Elk Island National Park
LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT Explore Edmonton respectfully acknowledges that we are located within Treaty 6 territory, and Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4. We acknowledge this land as the traditional home for many Indigenous Peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Dene, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe, Inuit and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.
Message from Explore Edmonton We are so excited to welcome you back to Edmonton! The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all of us, but Edmonton has been waiting for visitors to return with open arms. We asked our friends and neighbours here in Edmonton to be sure to support local so that when you returned, you would be able to enjoy all the local businesses that this city has to offer. That’s one of the beautiful things about this city - the community-minded residents that care so deeply about their hometown. Alberta’s capital city has so much to offer as a four- season destination. Edmonton is known as festival city, but that doesn’t just include summer events like our world-famous Fringe Festival in August, or Folk Music Festival at Gallagher Park; our city is also proud to host eight major winter festivals. There’s Flying Canoë Volant, the Silver Skate Festival, Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête, the list goes on! Edmonton is also home to some of the country’s top restaurants, with flavours from around the world which embrace the diversity of our community. Whether you want to run, walk, bike, Segway, snowshoe or cross-country ski in the city, our river valley has nothing but space to welcome you as it’s the largest urban park in Canada. Edmonton awaits, and the hope is that this guide can help you plan your trip!
Contents Overview | 02 Transportation | 04 Edmonton INternational Airport | 06 AccommodationS | 07 Edmonton Map | 08 Neighbourhoods Downtown & Jasper AVE | 10 High St & 124 StREET | 12 Old STrathcona & Garneau | 14 Highlands & Alberta Ave | 16 Festivals & Events | 18 Local Flavours | 20 Best of Edmonton | 21 Free Things To Do | 22 Indigenous Experiences | 24 Outdoor Adventure | 26 Edmonton Tours | 28 Iconic Edmonton Locations | 30 Rocky Mountains | 32
Traci Bednard CEO, Explore Edmonton
Overview Let us help you make the most of your trip to
Edmonton, Alberta, and the extraordinary adventures that await. From the moment you visit the roaming plains bison at Elk Island National Park, taste the inventive dishes created by our award-winning chefs, or lose yourself at one of our incredible festivals, you’ll see why Edmonton is a vacation destination unlike any other. Plus, a little trip planning never hurt anyone!
Mill Creek Ravine
Happy to Help While Edmonton no longer has a bricks and mortar visitor centre, you can get in touch with us directly via social media. Send us a DM on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and we’ll get back to you with our best recommendations, tips and advice. You can also drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 780-401-7696
Visit our friends at TIX on the Square (9930 102 Ave), Edmonton City Hall (1 Sir Winston Churchill Square), the Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre (9820 107 Street NW) or stop by the information booth at the Edmonton International Airport (located on the arrivals level across from Door 7), for information on all the great things to see and do in Edmonton.
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Health and safety is a top priority
From touchdown to takeoff, Edmonton is raising the bar for health and safety. Our facilities and hotels don’t just look and feel clean, they’re verified clean — backed by the Destination Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ Accreditation, making Edmonton one of the safest destinations around.
The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
Edmonton is in the Mountain Time Zone.
PACK YOUR BAGS In Edmonton, the summers are warm and
For emergency services dial 911.
For COVID-19 updates and current provincial health guidelines, visit: alberta.ca/covid19 The legal drinking age in Alberta is 18 years-old. The age to smoke or consume cannabis in Alberta is 18 years-old. Alberta does not have a provincial sales tax, making it one of the best places to shop in Canada. Tipping is customary in Canadian restaurants and gratuities are seldom included in the final bill. Most people tip approximately 15-20% on the total bill before tax, which may be adjusted based on your service experience.
comfortable, and the winters are brisk and dry. No matter the season, there’s always plenty of sunlight! The winter months bring you Narnia-like landscapes and more opportunities to spot the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). From June to August you can expect warm, dry days with up to 17 hours of sunshine. Forgot to pack an item? Don’t worry! You’ll find everything from big-name retailers to local boutiques in Edmonton – not to mention North America’s largest shopping and entertainment centre, West Edmonton Mall.
SUMMER PACKING CHECKLIST: • Shorts & tank tops or t-shirts • Light jacket • Sneakers & sandals • Sunglasses & a hat • Sunscreen
WINTER PACKING CHECKLIST: • Thick winter jacket • Hat, mitts & a scarf • Warm winter boots • Add layers for extra warmth
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Getting here Planes, trains and automobiles! No matter where you’re coming from or how you get here, Edmonton can easily be visited in any season. Once you arrive, getting around is a breeze.
Central Station, 101 Street & Jasper Avenue
Getting into the city Skyshuttle provides transportation to and from the Edmonton International Airport or you can catch Route 747, a bus service from the airport to Century Park Station (where you can also catch the LRT). Red Arrow provides transportation from many surrounding cities. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi from Alberta Co-op Taxi, Edmonton Taxi, or take an Uber.
