Why Compare Calgary to American Cities?

Are you a Calgarian thinking about exploring your options south of the border? Or maybe you're an American smitten by the allure of Calgary and are curious about which American cities are similar to Calgary? This is the perfect read for you! 

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it's interesting to consider that cities thousands of miles apart can share common threads–be it the climate, the geography, the bustling industries, or even the culture and community vibe. 

In the quest to discover the American equivalent of Calgary, we're embarking on a journey across some of the most dynamic cities in the United States. From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the vast landscapes of Montana to the scenic beauty of Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, each city offers its unique blend of life that strikingly mirrors Calgary in one way or another. 

So, buckle up as we begin our journey of comparison and discovery!


Use our quick navigation guide below to jump to any point of our blog on What American Cities Are Most Like Calgary:

What American Cities Are Similar to Calgary?

Denver, Colorado - The Mile High City


When it comes to finding an American equivalent to Calgary, we figured we’d kick off with the closest match and it’s none other than… Denver, Colorado!

Nestled in the South Platte River Valley, Denver shares a high-altitude semi-arid climate that's strikingly similar to Calgary's. Just like Calgary, Denver experiences a full range of four seasons, with warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. This city, known for its 300 days of sunshine, offers a comparable climate to Calgary's cool, crisp, sun-soaked days, making it an American city similar to Calgary in weather patterns.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

The Mile High City also shares similarities with Calgary in terms of geography and natural beauty. With the stunning Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, Denver is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise, much like Calgary. The city's residents appreciate the numerous hiking and biking trails, and ski resorts–a lifestyle that echoes Calgary's love for the great outdoors, thanks to its proximity to the Canadian Rockies.

Recreational Activities

As for recreational activities, Denver serves up a variety of options similar to Calgary. From white water rafting on the South Platte River to skiing in the Rockies, Denver's recreational activities mirror those of Calgary. 

When you add a dynamic arts scene, professional sports teams, and a growing craft beer industry…you have a vibrant, fun-loving city that Calgarians would find familiar.

People, Community, and Culture

Speaking of culture, Denver's community spirit and warm hospitality are comparable to that of Calgary. The people are friendly, welcoming, and proud of their city's heritage–much like the community spirit found in Calgary. 

Not to mention, Denver's cowboy culture, stemming from its Old West roots, finds a parallel in Calgary's own cowboy history and traditions, epitomized by the annual Calgary Stampede.


In terms of industry, both cities boast a robust economy. While Calgary's economy is largely driven by the energy sector, Denver has a diverse economy with strong sectors in technology, telecommunications, and aerospace. 

However, Denver, like Calgary, is also experiencing growth in the renewable energy sector, aligning both cities on the path toward a sustainable future.

Similarities and Differences Between Denver and Calgary

Denver stands out as an American equivalent to Calgary, given its comparable climate, love for outdoor activities, welcoming communities, and burgeoning industries. Both cities have quite a passion for craft beer and share a diverse and multicultural population.

The key difference lies in the economic makeup, with Calgary being traditionally energy-focused and Denver boasting a more diverse industry base. Yet, with both cities turning towards more sustainable industries, it seems they're not just similar, but also on a parallel path of growth and development.

Colorado Springs, Colorado - Where the Mountains Meet the Sky


Another contender when exploring American cities similar to Calgary is Colorado Springs. 

Colorado Springs shares a semi-arid, continental climate with Calgary, with relatively mild winters and warm summers. Snowfall here is less than in Denver, which brings it even closer to Calgary's winter climate, making it an attractive destination for those who seek a good balance of all four seasons.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

Colorado Springs is renowned for its picturesque mountainous landscape, offering residents breathtaking vistas just like in Calgary. The city is located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, near the glacier-carved Pikes Peak. Much like Calgary's closeness to Banff National Park, Colorado Springs and its proximity to natural wonders make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Recreational Activities

Like Calgary, Colorado Springs is a playground for recreational activities. With the Rocky Mountains at its doorstep, residents enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing, paralleling the adventure-filled lifestyle of Calgarians. 

Colorado Springs is also home to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, this speaks to the city's dedication to sports, a passion it shares with Calgary.

