There is no question about it—Edmonton, Alberta, is a vibrant, exciting, beautiful city that is never boring. From small intimate cafes to fine dining, museums, art galleries, and luxury hotels, downtown Edmonton is an especially exhilarating place to visit. Following is just a small sampling of the many things there are to do in this wonderful city.
- Citadel Theatre. This is the most expansive not for profit theater complex in all of Canada. It houses five performance venues, production facilities, a theater school, and a restaurant. It’s also close to hotels in downtown Edmonton.
- Art Gallery of Alberta. This is a premier venue for the presentation of Canadian and international visual art and education.
- Muttart Conservatory. You’ll find this easily enough. There are four glass pyramids that house hundreds of plant specimens. One pyramid maintains flowers that change depending on the season.
- Royal Alberta Museum. Located just west of the downtown area, this museum lets you explore over, under and across the natural history of Alberta.
- West Edmonton Mall. Depending upon which of the hotels in downtown Edmonton you are staying, this might be a bit of a trek—about 25 minutes from some areas. But, it’s worth the trip. This mall is–in a word—ginormous — one of the largest in the world! There are over 800 stores and 110 restaurants, a roller coaster, an amusement park, a dolphin lagoon, a lake, bungee jumping, a replica of the Santa Maria ship, a submarine, an ice skating rink, and a huge indoor waterpark. You could spend days here and still not see everything!
- Festivals. Edmonton is known as the festival city. There are festivals going on throughout all seasons of the year and feature a wide array of performances, attractions and entertainment.
- Alberta Legislature Building. This is a great place to spend an afternoon. The building, itself, is an architectural wonder with carved oak and marble pillars. It sits in a park like setting surrounded by beautiful water features and garden settings. It is the center of political life in Alberta. Tours in English or French are provided.
- Winspear Centre for Music. Acoustically excellent, architecturally elegant, the Francis Winspear Centre for Music is a stunning, world-class concert hall often featuring a wide array of world-renowned artists and performers.
- Alberta Ballet. The second largest ballet company in Canada, the Alberta Ballet has been a part of Edmonton culture for more than 48 years. They are known for both their classical and contemporary works
- Fort Edmonton Park. One of Edmonton’s premier attractions, the Park represents 4 distinct time periods, exploring Edmonton’s development from a fur trade post in the vast Northwest, to a booming metropolitan centre after the First World War. The park features over 75 structures many of which are the originals. Costumed interpreters operate the site and live the way of the past.
In addition, there are dozens of parks where you’ll find outdoor activities of all kinds—no matter the weather. As if that weren’t enough, the new ICE District, a 25 acre sports and entertainment venue is slated to open in 2016. Close to luxury hotels in downtown Edmonton, you can expect the ICE District to be a place that will be hard to forget. One of the main attractions of this new venue is Rogers Place, which will be the new home of the NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers. Moving in, right next to Rogers Place, is the Grand Villa Edmonton Casino.
This is just a small sampling of the many, many things you’ll find to keep you entertained in Edmonton. It’s a city that is certainly worth visiting at least once.