A small province with a big heart perfectly captures the essence of Calgary, Alberta; it’s every traveler’s dream and I’m here to give you a recap on my trip collaboration with Travel Alberta, Tourism Calgary, and Residence Inn Marriott. From the moment I stepped foot in Calgary, I was in awe of the abundance of culture throughout the streets, beautiful natural landscapes, and vast food scene.
I’d like to take this moment to thank the Creator House Program for allow creators to explore and unleash our potential creativity. My journey was filled with activities that I personally curated! I had so much fun designing my itinerary and my ultimate travel guide is now at your fingertips.
Where to Stay
A perfect trip starts with the perfect play to stay. I had the opportunity to stay at the new Residence Inn Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District located in the heart of the city as a part of the Creator House Program. The vibrant atmosphere pays homage to cowboy roots and it’s apparent as you roam through the halls decked with modern designs.
My suite was perfect for an extended stay and it was decked with Creator House goodies from Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Fiasco Gelato, and more. I had the most amazing view of the city, and each suite provides a kitchen with a refrigerator, a stovetop, a microwave, and a dishwasher. In addition, the amenities include free breakfast, a 24-hour fitness gym, business center, free WiFi, etc. Everything was perfect. What more could I ask for?
What to Do
With the countless activities to do in Calgary, it was extremely hard for me to narrow my choices down to just 4 things. The activities during my stay included a visit to the Glenbow Museum, a Gondola Experience at Banff National Park, a tour at Fiasco Gelato and an Instagram Mural Tour.
Glenbow Museum is known for combining a museum, art gallery, library, and archives under one roof. It houses a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions open for everyone to see.
A few notable exhibits I got to see were:
- New Sun Gallery of Aboriginal Art and Culture
- Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta
- Picturing the Northwest: Historical Art from Glenbow’s Collection
- Where Symbols Meet: A Celebration of West African Achievement
Being one that loves museums, I found myself drawn to each exhibit in its own unique way.
Banff National Park & Gondola
Have you ever been to a place and had no words to say?
This statement perfectly explains my day trip to Banff National Park, which is Canada’s oldest national park established in 1885. I sought out on my adventure to Banff early in the morning (which totaled up to a 2 hour drive) and I had the feeling that I was about to be blown away.
Seriously, Banff was everything I expected and more! I took a Gondola ride alongside the Rocky Mountains and it was so serene and calming taking in the views from up high. If you’re traveling to Calgary, visiting Banff is definitely a must.
Fiasco Gelato Factory Tour
To make things sweeter, I got the chance to tour the entire Fiasco Gelato Factory (book your tour here and ask for Marilyn. She’s the best!). As someone who didn’t know one thing about gelato prior to my visit, I left with so much knowledge.
Birthed from humble beginnings, Fiasco was by originally founded in 2003. However, the shop was acquired by a new owner in 2009 and he reduced it to one location. Unfortunately, they experienced a huge fire, however, this tragedy fueled the success of the business. Through relief efforts, Fiasco has been able to rebuild the brand from the ground up.
At my visit, I learned how to make Nutella gelato, which might I add, ended up tasting SO good. I really shocked myself on that one. Check out some pics below:
Instagram Mural Tour
One of the highlights of my trip was linking up with Photographer, Jessica Gray (@jgray.photography), for an Instagram Mural Tour around the province. I was totally fan-girling meeting Jessie for the first time because her work is simply amazing.
We met up at a local coffee shop called Luke’s East Village located on the corner of the Central Calgary Library and it wasn’t a surprise that we kicked it off pretty easy! We ended up talking for over an hour about the city and our adventures began shortly after that.
Jessica took me on a ride along the East Village and snapped a couple of pictures at the most Instagrammable places in Calgary. The walls were filled with local artists that showcased their talent with vibrant colors!
Where to Eat
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Calgary’s epic food scene! With restaurants on every corner and a variety of cuisines to try, I was in for a delicious treat.
The Captain’s Boil
I’m a sucker for a good seafood boil and The Captain’s Boil did not disappoint. I picked my catch, chose my flavor, heat level and add ons, then enjoyed a flavorful experience.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
Japenese BBQ never tasted so good! It’s a meat lover’s paradise. I made sure to try a little bit of everything on the menu and even had my first sake bomb. If anyone knows me, you know I’m not much for drinking so I chickened my way through the drink. Totally worth it.
Alumni Sandwiches was one of those restaurants tucked in Calgary. It was a completely random find, which turned into EVERYTHING I didn’t even know I needed! SN: Make sure you get the Hot Chicken Sandwich. Popeyes who? This sandwich will hands down give them a run for their money.
Cactus Club Cafe
Recommended by local Calgary blogger, Elizabeth (@queennarewami), we met up to grab lunch at Cactus Club Cafe. Elizabeth and I had been following each other on IG for quite some time so it was nice to finally get the opportunity to meet in person. We bonded over good food and quality girl time!
Let me know what else you want to know about my Calgary recap!
I’m so glad I got the chance to travel to Calgary with the Creator House Program! Where should I go to next?
Missed my last post? Check it out here.