Have you ever wondered what it’s like to visit North America’s major northern town? Not may not be as far away and isolated as you’d think. Despite the fact that you have access to natural monuments and attractions, the Edmonton metropolitan space is home to more than 1 million individuals and features lots of districts worth becoming lost in. There is a lot of things to do in Edmonton such as simply wandering places such as Old Strathcona and Downtown Edmonton will have you stumbling upon customs such as craft cocktail bars, coffee shops, farm-to-fork eateries and thrilling events — most having an offbeat twist.
Below are a few of my favorite offbeat adventures in Edmonton.
1. Grabbing a Glass of wine at the hotel on Whyte.
Who does not love cheese and wine? For a solo traveler at Edmonton you will adore catching a glass of white in the Varscona Hotel on Whyte.Within moments you will be able to see Edmonton’s warm hospitality at work and others will likey join you. Interacting with locals and other travelers is among the big joys of traveling.
This hotel is just off Whyte Ave, a historic shopping centre of boutiques in the heart of the city.
2. They Understand How to Put On A Festival (Particularly A Zany One!)
Edmonton has festivals all year long but one major one is the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. If you’re looking for things to do in Edmonton it is the biggest fringe festival in North America and the second biggest on Earth! One can spend a whole day enjoying complimentary Fringe festivities, by acquiring a glimpse into other cultures, to seeing buskers juggle knives throw sodas and use giant vinyl breasts outside of their garments (yes, you read that right). You can watched some fantastic performances, for example one using the most amazing title ever. Who wouldn’t like the sounds of that?
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Edmonton’s nickname is “Festival City”, aside from the fringe festival you will find a new festival almost every week all year round!
3. Go Visit Historic Ukraine
You read that right – if festivals are not your thing then you may want to enjoy a more cultured experience. A site of culture importance is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
Even if you are not a museum go-er this living museum is something truely unique. The living museum comprises over 40 buildings dating back to earlier 1930 when Canada watched their first significant wave of immigration. Most of the buildings are originals and moved from the first location to the museum and costume interpreters play real Ukrainian immigrants — as in, actual people they broadly researched — and don’t break character for just any reason. While drifting through a sod home from 1900, a grocery shop from 1929 plus a resort from 1929 (rooms were 1 per night afterward ) it truley feels like you’re going back in time.
If that’s not enough you can learn how to create pierogies (pyrohy). In biblical civilization the fillings rely on what’s available, therefore there’s no”conventional” filling. So try something new like filling them with curry and dill, another additional blueberries. Yum!
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4. Learn about Bison Conservation
Still looking for things to do in Edmonton? Spend a day at Elk Island National Park. It is famous for its use bison, in addition to for being house to more hoofed creatures per kilometer than any other wild place on the planet. 200 years ago there were 30 million bison that roamed North America’s plains. Regrettably, by 1890 there were only 1,000 left because of habitat loss from farming, ailments brought by cattle and over-hunting.
Now there are roughly 40,000 wild bison left round the planet, which makes it a endangered species. Elk Island is enthusiastic about maintaining their 1,000 bison safe inside the playground, but sending bison across the planet to other conservation endeavors to be sure the specie’s security in the event of natural disaster and also to promote breeding of different sorts of bison to extract weak genes.
The bison are also being reintroduced to Banff National Park
5. Eat under the stars
Edmonton has a vibrant night life with lots of resturaunts, but among the most unique experiences was dining al fresco at Elk Island National Park with Chef Brad Smoliak. Tickets are expensive at $160 per person and you have to combine his mailing list to learn about events, however the thoughtfully-prepared multi-course meal, unlimited wine, park naturalist Q&A before lake and dessert sunset are worthwhile if you have space to splurge.
6. Enjoy the living skies
National parks are also “Dark Sky Preserves” — a place maintained free of artificial light pollution — has been a phrase I had not discovered until seeing Edmonton. Canada has a broad network of those preserves, and they are excellent for celebrity looking and full moon kayaking, an action offered at Astotin Lake in Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve.
On a good evening Astonin lake makes great viewing of the Northern Lights.
7. Explore the City before Nature
As mentioned previously, Edmonton is a stylish urban city surrounded by wilderness with tons of things to do, meaning outdoor experience is quite accessible. One can spent a huge amount of hours in Elk Island National Park (just 45 minutes from Edmonton) in which you can enjoy water sports and beaches in addition to hiking, surfing, camping, birdwatching and much more.
Jasper National Park can be just 3.5 hours from Edmonton
8. Farmers Markets
You will find 20+ markets in Edmonton, however there were two major farmer’s markets that you will want to check out, the Old Strathcona and the City Market. The marketplace has a festival sense with live actors and plenty of local purveyors giving out free trials of peanuts, pickles, body butters, biscuits and much more .
9. Check out Duchess Bakery
Buzz feed listed this place as one of the top bakeries in the word, Duchess Bake Shop. The traditional French bakery includes a smoky setting with marble tables, antique sofas and patterned cloth seats in browns and royal blues, with yummy pastries to match. Be sure to try out the macarons ($1.50 each).
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Close to the shop shop are also a lot of comic and design stores if you would like to spend additional time at the Westmount area.
10. They Understand How to Brunch and Sip it Down with Whiskey
While boozy brunch might not be the most popular dining style in Edmonton, the couple restaurants that do it do it very well, including innovative menus paired with specific boozy concoctions. If you would like to actually drink just like a Canadian arrangement a”Ceasar,” a cross-the-border take about the Bloody Mary containing clamato juice. The menu ranges from $13-$16 for a big and tasty meal, you may want to try the corn grits crafted using slow-cooked brisket, sausage sauce along with a poached egg which has been amazing if broken open and stirred into dish.
11. Eat at El Cortez
El Cortez is this kind of funky space! There is a mixture of laid-back luxury assembly edgy culture via candelabra chandeliers, neon signs touting”find what you love and let it kill you,” a projector revealing white and black clips, and giant Virgin Mary murals adding into the mish mosh of trendy. Not only is it the decoration unique, but the tacos are imaginative (adored the juxtaposition of stripes from the fish tacos together with all the fried shrimp, in addition to the cinnamon from the pork), along with also the cocktails are all craft! Oh, and they’ve El Tucateco hot sauce!
Not surprisingly there’s a few great street art on the building’s outside , said below.
12. Hunt down the Public Art
Unlike in certain towns, Edmonton’s street art is spread out, so you will want to be on the watch. If you visit El Cortez Restaurant you will find an 80-foot black and white mural that appears at topics of”individual brutality and violence, power and entry” via a bloody sword combat battle.
Still looking for things to do in Edmonton?
13. Offbeat Enthusiasts Can Love Neon Signs
The Neon Signal Museum is a lovely al fresco museum in 104 Street and 104 Avenue in Downtown Edmonton. Bring your own camera!
14. Go to the Legislature Building at Night
Many cities have beautiful government buildings, even although Edmonton kicks it up a notch in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta with what feels like a play park. This 57 acres of grounds a great for walking along the Riverbend Bridge to Downtown Edmonton. Picture a gorgeous wading pool with all of this expansive Legislature Building, particularly beautiful at night if it is all lit up. There is also a fountain, smaller wading pools, an interpretive centre, temples, gardens, memorials, interactive outside artwork and more.
They provide guided and self-guided tours, even though you may simply love wandering about with your camera in the nighttime.
Interesting fact: The Alberta Legislature is built on sand, though concrete piles made the building possible.