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22 FUN Things to do in Edmonton in Summer

22 FUN Things to do in Edmonton in Summer

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When lots of people think of Edmonton, they usually just think of the cold winters, but it’s actually an amazing summer destination! With up to 17 hours of sunlight a day and an average summer temperature of 23°C (74°F), it offers the perfect sunny weather for exploring.

Edmonton truly comes alive during the summer and there are always great things to do from festivals to floating down the river. We love Edmonton and think it’s the perfect city to fly into and visit for a few days before heading on a road trip to Banff or Jasper. I actually grew up here and come back every summer to visit friends and family, so I’ve made a guide for you on the absolute best Edmonton summer activities!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our favorite things to do in Edmonton during the summer are:

  1. Go for a hike in Elk Island National Park
  2. Explore the beautiful river valley on a Segway tour!
  3. Float down the North Saskatchewan River
  4. Get to know the city on a private guided walking tour.
  5. Visit the historic Fort Edmonton Park.

Things to do in Summer in Edmonton, Canada

1. Explore the River Valley

Bailey walks across the Walterdale Bridge in the river valley in Edmonton Alberta
The Walterdale Bridge!
Bailey rides a bike along the Rover Valley in Edmonton Alberta
We love blue skies!

The North Saskatchewan River winds its way through the city and surrounding it, is the largest urban park in all of North America, the Edmonton River Valley! In the warmer months, it turns into a lush green oasis that is adored by locals and visitors alike.

Did you know that the River Valley is 22 times larger than Central Park in New York City? There are over 150 km (93 miles) worth of trails to explore! It’s best enjoyed by walking, biking, or on a segway (more on that below!).

We love doing the Riverside Trail Walk, or renting bikes and exploring the endless trails – just don’t get lost! Along your route, stop to see Kinsmen Park, Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, and Ezio Faraone Park just to name a few.

2. Go on a Segway Tour

River Valley Adventure Company Segway tour
Photo credit: River Valley Adventure Company

We think the most unique and fun way to explore the River Valley is on a Segway tour! You get to zoom around and explore more of the river valley in a shorter amount of time.

We did this 90-minute guided segway tour last summer and had a blast! It was the first time I ever rode a segway, but the tour started with a training session to make sure we were all comfortable working the controls before heading off on the tour. Our local guide was so knowledgeable and passionate about Edmonton! And you’re going to want to have your camera handy because you’ll be getting some unreal River Valley views along the way!

There is another option for a 60-minute tour for those who are short on time, but if you can make it work we recommend the 90-minute tour instead to give you some more time to explore. There are also multiple start times throughout the day to help fit your schedule better.

These tours only take a maximum of 10 people making sure things don’t get too crowded. Anyone 14 and up can participate and they run from April to November. The 60-minute tour costs $60 CAD and the 90-minute tour costs $85 CAD. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance as these tours tend to book up quickly! Plus you’ll get free cancellation up to 24 hours before in case your plans change.

3. Visit Fort Edmonton Park

Daniel walks to a saloon in Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park is just like stepping back in time.
an old truck parked on a street in Fort Edmonton Park
It takes you wayyyy back.

Fort Edmonton Park is a great place to learn about local history. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time as you walk through different eras of Edmonton’s past. Everything is recreated to be realistic to the particular time, including knowledgeable reenactors you can interact with and ask questions. The exhibits are super educational and massive – so make sure to wear good walking shoes!

Start your journey with a train ride over to the Indigenous Peoples exhibit, where you’ll learn all about the history, culture, and experiences of First Nations and Metis people. This is a stunning exhibit that really comes alive with music and stories told by Elders as you follow a lighted pathway through. You’ll see why this is an award-winning exhibit – it’s amazing!

After learning about the Indigenous history of the area, you can move through the open-air exhibits that span the ages, including the 1846 trading post and town recreations from 1885, 1905, and 1920. I love wandering around and popping into all the shops, homes, and even bars to experience what life used to be like in these eras!

We think this is a great activity for families or anyone interested in history. There are a ton of activities children will love such as the steam engine train ride, theatre, pony rides, and 1920’s style midway amusement park with games, a fun house, and a Ferris wheel!

