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28 BEST Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta

28 BEST Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta

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Edmonton is the gateway city to stunning landscapes and fantastic outdoor adventures in Alberta, Canada. But don’t count out all that this city has to offer!

While many travelers only pass through Edmonton on their way to hike or ski in Banff, Jasper, or Elk Island National Park, this city has a ton of the best activities in Alberta that shouldn’t be missed. I lived in Edmonton for a long time and am back frequently to visit family and friends, so this city has a special place in my heart.

In the summer months, Edmonton comes alive with extra long daylight hours (17 hours of daylight!), tons of city parks and green spaces to hang out in, and more than 50 different festivals!

The winters are frigid – but Edmonton knows how to make it fun with skating rinks, heated outdoor patios, so many delicious restaurants, and great indoor shopping centers (hello West Edmonton Mall!).

I’ve traveled all over the world, and I still love returning to my home city of Edmonton. It’s an underrated destination that you’re sure to fall in love with. Edmonton itself is becoming a more popular tourist destination and if you’re considering a visit to Alberta, it makes a great home base.

If you’re looking for the most amazing things to do during your trip, read on for the 28 best things to do in Edmonton.

Take it from a local – you’ll love Edmonton, Alberta!

Things to do in Edmonton

1. Explore 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 way.

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.  

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

Admission to Elk Island National Park is $8.50 CAD per adult and any kids and teens under 17 are free.

Related Read: If you’re heading east, there are so many amazing spots on the drive from Edmonton to Vancouver!

2. Visit the West Edmonton Mall

Europa Blvd in West Edmonton Mall
Europa Boulevard is one of the neat themed streets in WEM.

With over 800 stores to lose yourself in, West Edmonton Mall will satisfy even the most hardcore shopper! At this mega shopping center, you’ll find large international outlets like Zara, H&M, and Lululemon, as well as plenty of smaller boutique stores to enjoy.

I actually worked at the West Edmonton Mall for about four years, so I know my way around, but I always like coming back to visit and see what’s new!

There are also exclusive stores at WEM that you won’t find anywhere else in Canada. SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker is one such store, retailing beautiful, high-end shoes that are hand-crafted in Italy. These shoes are so exclusive, you’ll need to head to places like New York or Dubai just to find another SJP store.

But there’s so much more to do in the West Edmonton Mall besides shopping. With an indoor skating rink, roller coasters, and a waterpark, you could easily spend an entire day (or two or three!) here and not get bored.

You can even book an amazing theme room at The Fantasyland Hotel located right inside the mall. This hotel is among the most unique hotels on the globe and the theme rooms are an experience! I personally love the Roman rooms, but the Space rooms with the spaceship capsule bunk beds are pretty fun too.

The West Edmonton Mall is perfect for taking the whole family, with so many fun activities to try. Be warned though – your wallet may be a bit lighter when you’re finished!

3. See the Oilers play

Oilers play the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place, Edmonton
Go Oilers!
Bailey and her sister cheer for the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place, Edmonton
Don’t forget your Oilers gear!

There’s nothing quite like seeing an NHL game live – the stadium is always full of energy, and you’re spending quality time with your favorite people.

Here in Alberta, you’ll find two NHL teams – the Calgary Flames and the incredible Edmonton Oilers (I might be a little bit biased). I’ve been a diehard Oilers fan all my life and let me tell you, if you’re lucky enough to be in town for a game, then you just have to get tickets!

I recommend showing up early to get your Edmonton Oilers merch and explore the stadium. While getting tickets to a game can be difficult, you can see if they are available on the official website. If you can’t find them there, then you might find them on Stub Hub, a trusted site for second-hand tickets.

4. Fort Edmonton Park

Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton Alberta
Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton, Alberta

Fort Edmonton Park is a place that celebrates Edmonton’s diverse past and is a great place to learn about the local history.

The exhibits are super educational, and the park really is massive. Each distinct era has its own small village recreated, complete with knowledgeable reenactors that help you feel like you’ve traveled back in time.

The journey begins with 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 exhibits that span the ages, including the settlement era, the fur trading era, the municipal era, and the metropolitan era. In the metropolitan section, there is even an amusement park with a fun house and Ferris wheel.

