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Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

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lancashire
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Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

We intend stopping at Calgary for 14 nights at the end of June. My wife is not very good at walking long distances. Will there be enough to keep us occupied in and around Galgary district for that time. Also we intend hiring a car and I have opted to go through someone like Expedia and book a flight, hotel and car hire together I would like to have sat nav in the car but don't seem to be given the option when selecting which car.

Can anybody help please?

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

Most of us here on these forums tend to value Calgary mostly as a gateway to the mountain national parks, although it does have its own attractions, but two weeks would be an awfully long time to stay there, imo. Calgary can be a base for day trips to Banff, and Lake Louise - but why not just base yourself there after a few days in the city? It's about 1.5 hours' drive to Banff, about 2 hours to Lake Louise.

Sat nav is not really necessary if you are visiting the national parks - there are only a (very) few roads and it's pretty hard to get lost. A road map would suffice. The city of Calgary itself is not hard to get around in either, again, a map (a few dollars at any gas (petrol) station would be useful.

Check out www.maps.google.com - you can superimpose mapping on top of satellite imagery - and it will give you a very good idea of the area.

Calgary
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1,313 posts
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2. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

What kind of activities do you enjoy?

we might be able to recommend a few things to help consume your time. But as the other poster said, there really isn't enough for 14 days. Best thing would be 3 or 4, then drive out to the mountains.

lancashire
3 posts
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3. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

We are both 60 years old and as I said my wife is not very good on her legs so it would be more of a scenic holiday rather than any activities like hiking, etc. Botanic gardens, boat trips, excursions or just chilling out is more our life style. We will be visiting new found family in Camrose so anything to do around that area would be appreciated.

Many thanks.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

Camrose is about 2hrs north of calgary. Edmonton is closer. Its about a 45min drive south of edmonton.

14 nights in calgary is pretty long. Banff and lake louis are very nice. Even to drive through its really nice. There are nice restaurants in banff and nice places to stop the car and sit by a lake on the drive to lake louis. You should drive there.

Canada hasnt caught on to the sat nav in rentals yet. Very few places offer that service. But canada isnt like a lot of places where there is alot of buildings and everything is jammed pack into a small place. A map would be fine.

For example, to go to camrose from calgary you go north on the main and only highway which is number 2. You drive staright for a couple hours and you will see a sign that says camrose turn right. Then you drive down a highway that hits camrose.

You could buy a nav system at a mall in calgary for about 200 dollars with everything loaded into the unit.

Same if you want to go to banff and the rockies.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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88 reviews
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5. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

You'll run out of things to do in Calgary. I would recommend that you spend some time in the Rockies - Banff and Lake Louise (there is plenty of sightseeing to be had, you don't have to hike) and, since you have the time, Waterton Lakes NP would be a great 2 day trip from Calgary as well. The Shoreline Cruise there is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours in Waterton. There are 2 scenic drives in the park: The Red Rock Canyon Parkway and the Akamina Parkway. There is also a bison paddock that you can drive into for a chance to see some buffalo. Glacier National Park, which borders Waterton but is situated in Montana, USA, would also be al lovely day trip from Waterton. But, as UK residents you would have to complete a VISA waiver form when crossing the border into the US.

Other spots in the Calgary area that might interest you:

-Calgary Zoo

-Heritage Park in Calgary

- Columbia Icefields, north of Lake Louise

-Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller (home to the best collection of dinosaur skeletons in the world)

=Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump at Fort Macleod

-Kananaskis Trail from Longview to Canmore

- Bar U historic Ranch, south of Longview on hwy #22

-The town of Canmore

-The historic Crowsnest Pass near Coleman, AB

I have information and photos of a lot of these places on my travel web pages:

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/m/

Feel free to look at any pages there that interest you. Also if you google many of these suggestions you will be able to check out websites for more info. I hope it gives you some good vacation ideas!

- CG

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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6. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

Lots of great responses already here; I'm working on a reply but it's taking a bit longer than I expected. For now, I'll just note that when you are in Camrose, you should visit the nearby Reynolds-Alberta Museum: http://machinemuseum.net/

Calgary, Alberta
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75 posts
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7. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

I disagree with the comment that Canada hasn't caught onto the idea of Sat-Nav rentals. All of the major car rental companies in Calgary offer them at $10 or so per day.

You could opt for purchasing your own unit, but may find it defunct when you return to the UK since most of the units sold here only come loaded with maps of North America.

Whomever you decide to book your car hire through, just call/email them in advance to ensure that they will have a sat-nav available to you at the location you pick your car up from.

Good luck.

Asif

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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25,213 posts
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8. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

I hesitated to respond earlier, because Calgary's attractions can involve just as much walking (or more!) than visiting the national parks; also, it's not clear just how much walking you can do. For example, the Calgary Zoo is 3/4 mile from one end to the other; so to see the whole zoo in a single day would mean a minimum of 1.5 miles of walking. (No electric scooter rentals available, I was disappointed to learn, but there are wheelchair rentals.)

That's roughly the same distance as the walk to Johnston Canyon's Lower Falls, in Banff National Park. (And just in case I'm seriously underestimating your abilities, it's 2.7 miles from the trailhead to the Upper Falls, or 5.4 miles total.)

Calgary's Heritage Park (www.heritagepark.ca) a living history village which portrays the history of Alberta from the 19th century to the 1920’s, is more compact than the zoo, at just under 1/2 mile across. However, a steam train and a wagon ride make it a little easier to move around the grounds, and Heritage Park's SS Moyie (a reproduction paddlewheeler) cruises neighboring Glenmore Lake every 30 min. Only open on weekends in June.

The Glenbow Museum (www.glenbow.org) in downtown Calgary is much more compact; I would strongly recommend you make a beeline for the 3rd floor, home of the new Mavericks gallery--which tells Alberta’s history through the stories of notable and notorious Albertans--and of the Niitsitapiisinni gallery about the Blackfoot First Nation.

If you’re interested in military history, Calgary’s Military Museums (www.themilitarymuseums.com) may be of interest; their major expansion is taking longer than anticipated (supposed to open in Nov 2008) but should be well worth a visit when it’s finally complete.

...more later...

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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9. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

Would it make sense to use this trip opportunity to drive to Banff, then north to Jasper, east to Edmonton, then to Camrose or Calgary? 'Twould be a shame to miss this incredibly magnificent piece of real estate. Perhaps only two or three nights en route would suffice.

Lacombe, Canada
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252 posts
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10. Re: Is there enough to keep us occupied + sat nav

I agree with voyaging - the drive through the rockies, banff, rocky mountain house, jasper, etc., is gorgeous. Lots of little lodges, etc and tons of scenery without having to do a lot of walking. Camrose has a few neat places around it that you can do day trips to, lakes, etc., that again, you could park and picnic and not have to do a ton of walking.

For me, (country girl) - 14 days in Calgary would be 13 too many. Also to note, if you plan to overflow from June into July - you are going to hit the Calgary Stampede and if walking isn't your thing, that probably won't do. And it is the highest volume of traffic in Calgary all year as people from all over the world come to attend the rodeo and grounds.