The park is open for general admission from mid-May to mid-September. Parking is free and admission costs around $26 CAD for an adult. You can purchase admission tickets online in advance to skip the lines when you arrive!

Related Read: There are so many great places to visit in Alberta, such as the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller!

4. Go on a walking tour

Walterdale bridge in Edmonton on a walking tour
Edmonton sure is beautiful!

There is so much to see in Edmonton that sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming knowing where to go! That’s why doing a walking tour with a local guide is the best way to learn about the city and explore. I love taking walking tours my first few days in a new city so I can find the absolute best spots to return to!

This private 3-hour walking tour will show you Edmonton’s iconic sights as well as hidden gems. You will see many geological wonders in the River Valley and learn about Edmonton’s past and Indigenous peoples. You’ll even get to join a sharing circle with Indigenous music and storytelling for a unique and enriching experience.

This private tour is perfect for a warm sunny day. You can choose from multiple different start times throughout the day to best fit your schedule and it costs about $307 CAD per person. You can book this walking tour here in advance.

If you are visiting Edmonton with your partner, I recommend doing this romantic private walking tour. Over the span of 3 hours, you’ll explore downtown Edmonton, ride the funicular, and end at a historic brewery. It costs $307 CAD per person and you can book this memorable experience here!

5. Drink craft beer

Bailey and her mum at Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton
Alley Kat is a favorite of mine!
A beer from Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton
Sit back and relax with a craft beer.

If you love craft beer like we do, then you have to check out Edmonton’s craft beer scene! Craft beer has become very popular here over the years with the number of breweries continuing to grow. Plus, most places have outdoor patios so you can relax in the sun with a refreshing pint (or two!).

There are so many breweries that there is even a street named Happy Beer Street! This is a stretch of 99 St just south of Whyte Avenue that has 8 craft breweries on it. On a nice day, you can easily create your own beer walking tour and check out multiple breweries, including the popular Sea Change Brewing and Odd Company.

You’ll even find Alley Kat Brewing Company on this street. It was the first microbrewery in Edmonton and is one of my favorites. Try their Apricot Ale – you’ll thank me later! Plus if you visit on weekdays from 5-6 pm, you’ll catch their happy hour where you can try any of their classic pints for only $5 CAD.

Another one of my favorite breweries in the city is Campio Brewing Co. Not only is it a brewery, but also a huge restaurant (make sure to try the pizza)! They always seem to be brewing up something different and keeping things interesting. But they also have some classic local favorites such as the Campio Premium Lager and the “Albertosourus” – a delicious fruity ale!

For those who are visiting Edmonton with a group of 10-15 people and want to hit up some breweries, we recommend doing this guided beer tour. It provides all the necessary transportation so you don’t have to worry about finding a designated driver. You can even organize custom pick-up and drop-off locations making everything super easy and stress-free.

On the tour, you’ll go to 3 different breweries and get a tasting at each. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the beer-making process and a local guide along the way. This tour runs on Saturdays only and you must book a minimum of 10 people for this tour to run. It costs $120 CAD per person and you can book your group tour here!

6. Visit Elk Island National Park

A bison in Explore Elk Island National Park near Edmonton, Alberta
A bison in Elk Island National Park near Edmonton, Alberta
Bailey at Explore Elk Island National Park in Edmonton Alberta
Such a beautiful place so close to the city!

If you’re an animal lover looking to get up close and personal with some amazing wildlife, head to Elk Island National Park. This incredible and expansive preserve is home to free-roaming bison, elk, deer, moose, and 250 species of birds.

You can reach the park from Edmonton in just about 40 minutes by car, making it a great day trip from the city, or pack up the car with gear for a long weekend of camping under the starry night skies. The park is actually part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve so on a clear night the stars are spectacular with no city lights blocking your view. You can actually join one of their guided Dark Sky Experiences to learn about the night sky while on a hike in the park.

Keep an eye out for the majestic animals in their natural habitat, explore the rolling hills, and enjoy tons of easy hikes during your visit. The area is actually known for its bison and I have seen at least one every time I have visited!