People, Community, and Culture

Colorado Springs is rich in historical roots, much like Calgary. The people of Colorado Springs are known for their friendliness and community spirit, aligning closely with the welcoming nature of Calgary's residents. 

The city's culture is enriched by its arts scene, its annual festivals, and its vibrant culinary sector, offering Calgarians a familiar sense of community and cultural appreciation.


Colorado Springs is robust in the aerospace and defense sectors, but it also has a thriving high-tech industry, with a focus on software and electronic equipment. This contrasts with Calgary's traditional focus on the oil industry but parallels Calgary's current endeavours and rapid growth in diversifying its technology and innovation sectors.

Similarities and Differences Between Colorado Springs and Calgary

Overall, Colorado Springs emerges as another American equivalent to Calgary. It mirrors Calgary's climate, appreciation for outdoor recreation, and community spirit.

One key difference is that Colorado Springs is smaller and less cosmopolitan than Calgary. The city is well-known for its military presence, which impacts the city's culture and demographics, a feature that Calgary doesn't share. 

Colorado Springs's high-tech industry offers a stark contrast to Calgary's traditional oil-based economy. However, as Calgary moves towards technological diversification, it's clear that these cities might become even more alike in the future.

Salt Lake City, Utah - The Crossroads of the West


As we continue our exploration of American cities similar to Calgary, we arrive in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

While Salt Lake City's climate is somewhat warmer, it still provides a tangible sense of the four seasons much like Calgary. The city experiences cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers. Its semi-arid climate is a bit milder compared to Calgary's, but the changes in season are distinctly felt, keeping the weather aspect relatable for Calgarians.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

Much like Calgary, Salt Lake City is a haven for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. The city is nestled in a valley with the Wasatch Range to the east and north and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west, creating a landscape that rivals the scenic beauty of Calgary. 

Just as Calgarians escape to the Rockies, Salt Lake City residents have quick access to the great outdoors, offering a similar lifestyle in an American setting.

Recreational Activities

When it comes to recreational activities, Salt Lake City definitely reflects Calgary. The city offers ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountain biking, much like Calgary's adventurous spirit. 

Salt Lake City is home to a vibrant arts scene, robust food and craft beer culture, and professional sports teams, providing a familiar urban playground for Calgarians.

People, Community, and Culture

Salt Lake City's community and culture also draw parallels to Calgary's. The people of Salt Lake City are known for their friendly demeanour and community spirit, creating a welcoming atmosphere similar to Calgary. 

Plus, Salt Lake City's rich historical roots and its passion for annual cultural events reflect a cultural vibrancy, this reflects the rich Indigenous history rooted in Calgary.


The dominant industries in Salt Lake City are diverse, ranging from government, trade, transportation, utilities, and professional and business services. This contrasts with Calgary's energy-centric economy, but like Calgary, Salt Lake City also focuses on sustainable practices and is growing in the clean energy sector.

Similarities and Differences Between Salt Lake City and Calgary

Salt Lake City's climate, passion for outdoor activities, community spirit, and industries make it another compelling American equivalent to Calgary. 

Salt Lake City is notable for its Mormon heritage, which greatly influences the city's culture. This is a unique cultural aspect not found in Calgary. However, there are similarities to be found when considering the rich Indigenous culture embedded within Calgary. Salt Lake City is overall smaller and has a less diverse economy than Calgary.

Billings, Montana - The Magic City


Next up on our list of American cities similar to Calgary, we find ourselves in Billings, Montana. 

Although it's smaller than Calgary, its climate is remarkably similar. Billings experiences a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons. Its winters can be cold, much like Calgary's, and its summers are generally warm to hot, presenting a weather pattern that Calgarians would find familiar.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

Billings offers a similar landscape to Calgary's natural beauty. With the Yellowstone River flowing nearby and the stunning Rimrocks (sandstone cliffs) defining the city's skyline, Billings is a noteworthy spot for nature lovers. 

Much like Calgarians, residents of Billings have easy access to outdoor activities and natural beauty, from Pictograph Cave State Park to Lake Elmo State Park.

