Five Reasons to Love Summer in Calgary
Live music and epic bike paths are just a few things to be excited about
Each year as the sun starts sticking around a little longer, Calgary comes alive. The city’s parks are host to stages and music festivals, bike tracks mark up the many pathways and the Bow River is packed with city dwellers getting a cool down. Here are just a few reasons to make the most of Calgary this summer.
It’s the year of music
Calgary is halfway through what has been dubbed the Year of Music, but there are lots of great events still in store.
Studio Bell, home to the National Music Centre, is opening later this summer with Canadian music history exhibitions, sound installations and a 300-seat theatre. Nearby, check out Music Mile, which boasts more than 15 live music venues.
Then, of course, there are the festivals. The 10th annual Sled Island Music & Arts Festival (June 22 to 26) will see 250 bands at 35 venues and outdoor stages across the city. The Calgary Folk Music Festival (July 21 to 24) hosts more than 70 artists on eight stages. And, during the Calgary Stampede (July 8 to 17), Nashville North, the on-grounds bar, offers live music all day, every day.
The pathways are perfect
With 580 kilometres of pathways and 95 km of additional hiking and biking trails, Calgary has one of North America’s most extensive urban pathway networks. Ride the 138-km loop around the city or hike through Fish Creek Provincial Park.
River floats are fun
It’s Calgary’s iconic summer pastime—an afternoon float on the Bow, soaking up the sun and city skyline. Get equipped at Lazy Day Raft Rentals, start your two-to three-hour ride at Bowness Park, bob through downtown and end at pretty Prince’s Island Park.
The Ship & Anchor is a mainstay
Ask any Calgarian about “The Ship” and they’ll tell you it’s an institution. This 17th Avenue S.W. pub is where many locals sipped their first legal drink, just like their parents did before them. The menu features hearty pub classics, but what makes this place so special is that nowhere else in the city will you find downtown suits, millennial hipsters, suburban moms and burly bikers sharing a table on the packed curbside patio or listening to a local band at the Saturday afternoon “Ship Jam.”
The East Village is booming
This newly revitalized neighbourhood is the place to be when the sun is shining. Have a picnic at St. Patrick’s Island, take in a live opera performance under an open-air tent during Opera in the Village (Aug. 13 to 14 and 20 to 21), or just stroll along the RiverWalk pathway while enjoying a baked treat from local favourite, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.
Getting there: WestJet flies to Calgary 108 times a day from 25 Canadian, 11 U.S. and five international cities.