One of my favorite hikes here is Beaver Pond Trail, which is about 3.6 km (2.2 mi). On this trail, you’ll have a good chance of spotting lots of wildlife including Canada’s national animal, the beaver! You can view the full list of trails in Elk Island National Park here.

Admission to Elk Island National Park is $9 CAD per adult and any kids and teens under 17 are free.

7. Cruise down the North Saskatchewan River on the Edmonton Riverboat 

The Edmonton Riverboat cruise
Photo credit: The Edmonton Riverboat

The Edmonton Riverboat that cruises up and down the North Saskatchewan River is iconic and one of my favorite ways to see the city.

The boat was originally called the Edmonton Queen and underwent millions of dollars in renovations in 2016. It’s now got a completely new look and offers one of the coolest experiences in Edmonton!  

There are a variety of different events hosted on the boat. You can go for a nice brunch on the water, a glamorous dinner, or a romantic sunset cruise. There’s often live music, and you may even witness two dueling pianos! The cruises usually depart about an hour after boarding begins and last about an hour and a half before returning to port.  

During your float, you will see some seriously gorgeous views of the Edmonton skyline and the beautiful wide river. Don’t forget to bring a camera because you’re going to want to snap hundreds of photographs (make sure you have plenty of storage space!). If you choose just the cruise option instead of a meal, there are snacks and drinks available onboard for an additional fee.  

It’s best to book tickets ahead of time because the cruises often sell out – especially during special events. Cruises generally run from spring until early September and prices begin at $42 CAD for the cruise-only option.

8. Stroll down Whyte Ave

Bailey walks down the street of Whyte Ave on a sunny day
Whyte Ave is such a cute street, especially on a sunny summer day.
Daniel sits on a streetside patio at Julios Barrio restaurant on Whyte Ave with a huge margarita
Be sure to grab a drink at one of the street-side patios.

Just across the river from Edmonton’s downtown is the trendy area of Old Strathcona. Here you’ll find Whyte Ave (aka 82nd Ave), a street full of hip bars, restaurants, vintage stores, cafes, and great shopping. This area is really where Edmonton’s art and culture scene thrive and you will see that in all of the businesses here.

One of my favorite boutique stores here is Bamboo Ballroom, it’s full of stylish women’s clothing. Don’t be afraid to pop into some of the lesser-known stores up staircases or down alleyways though, I’ve gotten some of my best thrift store finds on Whyte Ave!

During the summer, the restaurants along Whyte Ave are allowed to extend their patios out onto the road a bit creating a vibrant social scene. We love grabbing a seat at Julio’s for one of their classic bulldog cocktails on a hot summer day. Another great spot is the rooftop patio at Spotlight Cabaret!

For a delicious meal, head across the street from Spotlight Cabaret to The Next Act, a casual pub serving delicious classics such as burgers and mac and cheese. There’s a reason why it’s known as one of the best restaurants in Edmonton!

There is even a Cat Café on Whyte Ave! When you visit here you can enjoy a beverage while playing with adorable kitties. It is the first cat cafe in Edmonton and all of the cats you hang out with are actually up for adoption – you may even leave with a new furry friend! To hang out for an hour you’ll pay around $16-$18 CAD but that includes unlimited beverages.

9. Attend a Festival

Bailey enjoys a dessert at K Days in Edmonton, Canada
K Days!
Daniel plays a game at K Days in Edmonton
This game isn’t as easy as it looks!

Edmonton is actually nicknamed “Festival City” because it is known for hosting over 50 unique festivals throughout the year! When summer hits, there is always something happening here that brings Edmontonians together. Check out the event calendar here to see what’s going on for when you’re visiting. Some of Edmonton’s most popular summer festivals include:

Edmonton Heritage Festival This festival is the world’s largest 3-day celebration of multiculturalism! It features more than 90 different countries and cultures through food, performances, art, and more. It’s a free to attend, family-friendly event that happens in early August every year. It is always so much fun to wander around the different county’s pavilions and learn all about their history and culture!

K-Days This summer festival spans 10 days usually in late July every year. It is a huge exhibition and amusement park full of food, rides, live music, shows, and shopping. There is truly something for everyone here, you’ll never get bored. They always bring great artists for live concerts, and last year I had so much fun watching the dog show!