Taxis, Car REntals, and more TAXIS > Edmonton offers a multitude of cab companies to help you get on your way. CAR RENTALS > Edmonton has most of the major car rental companies (e.g. Enterprise, Budget, Thrifty etc.) to make getting around the city even easier. CAR SHARE > Access a practical, affordable and reliable carsharing service with Communauto. PEDWAY SYSTEM AND MAPS > An extensive system of pedestrian walkways (above and below-ground) connects most major downtown buildings and the LRT. ...AND MORE! You can travel in style with Prestige Limousine, Champagne Limos Ltd, catch the exhilaration of cruising the streets on a classic Italian-made moped with Vespa YEG or rent an electric bike with Pede go Edmonton.
Public Transport Edmonton Transit provides extensive bus and light rail transit (LRT) services. The LRT provides fast and convenient service to 15 stops around the city. You can pay per trip or get a day pass.
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During the warmer months, Edmonton has electric scooter sharing available in select areas. Bird Scooters, Lime Scooters or Spin Scooters are available for rent through their respective apps! Check the City of Edmonton website for more details regarding regulations and safe travel.
Parking in Edmonton In support of local business and economic recovery, the first 30 minutes of every parking session in curbside EPark zones is currently free. Please ensure that you start your parking session on the MyEPark app or at an EPark machine.
Download the MyEPark app for contactless payment options:
DOWNLOAD APP >
HOW TO PAY FOR ON-STREET PARKING: Once parked, find your nearest pay station. Here you can pay using coins, debit or credit cards. Rates, hours and locations vary depending on where you park.
Dudley B Menzies Bridge, YEG Scoot Tour
Getting Around Most of our streets and avenues are numbered, making it simple to locate addresses. Numbered avenues run east and west, the numbers going up as you go north, e.g. 103 Avenue is north of 102 Avenue. Numbered streets run north and south, the numbers going up as you go west. The centre of this numbering system, located downtown, is 100 Street and 100 Avenue.
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EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
EIA IS MORE THAN AN AIRPORT - It’s a destination Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is a great destination and connection hub with non-stop flights to over 50 major cities in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. You’ll experience incredible service and amenities including lots of dining choices, shopping (there are over 100 stores at the Premium Outlet Collection EIA!), a horse racetrack and casino, a golf course, and an excellent complimentary rewards program. EIA is the perfect way to start and cap off your Edmonton adventures. With over 60 shops, restaurants and services within the terminal, EIA will prepare you for take-off! From magazines to headphones and tech gadgets to fashionable travel clothes, you’ll find the items you forgot to pack and even a few you didn’t know you wanted. Enjoy a pint or sit down for a meal. In a hurry? Grab a quick bite at one of the delicious grab-and-go options. Take in the stunning art, architecture and live music just waiting to be discovered. Pro-tip: located near gate 64, over 8,000 plants form a two-storey “Living Wall” which naturally improves air quality while also providing a beautiful work of art. Plus, when you rest your head at The Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel or Fairfield by Marriott Edmonton International Airport, you’ll have all the EIA amenities at your fingertips. Don’t be A Gate Sitter. Shop, Stay and Play at Airport City.
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EIA Living Wall
Where to stay Does staying in a 100-year-old castle tickle your fancy? How about a modern boutique inn, or jazz-age hotel within a living history museum? Edmonton’s got that and everything in between. Find the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of exploring. DOWNTOWN: Staying downtown allows you easy access to Edmonton’s river valley, the shops of 124 Street. and 4th Street Promenade, Rogers Place, the Arts District and so much more! Find a Downtown hotel > SOUTHSIDE: Staying in Edmonton’s Southside means that Old Strathcona & Whyte Avenue, Fort Edmonton Park, the University of Alberta and Edmonton’s river valley are all nearby! Find a Southside hotel > WESTEND: Staying in the Westend puts you steps (or a short drive) away from West Edmonton Mall, TELUS World of Science Edmonton, Fort Edmonton Park, and the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Find a Westend hotel > Check out Edmonton’s Best Hotels by Location:
Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
Renting an RV/Camper vehicle is easy at Fraserway RV (7714 Sparrow Drive, Leduc). You can find them conveniently located near the Edmonton International Airport. Give them a call at 1-877-980-1188 for more information. Looking to camp or park your RV? Check out Rainbow Valley Campground, Shakers Acres RV Park & Campground, or Glowing Embers RV Park & Campground.
Choose from Edmonton’s Best Hotels:
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Downtown & Jasper Ave
Downtown & Jasper Ave Whether you’re checking out artifacts at the Royal Alberta Museum, indulging in our world-class culinary scene, taking in an event at Rogers Place, or strolling along Jasper Avenue, when you’re in Edmonton’s bustling downtown core, being bored isn’t an option. Home to lively, year-round festivals, architectural marvels like the Art Gallery of Alberta, and flooded with world-renowned restaurants, there is no shortage of things to do, see and eat.
