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Your guide to Edmonton
All About Edmonton
A vibrant city in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta province as well as a popular access point for exploring Western Canada’s waterfalls, canyons, and glacier-fed lakes and the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The North Saskatchewan River carves through the heart of the city, and Edmonton’s river valley and extensive parklands offer nearly 100 miles of trails to explore by foot, bike, canoe, or snowshoe. Just east of town is the vast boreal landscape of Elk Island National Park. Or you can simply spend an afternoon strolling around the Alberta Legislature, a marvel of Beaux-Arts architecture, whose grounds are dotted with benches and picnic areas.
Not just a city for lovers of the outdoors, Edmonton has a celebrated restaurant scene and a thriving downtown Arts District as well as two major museums, the Royal Alberta Museum and the Art Gallery of Alberta. Rogers Place hosts sporting events and touring music groups from all over, and the adjacent ICE District is where the city’s nightlife clusters.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Edmonton?
Alberta’s four seasons are dramatic ones, shaping the entire trajectory of your visit to Edmonton. Edmonton’s summers aren’t just epically warm; the sun rises as early as 5 a.m. and sets at 10 p.m. Cooler fall temperatures bring vibrant expanses of gold and red to the river valley. Grab a coffee, take a walk through the city's vast parklands, or visit the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market on Saturdays for food and goods from local artisans. Edmonton gets cold — deeply, bone-chillingly cold — and snowy during the winter months, with snow as early as November and as late as March, so if you’re visiting during this time, pack extreme-weather outerwear.
What are the top things to do in Edmonton?
Elk Island National Park
An hour’s drive from downtown Edmonton, Elk Island National Park is a place to spend a day hiking, canoeing, or cross-country skiing. The rolling landscape of aspen woodlands, prairie meadows, lakes, and wetlands is home to bison, moose, deer, and more than 250 species of birds. Part of the Beaver Hill Dark Sky Preserve, the park offers stellar stargazing — the ideal spot for spotting the aurora borealis (Northern lights) in winter.
4th Street Promenade
The revitalized 4th Street Promenade neighborhood downtown is lined with restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, coffee shops, and even chocolatiers. You can easily spend hours exploring the local businesses. One of the more distinctive: the Neon Sign Museum, a collection of 20 restored neon signs that date back decades.
Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum, Western Canada’s largest museum, has more than 82,000 square feet of exhibition space, allowing it to display a choice selection from its massive collection of artifacts highlighting the province’s natural and cultural heritage. If you’re keen for more history, you’re only a short walk from the Art Gallery of Alberta and Churchill Square.