Parking is free and admission costs around $26 CAD. Sometimes the park offers discount codes on its website, and certain special seasonal exhibits will have extra fees associated with them.

Related Read: If you’d like to go even further back in time, then the Dinosaur Provincial Park and Royal Tyrell Museum are places in Alberta you shouldn’t miss!

5. 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!

Edmonton’s River Valley is the largest urban park on the entire North American continent. It’s a gorgeous place to get outside for some exercise and is loved by locals and visitors alike.

The River Valley is actually 22 times larger than Central Park in New York City and offers more than 150 km (93 miles) of trails to explore (such as this Riverside Trail Walk).

In the warmer months, it’s best enjoyed by walking or biking. However, if you visit Edmonton during the winter, bundle up and try out cross-country skiing on the well-maintained snow-covered paths.  

My favorite way to explore the River Valley is to rent bikes and ride the trails. Along your route, stop to see Kinsmen Park, Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, and Ezio Faraone Park.

You can even hop on this Segway tour as a way to cover more ground and give your feet a break. These 1-hour tours are only $60 CAD and include a bit of Segway training if you’ve never tried one before so you’ll be zipping by the scenery in no time!

6. 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 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 $20 CAD per adult and $14 CAD for kids.

7. 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 have a taste for the wonders of craft beer, then you’re in luck! With the number of local breweries in Edmonton steadily growing over the years, there are so many options to pick from.

One of my all-time favorite breweries in Edmonton is Campio Brewing Co. Every time I visit, I can’t get enough of their juicy hopped-up ales – they always seem to be adding new creations as well. Campio Brewing Co. is well-known for local favorites like the Campio Premium Lager and the aptly named “Albertosourus” – a lovely fruit ale.

For the OG craft beer experience, I love popping into Alley Kat Brewing Company. It was actually the first microbrewery in Edmonton and they are still going strong! There are six main brews available year-round and rotating seasonal beers. Pop by for Happy Hour on weekdays from 5-6 pm to try any of their classic pints for only $5 CAD.

Another brewery that is well worth a look at is Situation Brewing. You’ll find them in the heart of the city, offering great-tasting beer with classic ingredients. I highly recommend the Page Turner IPA, which will transport you to a sunny Caribbean beach with a tropical hop flavor.

At Situation Brewing, you can also get an insider look at the brewing process on a tour of the microbrewery. These tours are $25 CAD per person, with a minimum booking of six people.  

Related Read: If you’re a die-hard craft beer fan, then you have to check out the first ever steam-powered brewery located in the neighborhood of Gastown, Vancouver!

8. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village 

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Edmonton
Come and learn about the history and culture!

Take a trip back in time to when Ukrainian settlers first arrived in Alberta with a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. This open-air museum feels more like wandering around a little mini-town as it was built to look like a historical settlement.

In fact, many of the buildings here (including a grain elevator!) are original and were actually transported from across east central Alberta. There are staff members here in costumes that really bring the whole experience to life with their storytelling.

You can even enjoy some amazing food from traditional borscht (beet soup) to more modern twists like the perogy poutine!

This is a really fun place for families to wander around too. The museum and village are open from mid-May to early September.

It’s only a 25-minute drive east of Edmonton and close to Elk Island National Park if you wanted to visit both on the same day. Admission is $15 CAD per adult, $10 for kids ages 7-17, and free for children 6 and under.

9. Stroll down Whyte Ave

two women walking along Whyte Ave in Edmonton
Whyte Ave. is a trendy place to explore at any time of the year.

Located in the Old Strathcona area, Whyte Avenue (also known as 82 Ave) is one of Edmonton’s trendiest neighborhoods and well worth a visit. You can’t help but be impressed by the rich art and culture oozing from the unique stores, bars, and restaurants.

There are plenty of great shops to check out here as well, such as Bamboo Ballroom (one of my personal favorites). Here you’ll find stylish women’s clothes, as well as their incredibly warm Stockport jacket, which combines a coat and cardigan!

