Calgary is a major gateway to Banff and the Rocky Mountains, which are 1.5 hours' drive to the west.

It is a young, energetic city of one million people.  

Its position at the heart of Alberta's beef country is reflected in the Western-themed festival known as the Calgary Stampede.

Calgary also serves as the headquarters of Canada's oil industry.  In recent decades the employment opportunities that that industry has provided have attracted Canadians from other provinces and immigrants from all over the world.  This has resulted in an increasingly multi-cultural society that manifests itself in a variety of ethnic restaurants and festivals like Carifest Caribbean Festival, Afrikadey! , Expo Latino, Taste of Calgary, and others.

The city and its immediate outskirts are home to several attractions, such as the  Calgary Tower, Stephen Avenue Walk, Glenbow Museum, Devonian Gardens,  Calgary Zoo, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and Calaway Park. For maps of Calgary attractions, visit Calgaryattractions.com (includes printable coupons) and Calgary Info Center .

Calgary has a full range of educational, medical, cultural, artistic, sporting and shopping facilities.  Just some of these amenities are the University of Calgary, Foothills Medical Centre, EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, Jubilee Auditorium, Pengrowth Saddledome, Talisman Centre for Sport and Wellness, Canada Olympic Park and Spruce Meadows.   

There also are attractions that can be visited during day trips from Calgary.  They include the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in
Drumheller, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre between Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, and Kananaskis Country between Calgary and Banff National Park.

Calgary maintains a friendly rivalry with Edmonton, Alberta's capital city, which is three hours' drive to the north of Calgary.  Although Calgarians and Edmontonians like to focus on this or that small difference between Calgary and Edmonton, the two cities are relatively similar to each other in terms of population, size and general appearance.

Vancouver and Calgary often serve as "book ends" for trips through the Canadian Rockies.  It is common for travelers to fly "open jaw," that is, into one of these cities and out of the other.  The early summer traveler would do well to start at the coast, which warms up sooner than the mountains do.  The fall traveler is better off starting in Calgary, as the coast stays warm for longer than the interior does.  In July and August, at the height of summer, the direction of travel does not matter from a weather point of view. There is more information about trip timing on the Inside Calgary : Weather & When to Go page here at TripAdvisor.  

Calgary sometimes serves as an entry and exit point for Montana's Glacier National Park, especially for travelers who combine visits to Glacier NP with time in Canada's Rocky Mountain national parks.  The traveler who wishes to take a Canadian rental car across the US-Canada border may be asked to show written authorization from the car rental company.  A relevant notation on a car rental agreement is enough.  Of course travelers who cross from Montana into Alberta need to bring appropriate travel documents and familiarize themselves with Canadian money.

Calgary is a fun city that is worth a visit.