Alberta Legislature Building
ALBERTA LEGISLATURE BUILDING >
ART GALLERY OF ALBERTA >
THE BACKYARD >
Sir Winston Churchill Square
CITADEL THEATRE >
CITY HALL >
AUDREY’S BOOKS >
FAIRMONT HOTEL MACDONALD >
BLOGGER ARMOIRE >
RICE HOWARD WAY >
DEVINE WINE AND SPIRITS >
ROGERS PLACE >
DOWNTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET >
ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM >
THE HELM CLOTHING >
WINSPEAR CENTRE > (Home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra)
KUNITZ SHOES >
100 STREET FUNICULAR >
TIX ON THE SQUARE >
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Downtown & Jasper Ave
EAT. Drink. Save. Repeat. Discover the core’s legendary local restaurants with the Explore Edmonton Downtown Dining Pass.
YOU CAn’T MISS
4TH STREET PROMENADE 4th Street Promenade is the area on 104 Street between Jasper Avenue downtown and the ICE District. Here you’ll find local shopping, iconic restaurants, and historic buildings to explore. NEON SIGN MUSEUM The outside walls of the Mercer and TELUS buildings play host to the Neon Sign Museum. This open-air showcase is the first of its kind in Canada, and it displays 20 functioning neon signs from Edmonton’s past. ICE DISTRICT The ICE District is Edmonton’s hub for sports and entertainment in the downtown core. Located at the north end of the 4th Street Promenade, the ICE District features Rogers Place, home to the Edmonton Oilers, and the luxurious JW Marriott Hotel.
BAR BRICCO >
CONFEDERATION LOUNGE >
CRAFT BEER MARKET >
THE LINGNAN >
PABLO COCKTAIL LOUNGE >
DOWNTOWN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION >
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High StREET & 124 STREET
High StREET & 124 STREET Beginning just west of downtown, where Jasper Avenue turns north into 124 Street, this district is one of the best areas in Edmonton to take a stroll and discover cool spots to eat, shop, and be inspired. This charming area is home to art galleries, specialty and antique stores, fashion boutiques, indie coffee houses and fabulous eateries.
YOU CAn’T MISS
HIGH STREET >
124 STREET Zigzag through a 12-block hub of inspiration on a gallery walk around 124 Street. The wide-ranging group of art galleries in the area collaborate to offer a Gallery Walk and seasonal exhibits that focus on work by Canadian artists. VICTORIA PROMENADE Grab a coffee and make your way just a few blocks east from the corner of Jasper Ave and 124 Street, to the Victoria Promenade, which offers up scenic landscapes of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. DUCHESS BAKE SHOP The Duchess Bake Shop, one of the world’s best bakeries, is a proud local French-inspired bakery that has been spoiling customers with decadent treats for more than a decade.
MANCHESTER SQUARE >
124 GRAND MARKET >
THE ROXY >
BREWERY DISTRICT >
124 STREET BUSINESS ASSOCIATION >
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High StREET & 124 STREET
BLUE PLATE DINER >
Shades of Grey Boutique
COSMOS GREEK KITCHEN >
CARBON ENVIRONMENTAL >
CLOUD NINE PAJAMAS >
RGE RD >
HEART OF THE HOME >
THE BUTCHERY BY RGE RD >
HIDEOUT DISTRO >
TIRAMISU BISTRO >
LISTEN RECORDS >
WOODSHED BURGERS >
LUX BEAUTY BOUTIQUE >
ZWICKS PRETZELS >
MEUWLY’S ARTISAN FOOD MARKET >
PARCEL + PROSE >
PAPER DOLL >
PURA BOTANICALS >
RED RIBBON >
SHADES OF GREY BOUTIQUE >
SHOP HARROW >
VESPUCCI CONSIGNMENT >
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Old Strathcona & Garneau
Old strathcona & Garneau Connected by the funky, bohemian spirit of Whyte Avenue, historic buildings blend with youthful exuberance to make Old Strathcona and Garneau, two of Edmonton’s trendiest neighbourhoods. The city’s celebrated arts and cultural community makes its home here, as does a rich collection of unique local boutiques, one-of-a-kind art galleries, music shops, and trendy restaurants and cafés.
YOU CAn’T MISS
ATB FINANCIAL ARTS BARN >
RAPID FIRE THEATRE It’s all laughs all the time for Edmonton’s longest running improv comedy company, Rapid Fire Theatre. Having scored a drawer-full of international awards, they’ve been dishing out guffaws for more than three decades in the form of high-energy improvisation, collaborations, theatre for young audiences, full-length plays and comedy workshops. WHYTE AVENUE (AFTER DARK) Whyte Avenue kicks it up a notch after dark with dance clubs, live music, secret concerts, delicious late-night eats, and overall great vibes. Check out Blues on Whyte, a fully stocked blues bar with great dancing and live music 7 days a week, head to Hexagon Board Game Café and challenge your friends to “Jenga” over a cocktail or surround yourself with New York and old Hollywood inspired glitz and glamour, circa 1920 at Spotlight Cabaret.
