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Shopping in the Calgary Area

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Calgary & Area, Alberta.
Whether visitors are looking for the latest designs in fashionable couture or for one-of-a-kind handicrafts, Calgary and its surrounding communities offer a wide variety of unique shopping experiences. From Calgary's trendy boutiques and major malls to specialized shops and farmers' markets located just minutes from the city, there is definitely a shopping experience for every visitor.

CALGARY

Modern Malls
The recent oil-driven boom has put Calgary on the map as a shopping destination, encouraging big brands to make their presence known in this growing metropolis. Those who prefer to shop 'til they drop in one easy location will find it hard to choose between Calgary's many modern malls. Calgary's shopping centres, such as Chinook Centre and Market Mall, are filled with well-known brands like The Gap, The Body Shop and Aritzia as well as cinemas, large department stores and a variety of dining options.

Outdoors & Downtown
Calgary has many unique and enjoyable outdoor shopping areas sure to entice shoppers on sunny summer afternoons. Hit Calgary's compact city centre with the rest of the cool crowd and browse 17th Avenue's many boutiques. Locally owned shops, like Purr and Rubaiyat, cater to those looking for something out of the ordinary. Shoe lovers will definitely not want to pass up the great selection of stylish and funky shoes found at Gravity Pope. Just a few blocks away from this busy avenue is TD Square—downtown's answer to the shopping mall. Brand-name shops such as Club Monaco and La Senza make up a small sample of the stores available. Canada's upscale department store Holt Renfrew is situated nearby, and label-loving fashionistas will find a multitude of high-end designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada here. Holts offers a selection of specialized services, including valet parking and personal shopping, to provide customized shopping experiences.


Just east of the city centre is the neighbourhood of Inglewood, which offers a selection of vintage and consignment shops. Those who enjoy searching through racks of clothes for that one-of-kind retro jacket or scouring dark corners for an antique table will surely want to take a stroll through this funky neighbourhood.

Kensington, one of Calgary's oldest and most vibrant communities, is located across from the downtown core just over the Bow River. Nearly 250 shops and services line the pedestrian-friendly streets. The nearby LRT station, numerous bus stops and an abundance of parking make Kensington an easy outdoor shopping option for everyone. Book stores and trendy boutiques, like Calgary's own Paul Hardy Designs, hip home furnishing stores as well as a selection of specialty shops, like the Bernard Callebaut Chocolaterie, are only a few of the stores this neighbourhood has to offer. After a day of browsing, visitors can relax at one of the many nearby cafes or restaurants. No shopping trip to Kensington is complete without a stop at Crave Cookies and Cupcakes where tempting home-made sweets fill the menu.

Big-Box Brands
Calgary has large shopping plazas, like WestHills Towne Centre and Northland Village, in each city quadrant boasting stores like Chapters, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Winners and grocery stores such as Safeway and Canada's own Superstore. Well-known chain restaurants, also located in these complexes, provide a place to relax after a day of serious bargain hunting.

NORTH OF THE CITY: AIRDRIE, BALZAC & CROSSFIELD

North of Calgary in River View County is the recently established CrossIron Mills shopping centre. This mall is divided into themed "neighbourhoods" that reflect Alberta's landscape and landmarks and assist customers in navigating the enormous complex. Located about 15 minutes from the city, CrossIrons Mills boasts almost 200 stores, including a selection of outlet shops like the Banana Republic factory store, the Tommy Hilfiger Outlet and, for jean lovers, the Lucky Brand Jeans Outlet.

Airdrie, which is north of Balzac, has a farmers' market that runs weekly over summer and offers visitors a choice of fresh produce, handicrafts and many other home-made treats.

WEST OF THE CITY: COCHRANE & BRAGG CREEK

Bragg Creek is an easy day trip from Calgary providing a relaxed and pleasant outing. The mountains serve as the perfect backdrop to the western-style Bragg Creek Shopping Centre, which has a small selection of shops, including Spirits West, a specialty liquor shop that offers over 600 wines and 45 imported beers.

Eighteen kilometres (11 mi) west of Calgary lies the small community of Cochrane. Art galleries, unique coffee houses and inviting eateries line the streets of downtown Cochrane. Visitors should make sure they stop by the famous Mackay's Ice Cream shop and sample one of the many unusual flavours like mango or chai tea.

SOUTHWEST OF THE CITY: MILLARVILLE

Escape the city and enjoy Alberta's beautiful countryside at the Millarville Farmers' Market. Housing over 170 vendors selling everything from unique crafts to delicious baked goods, the market is open every Saturday morning from June to October. Visitors can also enjoy local entertainment as they wander through the popular market. Though closed during winter, the market does operate a Christmas fair for three days every November.

SOUTH OF THE CITY: OKOTOKS & HIGH RIVER

Located 18 km (11 mi) south of Calgary, Okotoks has a little bit of everything, from small boutiques in the Olde Towne to the large Southridge Village Shopping Centre, which has a variety of restaurants and retail shops.

Farther south off Highway 2 visitors will find the friendly town of High River. Surrounded by a series of historic murals, High River's downtown has a small selection of gift shops, day spas, cafes and restaurants.

The Calgary area offers visitors a variety of shopping experiences, from luxury department stores and hip boutiques in the city to picturesque country shops and lively outdoor markets in nearby communities. With such an abundance of options, shoppers are sure to find exactly what they are looking for and more.
17th Avenue Calgary
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Photos of Calgary & Area  17th Avenue Calgary


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