William And Kate In Calgary: The Best Places Not On The Royal Couple's Itinerary (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post Canada     First Posted: 07/07/11 08:11 AM ET   Updated: 09/06/11 06:12 AM ET

William and Kate land in Calgary Thursday after a private break, just in time for the kickoff of the city's annual Stampede, a 10-day exhibition and rodeo that celebrates the western way of life.

Custom-made, white Smithbilt cowboy hats will be presented to the couple as part of the traditional welcome when they arrive this afternoon at the international airport for the final leg of their royal tour.

The hats have been given to members of the royal family, politicians and celebrities for more than 60 years.

But there's so much more to Calgary than white cowboy gear, chuckwagon races and the traditional pancake breakfast. While they're busy meeting with the mayor and performing other royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will miss out on Calgary's best restaurants, shopping destinations and local festivals.

Here's a list of Calgary's must-sees, which the Royals won't.

Best alternative to the Stampede
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Calaway Park
245033 Range Road 33, 403-240-3822

Many Calgary natives are bored by all the hubbub over the Stampede: it may only come once a year and it's a great excuse to wear a cowboy hat and eat corndogs, but Calaway Park offers amusement all year long, so what's the big deal? If you want some of the Stampede fun without the long lines, drunken antics, overcrowding and prohibitively expensive costs, Calaway Park offers all the same amenities on a smaller, cheaper scale.
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With a report from The Canadian Press