Edmonton Fringe Festival Edmonton’s Fringe Festival is actually North America’s largest and longest-running fringe festival! It’s an arts festival featuring hundreds of unique theatre performances. Across the city in August, different theatres host performances from local and international artists in all different categories from comedy to burlesque. You can purchase tickets ahead of time for certain shows or watch free street performance acts while enjoying a beverage at the beer gardens and a meal from one of the many food vendors.

Edmonton International Street Performers Festival Every July, the world’s best street performers flock to Edmonton to entertain us with their unique skills! It is 10 days of fun and is completely free to go and watch (although tipping the performers is always accepted)! We love getting some tasty treats from the vendors and then wandering around to watch the talented street performers.

Taste of Edmonton – At the end of July, over 50 local food vendors come together in downtown Edmonton to cook up their best dishes. You buy tickets and purchase food with your tickets. I love going there to try something new every year. There are also live music performances and a bar to keep you entertained while you feast!

10. High Level Bridge Streetcar  

the high level bridge street car in Edmonton from the outside
The streetcar!
Bailey poses on the outside of the high level bridge street car
I rode on the streetcar for my bachelorette party!

The High Level Bridge Streetcar is one of the coolest and most affordable attractions in Edmonton! Dating back to the early 1900s, the streetcar isn’t only a fun mode of transportation, but a historical landmark in the city.

The streetcar has been transporting passengers in this city since 1908 when it was first built. Today, there are a few different refurbished streetcars you can hop on and they have all been brought here from around the world such as Osaka and Melbourne!

The streetcar runs from downtown Edmonton/Jasper Ave over the river on the High Level Bridge to the Old Strathcona/Whyte Ave area. Many people use it to get from one area to the next, while others just stay on for the ride there and back. Either way, we think it’s definitely worth checking out as you get to learn about a neat piece of history while also getting unreal views of Edmonton and the River Valley from on top of the High Level Bridge (156 ft/48m up in the air!). It is actually the highest streetcar river crossing in the entire world!

I recommend taking the streetcar over to Whyte Ave to spend a lovely summer afternoon and then taking it back downtown afterward. The streetcar only runs during the warmer summer months and costs just $8 CAD for a roundtrip ticket (cash only!).

Throughout the summer on select evenings, there are also events on the street car called “Cask Parties”. You’ll board the streetcar and it will actually stop in the middle of the bridge so you can enjoy the sunset over the river while trying 2 different cask beers. These are run by a bar called The Common and you can check if there is an event happening that fits your schedule here. Tickets are around $56 CAD and include your 2 beer pours, plus a beer at The Common afterwards.

11. Go on a Ghost Tour

the neon sign museum in Edmonton
Edmonton is spooky at night!

If you are looking for a unique way to explore Edmonton and learn about its spooky history, then look no further than Edmonton’s Ghost Tours!

These hour-long walking tours take place in multiple locations around Edmonton’s core, so you can choose the one that interests you most. From haunted theatres in Old Strathcona to a haunted pub tour along Whyte Ave, there are a variety of experiences for anyone brave enough!

The tours are led by award-winning storyteller, Nadine Bailey, who will masterfully share the urban legends of ghosts, hauntings, murders, and mysteries around Edmonton. We think this is such a fun and memorable way to learn about Edmonton and explore while you’re at it.

Tours start at $20 CAD and only run during the summer. You can book your tickets directly through the website.

12. Play a round of golf

Lewis Estates Golf Course
Photo credit: Lewis Estates Golf Course
Hole at Lewis Estates Golf Course
Photo credit: Lewis Estates Golf Course

With more than 80 golf courses in the Edmonton region, it’s not hard to see how popular this sport is! During the summer months, Edmonton can get up to 17 hours of sunlight, providing long days for golfers to play when well into the evening.

If you have clubs with you and are looking for an easy beginner course perfect for the whole family, then head just outside of Edmonton to Dragon’s Head Par 3 Golf Course. This chill public course has 18 holes and is a great way to get out and have some fun! Alternatively, you can go to Pitch and Putt, another Par 3 course that is located close to downtown in Kinsmen Park and only costs $22 CAD for 18 holes!

