As Canada’s youngest and fastest-growing capital city, Edmonton is a hub of cultural diversity that embraces new ideas and experimentation. From the continent’s wildest Fringe Theatre Festival to a shopping mall that spans over 48 city blocks, Edmontonians are never afraid to do things a little differently. Here are the best ways to play, sightsee, tour, and relax in Alberta’s capital.
Experience the great outdoors in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. This vast collection of scenic parks is 22 times larger than New York City’s Central Park, offering over 150 kilometers of trails, pathways, and golf courses that connect 20 parks. Whether you prefer to picnic, bike, run, kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, take a paddle boat or Segway, or enjoy snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, there’s something for everyone in the River Valley.
Shop till you drop at the West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America. This nearly 500,000-square-meter complex features over 800 stores, 100 dining venues, an indoor wave pool with 17 water slides and a lake, an amusement park, and an ice skating rink. You can even stay at one of two hotels, including the Fantasyland Hotel with its 120 themed guest rooms.
Escape to nature at Elk Island National Park, just east of the city. This fully enclosed park is a refuge for moose, elk, lynx, black bears, gray wolves, and 250 species of birds. You can hike, snap pictures of wildlife, lay on the beach, and watch the Northern Lights. Be sure to check out the herds of plains bison imported from Montana and rescued from extinction.
Discover the rich history of Alberta at the Alberta Legislature, set atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Take a free guided tour of the beautiful marble pillars and carved oak building, and learn about the Famous Five who fought for women’s right to vote. Admire the portraits and art, and listen for the phenomenon known as the “magic spot”.
Explore the art scene at the Art Gallery of Alberta, a striking architectural landmark reminiscent of Bilbao’s Guggenheim. This premier venue features over 6,000 paintings, sculptures, and installations, including historical and contemporary, international and Canadian works.
Catch a hockey game or a concert at Rogers Place, a state-of-the-art arena with stunning curvilinear architecture. Home to the Edmonton Oilers and featuring the largest high definition screen in the National Hockey League, Rogers Place also regularly welcomes top music acts.
Take in the beauty of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, a must-visit for nature lovers. With over 300 acres of display gardens and natural areas, the gardens feature over 6,000 species of plants and a variety of educational programs and events.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, shopping, cultural experiences, or sports and entertainment, Edmonton has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Alberta’s capital today!