As the capital of Alberta, Edmonton is known as a bustling city filled with great restaurants, museums and galleries. You will also find beautiful parks, countless festivals and of course, one of the largest malls in the world.
Edmonton has reason to be proud of having the nickname Festival City. June hosts the River City Shakespeare Festival, which takes place in the beautiful Hawrelak Park. The International Street Performers Festival, held in July, floods the downtown with clowns, jugglers, magicians and other amazing performers. July also hosts the Klondike Days, complete with pancake breakfasts and bathtub races, and the Jazz City International Music Festival, which includes fantastic indoor and outdoor concerts. August hosts the largest Fringe Theatre Festival in North America. In fact, it is second only to the Edinburgh Fringe festival. There is also the Heritage Days Festival and Folk Music Festival. September provides the International Film Festival, which is one of the best in North America. Like we said, Edmonton lives up to its nickname.
The beautiful four glass pyramid greenhouses, known as the Muttart Conservatory, are a fantastic botanical garden. Another place to visit for those who love nature and history is the Fort Edmonton Park. This amazing park was first built by the Hudsons Bay Company as a fur trading post. Today the old Fort stands proud as the parks centerpiece. The entire area tells a fascinating story of how Edmonton began and how it got to where it is today. Stroll through the streets and see the amazing buildings, period costumes, wagons and ponies.
Albertas most famous attraction is also one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes in the entire world. The West Edmonton Mall has over 800 stores, 20 movie theatres, an amusement park and indoor water park, an NHL-size ice rink, a lake, casino, and even a dolphin show. Oh, and there are more than 100 places to eat. It is so big you can even rent electric scooters to, well, scoot you around. If all that was not enough, the mall has a few hotels right in the heart of it all. One of the more unique ones is the legendary Fantasyland Hotel. Choose your theme room, whether you go Hollywood, Western, African or Canadian Rail, and have a wonderful stay. It would be impossible to see everything this mall has to offer in a single day so make sure you give your self plenty of time to explore it all.
Maybe the mall just is not your thing, but you love to explore. If so, make your way to Old Strathcona. The entire area is filled with restored shops built back in the 1890s. It showcases boutiques, bookstores, museums as well as a Farmers Market. The market is packed full of shoppers looking for great deals on great items. Old Strathcona also has a wealth of restaurants for you to choose from.
A great nightlife, shopping opportunities for days to come, fantastic places to eat, lovely parks and thriving festivals Yes, Edmonton is the place to be.