Discover what Edmonton has to offer this summer
Plan on doing the loop drive from Calgary through the mountain parks of Alberta this summer? On the back side, you’ll pass through Edmonton, this province’s capital city.
While it may not be in sight of the Rockies like its rival Calgary, there is plenty to see and do in one of Canada’s most underrated centers. Let’s run down a few of the things you can get up to on a trip to Edmonton:
1) Run/hike/bike the River Valley
Many think of Edmonton as a drab city filled with industry. While the initial drive into town on Yellowhead Trail may confirm this, the picture changes completely once you get closer to the core.
Warehouses, low-rise buildings, and single family homes give way to a deep river valley filled with greenery.
Parkland extends along either side of the North Saskatchewan River throughout the city, and it is lined with biking and hiking trails that allow for recreation in all seasons.
In some places (especially the Whitemud Creek Ravine), it is easy to forget you are in the middle of one of Canada’s biggest cities – that is, until the roar of a distant motorcycle snaps you back to reality.
If you are looking for an amazing place to get in your daily run, there is no better place in Edmonton than here.
2) Try your luck at one of many casinos
Alberta is a wealthy place, as the oil industry fills the wallets of many locals with fat paycheques once every two weeks.
While this leads to greater rates of saving and consumer spending, it also leads to an increased propensity to gamble.
As such, it is no surprise that a city as small as Edmonton is home to a whopping seven casinos. From River Cree on the western edge of the city to the newly opened Grand Villa Casino in the midst of the trendy Ice District, there are plenty of spots where you can try your luck at games like roulette, craps, and poker.
Not confident in how certain games are played? Jump on Party casino before heading out, and you’ll get a sense for the rules before setting foot in a brick and mortar establishment.
3) Go museum hopping
While this unassuming prairie burg may not seem like a place you would expect to find culture, a long history of academia being centered here and the support of wealthy patrons have led to a blossoming of museums and other artistic institutions in Edmonton.
Start with the ultra-modern Art Gallery of Alberta, which is home to 6,000 works of contemporary, modern, and traditional art from Alberta, Canada, and the world.
The Royal Alberta Museum is another great stop, as it is due to move into a fancy new space later in 2017. It showcases historical, cultural, and natural exhibits which tell the story of this fascinating province.
4) Shop at West Edmonton Mall
Any travel article on Edmonton would be not be doing their job if they didn’t mention the existence of West Edmonton Mall.
The largest shopping center in the Western Hemisphere, it was the biggest of its kind in the world until 2004.
Even today, it is home to 800 stores, the world’s largest triple-loop roller coaster, the world’s second-largest indoor water park, a casino, a sea lion show, a pirate ship, an NHL-sized skating rink. multiple mini-putt courses, and more.