What to Do in Edmontonflickr/IQRemix
Travel back in time at Fort Edmonton Park (7000 143 St. N.W.), dubbed Canada's largest living-history park and one of the top things to do with kids. Staffed by costumed interpreters, the site features both original and re-created historical structures—everything from a replicated Hudson's Bay Co. fort to a 1920s-style midway. (Note: The park is currently closed for major renovations but expected to reopen for the 2021 season.)
Spend a few hours exploring the West Edmonton Mall (8882 170 St. N.W.), the largest shopping and entertainment destination in North America. The gargantuan complex boasts an amusement park, a water park with an indoor wave pool, an aquarium, miniature golf courses, an ice rink, dozens of restaurants and more than 800 stores.
Attend a show at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music (4 Sir Winston Churchill Sq.). Built in 1997, the main performance space is a modern interpretation of such shoebox-style concert halls as the Tonhalle in Zurich and the Musikverein in Vienna. The downtown Edmonton facility is renowned for its acoustics (there isn't a bad seat in the house) as well as a stunning 6,551-pipe concert organ fashioned by Orgues Létourneau Limitée of Québec.
Wrap your head around architect Randall Stout's Art Gallery of Alberta (2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq.), a curvy blend of steel and glass inspired by the aurora borealis and the North Saskatchewan River. When you're done ogling the ultra-modern exterior, take a trip inside and admire the handiwork of such Canadian painters as Maxwell Bates, Emily Carr and David Milne.
Tour the four futuristic pyramid-shaped greenhouses and changing exhibitions at the Muttart Conservatory (9626 96a St. N.W.), either on your own or with the help of a guide. Located in the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the botanical garden is one of the city's most iconic landmarks and is one of the top things to do in Edmonton. (Note: The conservatory is closed for major renovations until early 2021.)
Cheer on the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place (10220 104 Ave. N.W.), which became the team’s new, state-of-the-art home in 2016. Outside the arena is a 9-foot-tall bronze statue of legendary player Wayne Gretzky. The monument honoring “The Great One,” who led his team to four Stanley Cup victories, has become a beloved city landmark and also a favorite photo spot.
Find places to eat, drink and be merry in Old Strathcona, a five-block historic district now dominated by bohemian coffee shops, funky stores, live performance venues, local restaurants and bars. Whether the agenda calls for a bit of window-shopping or some late-night carousing, your best bet is to stick to the section of Whyte Avenue between 99 and 109 streets where there are plenty of fun places to go.
Explore Edmonton's “Ribbon of Green,” a 48-kilometre (30-mi.) stretch of the North Saskatchewan River Valley with bragging rights to more than 20 major parks and public facilities. In winter, strap on your cross-country skis and traverse William Hawrelak Park (9930 Groat Rd. N.W.). Or, if the weather's warm, play a round at Victoria Golf Course (12130 River Valley Rd.), said to be the oldest municipal golf course in Canada.
Party like an Edmontonian. A jam-packed calendar filled with more than 50 annual events—including July's Edmonton International Street Performers Festival and August's Edmonton Folk Music Festival —at one time earned the provincial capital the nickname “Festival City.” You're sure to find fun things to do with friends or family.
Visit the 1912 Beaux Arts Alberta Legislature Building (10800 97 Ave. N.W.) and take the guided tour to learn about Alberta's history and the building's impressive architecture. The grounds around the building are easy on the eyes, too, with monuments, wading pools and shooting water fountains that draw crowds of kids in summer. In wintertime, holiday light and ice sculpture displays dazzle visitors of all ages.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
670 m/2,198 ft.
The federal Goods and Service Tax is 5 percent and applies to most goods, food/beverages and services, including lodgings. Alberta does not have a provincial sales tax but does impose a 3 percent Destination Marketing Fee (DMF) as well as a 4 percent Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT).
Grey Nuns Community Hospital, (780) 735-7000; Misericordia Community Hospital, (780) 735-2000; Royal Alexandra Hospital, (780) 735-4111; University of Alberta Hospital, (780) 407-8822.
9990 Jasper Ave. N.W. West Shaw Building Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7. Phone:(780)401-7696
Edmonton International Airport
Hertz, with offices at the airport and downtown (inside Edmonton House, 10205 100 Ave. N.W.), offers discounts to CAA and AAA members; phone (780) 890-4435 at the airport, (780) 423-3431 downtown, (800) 654-3131 in North America or (800) 654-3001 outside of North America. Contact a travel advisor at your local AAA club office to add rental cars to your travel packages.
The VIA Rail station is at 12360 121 St. N.W.; phone (888) 842-7245.
Red Arrow Express offers luxury motor coach service between Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray and Red Deer; phone (403) 531-0350 or (800) 232-1958.
Taxi companies include Co-Op Taxi Line, (780) 425-2525; Barrel Taxi (780) 489-7777; and Yellow Cab, (780) 462-3456. Taxi rates start at $3.60, plus $0.20 is charged for each additional 135 metres (about 1/12 mile) or a portion thereof. Taxis can be hailed, but phoning is recommended.
Edmonton has both bus and light-rail transit (LRT) service. Edmonton Transit System’s Customer Service Centre, on the second floor of Edmonton Tower at 10111 104 Ave., sells ETS passes and is open Mon.-Fri. 8-4:30; phone 331 within Edmonton or (780) 442-5311. Buses operate Mon.-Fri. 5:20 a.m.-1:30 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 6:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m. On holidays hours may be extended for special events. Light-rail transit operates on a similar schedule; check the website for full schedule. Fare is $3.50; free (ages 0-12). A 1-day pass is $9.75.