When you’re feeling a bit hungry, I recommend checking out The Next Act, which is a casual pub serving fantastic food. If you love burgers, you can’t go wrong with ordering options like The Critic and The Drama Queen. There’s a reason why it’s known as one of the best restaurants in Edmonton!

For something a little different, visit The Cat Café to enjoy hot drinks with some friendly felines. As Edmonton’s first cat café, it’s a unique experience featuring some furry friends that are up for adoption. For one price, averaging around $16-$18 CAD for adults and $6-$13 CAD for kids, you can visit for an hour at a time. This includes entry to the cat lounge and unlimited drinks.

10. High Level Bridge Streetcar  

The High Level Bridge Streetcar is one of the coolest and most underrated attractions in Edmonton, dating back to the early 1900s.

You can use the streetcar to get around Edmonton as it runs from downtown to Old Strathcona, or simply ride it for fun to experience a piece of history and take in some amazing views.  

The first streetcar ride took place on November 8, 1908, and when it was first built, it was considered super modern and high-tech. There are multiple different streetcars running, and they have all been brought in and refurbished from different parts of the world like Melbourne and Osaka just to name a few.

The trolley cars have windows that open, letting you enjoy the breeze in your hair as you gaze out at the scenery. The best part of the streetcar ride is crossing the High Level Bridge, which is over 100 years old and offers stunning views of the river. The bridge crossing is the highest streetcar river crossing in the entire world!

The cost for a ride is $7 CAD per adult for a round-trip ride and must be paid in cash.  

11. Muttart Conservatory

Outside of Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta
The great pyramids of Edmonton.
A flower at Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton
Which flowers will you find?

On a visit to Muttart Conservatory, you’ll experience one of Canada’s largest indoor botanical gardens. Whatever the season, you can immerse yourself in the lush greenery of what appears to be a never-ending variety of plant species. I personally like coming in the winter for a bit of a tropical escape!

The Muttart Conservatory is located super close to downtown and consists of three greenhouses, an expansive public garden, and four large glass pyramids for displaying different plant species. Each pyramid houses plants from a different biome and the fourth pyramid is usually filled with a fun seasonal display.  

The pyramids are MASSIVE and have become a true landmark in Edmonton. In total, there are more than 700 different plant species for you to see. The cost of admission is $14.95 CAD per adult.  

12. 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.

For 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.

If you’re feeling country, then Cook County Saloon is well worth a visit. You can practice your two-step and line dance, but the real challenge is riding the mechanical bull! There’s nothing quite like hanging on for dear life to really get the party going!

Union Hall is an intimate concert and dancing venue, getting you close to the stage where you can really feel the music. You’ll find plenty of EDM shows here as well as a dance floor where you can party the night away.

13. The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market

the outside of the Strathcona Farmers Market in the winter in Edmonton
The Strathcona Farmers’ Market is indoors, so it’s perfect even in the winter!

Open year-round, the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market is situated just off Whyte Avenue and is a great place to enjoy indoor shopping. The market opens from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, with free parking available on market day in their parking lot across Gateway Boulevard.

All kinds of fresh food can be found here, from locally grown vegetables to handmade crafts. Edmonton’s cultural heritage really shines here, with authentic Ukrainian food (you MUST try the perogies) available at the Two Babas and a Stove booth. For those who love candles as much as me, then the cotton candy-scented candle from Eternal Flame can’t be missed.

If you’re visiting Edmonton in the wintertime, then you’ll find Christmas markets popping up all over the city. From November through to December, these markets are the perfect place to find a gift for a loved one, and you’ll know that these hand-crafted items were made with care.

Related Read: Speaking of spending time at Christmas markets, Banff is another amazing location you can enjoy the holidays!

14. TELUS World of Science

If you have any kids along or are looking for great indoor activities in Edmonton, the TELUS World of Science delivers! The exhibits here are super interactive and constantly changing so there’s always something new to explore, even if you’ve visited in the past.

There are two levels of exhibits to see and while there’s a variety of themes, anything to do with space is always a big hit. If you have any budding astronauts, one of the permanent exhibits here lets them drive a lunar lander on the moon – how cool is that?! Kids can also have a blast exploring the “Curiouscity” where you can explore connected treehouses that look like Edmonton landmarks and even try their hand at directing airplanes from the Edmonton Airport Control Tower.

