Helicopter Ride Canadian Rocky Mountains
Rafting the kicking horse river
humpback whales newfoundland

Gorgeous Views on a Budget | Vancouver, British Columbia

As one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Vancouver is a place that must be appreciated with an incredible view. Whether you’re interested in seeing the skyline from the top of a mountain, looking out over the waterfront while having lunch, or simply staring out at the mountains from your hotel room, there are plenty of options for gorgeous views of this majestic city. [Read more…]

Tips and Tricks | A Guide to Experiencing Edmonton on the Cheap

Whether you’re visiting alone, with friends or with family, Edmonton has a lot of fun activities. For those on a budget, this article will share some tips for truly experiencing Edmonton on the cheap.

Take a Street Car

If you’re visiting the city on the weekend, take the High Level Bridge Street Car, which goes from Old Strathcona to downtown Edmonton for just $5 round-trip. Not only will you experience amazing views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley but you’ll also be transported between two of Edmonton’s must-see districts.

Buy an Attractions Pass

If looking to experience some of the best things to do in Edmonton, buy an Edmonton Attractions Pass, which gives you admission to 16 attractions for less than half of the gate price. Some of the star attractions include Fort Edmonton Park, Telus World of Science, and the Castrol Raceway.

Explore Downtown

During the weekends, park for free at Edmonton City Centre Mall by spending just $50 in one of the many stores, restaurants, or in the on-site cinema. Afterward, walk across the street to Churchill Square and relax in the largest outdoor patio in the city. On Mondays and Fridays between 12 p.m. and 1p.m., you can also drop in for some free Zumba classes.

Go for the Festivals

There’s a reason Edmonton has been nicknamed the “festival city.” Home to dozens of festivals year-round, the city is a great place to get out and have some fun. From July 5 through 14, the Edmonton Street Performer’s Festival brings free performances all day long at Churchill Square.

Jump in the Pool

Summers can be hot in Edmonton, but even those on a budget can cool off in the City Hall wading pool and fountains, which is also one of the city’s most popular areas for relaxing. Admission is free.

Take a Tour

Before enjoying a dip in the City Hall wading pool, take a free tour of the Alberta Legislature to not only learn about the political happenings, but to witness one of the city’s top architectural gems.

Friday Night Party

Take the whole family for some food, games, horse racing, and dance beats every Friday during Park After Dark, which happens at Northlands Park during the summer months. Admission is free.

Enjoy the Summer Midway

For just $14, the K-Days midway provides a whole lot of fun, including concerts, shopping, live entertainment, exhibitions, rides, and much more.

Cheap Hotels in Edmonton

After all of the exciting activities and amusement, you might just need a place to sleep. Luckily, there are ways to save on accommodations as well. For those with a family, Canterra Suites offers apartment-style accommodations, which will give added privacy, and a kitchen for cutting back on restaurant expenses. Another affordable Edmonton hotel is the Radisson Edmonton South, which offers a delicious breakfast and a top-quality gym. For those looking to get creative, check out Airbnb – a site where locals rent out spare rooms or their entire home. For as little as $75, you can rent an entire apartment near the city centre.

A Weekend of Fun Without Leaving the Mall | A Guide to West Edmonton Mall

As a kid who grew up in a small town in Northern Alberta, West Edmonton Mall seemed like the biggest place in the world. After all, the mall gets more visitors in a day than the entire population of my hometown. I still remember going on a road trip to Edmonton, Alberta every six months or so and my eyes would widen every time we stepped foot inside North America’s biggest mall.

Years later, West Edmonton Mall still impresses me. Where else can you have a weekend (or a full week for that matter) of fun without ever leaving the mall. It’s an incredibly fun place and if you’re visiting Edmonton, a trip to this famous mall is an absolute must. If you’re looking to create a weekend to remember, continue reading below.
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Flying High Over the Canadian Rocky Mountains

“Look to your right” the Pilot said as we passed some mountain sheep resting high up on the cliff. It was amazing to fly so close to the mountain peak and witness these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. They were basically resting on the peak of a mountain! I fell in love with helicopters as we soared up high and over some of the most magical scenery in the world.

