EDMONTON & AREA
Welcome to Edmonton, a city known for sunny days (we get 325 of them per year), a breathtaking river valley, and throwing a good party (our city hosts over 30 festivals annually)! Edmonton is full of art and culture, fun, unique flavours, and plenty of nature to explore but most importantly we are located on Treaty 6 land, the perfect place to begin ‘living tradition’.
Please check out the our Google Map for the Conference Committee's Top Edmonton Picks! Click on the categories on the left-hand side for directions to the best cafés, shopping, restaurants and sights in town!
Places to eat and drink
- Have Edmonton’s most famous cinnamon bun at the Sugar Bowl
- Enjoy diner classics and gluten free specialties at the Highlevel Diner
- Pip is a new restaurant offering premium comfort food from the owners of the much loved The Next Act and MEAT
- District Cafe is the perfect spot for a coffee and baked delight
- A Whyte Ave staple, Block 1912 is famous for their gelato
- Three Boars is a local favorite for cocktails and gourmet bites
- A walk down Whyte Ave wouldn’t be complete without a stop of the Wooftop Patio at Black Dog
- Dadeo is a classic diner with a cajun twist, an Edmonton must do
- If you can score a reservation try checking our Corso 32, Uccellino, or Bar Bricco downtown
- The coffee scene is alive and well in downtown Edmonton! Visit Iconoclast, Coffee Bureau, Lock Stock, Remedy, or Credo for your caffeine fix
- For craft cocktails and trendy Asian eats check out Baijiu
- If you’re looking for breakfast or brunch in downtown Edmonton there are many options! Just to name a few faves; Wilfreds, Cafe Linnea, Canteen, The Commodore Restaurant, De Dutch, Blue Plate Diner
- For the absolute best in french pastry and baking Duchess is a must
Things to see and do
- Learn more about how we live tradition everyday at UAlberta with the pîtos-mâmitoneyihtamowin UAlberta site. This project plots a 27-point walking map of sites around the university’s grounds, adding layers of perspective to sites and artifacts that staff, students, and passersby encounter every day
- Take a self guided Instagramable Walls of Edmonton Tour
- Visit the Art Gallery of Alberta
- See a movie at the historic Metro Theatre or Princess Theatre
- Check out the Alberta Legislature grounds and take the Legislative Assembly Tour and make sure you head to the Visitor Centre to browse the gift shop for goods that celebrate Alberta’s creative culture
- Head downtown to visit the brand new Royal Alberta Museum
- Get in touch with nature and visit the Chickacoo Lake Recreation Area
- Step back in history at Fort Edmonton Park
- Stop and smell the flowers at the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens
- Take a ride on the high level bridge streetcar
- On Saturdays do as the Edmontonians do and head to the City Market Downtown
Places to shop
- Check out the shops along the historic 4th Street Promenade
- 124th Street Shopping District is the perfect mix of food, art, and style
- Visit Tix on the Square for locally made goods and info on the city’s thriving entertainment scene
- Alberta Craft Council has an amazing store that is full of incredible local goods
- For the best in local produce look no further than the Old Strathcona Farmers Market (Saturdays)
- Spend a little time getting lost in the hundreds of retailers in West Edmonton Mall
- Enjoy a truly local experience, walking and shopping Whyte Ave
If you’re looking to get out of the city there some great day trip options nearby and of course, the amazing Canadian Rockies are only a few short hours away!
Take a Day Trip to Elk Island Park - Only 30 minutes outside of Edmonton is a wildlife haven; a quiet paradise where you can see many local animals (including Bison), take a hike, canoe, and camp. Elk Island Park is a nature lover’s dream! Stop for lunch at Katie’s Crossing to fuel up for a day of adventure but remember this restaurant is cash only.
36 Hours in Jasper National Park - Set out on the 4 hour drive from Edmonton to Jasper National Park, stop near Hinton at Folding Mountain Brewery for a local craft beer and lunch. Before you enter the townsite check out Miette Hot Springs to relax those stiff muscles. Enjoy a walk around Jasper’s downtown area for shopping and art gallery browsing. Visit Downstream Lounge for dinner and then wander over to The STAND EASY for live music and entertainment. On Day 2 grab breakfast on the go and head out early to Maligne Lake to soak up the beauty of Jasper’s natural waters. Premium Cruise hosts their first tour at 9:30am and takes you through some of the most stunning vistas in the Rockies. Check out the View restaurant at Maligne Lake for a gourmet lunch with, of course, and incredible view. Back in town you can visit the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives for a history lesson or grab a local beer at Jasper Brewing Co. Enjoy a casual dinner at Jasper Pizza Place and a night under the stars at the Jasper Planetarium. On your last day in the Canadian Rockies visit the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for breakfast and a leisurely stroll around the hotel grounds. Nearby you could check out the Jasper Skytram for one last look at the mountains before heading home. If you’re feeling more active you could also head a little further to Horseshoe Lake for a hike, a swim, or if you’re brave enough a cliff dive!
3-4 Days in Jasper and Banff - From Jasper, drive the Icefield Parkway down to Banff. Allow for a few extra hours for picture stops at places such as the Columbia Icefields Centre to get some shots of the lovely Athabasca Glacier, Sunwapta Falls, Crowfoot Glacier, Athabasca Falls or Mistaya Canyon. The Icefields Parkway is a great place to hike and explore. Check out AllTrails for trail suggestions, difficulty level and estimated time to completion.
Once in Banff, head over for dinner at High Rollers (and put your bowling shoes on if you feel up to a game). Enjoy an evening of wandering the lively streets of Banff, soaking up the views and sneak a delicious Beaver Tail in if you still have room (locations throughout Banff).
The next day, wake up early and head out to Johnston Canyon to wander the beautiful trails that wind along Johnston creek to several gorgeous waterfalls. After that, you can check out the majestic (and haunted!) Banff Springs Hotel. Free guided tours of the hotel are available, inquire at the concierge. This can be a wonderful place to stop and have a small snack or lunch.
Other options in Banff for lunch include:
- Sushi House Banff offers an authentic Kaiten Sushi (Conveyor Belt Sushi) experience at lunch
- Magpie and Stump for some great cocktails and Mexican cuisine
- Rocky Mountain Flatbread
- Squish (Sandwiches)
- Park Distillery Restaurant and Bar
Later in the day you can visit some of Banff’s amazing art galleries! If you’re looking for something to do n the evening check out the Cave Lantern Tour, a fun after-dark tour of the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
After a busy day, sleep in and spend a little extra time enjoying the mountain air! If you’re hungry for breakfast check out Tooloulou’s or Melissa’s Missteak. Before you head off don’t forget to live tradition and visit the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum to learn more about the extraordinary heritage of the First Nations people of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies.
On your way home, head through Calgary. Make sure you have the true Albertan experience and stop at The Doughnut Mill and Peter’s Drive-In at Gasoline Alley in Red Deer for road trip fuel on the way back to Edmonton.