Once you’ve explored all the exhibits, catch a show in one of the unique spots here. There’s the Zeidler Dome which is a digital theater with fantastic laser shows. Or go big, reallllllly big, and watch a movie or documentary on the giant IMAX screen.

Admission is $23.95 CAD per adult and $18.95 CAD per child. Children under 3 can visit for free.  

15. Visit local distilleries

woman sitting at a distillery bar in Edmonton, Alberta
Trying a delicious craft cocktail at Lone Pine Distilling in Edmonton.

When small-batch distilling became legal in the province in 2013, the industry in Edmonton underwent its very own renaissance. You’ll now find several well-established distilleries offering a mind-boggling variety of products and even tours to show you the process.

One of my favorite distilleries to visit is Lone Pine Distilling. If you’re looking for a great cocktail, you will absolutely love this place. Some of the top drinks I’d recommend are the Lone Pine Classic G&T with two ounces of your chosen gin, as well as the Prairie Hand, which features Fentimans Pink Grapefruit tonic, grapefruit juice, and a cherry garnish.

If you’d like to take a look behind the scenes at Lone Pine, then you can go on a tour of where the magic happens in the impressive 8,000-square-foot (743-square-meter) facility. Tours are $10 CAD per person, however the tour is completely free if you purchase anything.

Another great distillery to check out is Rig Hand Distillery, which features some very unique-looking, oil rig-shaped bottles. The folks here use local ingredients, with the owner actually finding his grain supplier when helping a farmer whose tractor had broken down. I highly recommend the Double Double Coffee Cream Liqueur, or the Saskatoon Vodka, both are incredibly tasty and full of flavor!

16. Ride the 100 Street Funicular

The 100 Street Funicular is a relatively new Edmonton attraction that’s kind of like a big, glass elevator. It opened in December 2017 and lets you access the River Valley from downtown Edmonton.  

The funicular offers panoramic views and is completely free to ride! Unlike some funiculars, it doesn’t have an operator and essentially functions like a glass elevator allowing you to skip the steep set of stairs. It takes you down to the valley and then back up to a cool overlook and viewing area.

The funicular fits up to 20 people and is wheelchair accessible as well.

17. Go to a dinner theater

Bailey and Daniel at Spotlight Cabaret in Edmonton
Spotlight Cabaret in Edmonton

What happens if you combine great food with an evening of entertainment? Well, you get the dinner theater experience, which can be heaps of fun for small and large groups alike.

Jubilations Dinner Theatre is situated in the West Edmonton Mall and is a great spot to spend the evening with friends and family. The cast puts on hilarious parodies of popular movies, music, and TV shows, making you feel as if you’re part of the show!

Tickets for the evening shows start at $70 CAD and can be purchased online. We recommend parking in the West Edmonton Mall parking lot and entering through entrance #31 on the east side of the mall.

The Mayfield Dinner Theatre is a classy venue that can be found on the west end of the city. Attached to the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, the production quality of this venue is awesome – it’s even rated as Canada’s top dinner theatre!

Offering a high-end buffet complete with an incredible selection of desserts, tickets to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre start at $98 CAD per person. You’ll find shows taking place from Tuesday to Sunday at 5:30 pm, as well as the occasional morning show available at 10 a.m.

With its dazzling roaring twenties theme, Spotlight Cabaret is situated less than a two-minute walk from the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market and offers a dinner entertainment experience like no other. Their first-class menu features tasty dishes using local ingredients, such as succulent beef sirloin or baked eggplant parmesan. Beginning at 6 pm, the entire experience lasts approximately 3 hours. Tickets for this venue begin at $60 CAD.

18. Explore the Winspear Center

The Francis Winspear Centre for Music, or the Winspear Center for short, is a performing arts complex located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. If you’re interested in experiencing some arts and culture during your trip, this is the place to go!

This is the home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and if you are interested in classical music, you should absolutely try to catch one of their performances during your trip. Along with regular orchestra performances, there are plenty of unique shows and the schedule is constantly changing.

