East Village. It is accessible by foot from most downtown hotels (save some shoe leather by taking the C-Train to City Hall), though this up-and-coming community is as yet somewhat unrefined – so your "urban exploration" may entail friendly encounters with colourful folks from all walks of life. Calgary Transit or taxi are always good options too.
Discover How the West was Once at Canada’s Largest living history Museum at Heritage Park Historical Village. Explore Gasoline Alley and find out how the introduction of the automobile changed our culture. Take advantage of the summer, and step back further in time to our lively historical village. Meet friendly pioneers, ride our authentic steam train, enjoy the antique midway and immerse yourself in the old west.
Come to Stampede Park and look through the goods at The Stampede Store. Get suited with a cowboy hat before heading to the Grandstand for the Calgary Stampede Rodeo at 1:30 p.m. Buy tickets in advance to get a seat in the stands – or bring a sturdy pair of cowboy boots and show up the day of and stand in the dirt like a real cowpoke.
Spend the day downtown. Visit Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza for a free pancake breakfast. Festivities start at 9:00 a.m. and run July 10 and July 12-17.
Take the C-Train from Olympic Plaza to Victoria Park and walk over to the Uptown 17th Avenue SW area. Deemed "one of Canada’s Top 10 retail streets in Canada" by the Calgary Herald, this shopping and entertainment district is home to a number of unique shops, art galleries and restaurants. Grab some lunch at one of the many patios along the avenue.
Visit Fort Calgary, the city's birthplace, and tour a replica of the fort the Mounties built at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the nearby Inglewood neighborhood.
Take a walk (1.3 km) to Stampede Park (follow the west bank of the Elbow River south around the bend to 12 Ave. S.W. Walk west on 12 Ave. to Olympic Way S.E. Follow the fanfare south to Stampede Park.) Before attending the Calgary Stampede Rodeo at 1:30 p.m., (Buy tickets in advance to get a seat) head to Weadickville where you’ll see Calgary circa 1912. After the rodeo, escape from all the action (without leaving the Park) to the Western Oasis in the BMO Centre.
Go to The Range in Stampede Park's Big Four Building for dinner before meeting up for a Calgary Ghost Tour to explore some of the city's historic landmarks under a different light. Ghost tours alternate between downtown and the community of Inglewood. Mystery and mayhem wait…just remember to wear comfortable shoes. Tours start at 8:00 p.m.