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Spotlight: Edmonton

Discover Canadian culture in all its variations

Edmonton is a delightful destination with year-round attractions for culture buffs, outdoorsy folks and everyone in between. Whether you prefer hiking through the woods or strolling past shops, you’ll be pleased with what Edmonton has to offer.

Edmonton Traditions

Revisit the past at Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site. The Edwardian-era home has been restored and furnished to look the way it would have in the days of Alberta’s first premier, Alexander Rutherford. Costumed storytellers guide visitors through the house and share stories of Rutherford’s time in the home with his family.

The Ukrainian community of Alberta is a treasured part of its history, and the Ukrainian Culture Heritage Village recreates life for early settlers who carved out their lives there at the turn of the 20th century and into the 1930s. This open-air museum encompasses 35 restored historic buildings such as Eastern Byzantine churches, farmsteads, a two-room school and a working grain elevator. Costumed role-players portray the pioneers and interact with guests.

Turn back the clock even further at Royal Alberta Museum. Here, you’re greeted by petroglyphs, dinosaurs and representatives of Canada’s first peoples. Crawl through a replica bear den to see how they live in the wild, and inspect sparkling minerals and gems that were given up by the earth.

When the water’s up, see Edmonton and the river valley glide by from the deck of a riverboat as you sail down the North Saskatchewan River. Whether it’s a leisure cruise or dinnertime jaunt, a riverboat excursion is a unique way to admire the cityscape.

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Travel Alberta

Museums and Munching

Edmonton’s arts scene is varied and rich, from symphonies and ballets to dinner theater and live soap operas. And the venues where you’ll see great shows are just as memorable as the performances. Francis Winspear Centre for Music is an acoustic wonder of a facility set in the heart of Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown. Step into the Commons for a cold brew, or dine at one of the gourmet restaurants that line the streets of the neighborhood.

Edmonton Valley Zoo is a family destination where more than 350 animals reside in natural habitats and provide visitors with up-close views of everyday life for seals, arctic foxes and more. Zoo staff brings many species out to guests to learn more about them through programs and demonstrations.

Young explorers learn about the life of a roughneck and the birth of western Canada’s oil industry at Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre. This hands-on facility teaches visitors about the origins of oil and the mighty equipment used to extract it from the earth.

Taste the local fare and savor the company of Edmonton’s residents at Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. The year-round venue showcases artisan goodies, local produce and handmade treasures in an airy warehouse.

Take time out from a busy schedule or a rainy day and pop into Hexagon Board Game Café, where friends and family gather for rousing games of Monopoly, Jenga, Sorry! and more. Staff also host game education nights to teach players how to master the toughest ones.


Pick a winner and see the dirt fly on the track at Northlands Park, a horse track that’s been entertaining race fans since 1882. Northlands is the home of the annual Canadian Derby and a unique, tiered restaurant that can seat upwards of 600 guests at once.

If the younger family members are with you, give them a chance to say they’ve played at the world’s largest indoor amusement park. Galaxyland in West Edmonton Mall is a space-themed attraction with activities and rides for patrons young and young at heart.

See the wonder of the night sky open up at Edmonton’s Observatory in Coronation Park, just southeast of the TELUS World of Science. Large telescopes bring the moon, sun, stars and planets into plain view, and local volunteers share their expertise with visitors.

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Travel Alberta

Outside the City

The region’s natural beauty is the star of Elk Island National Park, outside the city. Elk Island is home to a thriving bison population thanks to conservation efforts, and its aspen woodlands and prairie meadows also support elk and coyotes. A Bison Backstage Tour welcomes guests to the park’s bison handling facility, where they learn about the conservation efforts through demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Enjoy the rest of the park by hiking one of its many trails through spruce bogs and past shallow lakes and ponds. Or, take an evening paddle in a canoe on Astotin Lake. You’re bound to see red-necked grebes, common loons, ducks and double-crested cormorants while you’re on the water.

Fishing is a way of life here, as much as it is a sporting pursuit, and Edmonton’s waterways are brimming with trophies just waiting to be claimed. Angle for walleye, sturgeon, sauger or northern pike in the lakes and the North Saskatchewan River. The city also stocks ponds at Hermitage Park with rainbow trout by the thousands.

For More Information

Edmonton Tourism
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