Recreational Activities

As for recreational activities, Billings' residents enjoy an array of outdoor adventures, including hiking, fishing, and rock climbing–this absolutely reflects a typical outdoorsy lifestyle of a Calgarian. 

The city also boasts a rich cultural scene with its arts, music, and dining experiences that reflect the vibrancy and diversity of Calgary’s downtown district.

People, Community, and Culture

In terms of community and culture, Billings is known for its friendly, community-focused residents, a trait it shares with Calgary. The city takes pride in its cultural heritage, evident in its historical sites and annual festivities–a cultural richness that mirrors Calgary's vibrant community spirit.


Billings' economy, unlike Calgary's, is not dominated by one industry. It has a diversified economy with sectors such as healthcare, education, and trade playing significant roles. However, oil refining is a notable industry in Billings, which parallels Calgary's historic ties to the oil industry.

Similarities and Differences Between Billings and Calgary

While smaller in size, Billings can be considered an American equivalent to Calgary due to its similar climate, love for the outdoors, and community spirit. 

Billings, being much smaller than Calgary, has a more laid-back, small-town vibe compared to Calgary's bustling city energy. The city also lacks the level of ethnic diversity found in Calgary.

Helena, Montana - Queen City of the Rockies


Continuing our journey through American cities similar to Calgary, let’s visit Helena, Montana. 

The climate here can be characterized as semi-arid, boasting a four-season experience much like Calgary. Helena experiences moderately snowy winters and warm to hot summers, a weather pattern that would resonate with Calgarians.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

Helena, just like Calgary, is in proximity to the Rocky Mountains, providing breathtaking landscapes and ample outdoor opportunities. Helena's location between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park echoes Calgary's privileged location near Banff National Park, offering a similar appreciation for natural beauty and wilderness exploration.

Recreational Activities

When it comes to recreational activities, Helena, like Calgary, doesn't disappoint. With access to a variety of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and running, it mirrors Calgary's adventurous lifestyle. 

Helena's burgeoning arts scene and rich historical heritage present cultural offerings that parallel Calgary's dynamic cultural scene.

People, Community, and Culture

Helena boasts a friendly and community-oriented culture, similar to the warm and welcoming vibe of Calgary. Helena's residents take great pride in their city's history and culture, often celebrated through various events and festivals–a community spirit reminiscent of Calgary's lively and proud diversity.


While Helena's economy is diversified, the government sector plays a dominant role as Helena is the state capital. The city also has a notable presence in healthcare, retail, and manufacturing sectors. 

While this differs from Calgary's energy-focused economy, Helena's economic diversification aligns with Calgary's current shift towards a more varied economy.

Similarities and Differences Between Helena and Calgary

Helena's climate, its nature-focused lifestyle, and its community spirit position it as another American equivalent to Calgary. 

Helena, like Billings, is significantly smaller than Calgary and has a slower pace of life. While Helena is the capital of Montana and has a vibrant history, its cultural and economic scenes are less diverse than Calgary's.

Boise, Idaho - The City of Trees


Boise, another top contender in our list of American cities similar to Calgary, presents a distinctive four-season continental climate. 

While Boise experiences hotter summers than Calgary, the city's winters are moderate and echo the chilly season in Calgary. This balance of hot and cold makes Boise relatable for those accustomed to Calgary's climate.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

Known as the "City of Trees," Boise offers an attractive green urban landscape nestled in the Treasure Valley, similar to the natural charm that Calgary exudes. With the Rocky Mountains nearby and a river flowing through the city, Boise provides an appealing blend of urban and natural spaces, much like Calgary with its Bow River and proximity to the Rockies.

Recreational Activities

Boise, like Calgary, offers a plethora of outdoor recreational activities. From rafting down the Boise River to skiing in Bogus Basin, the city invites an active lifestyle that resonates with Calgary's outdoor lifestyle. 

In addition, Boise's thriving arts and music scene, along with its love for festivals and local cuisine, draw parallels to Calgary's vibrant cultural fabric.

People, Community, and Culture

In terms of community and culture, Boise is recognized for its friendly people and tight-knit community, resonating with Calgary's hospitable nature. 

Its cultural scene is rich with galleries, theatres, and festivals, providing a cultural dynamism that Calgary is well-known for.