Victoria Golf Course is one of Daniel’s favorites. This city-run course is conveniently located right downtown and offers nice greens for reasonable prices. It’s perfect for beginner to mid-handicap players.

For more of a challenge, try out Jagare Ridge Golf Course along Whitemud Creek. You wouldn’t even think you were in the city surrounded by all the gorgeous natural scenery. This course is great for more experienced golfers.

Lewis Estates Golf Course is one of the top-rated golf courses in Edmonton. It is a public course, but is well taken care of and beautifully landscaped. It offers a fun course for the avid golfer!

13. Float down the North Saskatchewan River

two women float down the Pembina River on tubes
So fun!

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than being out on the water. The best way to do this in Edmonton is to do a River Float down the North Saskatchewan River!

Edmonton River Float will shuttle you up the river to the starting point and provide you with a comfortable tube, life jacket, and paddle. You will get some safety instructions before getting out on the water. The float lasts about 2-3 hours while you relax and take in the scenic river valley views. I recommend bringing water, music, food, and beverages with you as well as lots of sunscreen!

The tubes even connect to each other so you don’t have to worry about losing your friends or family along the float. And if you want a more educational experience, you can do one of their guided raft tours instead!

The river float costs $38 CAD and the guided raft tour is $58 CAD per person. And don’t worry about bad weather, if it’s cold or rainy on the day of your booking, your float will be rescheduled or refunded.

14. See the animals at the Edmonton Zoo

meerkat looking at the camera at the Edmonton Valley Zoo
Don’t forget to check out the cute meerkats!

Although nowhere near the size of the Calgary Zoo, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a modest zoo with over 250 animals. It provides an intimate environment for learning about many incredible species from arctic wolves to red pandas!

The zoo consists of many outdoor exhibits as well as indoor spaces with different habitats to explore. One of my favorites is the reptile house! Plus, the exhibits are always changing, so you can expect to find some new animals every time you visit. We love coming here in the summer to wander around and learn all about the animals. And it never seems too busy which is nice!

This is the perfect affordable family activity and only costs $10.95 CAD for adults, $9.95 CAD for teens, and $7.75 CAD for kids. 

15. Aerial Park

If you’re craving some outdoor adventure, be sure to check out the Snow Valley Aerial Park Tower. This adventure park has over 100 different elements where you can crawl and climb your way through the obstacle course.

There are 3 different levels of difficulty, making this a fun activity for anyone over 125cm (4’10”) tall. You can even go as high as 15 meters (49 feet) in the air! But don’t worry – you’ll be harnessed in of course!

Prices are based on 2 hours of climbing time and start at $33 CAD and vary depending on your height, day of the week, and time that you visit. The most affordable option is to go in the evening Monday through Friday.

Also, be sure to reserve your spot online in advance here. This is a very popular activity during the summer and walk-ins are not guaranteed. Plus, an extra $10 CAD walk-in fee will be tacked onto your admission price!

Sometimes there are specials put on by the park too. When we visited last year, we went on “Thirsty Thursday”, where we got to do a twilight climb and then enjoyed a beer on their “Treetop Patio” high in the air afterward!

16. Explore Edmonton’s Parks

William Hawrelak Park
William Hawrelak Park
Daniel at the river valley in William Hawrelak Park, Edmonton
Beautiful views at the River Valley

When it comes to public parks and green spaces, Edmonton has it mastered. With over 460 parks in the city, there will always be a slice of nature at your fingertips!

Many parks offer day-use picnic areas with fire pits and facilities. During the summer, families flock to these areas to enjoy some food, games, and quality time together. There are also many walking and biking trails through the parks that you can enjoy. Parks are free to use and there are many right downtown in the beautiful River Valley!

Some popular river valley parks are Buena Vista Park located next to the iconic Hawrelak Park (which is currently closed for restoration), Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park just to name a few. You can find the whole list of River Valley parks and addresses here.

There are actually some parks in Edmonton where you can legally consume alcohol. Our favorite is Constable Ezio Faraone Park, located right downtown just next to the High Level Bridge. This small park offers fantastic views over the river and is the perfect place to watch the sunset with a bottle of wine! 

