In the province of Alberta Edmonton lies a city that is known for two very different things – being the festival capital of Canada and the home to North America’s largest shopping mall.
Edmonton has always been a hidden gem–once a magnet for fur traders, gold prospectors and other fortune seekers, now it shines as an arts and culture hub with festivals on the horizon year-round. From close encounters with free roaming bison to surfing indoors to taking your taste buds on a journey to some of the hottest craft beer taprooms, hyper-local bistros and indie bakeries in Canada, you’ll find there’s a uniqueness to how Edmonton does ordinary things.
A city of festivals
Few match Edmonton in festivities if the city’s event calendar is anything to go by. No matter whether you like cuisine, theatre, music, history or anything else, be sure that Edmonton has the festival to match your interests. Edmonton’s summers have a festival every week, including the Servus Heritage Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the International Fringe Theatre Festival, and the International Street Performers Festival. When the temperatures drop, the creativity rises. Ice on Whyte is a showcase of ice sculptures and activities for the family while the Silver Skate Festival is proof that winter is just as exciting as summer with skating, speed skating, curling, ice sculptures, fire sculptures, and a folklore trail. And don’t forget to try your hand at the freezer racing at Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival!
The selection of events in Edmonton is, without a doubt, truly great. However, sometimes great minds need space to reload and rethink and a trip to Fort Edmonton Park is just the place for such a thing. Do a little time-travelling and visit simpler, calmer times and marvel at the atmosphere of Edmonton’s golden era, from 1846 – 1929.
But there is no doubting modern comforts
Sure, a little trip back in time is well worth the, well, time, but when travelers enter modernity again they will not need to fear boredom. For instance, Edmonton is home to North America’s largest shopping and entertainment centre, West Edmonton Mall. Yes, it is larger than Mall of America, WEM’s baby brother of sorts. WEM is home to about 800 shops and boutiques and various entertainment and recreation facilities are located there too including an indoor waterpark and amusement park.
Get up close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains
Edmonton is your gateway to Jasper National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It’s Canada’s most down-to-earth mountain town, where adventurers love to ski, snowboard, ice climb, snowshoe, hike and see wildlife. Marmot Basin offers 3,000 vertical feet (914m) of superb skiing and snowboarding on 1,675 acres of varied terrain. Just 10 minutes north of Jasper, experience an ice-walk adventure through Maligne Canyon, the deepest canyon in the park. Walk across river bridges and through narrow passageways, looking up at massive sheets of ice like waterfalls through the ancient canyon. You can even try your hand at climbing the thick walls of ice.
Travelling from the airport and into the city takes about thirty minutes, and a shuttle also goes between the airport and the major hotels. Travellers can also rent a car or make use of various kinds of transportation services to get from Airport tobed.