With the capacity to seat around 1,900 people, the interior of the theater resembles a modern take on the traditional ‘shoebox’ concert theaters from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Currently, there is a massive expansion happening which will add more performance spaces, classrooms, and additional areas open to the public.

Ticket prices vary but usually range between $20-100 CAD, so be sure to check what’s on during your stay!  

19. Visit the Alberta Legislature

The outside of the Alberta Legislature lit up with Christmas lights in Edmonton in the winter months
In the winter months, the Alberta Legislature is lit up with beautiful lights.

The Alberta Legislature is a truly magnificent building that lies at the heart of Albertan democracy.

Here, you can take a free 45-minute guided tour which gives you a detailed look around the building and an overview of Alberta’s political history. While you won’t need tickets for the tour, make sure you register ahead of time.

If the Assembly is taking place that day (meaning the politicians are here), then you can even watch the proceeding from the public gallery!

At the Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre, you’ll find featured exhibitions that vary throughout the year. We enjoyed the special film, “Our People Our Province” in the spectacular Phonan Theatre (with a 360-degree screen). The film lasts about 11 minutes and tells the story of the province. It’s shown every half hour with the last showing taking place at 2:30 p.m.

Related Read: Taking a tour of the Legislative Building and eating at the hidden gem Parliamentary Dining Room are top things to do while visiting Victoria, BC!

20. Royal Alberta Museum

Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton
Photo credit: Royal Alberta Museum

The Royal Alberta Museum is in downtown Edmonton, making it easy to visit from all parts of the city. The museum focuses on human and natural history throughout the ages, with impressive exhibitions around every corner. It’s also the largest museum in Western Canada!

The museum has massive galleries about the natural and cultural history of Alberta. There is also a really cool display gallery that shows expeditions from Canada around the world.

The Children’s Gallery is awesome too and focuses on hands-on activities. If you don’t mind creepy crawlers, make sure to check out the bug exhibit, which has an invertebrate nursery and lots of live species.

Admission for adults is $21 CAD and $10 CAD for kids under 17.

21. Paleontology Museum

Edmonton has so many amazing museums worth exploring and the Paleontology Museum is no exception. Located at the University of Alberta North Campus, this museum is set up to offer visitors a journey through geologic time with more than 1 million specimens.

So if you’re interested in learning about ancient species that used to inhabit the earth, this is a must-visit! As you wander through, you will learn the ways that life on Earth has evolved, while looking at incredible specimens from the University of Alberta.  

Admission to the Paleontology Museum is totally free, but keep in mind that the hours of operation are a little irregular. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It is closed on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  

22. Attend a comedy show

Bailey and Daniel at The Comic Strip in Edmonton
The Comic Strip!
Daniel and Bailey inside the Comic Strip in the West Edmonton Mall
Before the show starts!

Going to a comedy show is the perfect way to spend an evening and catch a few laughs. Here in Edmonton, there are a couple of different venues on offer.

The Comic Strip is a hidden gem situated on Bourbon Street in West Edmonton Mall. It’s also seen some famous faces, with comics who’ve been on The Daily Show, the Just for Laughs Festival, and The Tonight Show all making an appearance. Up-and-coming comedians also feature here too, making it a great spot to hang out with local talent.

We highly recommend going on Friday and Saturday nights, as this is when the venue puts on dinner with a show for around $60 CAD. This package also includes a free ticket to see another show in the future too. If you’d like to stick to just the comedy, then tickets average $25 CAD per show, with a show taking place every night of the week.

Other great comedy venues we recommend include The Grindstone Comedy Theatre & Bistro, The Comedy Factory, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.

23. 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

Golf is extremely popular during Edmonton’s summer months. The long days, which can offer up to 17 hours of sunlight, are perfect for golfers to enjoy their games well into the evening.

There are more than 80 golf courses around the Edmonton region, so if golf is an enjoyable pastime for you, then you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.  

There are golf courses located within the city limits of Edmonton, and some that are just a quick drive away. If you have your own clubs with you and want to practice a bit before hitting the courses, check out Dragon’s Head Par 3 Golf Course which is a public course with 18 holes and is great for every level of experience.  

