Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton offers a vibrant arts and culture scene, a variety of festivals, a stunning river valley, and new ways to embrace winter. Here are the top things to do in Edmonton.
Edmonton’s a city with a lot to offer. From festivals to nature to the biggest mall in all of North America, you’ll have no shortage of exciting and unique things to do during your trip.
Head downtown for other attractions, including the new Royal Alberta Museum, western Canada’s largest museum, and the Art Gallery of Alberta, an astounding building and the province’s premier art museum. The nearby new ICE District is a large sports and entertainment area, best known for Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers. Be sure to get outside and explore the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America. The plentiful trails will delight joggers, cyclists, walkers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers, and they can also be explored on a Segway tour.
A trip to Edmonton isn’t complete without a visit to North America’s largest shopping complex, West Edmonton Mall, with more than 800 stores as well as a water park, amusement park, and skating rink. Shoppers will also enjoy strolling 124th Street and the Old Strathcona district, anchored by the funky Whyte Avenue.
For Nature Enthusiasts
Head over to Victoria Park to immerse yourself in nature within the bustling city. During winter, you can opt to skate through The Iceway paths instead of a casual stroll through the park. If you don’t want to stray too far from the city’s downtown core, head over to the Muttart Conservatory to see the city’s top horticultural site. These pyramids include a biome where you can walk through rotating exhibits and features. The best part is, you can stay warm inside the glass structures during the colder months of the year. Edmonton is also one of the rare cities around the world where you can view the Northern Lights. For possible aurora sightings during your stay, you can follow a forecast here.
Festivals, Food, and Fun!
Edmonton’s the place to be if you’re a fan of year-round festivals. Not-to-miss summer festivals include the Folk Music Festival and International Fringe Theatre Festival. In the winter, the Deep Freeze Festival, Flying Canoë Volant, and Silver Skate Festival offer fun opportunities for experiencing the coldest and darkest season in a different way. If all the delicious food at these festivals aren’t enough, not to worry. Edmonton is truly a foodie paradise. Home to some of the top rated restaurants in all of Canada, you can find any type of cuisine your heart desires ranging from diners to fine dining. Known to be one of the “youngest” cities in Canada, there’s a lot of up and coming talent that’s boosted the indie foodie scene in this city. Take one of the many food tours available to get a small taste of as much as you can!
Alberta is a province known for its breathtaking nature and views. Depending on which direction you head outside of the city, you’ll be struck by beaches, lakes, mountains, and lush greenery. Get out of the city for the canoe ride of your life in North Saskatchewan River or take photos with giant dinosaurs at Jurassic Forest, both a 40 minute drive from the city. For animal enthusiasts, Elk Island National Park is just a forty-minute drive from the city where sightings of wild animals such as elk, bison, or moose are a common occurrence year-round. Take a 30 minute drive to the University of Alberta where you can see the lush 97 hectare Botanic Garden.