EDMONTON GHOST TOURS >
THE GRINDSTONE COMEDY THEATRE >
HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE STREETCAR >
METRO CINEMA AT THE GARNEAU THEATRE > NORTHERN ALBERTA JUBILEE AUDITORIUM > (Home of the Edmonton Opera Company and Alberta Ballet)
OLD STRATHCONA ANTIQUE MALL >
PRINCESS THEATRE >
VARSCONA THEATRE >
THE YARDBIRD SUITE >
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Old Strathcona & Garneau
EAT. Drink. Save. Repeat. Experience the historic district of Whyte Avenue and beyond when you sign-up for the Old Strathcona Dining Pass.
THE BAMBOO BALLROOM >
BLOCK 1912 >
BLACKBYRD MYOOZIK >
BOXER ALBERTAN KITCHEN & BAR >
C’EST SERA >
CAFE MOSAICS >
DORINKU TOKYO >
JUNQUE CELLAR >
EL CORTEZ >
LITTLE PLANT SHOP >
ELEANOR & LAURENT >
MAVEN AND GRACE >
JULIO’S BARRIO >
OLD STRATHCONA ARTS EMPORIUM >
VIVID PRINT >
THE NEXT ACT >
WEE BOOK INN >
WHEN PIGS FLY >
POLAR PARK BREWING COMPANY >
WRINKLED CONSIGNMENT >
THE SUGARBOWL >
SUGARED & SPICED >
YELO’D ICE CREAM & BAKE SHOP >
OLD STRATHCONA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION >
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Highlands & Alberta Ave
Highlands & Alberta Ave You’ll find some of Edmonton’s best hidden gems on Alberta Avenue and in Highlands. Located just north of downtown, Alberta Avenue is one of the city’s oldest streets and boasts more than 200 businesses and a vibrant, welcoming community atmosphere for Edmontonians and visitors alike. Set high above the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the Highlands neighbourhood contains some of Edmonton’s best preserved historic homes, quaint shops, and charming new restaurants that are fast becoming the city’s newest culinary hotspots.
YOU CAn’T MISS
PLAZA BOWLING CO. >
THE GREEN ONION CAKE MAN It would be an understatement to say that green onion cakes are cherished by locals - in fact, they are so popular that there was even a movement to make them the official dish of Edmonton! The Green Onion Cake Man himself, Siu To, is actually believed to be the person who first introduced this crispy, onion- filled snack to the city many years ago. Pair your savoury cakes with Szechuan beef, Lemon Chicken, and Chow Mein to complete your meal. Delicious!
COMMONWEALTH STADIUM > (Home of the Edmonton Elks)
GIBBARD BLOCK >
CARROT COMMUNITY ARTS COFFEEHOUSE >
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Highlands & Alberta Ave
BATTISTA’S CALZONE >
BODEGA TAPAS BAR BY SABOR >
COLISEUM STEAK + PIZZA >
THE DUCK TAPHOUSE >
FOX BURGER >
JASMINE BELLE CAFÉ >
BE-A-BELLA CANDY & GIFTS >
KIND ICE CREAM >
CHICKIES FRENCH FARMHOUSE ANTIQUES >
MANDOLIN BOOKS & COFFEE COMPANY >
HIGHLANDS LIQUOR >
PE METAWE GAMES >
MAREEG CAFÉ & RESTAURANT >
TEE PEE TREATS >
THE SWAGAT INDIA BAR AND BISTRO > T&D VIETNAMESE NOODLE HOUSE >
ALBERTA AVENUE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION >
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Festivals & Events
Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival Boardwalk Ice on Whyte Flying CanoË Volant
Chinook Series Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival Silver Skate Festival SkirtsAfire Festival Mosquers Film Festival
Edmonton Poetry Festival Northwestfest St Albert Kinsmen Rainmaker Rodeo & Exhibition International Children’s Festival Edmonton Craft Beer FestIVAL Ufest Edmonton Ukrainian Festival Freewill Shakespeare Festival The works art and design festival TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival Boardwalk Sand on Whyte
NextFest Edmonton Indigenous Peoples Festival
Improvaganza Cycling Canada Road Nationals
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FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Edmonton Heritage Festival Edmonton INternational Folk Music Festival
Canada Day Whyte Avenue Art Walk Edmonton INternational Street Performers Festival Taste of Edmonton K-Days
Cariwest-Caribbean Arts Festival Edmonton International Fringe THeatre Festival The Great Outdoors Comedy Festival Servus Edmonton Marathon Edmonton Blues Festival
MidAutumn Festival Kaleido Family ARts Festival
Edmonton COmic and Entertainment EXPO Edmonton International Film Festival National day for Truth and Reconciliation
Litfest: Edmonton’s Non Fiction Festival Edmonton Comedy Festival DARK: FORT EDMONTON PARK
All is bright festival Luminaria
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Local Flavours Edmonton embraces new flavours and ideas, allowing big-thinking chefs to thrive. With so many amazing restaurants, deciding where to eat in Edmonton is no simple task. Take your taste buds on a journey to the best pubs, coffee houses, wine bars, burger joints, breweries, pizza places, fine-dining restaurants and much more. Your appetite is no match for Edmonton’s booming culinary scene!
