Edmonton, Canada, is a flowering and vibrant city that is regarded as a cultural center in Canada. It is Canada’s fifth largest city. Edmonton is a great travel and tourist destination, regardless of whether you prefer being outdoors, exploring history in a living museum, attending the theater, a festival or cultural event, or splashing around in a huge indoor water park. There is something for everyone.
Many people do not know much about what Edmonton offers tourists, so we spoke with Robert Butchike. Butchike is a travel expert who has ties to the Edmonton area. He helps others find their dream destination and navigate the travel process at that destination successfully. We asked Butchike to tell us about some of the best places for a tourist in Edmonton to visit.
Elk Island National Park
A smaller national park just 43 kilometers east of Edmonton, it is overlooked by many tourists who are drawn to the larger Canadian national parks, such as Jasper. There is a campground with plenty of trees for shade and privacy and a lake. It is in a grassland ecosystem and has an incredible amount of wildlife to spot, including bison, deer, moose, coyotes, and beavers. In the summer, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing are popular. In the winter, people come to cross-country ski, ice skate, and snowshoe. One can drive through the park in about two to three hours.
Fort Edmonton Park
Canadians call this a “living history museum.” In the summer, historical interpreters in period dress explain the history and way of life in early Edmonton. There are historical buildings, streetcars, a steam train, live shows, and movies in 4D. Sadly, Fort Edmonton Park is closed to the public for the 2019 season due to renovations.
Edmonton is known in Canada as “Festival City.” During the summer, you are bound to encounter a festival in Sir Winston Churchill Square in the downtown area. There are also many live performances that take place in the popular square. Edmonton hosts 50 festivals each year, some in the winter.
In June and July, they host the Works Art and Design Festival and the Shakespeare Festival. The ITU World Triathlon and the Interstellar Rodeo are both in July as well. There is the Edmonton International Street Performers’ Festival in July. In August, there is the Blues Festival and the Heritage Festival. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival has over 1,200 live theatrical performances. There are folk music, blues, carnival, and Caribbean arts festivals, an airshow, and even an “animeathon.”
West Edmonton Mall
The West Edmonton Mall is North America’s largest shopping mall, with over 800 shops. It is more than just a mall, though. The mall also has Galaxyland, the largest amusement park in the world, an underground aquarium and World Waterpark, the largest indoor water park in the world. Being an indoor water park, it can be below freezing outside, yet children and adults are inside, blissfully enjoying water play.
Kids and adults can take nature walks through the forest and look for the life-sized dinosaur models. The family can also play miniature golf.
University of Alberta Botanic Garden
At the botanic garden, you can take a leisurely walk and later eat in the cafe.
John Janzen Nature Center
They have some great activities that teach kids about nature in a hands-on fashion, such as learning about beekeeping. There is an indoor area for kids when the weather is inclement.
LaunchPad Trampoline Park
When it is icy outside, kids can burn off energy in four different trampoline zones.
AllStars Indoor Playland
Edmonton’s largest indoor play area, this one has a well-loved zipline in addition to other attractions.
Being such a vibrant city, Edmonton has food options for travelers that begin with their unique food trucks that serve a wide variety of food on-the-fly. Some restaurants serve cuisine from many of the world’s cultures, mom and pop restaurants, and other casual dining choices. There are also formal dining options. Edmonton is widely regarded as a foodie destination.
Edmonton makes it easy for travelers. You can rent a car, travel on some of the 200 kilometers of a bike trail, take the light rail and/or take a bus. Also, as unique and quirky as the city itself, you can rent a Segway. Once you have the hang of riding it, you can easily navigate all over town.
Robert Butchike suggests that you visit Edmonton during June through August because of the mild summer weather. Also, that is the season when many festivals are hosted by the city.