Calgary Region is the region centred on the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Traditionally an agricultural area, it is a mix of suburban towns and semi-rural areas that are becoming bedroom communities to Calgary. In 2016, it was home to 1.4 million people. The region's population is young, and diverse, with about 30 percent of its people being immigrants to Canada.
- 1 Calgary — Home to many of Canada's oil companies, the Calgary Stampede, one-time Olympic host and the largest city in Alberta.
- 2 Airdrie — 25 minutes north of Calgary's city centre.
- 3 Chestermere — 25 minutes east of Calgary, next to Chestermere Lake.
- 4 Cochrane — 30 minutes northwest of Calgary. Popular destination for short day trips from Calgary, to visit McKay's Cochrane Ice Cream and other shops and restaurants, and Cochrane Ranche Park and Provincial Historic Site. Also home to Studio West Bronze Foundry and Art Gallery.
- 5 High River — 50 minutes south of Calgary, best known as the shooting location for the TV series Heartland.
- 6 Okotoks — 35 minutes south of Calgary. Visit Big Rock, (also known as Okotoks Erratic), a glacial erratic between the towns of Okotoks and Black Diamond (18 km south of Calgary). The 15,000 tonne (16,500 short ton) quartzite boulder is the world's largest known glacial erratic.
- 7 Strathmore — 45 minutes east of Calgary.
- 1 Black Diamond and 2 Turner Valley — twin towns 50 minutes south of Calgary's city centre.
- 3 Bragg Creek — a hamlet in the foothills 40 minutes west of Calgary's city centre. Close to 4 Bragg Creek Provincial Park and Wintergreen Golf & Country Club. Popular destination for short day trips from Calgary.
- 5 Longview — a village in the foothills 65 minutes southwest of Calgary. Close to the Bar U Ranch, a Canadian National Historic Site.
- 6 Big Hill Springs Provincial Park — a day-use area northwest of Calgary between Cochrane and Airdrie.
For visitors arriving by air, the most effective way to get in is to fly into Calgary at the Calgary International Airport.
For drivers, the highways offer great scenery, especially for motorcyclists. From the east (Saskatchewan) or the west (British Columbia), Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway) is the principal route. From the north (Edmonton) or the south (the United States), Highway 2 is your best bet.
Red Arrow and Rider Express provide intercity bus service into Calgary.
There are no scheduled passenger trains that pass through Calgary or the surrounding area.
Travelling by car or motorcycle is the best method of transportation around the region.
On-It Regional Transit provides commuter bus service from Okotoks, Black Diamond, Turner Valley and High River to Calgary's Somerset/Bridlewood LRT station, Monday to Friday during peak commuting hours.
The Intercity Express (ICE) Route 900 runs every two hours during the day between Airdrie and Calgary, every day except public holidays.
Calgary has the lion's share of attractions.
Fort Calgary was a Northwest Mounted Police fort built in 1875. Today's Fort Calgary is a museum and historic site focusing on the history of the city and of the RCMP.
The Glenbow Museum is Western Canada's largest museum, filled with artifacts emphasizing local history, including Indigenous cultures, Western Canadian history, Asian Art, West African Art, and Military History.
Heritage Park is one of the largest living historical villages in North America, and has a working passenger train, 155 historical exhibits, and a paddlewheel boat.
Telus Spark has over 100 hands-on exhibits, and four exhibit galleries focused on science and discovery.
But there are places on interest outside of the city, too.
Bar U Ranch, in Longview, is a National Historic Site run by Parks Canada. This ranch is preserved as life was from 1882 to 1950. Over 35 buildings and structures, as well as the staff in period costume and character, allow the visitor to experience and understand life on the historical ranch.
The Nose Creek Valley Museum, in Airdrie, has more than 10,000 artifacts from the region's past.
The Calgary Stampede is the focus of the city's social calendar, with 10 days of rodeo, chuckwagon races and other events. The Strathmore Stampede is Canada's third largest rodeo, and is a more intimate, local event. Over the years concerns have been raised about the treatment of animals at these events.
If you are a festival-goer, Calgary offers a wide range of festivals through the year that are not the Stampede: spoken word, folk music, children, salsa, comedy, Shakespeare, blues, film and fringe.
Did you ever want to be a cowboy? Outfitters will organize horse-riding or horseback vacations in the Rocky Mountains from Black Diamond.
There is excellent birdwatching at Emerson Lake or at the Frank Lake Conservation Area, both hear High River.
Other activities include fishing in and around High River, and paragliding and other outdoor sports in Cochrane.
Going for an ice cream and a coffee at McKay's in Cochrane is a popular outing for Calgarians.
The Calgary region is often compared to Texas with the hospitality of its people, with most locals being very kind and considerate people. The region is very safe for travel.