Weekend Getaway: Calgary, Alberta

View of the Alt Hotel Calgary East from across the river

Last but not least in our tour of Canadian Prairie cities is Calgary in Alberta! Calgary is Alberta’s most well-known city and famous for its annual Calgary Stampede. It was also the host city of the 1988 winter games and some installations are still present and offer winter recreation opportunities. Many also travel to Calgary in the summer as it is the gateway to the Rockies, Lake Louise, Jasper and Kananaskis for hiking and other outdoor recreational activities.

Here are some highlights from our weekend trip to Calgary and ideas of where to stay, eat and drink if you’re visiting.

Stay: Alt Hotel Calgary East Village

We stayed at the Alt Hotel Calgary East Village. The hotel is your typical Alt Hotel setup and design but newer. If you have never stayed at an Alt Hotel, it reminds us a little of Aloft Hotels; modern, functional, and minimal. The Alt Hotel is located on the Bow River and just steps away from downtown and other neighbourhoods.

Calgary, like Edmonton reminds us of cities in Texas that are built around driving but if you are staying at the Alt, you don’t need to drive; lots of things are walkable and it is quite enjoyable to walk. If you do park, there is self-parking at the Alt for a reasonable fee or you can park for free on the street or in one of the city lots nearby. If you are parking on the street, just make sure to read those signs carefully as Calgary has some of the most confusing signs in our opinion.

The room itself was very comfortable, the service was very friendly and helpful, and the hotel had a nice gym with modern equipment (even a nice spin bike!). For on site dining, there are two restaurants: CHIX Eggshop for breakfast, lunch, and casual dinner/snacks, and NUPO (omakase) and Eight Restaurants.

For other accommodation choices downtown, check out this list with great deals!

  • Alt Hotel Calgary East: Room
  • Alt Hotel Calgary East: bathroom
  • Alt Hotel Calgary East: gym

Things to Do:

We came for a quick urban trip and so we did not explore any of the areas outside of Calgary, and so our trip was more or less an eatinerary! Here are some highlights and photos of where we ate and drank on our weekend trip to Calgary:

  • BBQ at Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery: While the meats were ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, the kale cesear was AMAZING! Having beer and BBQ here reminded us of how much we’ve had in Texas the past 7 years or so.
  • Softserve and shopping Luke’s Drug Mart ; great selection of vinyl, local products lie bath salts, and canned fish! You must come here to eat ice cream and shop! You can even mail your friends a postcard from here as there is a Canada Post.
  • Beers on the patio Cold Garden Beverage Company and exploring the eclectic interior.
  • Dinner Calcutta Cricket Club for a modern take on Indian street food and other classics. We loved the kati rolls and samosa chaat!
  • Enjoying a unique Annex Ales beer with a name that reminded us of a misshap in Albuquerque. Thanks to everyone who told us the name of the beer is actually a song by A Tribe Called Quest!
  • Getting to experience the WestJet Elevation Lounge at the Calgary Airport!
  • Our feast at Paddy's Barbecue!
  • Paddy's Barbecue!
  • Calcutta Cricket Club outside
  • Calcutta Cricket Club inside
  • Cold Garden Beverage: inside
  • Cold Garden Beverage: Jason on the patio
  • Cold Garden Beverage: patio
  • The famous soft serve from Lukes Drugmart in Calgary


We had a nice time in Calgary and being able to enjoy the city when the weather was nice, made a big difference! We also quite enjoyed visiting the WestJet Elevation Lounge, which was one of the reasons why we made the trip.

  • YYC WestJet Elevation Lounge: Bar
  • YYC WestJet Elevation Lounge: Seating
  • YYC WestJet Elevation Lounge: WestJet Elevation cocktail (right) and Holorime (left)
  • YYC WestJet Elevation Lounge: Cheese plate and caprese salad

As much as we miss getting to go on mileage runs on Alaska Airlines to cities in the US, we’ve been pleasant surprised with all the awesome things we’ve found in Canadian Prairie cities like Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon. If you do your research and venture out, you can find those small and unique businesses that you’ll enjoy and remember for a long time!

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