The city of Edmonton is often overshadowed by Calgary. It’s further north, off the main Trans Canada highway. But I think that it’s distance away from the southern parts of Canada allows it to stand apart. It’s got it’s own unique flavour of “big city”. A true-blue Alberta Oil town surrounded by nature, and filled with all of the metropolitan vices we all tend to enjoy. There’s a ton of great things to do in Edmonton, Alberta, so let’s check them out!
Visit Whyte Ave – “Entertainment District”
It’s Friday night, and you’re thirsty. Head to Edmonton’s entertainment district and hop from pubs to clubs and get a little wild. With the Edmonton Oilers calling this city home, you won’t ever be too far from a Sports Bar and TV playing all of the games. Whyte Ave is mostly walkable, but be sure to dress warm in the winter months if you think you might be outside for long. Edmonton is cold. Like stupid cold.
Visit Jasper Ave – “Downtown Edmonton”
Another little entertainment district, a little less options but you’ll find Jasper Avenue has a different vibe. Drinks, music, good eats. Jasper Ave is a great place to hang out on the weekend and rub shoulders with the locals.
One of the best escapes from the cold, the Muttart Conservatory is like an Egyptian oasis. Indoors, cheap, filled with nature, will take up about 1-3 hours depending how much you like to read and learn. The temperature change from outdoors to indoors is pretty wild. It’s a different world. Like Biodome, only with less Pauly Shore. Jeeze what ever happened to Pauly Shore…
You like dinosaurs? Of course you do, everyone likes dinosaurs. Well, at least the dead ones. But Jurrasic Forest is filled with full Sized Dinos! It truly gives you a sense of size and scale and reminds you how completely screwed we’d be in a Jurassic Park or Jurassic World scenario.
Alberta Gallery of Art
A new and awesome gallery filled with some amazing art. If you’re a fan of the arts, or simply need to get out of the Edmonton cold for an hour or two, head in to the Alberta Gallery of Art. It’s a great thing to do whether you know anything about art or not.
See “The end of the world”
This quirky little part of Edmonton is worth a visit if you can still see it. I read that it’s not exactly open to the public as it’s become a bit of a safety hazard. “The End of the World” is a place in River Valley where land eroded and there is a sidewalk leading to no where. Not exactly super exciting but it’s a weird spot worth an #instagram.
Visit the Oil Refineries
Whether you’re a bleeding heart environmentalist, or someone just curious about the necessary lifeblood of our modern world, visiting the Oil Refineries can be a humbling experience, especially at night when the refineries are all lit up. It’s not exactly high on many peoples lists of things to do, but I think it’s worth at least a drive by if you have wheels.
Visit Parks & The Ice Castle.
Rundle Park or William Hawrelak Park are two of the biggest parks in Edmonton. They have some walking trails, and are a great place to take family to get some fresh air. Rent a bike to explore some of the parks and nearby shops during the summer months. During the winter months check out William Hawrelak Park and check out the Ice Castles. They’re pretty unreal!
The West Edmonton Mall
Give yourself lots of time. Go ice skating (they have skates for rent). Bring along some swimwear and enjoy the water slides in the world water park. Go on some rides in the indoor amusement park. Check out the sea lions. Shoot some guns! Or simply watch a movie in the monster IMAX theaters. Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat on Bourbon street. Shop till you drop, and if you’re curious, yes you can stay overnight in the mall in the themed rooms. I recommend the Roman room, because toga’s are like ancient sweatpants.
The Fort Edmonton Park
History buffs will get a kick out of the old fort. Fort Edmonton Park is a pretty easy way to kill the day. See some old settler era stuff, ride a steam train, and explore the grounds and try to put yourself back in time. It’s a great place to take the kids and beats the hell out of a boring history class.
Ride the high level street car.
The High Level Street Car is an olden day street car which takes you over Edmonton’s very high level bridge. If you don’t feel like doing the street car, consider going for a walk over the bridge.Some amazing views and a great spot to grab some photos.
Royal Alberta Museum
I’m not exactly a huge fan of museums. I think mainly because they sometimes tend to drag on. But if you can keep your visit to an hour or so, they’re definitely a good option. Unless of course you’re into studying every little item in museums, in which case just make sure you bring good walking shoes and reading glasses. The Royal Alberta Museum has a ton of great exhibits though, so even guys like me can enjoy a visit.
Live Music at the WinSpear
If you are into music and incredible sound,try to catch a live performance at the WinSpear. They currently have some Queen meets Ochestra show going on, but they have all sorts of live shows, from Jazz, the latest trendy bands, you name it. It’s a pretty wild venue. Worth the higher price tickets.
Stand Up Comedy
Thursday nights at 9:00pm at the Blackdog Freehouse on Whyte ave and 105 st. They host stand up comedy night in their basement (the Underdog). It’s free to get in and there is cheap beer and good laughs to boot. Nothing beats a laugh and a pint.
Grab a Pint & Appetizer
The Buckingham is another really awesome bar on Whyte and is right near the Blackdog. Great place to grab a beer and bite before a show. Or check out Julio’s Barrio which is also a popular place on Whyte.
The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
Alberta has a large Ukrainian population, and you’ll find signs of it on several restaurant menus (I’m looking at you pierogies). Check out the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village to see Ukrainian heritage in Alberta. It’s superb thing to do with kids or any history buff.
Drive To Jasper
While not exactly in Edmonton, it’s such a popular road trip, it’s worth including. Rent a car and travel to Jasper, which is a bit like Banff, only less touristy. Hike, eat, or simply stay overnight and enjoy the mountains. The drive to Jasper is pretty awesome and there’s always a good chance of spotting a bear.
Chow Down on Edmonton Eats
- Try a donair at Swiss Donair
- Chartier in Beaumont
- Meat on white ave
- Guru has good Indian
- Three Amigos
- rge rd
- Beer Revolution