Another golf course located within Edmonton is Jagare Ridge Golf Course, which can be found along Whitemud Creek. You’ll be in the city, but you’d never know it from the gorgeous surroundings and the natural scenery. The course has 18 holes and is quite challenging, making it perfect for experienced golfers.  

The favorite public course is Lewis Estates Golf Course, which is rated as the top course around here. It’s super green, well-manicured, and offers an awesome experience for locals and tourists. There are countless more options to choose from, making Edmonton a true paradise for golf lovers.  

24. 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!

With over 350 animals calling The Edmonton Valley Zoo their home, it’s the perfect place to learn more about these incredible species. You’ll find a diverse mixture of outdoor and indoor spaces, as well as a full range of different climates and habitats, each perfectly engineered to suit the animals.

See the jaw-dropping snow leopards, the endangered but beautiful peregrine falcons, the prairie dogs and so much more. With exhibits constantly changing, you’ll find new inhabitants appearing with every visit. The latest member of the zoo is a unique species, a baby Grevy’s Zebra, which was born right here at the Edmonton Valley Zoo!

You can purchase tickets either at the gate or online ahead of time. Prices are $10.95 CAD for adults, $9.95 CAD for teens and $7.75 CAD for kids. 

Related Read: If you’re making the drive from Edmonton to Calgary, there’s also a fantastic zoo that’s one of the best Calgary attractions!

25. Go skiing at Rabbit Hill

people at Rabbit Hill Snow Resort in Edmonton
Photo Credit: Rabbit Hill Snow Resort

Head towards the outer edge of Edmonton, on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River, and you’ll find Rabbit Hill. This ski and snowboard resort is one of the largest of its kind in the area, with over 40 acres of trails that are perfect for all ability levels.

The friendly coaches at Rabbit Hill offer group lessons every Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – perfect for those who have never skied before or are looking to brush up on their skills. You also don’t need to bring any gear with you, as the resort rents out all the equipment you would need.

Opening in mid-December through to the end of March, there’s plenty of time for you to visit and hone your skills. An all-day pass for the ski lift is about $40 CAD, making it an affordable way to spend the day – especially as it’s so close to the city!

Related Read: For more great skiing, check out the best places to stay in Banff or Whistler if you’re looking to hit the slopes there!

26. Explore William Hawrelak Park

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. William Hawrelak offers unparalleled access to nature at just about a five-minute drive from Edmonton’s city center. It is easily accessible by public transportation and once you arrive, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery.  

The park is located right along the River Valley and highlights include an expansive lake and plenty of open meadowlands that are perfect for picnics. During Edmonton’s lively festival season, the park hosts all kinds of events and festivals so make sure to check what is on during your visit.  

Amenities at the park include washrooms and picnic shelters as well as a large pavilion. Keep in mind that the washrooms are shut down during the winter months and open in late May or June depending on the weather.

It’s free to access and use the park, and it stays open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.  

27. Visit a local winery

wine bottles from Barr Estate Winery in Edmonton
Wine is just as good in the winter!

Calling all wine lovers! The Barr Estate Winery has 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 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 at 2 pm, 4 pm, and 6 pm. 

28. 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. With an impressive collection of 20 neon signs from the city’s past, you’ll find the signs installed on the east side of the TELUS building on 104 street and the south side of the Mercer Warehouse building.

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.

Entrance to the museum is completely free, with all exhibits located outdoors. Once you’ve basked in the lights, you can drink your fill at the cozy Mercer Tavern across the street.

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!

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.

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.

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 at $260 CAD and you can book here on Booking.com.

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 $358 CAD and you can check availability here.

Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!

If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $42 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)

It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!

Renting a Car in Alberta

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

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 to Edmonton has inspired you to get out there and see the sights of this incredible city! Having spent so much of my life here, I can’t wait for you to enjoy the amazing experiences, fantastic restaurants, and hidden gems Edmonton has to offer.

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:

11 BEST Stops on the Drive from Edmonton to Jasper

27 Fun & Unique Things to do in Drumheller, Alberta

17 MUST-DO Indoor Activities in Calgary

35 BEST Things to do in Lake Louise, Alberta
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