ONE: Edmonton has a booming culinary scene.
Take your taste buds on a journey to some of the hottest craft beer taprooms, hyper-local bistros and indie bakeries in Canada. Edmonton is the youngest capital city in Canada, and that means that the chefs aren’t afraid to experiment a little. Restaurants, like the Duchess Bakeshop (named one of Buzzfeed’s top bakeries in the world), have gained international recognition—so pack your stretchy pants. TWO: Edmonton has the sleekest barn in the show. Head to the ICE District downtown and take in the architectural and technological marvel known as Rogers Place. Here you’ll see hockey hair and sweet guitar riffs like never before—in HD with the largest high-definition screen and scoreboard in any NHL arena. What’s more, the Ice District is gearing up to be Canada’s largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district with new attractions and accommodations coming soon.
THREE: Edmonton has the Mt. Everest of indoor entertainment, shopping, and attractions in North America.
West Edmonton Mall is part adventure park, part entertainment complex, shopping, and dining destination. The Mall spans the equivalent of 48 city blocks and at one time had more submarines than the Canadian Navy.
FOUR: There’s green space, and then there’s the North Saskatchewan River Valley.Coming in at 22 times the size of Central Park, Edmonton’s river valley and park systems have over 150 km of trails waiting to be used. Cruise through North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland by foot, bike, canoe, or even Segway
FIVE: Edmonton has long, glorious sunny days.
June through August, the sun can rise as early as 5:00 am and sets as late as 10:00 pm. That’s 17 hours of vitamin D, and plenty of time to pack in warm-weather activities. The sun even sticks around when the temperature drops in the winter, which makes for Instagram-worthy shots of the snow-covered landscapes.
SIX: Edmonton knows how to do winter right.
Edmontonians grab winter by the snowballs with outdoor patios, city-wide snowball fights, deep freezer races, and a spectacular view of the Northern Lights. Locals don’t hibernate, they strive to make Old Man Winter proud.
SEVEN: Edmonton brings the wildlife.
Elk Island is home to free roaming plains bison, moose, deer, elk and over 250 species of birds. Also, both the largest and smallest terrestrial mammals in North America make their homes in the Edmonton area, the wood bison and pygmy shrew. What are you waiting for? Gather the herd and get exploring.
EIGHT: “We the North”? No, WE the North.
Edmonton is the largest Northernmost metropolis in North America and the ultimate gateway to Canada’s wild, adventurous boreal landscapes. The city’s backyard has waterfalls, canyons and glacier-fed lakes. Spend a couple nights in town, then head out to the Rocky Mountains or Canada’s Northern Territories for the ultimate Canadian experience.
NINE: They call Edmonton Festival City for a reason.
The continent’s first, biggest and wildest Fringe theatre festival? You got it. The pulse of drums leading fleets of dragon boats down the North Saskatchewan River? Check. Excitement literally filling the air at the Edmonton Air Show? No problem. With over 50 festivals annually, there’s no shortage of thrills to fill your stay.
TEN: Normal is for the other guys.
Edmonton has always stood out from the rest of the Canadian crowd, but that’s okay. They aren’t afraid to think outside the box. They surf on the prairies, barbecue in blizzards, camp with Bison, and throw axes for fun. There’s a uniqueness to how Edmontonians do ordinary things, but you’ll have to see for yourself.