The picturesque city of Calgary lies at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River, about 50 miles from the Canadian Rockies in the south of the province of Alberta. It is the largest city in the province and although it's known for being one of Canada's most active business hubs, it also offers a great deal in terms of tourist attractions. Back in 1988, Calgary was the first city to host the Olympic Winter Games and has proved to be a firm favourite with visitors ever since.
This is a particularly vibrant and lively place to visit, with an impressive array of shopping areas, including The Core Shopping Centre. It has four floors across three city blocks with around 160 retailers. The fourth floor of the Core is also home to the Devonian Gardens, one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world.
For something a bit smaller but certainly unique, why not check out the charming neighbourhood of Eau Claire. Built on land that was previously industrial, the area has a good range of unusual and independent shops and eateries. For the best bargains and offers however, it's worth making the drive out to suburban malls such as the Chinook Centre in the south or the Market Mall in the northwest.
This idyllic 20-hectare area of outdoor space lies on an island in the Bow River and is a great place to go walking, bird spotting, or just to relax. It hosts a range of music and arts festivals, and is part of the pathway and hiking trail system which lines both sides of the river, so it's popular with tourists who like being active in the great outdoors.
No list of tourist attractions would be complete without a mention of the Calgary Zoo, which focuses as much on conservation education as it does on entertainment. The most visited zoo in Canada lies just east of downtown Calgary and is easily accessible by car via Memorial Drive. It's home to around 800 animals of more than 130 different species and has received numerous awards and international recognition over the years.
Calgary is a great base to explore the province and by renting a car with Alamo it will enable you to travel further afield to see the other diverse cities in the province and what they have to offer.
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