17. Visit the Farmers’ Market

Daniel poses for the camera inside Strathcona Farmers Market in Edmonton
There is a ton to explore in the market!
a pretzel covered in cheese and jalepenos from Strathcona Farmers market
Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat, too!

Once the weather in Edmonton warms up, outdoor farmers’ markets start popping up around the city. I love grabbing a coffee and wandering around the stalls of local vendors to buy fresh produce and other delights.

One of my favorite summer markets is the 124 Grand Market. With over 60 rotating vendors, this outdoor market is sure to have something you’ll love. It is located on the trendy 124 St surrounded by great boutique shopping and restaurants. This market operates from May to October on Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm, and on Thursday evenings from 4-8 pm.

Another city staple is the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. This one is housed indoors and is open year-round, but I still think it’s a great summer activity. It is located just off of Whyte Ave and is open from 8 am to 3 pm every Saturday. You will also find free 2-hour parking in the parking lot across the street. Make sure to try the perogies from Two Babas and a Stove and I love the cotton candy-scented candle from Eternal Flame!

There are many markets all around the city, especially in the summer. You can find the list of Edmonton farmers’ markets here.

Related Read: From Edmonton, it is fun to rent a car and road trip to Lake Louise!

18. Go party!

Bailey and Daniel drinking beer at a popular pub in Edmonton
Cheers!

If you’re looking for a fun night out, you’ll enjoy Edmonton’s buzzing nightlife! There are plenty of great spots for bar hopping, some of my favorites being Jasper Avenue and Whyte Avenue. This is especially fun in the summer when you can walk from one bar to the next without freezing your toes off!

If you’re in the mood for some live soul, funk, and blues music, then The Blues on Whyte is the place for you. It’s a historic hotel right in the middle of Whyte Avenue, featuring up-and-coming performers and all sorts of fun acts to enjoy. It also boasts a large patio in the summer with many awesome live music acts!

Another Whyte Ave favorite is the Black Dog Freehouse. This bar is the best if you’re in the mood to dance. It has 3 separate levels all playing different styles of music from funk to R&B and rock so there is sure to be something that gets your feet moving. The top level is actually a rooftop patio, perfect for dancing the night away on a warm summer night!

Union Hall and 99ten are intimate concert and dancing venues, getting you close to the stage where you can really feel the music. Although there are no outdoor patios, you’ll find plenty of EDM shows here as well as dance floors where you can party the night away.

19. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village 

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Edmonton

Only 25 minutes east of Edmonton you’ll find the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. This open-air museum takes you back in time as you wander the town that was built to resemble a historical settlement. It even has many original buildings here that were transported from all over Alberta (such as a grain elevator)!

You will learn so much about the history of Alberta’s settlers here and can even chat with the in-character staff to hear a story or two. Oh, and make sure to try the food! I loved the traditional borscht soup and the perogy poutine!

The museum and village are open from mid-May to early September and is the perfect family activity. It only costs $15 CAD for admission. It is located quite close to Elk Island National Park, so we recommend doing both activities on the same day.

20. Visit a local winery

wine bottles from Barr Estate Winery in Edmonton
Wine in the summer just tastes better!

Edmonton may not be the place that comes to mind when you think of wine. The cold winters make growing grapes a challenge. But the crafty Albertans that started The Barr Estate Winery learned to create outstanding fruit wines made from raspberries, sour cherries, and rhubarb grown right on their farm! I loved my visit here because not only is it an incredible location to visit, but you can also take part in a wine-tasting tour.

This family-run business is just outside of Edmonton and started from only a few raspberry bushes and has transformed into an impressive winery with a wide selection.

I highly recommend picking up a bottle of The Other Red – Raspberry Wine. Made from hand-picked raspberries at peak ripeness, this full-flavor, medium-bodied wine is best served cold and is mind-blowingly good. Pair it with roast pork, white chocolate, or mango, and you’re onto a winner.

To join a tour, you’ll need to book in advance on their website. The tour includes a full view of how their wine is made, and you’ll enjoy a taste of what they offer along the way. These tours are $15 CAD per person and are offered every Saturday and Sunday during the warmer months.

