Although Edmonton might not come to mind when one thinks of visiting Canada, there are actually a lot of things to do in Canada’s northernmost major city. From world-class shopping to world-class festivals to beautiful snow-capped mountains just a few hours away, Edmonton has something for everyone and this guide will help you get the most out of your trip.
Locally known as “The Festival City”, Edmonton’s year-round entertainment keeps the city interesting and fun. During the summer months, there’s usually a festival every weekend such as The Works Art and Design Festival, The Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival, The Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and K-Days, which is the biggest festival in the city.
North America’s Biggest Mall
Formerly the world’s biggest mall, West Edmonton Mall is an attraction in itself. With over 800 stores, a full-size skating rink, one of the world’s largest indoor waterparks, a cinema, mini-golf, an amusement park with rollercoasters, a lake with a full-size ship, dozens of restaurants, and a themed hotel, you could actually stay at the mall for an entire week and not get bored.
The Canadian Rockies are one of the most beautiful places on Earth and Edmonton is the perfect starting point for visiting the mountain town of Jasper, Alberta. Though Jasper is just four hours west of Edmonton, it will feel like you’ve stepped into another world. If you have more time, you can also drive the Icefields Parkway all the way to Banff, which has been proclaimed the most scenic drive on the planet. If driving isn’t your thing, it’s also accessible by train for an old-fashioned Canadian adventure.
Fort Edmonton Park
While Fort Edmonton Park may not enter your mind when flying into Alberta’s capital, it’s certainly worth adding to your itinerary. Representing the history of Edmonton, Canada’s largest living history museum is a great place to travel back in time and see what life was like back in the late 1800’s. The park features many historical structures from Edmonton’s past and has historical interpreters wearing costumes from different eras during the summer months. If you’ve always wanted to be entertained while learning about the past, this is the place to go.
Edmonton’s River Valley
If you’re visiting the city during the warmer months, it’s worth taking time to visit the North Saskatchewan River Valley, which is home to the longest expanse of urban parkland in North America. This is a wonderful area to experience the city like a local by going for a jog, a bike ride, or even cross-country skiing if you visit during the winter months. Besides scenic landscapes, you’ll also find the Valley Zoo and the very impressive Muttart Conservatory, which houses various climate-controlled greenhouses in futuristic pyramid-style buildings.
While this list is only a short guide to Edmonton’s top attractions, it’s a great starting point for planning an exciting trip to the former City of Champions. Once you find a hotel in Edmonton, it will be hard to stay inside with all the fun activities available throughout the city.
Great Beer and Restaurants
In addition to all the fun activities in Edmonton, there are also a lot of incredible Edmonton breweries, which feature an array of beer to suit all tastebuds, including dark stouts, sours, and everything in between. There are also many amazing Edmonton restaurants that serve cuisine from all around the world with many having won awards as some of the best restaurants in Canada.
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I also spent a really good time there during my last winter holidays. It was a memorable tour of my life. In my point of view it is a perfect destination to have great fun in Canada.
Marketing Edmonton says
Yes, and don’t forget about the Fringe Festival, which is the second biggest fringe fest in the world. For those of you who don’t know it is a 10 day gathering of live theatre performances. Literally dozens and dozens of different shows, many originals, performed at traditional theatres and pop up venues throughout the Strathcona area.
Matthew G. Bailey says
We’d love to experience that one day!
Kerri-lyn Holland says
The river valley is fantastic. It’s hard to distill everything into a 5 point list but Edmonton delivers a lot more than the usual suspects like West Edmonton Mall.
Matthew G. Bailey says
That’s true! We have to come back and feature the river valley in our videos
Danny H. says
Hope to visit this place in my tour to Edmonton the next month. 🙂 Thanks for this article.