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Edmonton has its fair share of nicknames: the River City, Capital City, The City of Champions, or Canada’s Festival City, one thing’s for sure – if you are looking for an unforgettable and original experience you’ve come to the right place!
It’s a big city with small town values, a vibrant urban centre in the heart of wilderness, the largest northernmost metropolis. There’s uniqueness to how they do ordinary things; it’s a city that is authentic, rugged, and original: it’s an attitude that you’ll only appreciate once you’ve visited Edmonton.
Explore Summer and Winter trip ideas below!
There are year-round attractions, sights and activities to be enjoyed in Edmonton.
Great Outdoors Discover North America’s largest parklands: the North Saskatchewan River Valley – a four season outdoor wonderland loved by cross-country skiers, bikers, hikers and joggers and even by Segway. A spot of sightseeing and shopping in downtown Edmonton and perhaps catch a show as well afterwards.
The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market held every Saturday from 8A-3PM with around 130 vendors offering local food, arts and crafts to clothing and accessories.
Edmonton Valley Zoo Nestled in Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park, in the heart of the sweeping Edmonton River Valley, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is home to more than 350 animals. Bring along the kids for a chance to see the endangered peregrine falcon, native prairie dogs, a zebra, fox, and bighorn sheep. Bird lovers can catch the snowy owl, bald eagle, and great-horned owl.
Fort Edmonton Park Visit Fort Edmonton Park and experience four distinct eras in Edmonton’s past: the days of the fur trade, and the pioneer years of 1885, 1905 and 1920. Step back in time and interact with staff in period costume who portray and interpret life during these formative years in Alberta’s history. Visit a reconstruction of the 1846 Hudson Bay Company's Edmonton House, and learn the fascinating history of fur trading in Canada.
Shopping If Edmonton’s downtown shopping malls and streets are not enough to fill your day, then head to North America’s largest mall; the West Edmonton Mall. West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores and services including 10 world-class attractions, two hotels, over 100 dining venues, the widest variety of one-of-a-kind retailers, and entertainment for all ages. Average yearly visitation is approximately 30.8 million, making West Edmonton Mall the province's number-one tourist attraction.
Dining Edmonton offers diners a wide range of international cuisines in downtown Edmonton and also surrounding areas. Head to 124 Street; this charming area is home to art galleries, specialty and antique stores, fashion boutiques, indie coffee houses, and fabulous eateries. The wide ranging group of art galleries in the area collaborate to offer a Gallery Walk twice a year, and seasonal exhibits that focus on work by Canadian artists. An after dark favourite for locals is the Bothy Wine and Whiskey Bar. Or perhaps time your travel in mid-July to head to Western Canada’s biggest food tasting festival. Sir Winston Churchill Square fills to the brim with kiosks offering goodies from close to 50 dining establishments serving up Caribbean to Korean, Mexican to Malaysian. Sample cocktails, meals and desserts created by Edmonton’s fine dining restaurants, casual and ethnic eateries and food trucks – think Bacon Bomb Sliders! – accompanied by the back beat of live music from folk and jazz to Latin performed by local musicians.
Edmonton offers residents and visitors many unique festivals and special events throughout the year. The city hosts exciting sports events, entertaining music and film festivals, and celebrations of food and culture from around the world. Typically known as Canada’s Festival City, Edmonton brings you a long list of events and festivities year-round:
Edmonton International Jazz Festival: Mid-Late June
Edmonton International Street Performers Festival: Early-Mid July
A Taste of Edmonton: Mid-Late July
Edmonton Folk Music Festival: Mid August
Edmonton Fringe Festival: Mid-Late August
Canadian Country Music Week & Awards: Early September
Edmonton International Film Festival: Late September – Early October
Edmonton Comedy Festival: Mid October
Canadian Finals Rodeo: Early November
Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival: Mid January
Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival: Mid February
The city has milder winters than either Regina or Winnipeg, both further south of Edmonton in latitude.
Typically, summer lasts from late June until early September, and the humidity is seldom uncomfortably high.
Winter lasts from November to March, and varies greatly in length and severity. Spring and autumn are both short and highly variable.