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bootlegga Edmonton - A travel report by James
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Edmonton,  Canada - flag Canada -  Alberta
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bootlegga's travel reports

Edmonton -- Alberta's other major metropolis

  13 votes
Page: 1 2
Edmonton is a fine place to visit year round. In the winter, there are professional sports to enjoy, as well as shopping in Edmonton's maze of inter-connected downtown malls. In the summer, it seems that there is something different to do every single day!

Edmonton travelogue picture
A city of natural beauty and outgoing personality, the provincial capital Edmonton boasts a unique, cosmopolitan charm. Known as Canada's Festival City, Edmonton hosts a number of events each summer, including the Edmonton Klondike Days and Heritage Days Festivals. For fans of performance art and music there are The Fringe Theatre Event, The Works, and Jazz City. Of special interest to fans of native arts and culture is the Dreamspeakers festival.

It has short, cold winters (IMHO) and warm, dry summers. As it is 1200 km inland, there is low humidity coupled with low winds and rain, making the summers really nice. To top it off, Edmonton is quite far north, so during the summer, there can be up to 17 hours of sunlight! In the winter, the Aurora Borealis can be seen on a regular basis.

The North Saskatchewan River flows through the city and numerous bridges provide access to dozens of parks, golf courses and woodland trails popular with hikers, joggers and cyclists, and in the winter, cross-country skiers. This park system is the largest of any city in North America. Edmonton also has an excellent museum with dozens of exhibits, the Muttart Conservatory, where it is possible to view plants from 4 different habitats year-round, and a plethora of excellent ethnic restaurants around town, especially in Chinatown. Edmonton is also home to Alberta's biggest tourist attraction, West Edmonton Mall.

Edmonton has copied other cities like London and Toronto by adding a tour bus that you can buy a one day pass for and hop on and hop off as many times as you like. The EDDIE bus costs $10 a day and stops at all of Edmonton's major tourist destinations.

Favourite spots:
Edmonton travelogue picture
My personal favourite thing about Edmonton is the Street Performers Festival, when buskers from all over the world come to Edmonton for 2 weeks in mid-July. Jugglers, magicians, and others perform and then rely on the audience to pay what they feel is appropriate. Fun for all ages!

What's really great:
Edmonton travelogue picture
The weather in the summer more than makes up for the winters. The sun rises @ 5:30 am and doesn't set until after 10 pm most nights!

While downtown, check out the Alberta Legislature Buildings. they were built in 1912 and have a guided tour. The park and fountains outside are popular with both the young and the old.

Edmonton travelogue picture
Spend some time in the River Valley. Rent a bicycle or rollerblades from United Cycle (near Whyte Avenue) and enjoy 70 kms of urban parkland!

Fort Edmonton Park is also an interesting place to visit. It's called Canada's largest living history museum and is divided into 4 distinct eras (1846-fur trading fort, 1885-settlement, 1905-capital, 1920-business centre).

Visitors will find a wonderland of indoor marvels at West Edmonton Mall. Sprawling over the equivalent of 48 city blocks, the mall boasts the world's largest indoor amusement park, a computer-run wave pool, a full-size replica of Columbus's Santa Maria, four submarines on an indoor lake, a mini-golf course, and a NHL-size skating rink. There are restaurants, theatres, and as many stores and boutiques as you could possibly want.

While most locals shun it whenever possible, it is a gigantic temple to comsumerism run amok. Stop by and witness the insanity.

Hotel MacDonald
Hotel MacDonald
There is a variety of accomodations in town, from the student hostel just off Whyte Avenue to the restored, very posh, Hotel MacDonald. The Mac is where rock stars and royalty stay when visiting Edmonton.

If you are looking for a little adventure and don't mind paying a little more than you might for a standard room, check out the Fantasyland Hotel's theme rooms. They have rooms decked out in Roman, Polynesian, and a dozen other styles.

Other good places to stay include the Greenwood Inn just off the Whitemud on Gateway Boulevard or the Delta Centre Suite Hotel downtown.

Muttart Conservatory
Muttart Conservatory
Rum Jungle @ West Edmonton Mall and the Standard on the southside both offer plenty of young, attractive people, over-priced drinks and loud dance music.

On Whyte Avenue, check out the Ironhorse or Sweet 69, places popular with college aged people.

Prince of Wales Armoury
Prince of Wales Armoury
Whyte Avenue has several good ones, from the Black Dog, O'Byrnes and Filty McNasties. All three are fun on a Friday or Saturday night.

Chinatown gate
Chinatown gate
Edmonton has many good restaurants, including the chains like Earl's, Old Spaghetti Factory and Boston Pizza. For the more adventurous, here are my favourites.

The King & I (Vietnamese)
Julio's Barrio (Mexican)
Mikado (Japanese)
Louisana Purchase (Cajun)
Funky Pickle (Pizza)

In Chinatown, check out Pagolac (Vietnamese) and Spicy Garden (Chinese).

Other recommendations:
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
There are plenty of things to see and do in the Edmonton area. ELk Island National Park is only 30 minutes east of the city. It is a large nature preserve and has one of the largest herds of buffalo in all of North America.

An hour south of the city is Sylvan Lake, one fof Alberta's nicest lake resorts. Warm enough to swim in all summer long, it attracts both families and young people.

Three hours west of Edmonton is Jasper, one of Canada's most spectaclar parks. It is filled with wildlife, hiking, skiing, waterfalls, and world famous Spirit Island.

Published on Thursday August 12th, 2004

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Fri, Dec 02 2005 - 08:03 PM rating by jorgesanchez

all yours are excellent reports

Thu, Sep 16 2004 - 08:13 PM rating by bridgete

Very thorough, fantastic!!

Thu, Aug 19 2004 - 07:34 AM rating by nedkelly

Hey buddy, I must have been 12 when I came here didnt remember much about it till Id seen your photos . Thanks for rekindling fond forgotten memories.

Thu, Aug 12 2004 - 01:26 PM rating by jelloo

I was planning on heading out to Edmonton this summer, but things didn't work out. But reading would of been of great help, if i had gone. Lot's of good information. The river valley looks really beautiful.

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