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Thursday, July 7, 2011
By Waheeda Harris
Cowtown’s reputation for a straight-shooting style and western hospitality is easily seen by visitors. With unbeatable views of the Rockies, numerous shopping districts and plenty of places to satiate that appetite after exploring where prairie meets mountain: Calgary.
Where to Stay
Modern elegance welcomes guests to Hotel Le Germaine, located steps from the Calgary Tower. Guests will appreciate the contemporary-styled rooms with au courant amenities as well as the street-side Lounge Central 899, the perfect perch for morning coffee break or post-work cocktail people-watching. Downtown’s Hotel Arts , mixes local charm with a South-Beach vibe thanks to its happening pool scene. Located close to the arts and entertainment district, this modern hotel’s Raw Bar is a hot spot for the chic crowd after work.
What to Do
Shoppers should make tracks to Uptown 17th Avenue SW – a district of over 400 clothing boutiques, home décor shops and plenty of pocketbook distractions. Wander to Kensington Avenue, where local coffee shops, indie businesses, arthouse cinema and fave bookstore, Pages on Kensington, will be an afternoon well-spent. For those wanting a dose of culture, head to the Glenbow Museum, with its unique exhibits and permanent collections of art, archaeology and history. For a dose of outdoorsy life, rent a bike and hit the trail – Calgary boasts 200km of pathways as well as part of Canada’s TransCanada trail within its borders.
Where to Eat
Start the day with java at a Good Earth Coffeehouse and Bakery – local cafes found throughout the city. Begin nibbling at Taste Restaurant with its small plates; don’t leave without sampling the tasty Mac n’ Cheese with aged cheddar or for dinner be prepared to share beef tacos, lamb chops or the scrumptious cheese board. All the buzz is about CHARCUT Roast House, recently voted one of Canada’s 10 best new restaurants – go for the romaine salad with pulled rotisserie chicken or the Burger CHARCUT style made with house-made sausage. For those with a sweet tooth, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut offers up locally-made one of a kind bon bons that will put a smile on your face.