Eat. Drink. Save. Repeat. Get to know our city’s incredible local businesses with Explore Edmonton Discount Passes! Claim unique deals with digital savings passports that will guide you to the best that Edmonton has to offer – did we mention it is completely free to sign up? SAVOUR THE FLAVOURS Experience the bohemian spirit of Whyte Avenue and beyond when you sign-up for the Explore Edmonton Old Strathcona Dining Pass. This pass is loaded with discounts at some of the city’s best restaurants, bakeries, pubs and more.
YOUR TASTEBUDS WILL THANK YOU Discover the core’s legendary local restaurants with the Explore Edmonton Downtown Dining Pass, featuring inventive eateries, local taprooms, cozy cafés, creative cocktails, farm-to-table experiences and more. CHECK IN. DRINK UP. GET REWARDS. Experience the city’s hopping breweries with the Explore Edmonton Brewery Pass, loaded with discounts to the best brewhouses in town. To sweeten the deal, you’ll get a free limited edition t-shirt designed by Rust Magic for checking in at all of the participating locations! Cheers!
DOWNLOAD DISCOUNT PASSES >
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BEST OF EDMONTON
Explore the very best of Edmonton Click the links below to check out Edmonton’s must-see attractions.
@Lexography.YEG, University of Alberta Botanic Gardens
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FREE THINGS TO DO
FReE THINGS TO DO IN EDMONTON
Rent, car insurance, groceries, a new tiny outfit for your dog... you’ve got enough to spend your money on. And hey, you work hard for your paycheck. We get it. Lucky for you, the best things in life really are free. Skip smashing your piggy bank and check out this list of the best things to do in Edmonton for free.
124 Street Grand Market
Step back in time without spending a dime
Keep Calm and Picnic On A picnic in a beautiful local park is a great way to connect with nature while enjoying some tasty treats al fresco. Scour the fridge and make yourself a basket, grab a blanket, pack a Frisbee then head off to Sir Wilfred Laurier Park, Emily Murphy Park, or Hawrelak Park. If you’re up for spending a few hard-earned dollars, stop in and pick up some grub at local watering holes like Culina on the Lake, Woodshed Burgers, Tres Carnales, Farrow, or Iconoclast Koffiehuis. Discover our guide to the city’s best picnic spots for more picture-perfect locations.
Experience a taste of Alberta’s history as you explore the Alberta Legislature grounds. Set atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the Alberta Legislature Building is a marvel of beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture and the perfect backdrop for a stroll. Pack a lunch, or stop in at one of Edmonton’s legendary downtown restaurants and pick-up a meal to-go — you can even save your pennies with the Explore Edmonton Downtown Dining Pass. With plenty of benches and landscaped areas, the Legislature Grounds are the perfect place for a picturesque picnic!
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FREE THINGS TO DO
Farmers’ Markets Galore The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, The Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market, and the 124 Grand Market are great places to spend a morning or afternoon, even if you don’t plan on making a purchase. Fresh produce, handmade jewelry, clothing, art and unique home goods are all worth perusing, and you can experience free entertainment like street performers and live musicians. Plus, the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market moves indoors for the chillier months, so you can enjoy it year-round! Paint the Town Add a little colour to your world when you discover Edmonton’s iconic street art. Rust Magic represents spray-paint culture at its finest by showcasing high-quality pieces and educating the public on this often misunderstood art form. Peruse their virtual mural map and plan your drive or walk around the city where you’ll discover incredible large-scale works by international and local artists. Visit their Instagram page for some visual inspiration, and be sure to pack a camera so you can capture the moment yourself! You can also check out the District Whyte Mural Map to help you spot all the magical murals of Old Strathcona!
While not completely free, the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) does offer free admission to minors under the age of 18 and Alberta students with valid identification. The AGA is a mecca for visual art and architecture lovers. In fact, the exterior of the building is a work of art in itself. The swirling zinc is representative of the Aurora Borealis, a natural light display that can often be seen in Edmonton. Admission must be booked ahead of time through the AGA website. You can also head to 124 Street and take yourself on a free self-guided art walk. Independent galleries like the Bearclaw Gallery, Scott Gallery and Peter Robertson Gallery will make your inner art lover jump for joy. Looking for more contemporary and experimental art? Make sure to stop into Edmonton’s Artist-run centres Latitude 53 and Harcourt House.
