Rural Alberta, Calgary
Favorite thing: Rabbits have become plentiful in Calgary this year. It hasn’t gotten to the point where we’ve been overrun (like Canmore)… but who is to say if they won’t take over in a couple more (rabbit) generations.
Drive out to Cochrane (West on the 1a Highway -- Crowchild Trail). If it's morning, grab an espresso or cappuccino to go at Expresso To Go (right off the highway as you first enter town) but if it's hot and sunny out go to MacKay's. Go directly to MacKay's. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00. Prepare to stand in line but prepare also for some of the finest ice cream North America has to offer! You can't miss it -- it's right on Main Street.
Fondest memory: MacKay's has been around since I was a child (going on 3 years now, I guess, nyuck nycuck). Anyway I wouldn't say it is my fondest memory of all, but I would be remiss if I didn't steer you in that direction once you've made it this far!
LEAVE THE CITY! Get out into the foothills and prairies to the east, the Rocky Mountains to the west... really any direction you drive will have spectacular things to see.
If you're hungry, check out the Memories Inn in Longview, Alberta. It's quite a drive but the character of this place makes it more than worth it! And the drive out there is on one of the most beautiful highways in Alberta.
Fondest memory: Most people come to Calgary in July to see the Stampede. But I truly suggest that if you really want to experience a rodeo, or Native culture, you should go to the local towns surrounding the city. Try the Indian Resource Council of Canada (281-8308) to find out where the local Native Pow-Wow's are (see my entry below as well as my Native Culture travelogue!). If you're coming this far, you may as well experience the REAL thing!
If you click on the pictures below, you'll get a much better feel for the excitement of rodeo close up!
Favorite thing: Go up to Canmore, a small town just before you reach Banff National Park. You'll find its not so busy as Banff but lovely just the same. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and the Bow river running through, a nice pub and a beer. great.