Calgary will surprise you with its beauty, cool eateries, nightlife beyond honky-tonk and long, worthwhile to-do list. Calgarians aren’t known for their modesty; it’s their self-love and can-do attitude that got them through disastrous flooding in 2013 and, in 2016, saw them helping residents of wildfire-stricken Fort McMurray with unquestioning generosity. We mustn’t forget – Calgary also hosted the highly successful 1988 Winter Olympics, elected North America’s first Muslim mayor, and throws one of Canada’s biggest parties, the Calgary Stampede.

Calgary was once known to forsake quality for quantity, but this trend is changing with fantastic results. Community activists in emerging neighborhoods like Inglewood and Kensington are finally waking up and smelling the single-origin home-roasted coffee, with new bars, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues exhibiting more color and experimentation. The city that to non-Calgarians long served as a somewhat bland business center or a functional springboard has actually become – ahem – cool.