Edmonton Explored: Free Things To Do Let the editor-in-chief of The Gateway, Mitchell Pawluk, be your guide to the best free things to do in Edmonton.
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Indigenous EXperiences Tan’si, Oki, Aba Washde, Taanishi and Halu Amiskwacîwâskahikan, also known as Edmonton, is located on Treaty 6 Territory and Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4, home to many nations including the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Sioux and Métis People. Edmonton is lucky to boast the second largest Indigenous population in Canada, full of talented performers, artisans, musicians and entrepreneurs. From museums to public parks, guided tours to festivals, galleries to gardens and so much more. See Edmonton from a unique and extraordinary perspective.
ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞
FORT EDMONTON PARK > Fort Edmonton Park is back after undergoing a massive expansion project to create a larger-than-life historical experience for visitors. The brand new Indigenous Peoples Experience is an awe-inspiring addition to the park’s exciting offerings. Explore life through the diversity of First Nations’ and Métis Peoples’ histories and perspectives. The stories, music, artwork, and text in the experience come from local Indigenous perspectives and voices, gathered through engagement with local Indigenous communities and research.
@lindork, Fort Edmonton Park
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ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM > The Royal Alberta Museum holds over 18,000 historical artifacts from various Nations. The Human History Hall is a beautiful representation of both historical and contemporary Indigenous stories in Alberta. The museum also holds the Manitou Asinîy, a sacred meteorite believed to hold great power and significance to many Indigenous communities. MÉTIS CROSSING > Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta. This incredible facility celebrates the story of the Métis Nation of Alberta through traditional crafts, tours, and food experiences. Here you’ll also find a campground, traditional trapper tents to rent, as well as a 40- room boutique lodge designed by Métis architect Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, for a cozy, cultural stay. ELK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK > Elk Island National Park is one of the first national parks to sell authentic Indigenous and locally made work in their Visitor Information Centre. The park works hard to create connections with surrounding communities to hold beadwork, art and much more for purchase. INDIGENOUS PARKS > The city is home to many Indigenous parks that are easy to visit and are completely free. Take a self-directed tour with this handy guide to the remarkable Indigenous landmarks and spaces, and check out our guide to exploring ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞. For more Indigenous experiences and attractions in Edmonton, check out our guide.
Incredible Indigenous chefs are creating delicious and inventive food that will have you licking your plate clean. Savour Indigenous cuisine with some of Edmonton’s culinary trailblazers CHECK OUT: Pei Pei Chei Ow > Culina on the Lake & Culina To-Go >
Tee Pee Treats > Native Delights > HomeFire Grill >
VIEW INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCES GUIDE >
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Outdoor Adventure There’s green space, and then there’s the North Saskatchewan River Valley, North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland. Looking for things to do outside in Edmonton? Your outdoor adventures start here. Cruise through the trails by foot, canoe, fatbike, snowshoe, cross country ski or even Segway. You can access the Edmonton river valley at various points throughout the city, including the 100 Street Funicular. At 22 times the size of New York City’s Central Park, there is so much to explore.
Edmonton River Valley
Take your river valley adventures up a notch when you explore the Commonwealth Walkway with the help of an interactive app and embark on the Quest for the Golden Key! Using the app, visitors can explore the river valley while reading and listening to one of five storylines (Indigenous, History, Family, River & Winter). Edmonton’s Commonwealth Walkway travels for 10 kilometres through the North Saskatchewan River Valley. From the Funicular to the Groat Bridge, the walkway includes paths to the Indigenous Art Park, John Walter Museum and Alberta Legislature.
Get away from it all, RIGHT inside the city.
Edmonton’s river valley and park systems have 160 kilometres of trails scattered throughout the city just waiting to be explored. Jog or stroll through the winding paths and find yourself surrounded by wildlife as you take in the beautiful views of the cityscape. Or, if you’re an adrenaline junkie, choose to ride off the beaten path and pedal off-road on your mountain bike.
Edmonton Explored: Best Hikes & Walks Let local adventurer, Connie Smart, be your guide to some of the city’s best hikes and walks.
