Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada)
One of Canada’s fastest-growing and sunniest cities, Edmonton is a little-known vacation destination that deserves to be on your bucket list. The Albertan Capital is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, known for its festivals and diverse food scene. Part of the vibrant city’s charm is that it’s in the heart of the wilderness, located close to national parks. This city has several interesting places to visit and exciting things to do!
Explore the Food Scene
Edmonton is Canada’s most exciting culinary city, with dishes becoming more inventive and experimental. One of the reasons for this diversity in cuisine is the history of immigration and the abundance of food trucks in the city, introducing locals to different food cultures in Edmonton. Some of the best restaurants to drop by includes RGE RD and their farm-to-table concept, Corso 32 for their Northern Italian cuisine, Uccellino for the Southern Italian servings, Baijiu and their modern take on traditional Asian cuisines, and part French part Scandinavian dishes served at Café Linnea.
Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park reopened in 2021 after three years of renovations and upgrades. A leader in cultural tourism, the park’s expansive space depicts the evolution of Edmonton’s early history. Some of the park’s popular attractions include the wagon and pony rides, train and streetcar rides, exhibition games, Indigenous Peoples Experience, which explores the diverse life of the First Nation and Métis people, and the 1846 Fort and the 1885 Street that reflect the 1800’s Edmonton.
Alberta Aviation Museum
The Alberta Aviation Museum has an extensive collection of aircraft and an archival collection of thousands of documents, photographs, and artifacts relating to Blatchford Field and local aviation history. Dedicated to preserving Edmonton’s rich aviation history, the historic hangar that houses the museum was built by the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. The museum has a library that contains magazines, autobiographies, research books, and engineering orders and offers day camps and summer camps for kids to explore the museum and see the insides of an aircraft.
One of Canada’s largest indoor botanical gardens, the Muttart Conservatory opened in 1976 with four themed pyramids that house various plant species. Visitors can join guided tours and learn about the featured plants, go on a self-guided tour and explore the conservatory at their own pace, and enroll in programs and courses to learn about plant care.
Edmonton Valley Zoo
With over 350 animals from different species and climates, the Edmonton Valley Zoo was originally the “Edmonton Storyland Zoo” established in 1959. Since its founding as the Storyland Zoo, the Edmonton Valley Zoo has continued to transform and transition into a facility that focuses on conservation initiatives. Some animals taken care of in the zoo are the snowy owl, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, native prairie dogs, and the great-horned owl.
Originally named “Mayfair Park,” William Hawrelak Park hosts several major events year-round. There’s never a dull moment in the park by the river valley with several outdoor activities to enjoy, such as cycling, cross-country skiing, picnicking, and boating. Major festivals are also held here, including Edmonton Heritage Festival and Silver Skate Festival.
TELUS World of Science Edmonton
The TELUS World of Science Edmonton is a science center operated by the Edmonton Space & Science Foundation to increase science and technology literacy and education. Through its events, exhibits, programs, and experiments, visitors can experience and discover the world beyond.
Elk Island National Park
The Elk Island National Park is a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve and an important sanctuary to Canada’s bison conservation legacy. The mellow woodlands and meadows of the park are also home to elk, moose, white-tailed deer, mule deer, Alberta lynx, and hundreds of bird species. The park is a part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, an ideal location for stargazing. Visitors can visit the park and camp with the hoofed population and try pemmican, the food that sustains the area’s indigenous populations.
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
An open-air museum and a living history site, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village tells the story of the first Ukrainian immigrants that settled in Edmonton in 1892. Through “first person animation,” costumed interpreters recreate and roleplay the lives of the Ukrainian immigrants living in rural Alberta’s farms and towns. Visitors can join programs and tours and explore dozens of relocated and restored structures.
University of Alberta Botanic Garden
Formerly the Devonian Botanic Garden, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden has a comprehensive collection of cultivated plants, indoor showhouses, and natural areas. Some of the garden’s highlight attractions include the Mughal-inspired Garden with terraces and forest paths, an Indigenous Peoples’ Garden with traditional uses by Indigenous Peoples, and the Patrick Seymour Alpine Garden containing plants adapted to grow above the treeline of mountains. Visitors can join guided tours and participate in programs to learn about themed cultural gardens.
Edmonton Corn Maze
The Edmonton Corn Maze is a popular tourist attraction with a giant maze in the middle of a corn maze. Every year, the Edmonton Corn Maze creates a different design to attract visitors and try more than 5 kilometers of trail. The best time to visit the maze is from August to October. Apart from the maze, visitors can also check out the sunflower field, purchase produce from the farm market and enjoy a picnic at the maze. Other fun activities are potato guns, jumping pillows, and train and cart rides.
Rabbit Hill Snow Resort
The Rabbit Hill Snow Resort is a beginner-friendly ski and snowboard resort loved by the local community. Guests can join private and group lessons to learn to ski every early and regular season and visit during specials to avail of a discount. For guests who don’t ski, Rabbit Hill also offers tubing.
Silver Skate Festival
The longest-running annual winter festival in Edmonton, the Silver Skate Festival is a family-friendly festival rooted in Dutch traditions and celebrated at Hawrelak Park. Some activities enjoyed during the festival include cross-country skiing, experiencing an Indigenous art installation, and winter film screenings.
Ice on Whyte
The Edmonton Ice on Whyte is an annual ice carving festival founded in 2003 due to the partnership between local artists and the Old Strathcona Business Association. The festival aims to encourage the appreciation of art and culture and to highlight Old Strathcona as a tourist destination. Every year, visitors can watch carvers from across Canada create their work, join ice carving lessons and participate in the Ice on Whyte Food Walk Tour.
Christmas Lights at Alberta Legislature Grounds
The Alberta Legislature Grounds is an architectural landmark most popular when the place is lit up with Christmas lights from December to January. Visitors can take guided tours inside the grounds to learn about the Famous Five and the portraits adorning the interior.
How to get there
Visitors can take a plane and land at the Edmonton International Airport, drive a car, or take the train. Some of Edmonton’s most popular festivals are in the winter, although the prairie city can be visited year-round. The growing city has since moved on from being a deserted city with poor urban planning.
Our Top Hotel Picks for Edmonton, Canada
Edmonton Canada Travel and Tour Packages