21. Neon Sign Museum

Bailey walks along the Neon Sign Museum in Edmonton, Alberta
Neon Sign Museum in Edmonton, Alberta

Once the sun sets, the neon lights truly shine at The Neon Sign Museum in downtown Edmonton. It’s not really a museum, more like a section of the street lit up with an impressive collection of 20 neon signs from the city’s past. You’ll find the signs installed near Rogers Place Arena on the east side of the TELUS building on 104 Street and the south side of the Mercer Warehouse building – believe me, it’s hard to miss!

It’s very easy to access the area where the signs are, and you’ll find famous signs such as Hayden’s Furniture’s iconic rocking chair and the Canadian National Railway’s Freight Telegrams sign.

Once you’ve strolled down the street and taken all your pictures I recommend checking out one of the nearby bars and restaurants. This area of downtown is very trendy and is home to many great spots such as DOSC, known for its unique cocktail selection, and Baijiu, a hip spot with a twist on Asian cuisine and cocktails.

22. Ride the 100 Street Funicular

100 Street Funicular
100 Street Funicular
100 Street Funicular in Edmonton
Waiting to head back up!

If you find yourself exploring Edmonton’s downtown and River Valley be sure to check out the 100 Street Funicular. This is basically a large outdoor elevator that connects the core downtown of the city to the lush river valley making it much more accessible for all!

People use the funicular all the time to easily get down to the River Valley trails. It’s convenient because you can even fit bikes in it! With glass windows, it also offers panoramic views throughout the entire ride.

I recommend taking the funicular down to the River Valley for a nice walk before taking it back up to downtown. It is open daily from 7 am – 9 pm for public use and is completely free!

Where to Stay in Edmonton

Daniel poses in a room at Varscona Hotel Whyte Ave
Varscona on Whyte is a hotel we like to stay at!

Edmonton is a beautiful and historic city with so many things to see and do. So when it comes time to rest your head after a day of activities, you’ll want to make sure your stay is as relaxing as possible.

With lots of choices on offer, it’s a good idea to book your hotel to be close to activities that you’re interested in. That way, you’ll spend less time traveling and more time enjoying yourself! Here are our favorite hotels in Edmonton for a variety of budgets!

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald – $$$

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald may look like a Disney castle on the outside, but inside you’ll find timeless luxury with all the modern amenities you could need. With stunning views of the River Valley, this hotel is fully equipped with a restaurant, indoor swimming pool, and a relaxing spa. Rooms start at around $320 CAD and you can check availability here.

Fantasyland Hotel – $$$

The internationally acclaimed Fantasyland Hotel offers a truly impressive hotel experience unlike any other. With 13 unique theme rooms and 15 luxury theme rooms, this hotel is an attraction in and of itself! What’s more, Fantasyland Hotel is located within West Edmonton Mall, a paradise for shoppers and a haven for family entertainment. Rooms start around $260 CAD and you can book here on Booking.com.

Varscona on Whyte – $$

With traditional room furnishings, Varscona on Whyte offers a calm and quiet stay, despite being situated right in central Edmonton! With easy walking access to Whyte Ave, you’ll find plenty of boutique shops, restaurants, and cafés right on your doorstep. Rooms here start at $161 CAD and you can check availability here.

Days Inn Edmonton Downtown – $

The Days Inn by Edmonton Downtown is situated in the heart of downtown Edmonton, offering a great launchpad into activities such as The Neon Sign Museum. The hotel also offers easy access to tram and bus links, which can take you straight to the West Edmonton Mall, for example. Rooms start at $119 CAD and can be booked online here.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton, Alberta
Thanks for reading!

I hope this guide has given you an idea of all the awesome things there are to do in Edmonton in summer! Having spent so much of my life here, I can’t wait for you to get out and enjoy everything Edmonton has to offer during the warmer months!

Make sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you’re looking forward to on your trip to Edmonton! Make sure you browse around our other blogs about Alberta including:

21 BEST Stops on the Drive from Edmonton to Vancouver (the BEST Route!)

17 MUST-DO Indoor Activities in Calgary

16 BEST Stops on the Drive from Edmonton to Canmore