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Discover elk island national park Less than an hour’s drive from a capital city a million strong is a place of quietness, where pristine starry skies shine next to city lights. This is where Cree and Métis have lived and hunted, and generations of families have chosen to picnic and play. Elk Island National Park is the cornerstone of Canada’s bison conservation story; without this place and the dedication of its people, herds of plains and woods bison would not thrive in Canada today. Connections are made here; it is where you can become a steward of these iconic creatures, and discover their importance to the heart and soul of this nation. Preview the park from the comfort of your home. The park is located in a UNESCO biosphere reserve and is part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, meaning it’s a stellar location for stargazing. Give glamping a try and check out the incredible new Geo Domes at Elk Island Retreat. Gaze up at the starry sky where you’ll see star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Winter is also the perfect time to spot the pulsating chorus of lights known as Aurora Borealis. Gather the herd and come out for a day of hiking and canoeing or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. No matter what the season, a perfect wilderness experience is awaiting you and your family at Elk Island National Park.
Elk Island National Park
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Elk Island Retreat
Take a tour This list of the best Edmonton tours will guide you through everything from hidden murals to iconic sites. We’re talking food tours, brewery tours, walking tours, helicopter tours, segway tours and even ghost tours. We can guarantee incredible sightseeing and iconic Edmonton activities that will help you see the city the way the locals do. What are you waiting for? Start exploring!
Walterdale Bridge, YEG Scoot Tour
JOIN THE QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN KEY > Take yourself on a self-guided tour unlike any other with the interactive Commonwealth Walkway app. Using the downloadable app, you can explore the river valley through one of five storylines. As you solve clues throughout the walkway, you’ll get closer and closer to uncovering the secret location of the mysterious virtual Golden Key. Learn little-known facts about Edmonton and it’s vibrant story while satisfying your thirst for adventure on this self-guided tour! Availability: year-round ART TOUR YEG > Take the free, self-guided art tour and uncover the stories behind our love of quirky steel sculptures, tributes to over-the-top personalities, and whimsical, cement-blasted poetry. Follow along this tour using your smartphone. You can also pick up a brochure at one of the participating Downtown hotels. Availability: year-round
URBAN PEDAL TOURS > Hop on a 15 passenger U-shaped bike and pedal your way through Edmonton’s top craft beer taprooms and breweries. You’ll use the power of the pedal to make your way to 3 distinct stops, while taking in the sights along the way. Let Urban Pedal Tours guide you and 14 fellow expeditioners on a 2-hour tour to some of the best places to laugh with friends, meet new people and grab a drink in Edmonton. Availability: spring & summer BLACK GOLD RIVER TOURS > Experience an unforgettable journey on the beautiful North Saskatchewan River. Look for petrified wood, gold or driftwood along the rocky shorelines. Sit back, relax and watch the river run by from one of the beautiful beaches. You can also stay on the boat and simply float through the heart of our province’s capital city. Availability: spring-early fall , weather permitting
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ALBERTA FOOD TOURS > Alberta Food Tours leads walking tours with six to ten tastings over a three hour period. Your guides will share entertaining stories about the history and daily life in Edmonton’s great foodie neighbourhoods. Availability: year-round, please book in advance Find yourself in the clouds as you explore Edmonton from above! Edmonton Regional Helicopters offers everything from a tour of metro Edmonton to an island heli-picnic for two in the middle of the North Saskatchewan River. Get ready to explore Edmonton from a whole different angle! Availability: year-round, weather-permitting EDMONTON REGIONAL HELICOPTER TOURS >
EXPLORE EDMONTON BY CANOE > Have a quintessential Canadian experience: take a canoe trip along one of Edmonton’s many rivers or lakes with Haskin Canoe or Edmonton Canoe. Whether you choose a voyageur tour or an evening paddle, you’ll experience Edmonton from a different vantage point and explore the area’s natural beauty. Availability: spring-early fall EDMONTON BREWERY TOURS > Add a little hoppy, frothy goodness to your stay. Edmonton Brewery Tours takes guests on a journey through Edmonton’s thriving craft beer scene. Discover how passionate tap pullers and a thirst for good beer quickly evolved into a local liquid obsession. Availability: year-round EAT YEG FOOD TOURS > Join a walking tour of Edmonton’s original eats and local gems and discover everything you never knew you were missing. There’s something for everyone, from bacon and beer fanatics to dessert connoisseurs and the brunch obsessed. Availability: year-round, please book in advance YEG SCOOT TOURS > Embark on an exhilarating adventure while riding an electric scooter around Edmonton’s most unique spots. YEG Scoot offers high performance scooters and custom experiences curated by Edmonton locals. This experience is perfect for date nights, team activities, and spending time with friends. They also have local guides who can show you parts of the city you’ve never seen before, whether you’re an Edmonton local or a tourist! Availability: spring-fall, weather-permitting
SEGWAY TOURS WITH RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURE CO. >
Explore North America’s longest continuous trail system in the heart of the river valley on Segway with River Valley Adventure Co. It’s where bold travellers break off from the beaten path and
make their way into the wild! Availability: weather-permitting
BISON BACKSTAGE TOUR AT ELK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK > You’ve heard the roar of the bull bison and marvelled at the herds grazing in park pastures. Now get a VIP backstage pass to discover the secrets of how the plains bison was brought back from near extinction and how its continued
safety and health are ensured. Availability: pre-book through the Elk Island Visitor Centre
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@780th_Street, Neon Sign Museum
Top 20 Iconic Edmonton Locations Looking to amp-up your Instagram feed? Check out some of the city’s most iconic locations and make your Instagram followers jealous with gorgeous images. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ExploreEdmonton and tag @ExploreEdmonton to give us permission to repost your killer pics!