Helicopter Tour Rocky Mountains

It was only a few minutes prior that I was sitting in the office of Alpine Helicopter Tours, listening to a quick safety video and anticipating the adventure ahead. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and sunny weather. It’s incredible how quickly you can go from being at the base to being above the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

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WhiteWater Rafting on the Kicking Horse River

There are many ways to see the Canadian Rockies. You can ride a bike, fly over them in a helicopter, drive the scenic highways, go for a hike, take a gondola ride, ski down them or sit on a patio drinking a beer with the mountains as your backdrop. I’ve done all of them. But another great way to see the jaw-dropping scenery with a dose of adrenaline is to go whitewater rafting. There are a number of rivers one could raft but the most popular is no doubt the Kicking Horse. As you can imagine from the rivers name, it packs a punch or well, a kick. Though I probably should have been resting after a 6-day horseback riding trip in the backcountry, we decided to add a rafting trip with Alpine rafting in Golden, British Columbia.

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Whale and Puffin Watching in St. Johns, Newfoundland

A trip to Newfoundland just isn’t complete without a look at the famous Puffin. Small funny-looking birds with bright-coloured beaks like a parrot can be found in many windy seaside areas of Newfoundland. They are simply awesome to watch, and cute of course.

Puffin watching newfoundland

Puffins are also very interesting. They feed by diving into the water (up to 60m I was told) and are better swimmers than they are flyers. They’re nests consist of burrowing a hole into the soil and they even go as far as to have two separate rooms; one for resting and one for pooping. Although they don’t fly extremely well, they can flap their wings up to 400 times per minute and they stay in windier areas where it can assist them in flight. Smart.

We saw thousands of them on a whale-watching tour we took with Mullowney’s Puffin and Whale Tours. Located in Bay Bulls, just 30 minutes from the famous city of St.Johns, Mullowney’s is a small outfit with a lot of charm and a great track record with their customers. We love supporting companies like this and we’re thrilled to hit the seas with them.

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Become a Cowboy or Cowgirl Amidst the Beautiful Backdrop of the Canadian Rockies

horseback riding canadian rockies

I honestly thought that I knew everything about the Canadian Rockies. Okay, maybe not everything, but after living in Calgary for the last 10 years, I’ve had my fair share of Rocky Mountain experiences. I’ve spent a lot of time camping near beautiful mountain lakes, enjoying world-class skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, hiking, and even riding in a helicopter for a birds eye view of one of the most incredible places on earth. I really did think I had experienced everything the rockies had to offer. That is, until I heard about Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. This non-profit group, which has been around for more than 90 years, takes customers for six-day journey’s on horseback through the backcountry of the Rockies. [Read more…]

A Magical Time at Lake Louise

Skiing at Lake Louise is always an amazing experience but when the Ice Magic Festival is in town, the experience becomes, we’ll, magical.

Ice carvers from all around the world gather outside the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on Friday morning where they compete for 34 hours to create a stunning piece of ice art. With the olympics taking place in Sochi this year, the theme for the Ice Magic Festival was “Freeze the Olympics”.

Ice Magic Festival Lake Louise First Place Winner

First Place Winner at the Ice Magic Festival

We arrived on saturday morning to half-finished ice sculptures. It was really cool to see the carvers mid-way through their masterpieces and see the extremely hard work that is involved. With the average block of ice weighing in at 300 pounds, these artists have to balance physical exertion with artistic finesse. Add freezing cold temperature to the mix and you can imagine how dedicated these artists must be.

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Ice Fishing at Whiteswan Lake, British Columbia

It was dark outside. A slice of moon glowed above us as we made our way to the Tim Horton’s in Invermere, British Columbia. At 7am sharp, we pulled up in the parking lot to meet up with Rylan and Chris of Reel Axe Adventures who were taking us out to Whiteswan Lake for a day of ice fishing for world-class rainbow trout.

ice fishing whiteswan lake provincial park

We were told this lake is much more of an adventure than lake Windermere, which would have been much closer. Whiteswan Lake is situated 1.5 hours away from Invermere in the backcountry of interior British Columbia. The road to get there is an active logging route and as the light came out to expose the beautiful mountain scenery surrounding us, we didn’t mind having to wake up at such an early hour.

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Fabulous Skiing at Panorama Mountain Village

One of my favourite feelings in the world is soaring down a mountain on skis, going as fast as I can and then making sharp turns so I can almost touch the snow like a surfer touching the water in a tube wave.

I had plenty of those moments this past week at Panorama Mountain Village. The ski runs are fantastic. The views are incredible. The amenities are plentiful.

snowboarding Panorama Mountain Village

One of my favourite runs was at the top of the champagne chairlift, which is almost the peak of the mountain. From there, it was 6 or 7 minutes of all-out speed as I raced down the mountain with nothing but jaw-dropping scenery in front of me. Even the ride up the chairlift itself is fabulous with tree after tree covered in hoarfrost.

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