For your 24 hour adventure in Edmonton, I recommend splurging a little and getting a hotel room in downtown Edmonton or Whyte Ave as they are the perfect central hub and launching pad to all the wonderful things you will be doing. Of course if you live on the UAlberta campus then you won’t have to worry about finding a good place to start your adventure as you’re only a 7 min subway ride to Downtown Edmonton and walking distance to one of Edmonton’s most famous avenues: Whyte Ave.
Image Taken From: CBC
There are so many places where you can go and everyone tastes are different but I will suggest two options for either side of the river valley. The Sugarbowl, about a 10 min walk from the center of the University of Alberta’s campus serves not only their famous cinnamon buns for breakfast but also an array of breakfast favorites so you’re bound to find something there to fill you tummy. In downtown Three Banana’s Café, right on Churchill Square has various pastries and lattes as well as breakfast sandwiches and omelettes.
On either side of the river, it’s nice, after a satisfying breakfast, to explore the river valley. The Edmonton river valley boasts about 150km worth of trail and houses over 22 major parks, and it is North America’s largest expanse of green land within a city limit. There are so many things you can do around the river valley, like taking nice relaxing walks, renting a segway and doing a river valley segway tour, taking an “Edmonton Queen” boat tour of the river valley, and many more things. You can run the trails, kayak in the river, and picnic in the parks, all while enjoying the spectacular river valley views!
The Art Galley of Alberta (AGA) has become a local landmark, and is a work of art in its own. Designed by architect Randall Stout and built to reflect Edmonton’s northern environment and urban grid, the curved 190-meter steel ribbons of the AGA definitely make this building stand out. The AGA maintains a collection of over 6,000 objects, including an extensive and impressive collection of Canadian art work, and regularly brings in exhibitions from around the world, so you’re bound to find something to see at the AGA.
Time for Lunch!
Downtown Edmonton boats a myriad of restaurants from everything to authentic Mexican cuisine, to Italian, and even Ukrainian. Explore and find a restaurant the suits your tastes.
After you have had your fill of some food, make your way to downtown’s 104st. 104st boats beautiful tree-lined streets and houses exclusive galleries, restaurants, and shops. This street is also a favorite because of the wonderful coffee shops it hosts including Dauphine, a café that specializes in tarts (try their lemon curb tart), as well as other French pastry delicacies. This is also a nice place to grab an espresso and rest your feet after all the walking you did!
After you have explored 104st, walk towards the Alberta legislature grounds and take in the impressive Legislature building. Tours of the Legislature Building, the provincial seat of the Alberta government, are available throughout the year so if you have time to spare then take one and absorb some interesting Albertan history.
Very close to the Alberta legislature grounds, between 109st and 110st at 100 ave you can get transported in time by taking the High Level Bridge Street Car. Street cars use to be quite common in Edmonton, but now only the High Level Bridge Street car remains. Taking the street car will give you an enjoyable and historical ride from downtown into the Edmonton Strathcona neighborhood home to Whyte Ave.
Image Taken From: Trip Advisor
Whyte Ave is arguably the most famous of Edmonton’s many lively avenues. Home to an array of restaurants, boutiques, cafés, galleries and live theater venues, there really is never a shortage of things you can enjoy on Whyte Ave. Block out at least 2 hours here since you will need it, and make sure to buy your tickets to the Rapid Fire Theater Company improv performance at the New Varscona Theater, for tonight’s entertainment.
With all the walking and exploring you have done today, dinner is probably on your mind. As stated before Whyte Ave is home to some of Edmonton’s most delicious restaurants so finding a place to eat here will only be hard in that you’ll have to make a decision amongst the many options available!
Image Taken From: Rapid Fire Theater
While Whyte is home to one of Edmonton’s oldest movie theater houses, the Princess Theater, it also plays hosts to the Rapid Fire Theater Company, Edmonton’s longest-running improv theater. So make sure to get your tickets early and laugh the night away!
By: Nathalie Batres