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Edmonton Explored: Best Photo Spots Let local landscape photographer, Sameer Ahmed, be your guide to Edmonton’s best photo spots. Then read on to discover more hidden gems and outstanding landmarks!
• NEON SIGN MUSEUM
• KINNAIRD PARK
Located on 104 Street just north of 104 Avenue
Located near 7696 Jasper Ave • GRAFFITI STREET CAR TUNNEL Located just under the 99 Avenue bridge, West of 109 Street • KEILLOR POINT (END OF THE WORLD) Located just off the walking path near 74 Avenue and Saskatchewan Dr. • WOLF WILLOW STAIRS Accessible via the stairs from Westridge Park (170 Willow Way) or from the Fort Edmonton Park footbridge • ALBERTA LEGISLATURE GROUNDS Located at 10800 97 Avenue • ALEXANDER CIRCLE Accessible via 103 Avenue and 133 Street • 100 STREET FUNICULAR Located at 10065 100 Street • FORMER ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM GROUNDS Located on 12705 102 Avenue • ICE DISTRICT Located around 104 Street and 104 Avenue • WALTERDALE BRIDGE Located at 9308 105 Street
• RAINBOW ROAD Spur Line Alley north of Whyte Avenue between 104 Street and 105 Street • MANCHESTER SQUARE Located on the corner of 120 Street and 107 Avenue • MUTTART CONSERVATORY Located on 9626 96a Street • FOREST HEIGHTS PARK Located on 10104 84 Street • BORDEN PARK Located on 7507 Borden Park Road • RAMSAY HEIGHTS LOOK OUT Located near 4112 Whitemud Road • HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE Foot access to the bridge is available via 109 Street on both the north and southside of the North Saskatchewan River • GALLAGHER PARK Located on 9505 96 Avenue • TALUS DOME Access via Fort Edmonton Park road
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The (Rocky) Mountains are calling Pairing Edmonton and Jasper National Park is a great way to combine big city adventures with a trip to the Canadian Rockies, especially since downtown Edmonton is only a 3.15 hour drive (315 km) from Jasper.
MatthewClark @Stirlandraephoto, Fat biking on Maligne Lake
From Edmonton, the trip to Jasper National Park is as magical as the destination; open landscapes, abundant wildlife and infinite prairie skies line the historic Yellowhead Highway as you venture from city to summit. An authentic mountain experience awaits with Jasper’s snow-capped peaks, emerald lakes, world-class skiing, and shimmering glaciers. It’s the kind of experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
The summer months are the perfect time to rent an RV and spend a week or two embracing Mother Nature in all her glory on a backcountry camping trip. Winter in Jasper is the perfect time for outdoor adventures like skiing and snowboarding. Take in the majestic view of the Rockies from Marmot Basin where you’ll find champagne powder, varied terrain and a laid-back atmosphere.
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HIT THE SLOPES AT MARMOT BASIN > When it’s not charming people with its stunning views, this beloved ski spot (known locally as ‘the hill’) is winning accolades far and wide. It was just ranked by Home-To-Go as the best, most affordable ski resort in North America and helped establish Jasper as the best ski town on the continent. WALK MALIGNE CANYON > Drive 10 minutes north of Jasper for an adventure you won’t soon forget. Named for its haunting atmosphere, Maligne Canyon is the deepest, easily accessible canyon in the Rockies. This iconic canyon has long been impressing visitors of Jasper National Park, and was featured by Expedia as one of the best canadian destinations for top-to-bottom views. Winter ice walks and summer hikes are both available, so you can explore this natural landmark at any time of the year. COZY CABINS > Quintessentially Canadian and oh-so-cozy, there’s nothing like cuddling up fireside in a log cabin while snow falls gently outside the window. Experience Jasper’s famous cabin culture and stay in a home- away-from-home that pairs heritage aesthetic with modern comforts. These charming year-round havens are unique and perfect for longer stays. WATER SPORTS EXPERIENCES > The park permits swimming, scuba diving, boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, whitewater rafting... almost any water activity you can think of. At the Miette Hot Springs, you can even soak in 40°C (104°F) water. And local guides are available to take you on tours of the lakes and rivers. CULTURAL EXPERIENCES > Jasper is known for being an authentic mountain town, where the culture is grounded in community spirit, storytelling, and a love for the natural world.
Ryan Bray, Maligne Lake
Kms Miles Hours
* Driving times may vary depending on weather conditions
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