Attendees’ Walking Guide to Calgary 

Sponsored content by Meetings + Conventions Calgary

Author: Sarah Beauchamp       

Calgary

Calgary has the most extensive pedestrian pathway in North America, making it easier to walk — or bike — just about anywhere. (Meetings + Conventions Calgary)

During a conference, it’s often difficult for attendees to find time to get out and explore. Sometimes it seems that all they see during their time in a new city is the insides of cabs, hotels, and shuttles. But not in Calgary. Home to the most extensive pedestrian pathway in North America and Canada’s sunniest major city, Calgary makes it easy for delegates to avoid getting in cars or on public transportation during their stay. And it’s not surprising that most people say they prefer navigating the city on foot. The scenic destination sits at the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet. Attendees can take in the views walking and biking along the water, or get some fresh air in between meetings navigating the downtown’s many walkways. There’s always something to do within a few minutes’ walk.

To help attendees get around the Stampede City, we’ve compiled a comprehensive walking guide. Here’s where delegates can go and what they can do when visiting Calgary — no Uber necessary.

Connected Convention Centre

Calgary features an easily walkable, well-lit, pedestrian-friendly downtown, in the heart of which sits the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. Cutting through the downtown district is Stephen Avenue, the destination’s historic pedestrian mall, home to high-end shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. And Calgary’s elevated indoor walkway system, the Plus 15, helps attendees get to and from meetings and networking events, all without stepping outside. (This is especially useful during the winter.) In addition, The Plus 15 connects the convention center to three four-star properties: the Calgary Marriott Downtown, the Fairmont Palliser, and the Hyatt Regency Calgary, offering a total of 1,150 guest rooms. Meeting at the BMO Centre in Stampede Park? That’s just four blocks away in the soon-to-be revitalized Rivers District with even more pedestrian friendly amenities.

Where to Explore

Other walkable neighborhoods in Calgary include historic Kensington, just north of the Bow River across the Peace Bridge and one of the city’s more pedestrian-friendly areas. Nearby Inglewood is another historic neighborhood featuring local shops, restaurants, breweries, and Music Mile, a stretch of music venues from 9th Avenue SE at The Blues Can to Studio Bell, home to the National Music Centre. At the heart of Calgary’s nightlife scene is 17th Avenue SW — a walkable stretch of trendy bars, restaurants, and shops. In addition, the East Village was designed with pedestrians in mind, complete with walking paths, parks, and community spaces, making it easy to navigate on foot.

Get Back to Nature

In Calgary, attendees don’t even have to go outside to enjoy the outdoors. Devonian Gardens is a lush indoor garden in the middle of the city, located on the 4th floor of The CORE Shopping Centre. Delegates can explore this urban oasis, which is more than 100,000 square feet of botanical gardens, with more than 500 trees, 50 varieties of plants, and a 900-square-foot living wall. Attendees can get outside and explore Calgary via the pathways of Ralph Klein Park, featuring more than 30 acres of man-made wetlands, plus a community pear and apple orchard. Other green spaces in the city include Fish Creek Provincial Park, home to nearly 50 miles of mixed-use pathways; Prince’s Island Park, a natural oasis in the middle of the city that includes some of the most popular pedestrian pathways in Calgary; and St. Patrick’s Island, a 31-acre public park northeast of downtown Calgary.

Taste of Calgary

Attendees can also explore Calgary via tours like the Calgary Walks & Bus Tours which take visitors throughout the city, stopping at historical sites and some of the best places to eat and shop. If delegates want to further explore the destination’s food and beverage scene, they can take a tour with Urban Crawl, which offers brewery, wine and cheese, and dinner tours, incorporating some of Calgary’s best restaurants and bars. Plus, Alberta Food Tours offers walking food tours — like Craving Kensington and Inglewood Edibles — through some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

Whether attendees want to spend most of their stay in downtown Calgary, easily navigating between meetings and networking events, or exploring the great outdoors, hiking and biking along the Bow and Elbow rivers, there’s something for everyone in Calgary. All delegates have to do is take a step.

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