What to DO in CALGARY, Canada?


Thank you to my friends who shared their city with me! I loved my first trip to Calgary.

Nicole and I worked on cruise ships together decades ago and we had a reunion in Banff in 2018. She took me strolling to see her favorite spots in the Mission and Inglewood. The trails and parks in Calgary are stunning! I also loved swimming at MNP Community & Sport Centre. What an incredible complex. I could swim there every day!

I loved wandering through living history at over 180 attractions and exhibits from the 1860s to the 1950s at Heritage Park.

My favorite place in the park was the Little Yellow Prairie Synagogue, which served a Jewish community in eastern Alberta from 1916. In 1910, Romanian Jewish farmers left Europe as under the Tzar, Jews could not own land. Canada offered ownership of a quarter section of farm land for $10.

I learned so much from my guide, Eli Kogut! The Ark and lions were donated from Winnipeg and the Torah is from Prague, it is 250 years old and the oldest artifact at Heritage Park Calgary. The Torah was stolen during the Holocaust and rescued from Hitler’s Museum of Extinction where it now can be used for Bat Mitzvahs! I love how this building was rescued and brought here to share the resilience of our people!

Do you love cars? You need to see Gasoline Alley! With cars from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s including a Shell station.

Do you like heights? Join me at the top of the Calgary Tower with views of the Rocky Mountains, foothills, and prairies! It is 626 ft tall and was built to celebrate Canada’s centennial of 1967. When it opened it was the tallest structure in Calgary and the tallest in Canada outside Toronto. I also loved climbing outside of the CNTower on Edgewalk in Toronto! https://www.calgarytower.com/

I walked all around downtown Calgary and photographed The Famous Five Statue– Emily Murphy, Henrietta Edwards, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, and Nellie McClung– about their extensive legal battle in the 1929 ‘Women are Persons’ Case.’ Walking in Olympic Plaza which held the medal ceremonies at the 1988 Winter Olympics as well as City hall and the stunning Central Library. Thank you to Tourism Calgary, Travel Alberta and especially Noelle Aune for helping me discover your vibrant city.

Thank you to Calgary’s top travel writer, Petrena, for spending the day with me at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. We learned about wolf conservation and the problems of backyard breeding of wolfdogs as exotic pets. 40 wolfdogs live on property in 16 different packs. Take a tour, volunteer, donate at the ONLY wolfdog sanctuary in Canada.

What is your favorite thing to do in Calgary? Next visit, I will meet you at Calgary Stampede, TELUS Spark Science Centre and for go-karting! Thank you Travel Alberta and Tourism Calgary! See you next time.

See PART TWO of my Calgary adventures for where to stay and eat!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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