Top Edmonton Tourist Attractions

January 23, 2023 12:34 am65 commentsViews: 251

From its historical fort reproduction and its giant shopping mall to its trendy strips and nearby natural areas, Edmonton has a lot to offer to travelers. But it’s not always easy to decide which tourist attractions to take in. The following Edmonton destinations are tried and tested, coming out on top as the city’s finest.

Living History in Fort Edmonton Park

It’s easy to experience Edmonton’s history: simply walk into Fort Edmonton on the city’s west end. Crammed with original heritage buildings and a replica of the original Hudson’s Bay Company fort, the park transports visitors back in time to the fur trade days circa 1846 through pioneer times (1885) and beyond (1905 and 1920) via streets designed to reflect Edmonton’s look and feel in those specific years. Chat with knowledgeable costumed interpreters, ride the carousel on the midway, or even spend the night onsite in the Hotel Selkirk.

Shop Independent: Shop Whyte Ave

All right, so there are a few major chain retailers along the city’s trendiest strip, Whyte – or 82nd – Avenue. But skip past those to find the kind of hip, independently-owned retailers that put soul into Edmonton’s concrete streets. Blackbyrd Myoozik (10442-82 Ave) stocks the best new music (find other local record shops here); The Junque Cellar (10442 82 Ave) holds cream-of-the-crop vintage and antiques; Nokomis (10318 82 Ave) specializes in Canadian-designed clothing; and Mars & Venus (10328 82 Ave) stocks pretty much everything the retro-lover or alternative fashion freak could dream of. When you’re done, head over to Dadeo (10548A 82 Ave) for a New Orleans-style po’ boy and some yam fries. And don’t forget to stop by the Black Dog Freehouse (10425 82 Ave) for a pint.

Experience Nature in Alberta

Less than an hour east of Edmonton’s city limits lies Elk Island National Park, a protected natural area that includes a number of small lakes. Self-guided trails offer a chance to watch two types of bison roam in their natural habitat; other resident wildlife includes deer, elk, moose, porcupine, and Canadian lynx. It’s also a stop for migratory birds, and over 250 species can be viewed here at various times throughout the year. Campsites are available in the park, and the area is also a designated dark sky preserve.

Edmonton: Festival City

Its tagline rings true: over 30 festivals happen in Edmonton every single year. These include summer’s world-class Fringe Theatre Festival; Edmonton Folk Music Festival; Edmonton International Street Performers Festival; Edmonton International Film Festival; and town fair Capital Ex. And during the cold season, there’s the Winter Light Festival, the Ice on Whyte Festival, and the Festival of Trees.

When All Else Fails, There’s West Edmonton Mall

Edmonton’s northern climate means it gets its fair share of crummy, cold weather. It’s times like these that the gigantic West Edmonton Mall really comes in handy. The mall, opened in 1981, holds six Guiness World Records and remains North America’s largest shopping center, containing an indoor amusement park, indoor waterpark, movie theatre with IMAX screens, shooting range, casino, and miniature Chinatown, along with over 800 stores and services and 100 places to eat.

Other Activities for Edmonton Tourists

Of course, there are many other amazing experiences available for visitors to Edmonton. Try the lavender cookies while taking tea at historic Rutherford House; climate-hop while viewing flowers in the four pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory; enjoy an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta; or, if it’s hockey season, take in an Oilers game at Rexall Place. There are enough Edmonton attractions to keep any visitor busy for a while.

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