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Greater Calgary Adventures

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Calgary & Area, Alberta.
At the base of the Alberta Rockies there is no shortage of exciting activities available in Calgary and surrounding towns such as Airdrie, Cochrane, Black Diamond and Bragg Creek. Whether visitors are looking for an activity to expand their mind, a physical diversion or something that will provide a thrill, sightseers are sure to find adventure around every corner.

A ROUND OF GOLF

With over 30 golf courses in Calgary and nearby communities such as Airdrie, High River, Crossfield, Dewinton, Langdon, Okotoks and Turner Valley, golfers will have no trouble locating a golf course to challenge their abilities in a lush and often scenic location. Facilities are a mix of public and semi-private courses, and green fees vary from course to course as does availability of amenities such as golf carts and the need for tee times. Golfers looking to practice on the putting green or driving range will find some golf courses have them on site. Many golf courses, particularly the semi-private courses, have enforced dress codes that generally require collared or golf-style shirts and no denim.

Some of the most exceptional views of the Rockies can be seen from the Glen Eagles Golf Course in Cochrane. This 18-hole golf course has practice facilities, a pro shop and club house featuring the Eagle's Nest restaurant. Visitors can experience golf on the prairies at the affordable Collicutt Siding Golf Course located in Crossfield.

ADVENTURE IN THE WILD, WILD WEST

There are ample opportunities for those looking to experience a "western" adventure in Alberta's wilds. Visitors can choose from activities such as staying at a guest ranch, trail rides and pack trips, carriage tours and sleigh rides, farm tours, hunting trips and fishing trips.


Visitors to the Calgary region will find ample opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the area on horseback. There is nothing more western than staying at a guest ranch or participating in a trail ride or pack trip through the Alberta foothills and into the Rocky Mountains. Moose Mountain Adventures not only offers day trips and multi-day excursions but also use of their guest house for an authentic ranching experience. Those looking to take pleasure in a less vigorous horse-driven outing may wish to try a carriage or sleigh ride.

A variety of hunting and fishing tours are also available to those looking to enhance their wild west excursion. Experienced guides take guests to the hottest spots to find that perfect picture, catch or trophy. Game hunters can track elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, moose and black bears with guides from companies like Anchor D High Mountain Hunts. Those who love to fish, or are new to the sport, will find an abundance of lake fishing tours or can try fly fishing on the Bow River for wild rainbow and brown trout with outfits such as the Trout Chasers River Company.

X-TREME FUN

Adrenaline junkies and adventure enthusiasts need not fear a dull stay in the Calgary area with numerous activities to fit the thrill-seeking bill. Visitors can choose from escapades in the air or on the water, snow and land.

Whether travellers wish to dive out of a plane or rise into the clouds in a balloon, the region has a number of exhilarating air activities such as skydiving, hang-gliding and paragliding, ballooning, and helicopter tours and sports. Enjoy paragliding or hang-gliding lessons with Muller Windsports or go on a heli-hike or heli-picnic with tour operators such as Glacier Helicopters.

Visitors not worried about getting wet can hit the river and try their hand at kayaking and white-water rafting. Paddlers will find that Aquabatics Calgary offers lessons and exciting, customizable paddling adventures, while just a short trip from Calgary, in Longview, Wakpa Wilderness Adventures provides partial-day, full-day and overnight white-water rafting trips.

With the snow comes a whole new set of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Travellers can get a couple of runs in or take ski and snowboard lessons at Canada Olympic Park, a world-class facility that also offers bobsled rides to the public. Those looking to get out of the city can use a snowmobile or ski tour company to plan a stimulating outing.

On foot, adrenaline fanatics can sharpen their aim and dodge the opponent at Capture the Flag Paintball and Laser Tag, while at Race City Motor Sport Park, speed lovers will experience a spine-tingling venture on four wheels or can watch the action from the sidelines. All-terrain tours in the wilderness and in-line skating along the vast network of bike paths are other possibilities on the endless list of fun things to do in the Calgary area.

SEEING THE SIGHTS

What better way to see the sights of Calgary and surrounding areas than to see them with a professional interpretive guide or tour operator. Sightseeing tour companies may offer partial-day, full-day and multi-day trips, inclusive custom packages such as those provided by Time Out for Touring or specialized tours on foot, in a vehicle or by other means. A number of tour operators in the area showcase the region's cultured side with art tours and learning vacations.

Guided walking tours are an excellent way to truly enjoy what Calgary and its surrounding towns have to offer. As well as being great exercise, these tours move at a pace that allows the senses to take in the rich sights, sounds and tastes. The Okotoks Walking Heritage Tour leads visitors through downtown Okotoks, stopping at various historic buildings. Bicycle tours and canoe tours allow sightseers to appreciate a different perspective than that gained on walking tours but with the same physical benefits. Inside Out Experience offers mountain bike tours in the foothills with dazzling views of the Rockies. Travellers looking to cover more ground may wish to consider a vehicle-based tour such as a motorcoach or van tour, motorcycle tour or rail tour. For a bird's-eye view, holidaymakers can choose to see the sights from an airplane.

Visitors can experience Calgary's artistic side or taste its culinary diversity while on a culinary tour or photography and painting tour. Urban Safari Tours walks groups through Calgary's trendiest neighbourhoods like Stephen Avenue or Eau Claire for some of the area's finest and most flavourful dining opportunities. Travellers can end the night with a brewery and distillery tour, such as the ones offered at Big Rock Brewery, or with a spooky yet informative ghost tour.

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