While Boise's economy is diversified, it is well-known for its high-tech industry, notably semiconductors and technology investment. This differs from Calgary's historically energy-focused economy but aligns with Calgary's current focus on tech sector growth and innovation.

Similarities and Differences Between Boise and Calgary

Boise presents itself as an American equivalent to Calgary through its similarities in climate, a love for outdoor activities, and a vibrant cultural scene. 

Boise is smaller and less multicultural than Calgary. Its high-tech industry focus differs from Calgary's historically energy-dominant economy, although Calgary has been actively fostering growth in the tech sector recently.

Reno, Nevada - The Biggest Little City in the World


As we reach the end of our exploration into American cities similar to Calgary, let's dive into Reno, Nevada. 

Although Reno's climate is considered high desert and warmer than Calgary's, it still experiences four distinct seasons. Its winters can be quite chilly with occasional snow, and its summers are hot, which gives it a touch of climatic similarity to Calgary.

Typography, Outdoors, and Nature

Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada and near Lake Tahoe, Reno offers a dramatic and enticing landscape, comparable to Calgary's scenic surroundings. The city offers outdoor activities year-round, much like Calgary, from skiing and snowboarding in winter to hiking and biking in the warmer months.

Recreational Activities

Recreational activities in Reno are abundant and diverse. With a myriad of outdoor adventures, a thriving arts scene, and a reputation for entertainment, Reno offers an energetic and vibrant lifestyle that Calgarians would recognize all too well. 

The city is also home to numerous events and festivals, including the famous Reno Balloon Race, creating an ambiance that aligns with Calgary's eventful lifestyle.

People, Community, and Culture

Much like Calgary, Reno is known for its welcoming community and spirited culture. The city embodies a balance between its historic roots and its dynamic, future-forward attitude. Its warm and friendly residents, combined with a diverse cultural landscape, mirror the inclusive and vibrant community spirit of Calgary.


Reno's economy, once heavily dependent on gaming and entertainment, has diversified over the years. 

Today, it is a growing hub for technology companies and has a burgeoning healthcare sector. This shift towards a more varied economy parallels Calgary's transition from an energy-centric economy to a more diverse one.

Similarities and Differences Between Reno and Calgary

Despite some climatic differences, Reno's love for the outdoors, vibrant culture, and diversified economy make it a compelling American equivalent to Calgary. 

Reno, known for its long history with gambling and entertainment, has a unique cultural flavour that differs from Calgary. Additionally, its high desert climate makes it significantly warmer than Calgary, especially during the summer months.

American Equivalents to Calgary: More Alike Than You'd Think

Calgary is undeniably unique, with its vibrant energy, breathtaking natural surroundings, and resilient spirit. 

But as we've explored throughout this post, there are several American cities similar to Calgary that share facets of its character, from its climate and love for the outdoors to its welcoming community and economic landscape.

Whether it's the mile-high appeal of Denver and Colorado Springs, the green charm of Boise, the community-focused vibe of Billings and Helena, or the diversified and energetic atmosphere of Reno and Salt Lake City, each city echoes some of Calgary's distinct traits.

What does this mean for you as a Calgarian? These cities could offer a familiar feel if you're looking to visit or move, or even provide some new perspective on your home city. 

Alternatively, if you're a resident of one of these American cities and are considering a move up north, you'll be sure to find elements of your hometown in the heart of Calgary!

While each city is unique in its way, the spirit of community, love for nature, and adaptability are universal, further proving that Calgary's essence can be found far and wide, even in the heartland of America. 

After all, as the saying goes, 'home' is a feeling, not a place. And for those of us who find that feeling in the hustle and bustle of city life intertwined with the tranquillity of nature, these American equivalents to Calgary may just feel like home.

We are experts when it comes to Calgary…

We are the Real Estate Partners, a team of dedicated professionals that blend integrity, passion, and expertise into each and every transaction. Whether buying or selling in Calgary and surrounding areas, we're your trusted guides here to ensure you find a home that suits your needs and tastes.

Get in contact with us, or get to know us by heading to this page. Whether you're looking for real estate advice, or you want to meet with one of our mortgage professionals, we’re here for you!

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